Poetry Awards

The 2020 Frontier Digital Chapbook Contest // $2000 // Judged by Carl Phillips

Closes 5/15/2020

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Chapbooks are a huge milestone for emerging poets, and we’re always looking forward to the Frontier Digital Chapbook Contest—where we get to find that one electric bundle of poems that rocks our world in less than 30 pages.

The winner of the FDCC will receive $2000 and publication of the free, downloadable chapbook on Frontier. Most exciting of all: the chapbook will also be distributed to tens of thousands of readers, influencers, editors, agents, and magazines through our newsletter. Don’t underestimate the power of this reach to empower your career as a poet.

Our guest judge Carl Phillips will select the winner. He is professor of English at Washington University in St. Louis and has served as judge of the Yale Series of Younger Poets since 2010. His own books of poetry include Wild Is the Wind and and the recently released, Pale Colors in a Tall Field.

Our 2019 winner, Shadow Black, by Naima Tokunow and selected by Jericho Brown, will be released on May 3rd, 2020—stay tuned!

View our 2018 winner, How Often I Have Chosen Loveby Xiao Yue Shan.

Guidelines for submission:

    • Contest is open for international poets, but the poems must be in English.
    • Manuscript should be 10-30 pages.
    • Manuscript should be on the whole unpublished, although individual poems can be previously published.
    • Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but please notify us if the chapbook is accepted elsewhere.
    • Multiple submissions are allowed, but each chapbook must be submitted individually.
    • Do not include bio information in the manuscript itself.
    • We will announce the winners in early August 2020.
    • To view a list of the most commonly asked questions about submitting to us, please see our FAQ page.

We are also selling a limited run of physical copies of our 2019 winner, Shadow Black, by Naima Tokunow and selected by Jericho Brown—we only have the 90 copies that we printed for this year's AWP. If you'd love to read the stunning chap in its limited physical edition (while also sending the author some money and helping us recoup losses from our AWP cancellation)—please consider purchasing her wonderful little book of poems!

"The poems in Shadow Black move from startling moments of subtlety to satisfying passages of rant. Naima Tokunow is also a poet of the body, and in that tradition she calls for the liberation of the black body in particular: “It refuses. It declines. It makes its own.” I’m so glad to have these poems in my life." — Jericho Brown, author of The New Testament

In addition, two options for feedback are available—the Editorial Letter and the Manuscript Consultation. For convenient and practical feedback on a poem from the collection, the Editorial Letter will be your best choice (1-2 pages). The Manuscript Consultation will provide an in-depth and extensive editorial service on the manuscript as a whole (15-20 pages + phone consultation).


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Note on what we look for:

We do not hold preference for any particular style or topic—we simply seek the best poem we can find. Send us work that is blister, that is color, that strikes hot the urge to live and be. For a sense of what we are looking for, read through our previously published poems or What We Look For. We warmly and sincerely invite all voices, and especially those that have been historically marginalized or under-heard to submit and partner with us.

We also highly encourage you to submit your poetry for free to our New Voices, open year-round. We pay our emerging NV poets $50 per poem, published every Friday. New Voices is the beating heart of Frontier, and we hope to read your work soon. Thank you so much for supporting the community of new and emerging poets.

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