Digging Press runs the Digging Press Chapbook Competition for an unpublished chapbook manuscript of poems or prose between 24-46 pages in length. The winner will receive book publication, a $350 cash award, ten copies of the book. Prizes are awarded on receipt of a signed publication agreement.
We are passionate about presenting a unique, perfect-bound chapbook designed in-house by our creative director, Cynthia Alvarez, a fine artist whose work can be viewed at calvarezart.com. Our series editor offers personalized editorial support throughout the production process. Our chapbooks receive an ISBN and Library of Congress control number and are distributed exclusively on our website and at https://digging-press.myshopify.com.
The Digging Press Chapbook Series Competition is open for submissions of prose and poetry. We seek innovative chapbooks that are inventively personal and richly imagined. We are inspired by the works of Clarice Lispector, Augusto Monterroso, Lynne Tillman, Óscar Esquivias, Giannina Braschi, Italo Calvino, Lydia Davis, Zakaria Tamer, Gloria Evangelina Anzaldúa, Sonia Sanchez, Ocean Vuong, Sam Sax, Claudia Rankine, Eileen Myles…
Mandy-Suzanne Wong (1st Edition; April 2019 sold out. 2nd Edition; May 2022). View results.
Abigail Carl-Klassen (1st printing; August 2020 sold out. 2nd printing; Oct 2022). View results.
Dimitri Reyes (1st printing; July 2021 sold out. 2nd printing; Nov 2021). View results.
Marie Baléo (forthcoming Winter 2022). View results.
Morgan Christie (forthcoming Spring/Summer 2023). View results.
Rachelle Parker (forthcoming Fall/Winter 2023). View results.
NEXT OPEN SUBMISSION PERIOD
November 1, 2022 – February 28, 2023
The submission/reading fee is $15 per submission. Please note that fees offset the cost of publishing and promoting the winning chapbook. A small portion also helps cover our Submittable hosting fees. We also rely on donations and purchases to support our chapbook series. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation, Donate Here.
The 2023 Digging Press Chapbook Award is open to any writer/poet writing in English.
Poetry: (All forms, though submitters should be mindful of the size of our chapbooks. Prose poems and poetry/prose hybrid projects can be submitted under either poetry or prose, per your preference.
Prose: Fiction, creative non-fiction, lyric essay, and prose hybrid manuscripts.
Hybrid: Works that blend themes and elements from two or more genres; often referred to as cross-genre, multi-genre, or mixed genre. (E.g., William Blake’s Heaven and Hell, Giannina Braschi’s Yo-Yo Boing!, and Ousmane Sembène’s Xala.)
Final notification of the contest winner, finalists, and semi-finalists will be provided by e-mail to all contest entrants by Fall 2023.
GUIDELINES FOR SUBMITTING CAN BE FOUND IN SUBMITTABLE
To be certain that each manuscript submitted to one of our chapbook competition receives the fairest and most thoughtful consideration, all manuscripts are given to readers anonymously and are judged anonymously at each stage of the process.
When a manuscript is received, identifying material and cover letters are removed and hidden until the conclusion of the competition. The manuscripts are then sent to readers, who rate each chapbook on a scale of 1-4 and make notes and recommendations as they see fit. All of the manuscripts are reviewed by the series editor and rated on a scale of “1-5.” Readers’ and series editor’s scores are kept hidden from judges to avoid any influence. After each chapbook is read and rated by the judges on a scale of “1-5.” the scores are added, and the chapbooks with the highest scores move on to the semifinalist round. Semifinalists are read and discussed by the series editor and judges. The series editor and judges will each select one or two finalists for final judgement. From this pool of three to seven finalists, a winner will be determined by the series editor. This process may take 3 – 6 months to complete. Any unexpected delays in this process will be communicated via this page. Feel free to contact us via our Contact page with any questions or concerns.
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
Staff and volunteers currently affiliated with Digging Press and Digging Through The Fat are ineligible for consideration or publication. Additionally, students, former students, and colleagues of the judge(s) and series editor are not eligible to enter. We ask that previous winners wait three years after their winning entry is published before entering again. Guidelines for submitting to the competition can be found on Submittable.
Digging Press, LLC is thoroughly committed to safeguarding the integrity of our contests.
Digging Press, LLC endorses and abides by the Code of Ethics developed by the Council of Literary Magazines and Press (CLMP):
The Community of Literary Magazines and Presses believes that ethical contests serve our shared goal: to connect writers and readers by publishing exceptional writing. Intent to act ethically, clarity of guidelines, and transparency of process form the foundation of an ethical contest. To that end, we agree
— to conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical behavior on the part of our readers, judges, or editors;
— to provide clear and specific contest guidelines—defining conflict of interest for all parties involved; and
— to make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public.
If the final judge chooses no manuscript for publication, all contest fees will be returned.
With permission from our contributors, we may include accepted works in promotional material for Digging Through The Fat and Digging Press, LLC.
— Digging Press Team