Poetry Awards


Send us your manuscripts for the 2023 Frontier Breakthrough Chapbook Prize!

March 12-May 11, 2023

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Breakthrough Chapbook Contest

Here at Frontier, our digital chapbook contest is one of the highlights of our year. This contest is an opportunity to not only lean into the poetic exploration we encourage in all of our submissions, but also to take us on an extended venture into the terrain of your work, in up to thirty pages of poems. We want to see your breakthrough moments, your obsessions, the journey of your voice. All kinds of poetry are welcome; we set no formal or aesthetic requirements, and we invite manuscripts that still need polishing. 

The winner will receive $2,000 and publication, which includes a free, downloadable digital chapbook on our website, fifty physical author copies to share and sell, and the option to enable drop-shipping sales at Amazon, Bookshop.org, and Barnes & Noble, earning 50% royalties. on your chapbook. Additionally, tens of thousands of readers, editors, and magazines will receive chapbook access through our newsletter. This audience can be a formative springboard for your poetic career!

Our guest judge, Kemi Alabi, will select the winner this year from ten finalists curated by our editorial team. 


About Our Judge

Kemi Alabi is the author of Against Heaven (Graywolf Press, 2022), selected by Claudia Rankine as winner of the Academy of American Poets First Book Award. The collection was a Kate Tufts Discovery Award finalist, a Chicago Review of Books Award winner, and one of New York Public Library’s Best Books of 2022. Alabi’s poems appear in The Atlantic, The Nation, Poetry, Boston Review, and Best New Poets. A Periplus Collective mentor, Alabi has received fellowships from MacDowell, Civitella Ranieri, and elsewhere. As Head of Creativity & Impact of the gender-justice organization Forward Together, Alabi builds cultural power with organizers and artists. They’re coeditor of The Echoing Ida Collection (Feminist Press, 2021), an anthology of Black reproductive justice writing. Born in Wisconsin on a Sunday in July, they now live in Chicago, Illinois. Find Kemi on Twitter @kemiaalabi.



  • Poets of any publication history are welcome to submit. 
  • BIPOC writers are welcome to submit for a reduced fee until we reach our cap of fifty.
  • The manuscript should be fifteen to thirty pages of poems, not including front and back matter. 
  • The manuscript should be unpublished as a whole, although individual poems may be previously published.
  • Do not include any identifying information in the manuscript itself or in the file name.
  • Please put any acknowledgements in the cover letter field of Submittable and not in the manuscript.
  • Submissions are open internationally, to any poet writing in English. Inclusion of other languages is welcome, as long as the poem is primarily in English.
  • Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but please notify us immediately if the chapbook is accepted elsewhere.
  • Multiple submissions are allowed, but each manuscript must be submitted separately with the $25 reading fee. 
  • Winners and finalists will be announced late summer 2023.
  • If you’d like to view a list of questions that often come up, please see our FAQ page.


Editorial Feedback Option

Two options for feedback are available—the Editorial Letter and the Manuscript Consultation

  • For practical feedback on an individual poem from the collection, choose the Editorial Letter (one to two pages of developmental feedback).
  • For an in-depth editorial service on the manuscript as a whole, choose the Manuscript Consultation (fifteen to twenty pages of feedback plus a phone consultation). 

Our guest editors are paid a significant portion of the fee (at EFA rates) and are all astute, professional poets.

Testimonial for the Manuscript Consultation: "Meeting with a Frontier Poetry editor was well worth it. Poems need to be read out loud and to be heard by more than one person. And if that second listener is generous and curious and knows where to point to a better order and when a line needs torque or the junk pile, then there's a chance for mere words, that mere air, to sound delicious."


Frontier Poetry Chapbook Catalog: 

Our 2022 winner, In my dreams/I love like an idea by Tyler Raso is forthcoming this spring, and you can read the winners of our previous chapbook contests here: 


Included Opportunities and Discounts

As a thank you for your support for Frontier, we've partnered with The Poetry School to offer every submitter a 20% off discount code (average of $28 value) to one of their online courses! Head to their platform, find a course you're interested in, and use the code included in your Break confirmation message at checkout.



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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