DP Chapbook Series Competition

Digging Press runs the Digging Press Chapbook Competition for an unpublished chapbook manuscript of poems or prose between 24-46 pages in length.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…

PAST WINNERS:
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

SUBMISSION FEE
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

ELIGIBILITY
The 2023 Digging Press Chapbook Award is open to any writer/poet writing in English.

CATEGORIES
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
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

SELECTION PROCESS

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

21 thoughts on “DP Chapbook Series Competition

    1. 100 – 120 copies.

  1. I recommend submitting text only. If the images are essential to your project you can include pages with short descriptions of images. If your manuscript makes it to the finals, we will be in touch and request your full pdf to review.

  2. Alexander Walker – A poet and occasional essayist, I have recently graduated from Stockholm University with a Master's Degree in Transnational Creative Writing. Before that, I lived in China for two years as an English Teacher
    Alexander Walker says:

    I am putting together a chapbook at the minute, and this competition looks perfect. However, I just wanted to check – is it America only? Or can people in the UK submit?

    1. You can submit from the UK. If you win, the US dollar cash prize will be sent via Paypal. International shipping fees may apply

    1. We define it as any text mixes more than one genre within one story. Poetry and creative nonfiction, fiction and poetry, expository and fictional narrative…

      The textbook definition:
      A hybrid text is a single text with a dual purpose: to integrate narrative and informational text (Donovan & Smolkin, 2002). It presents important information about a specific topic using narrative text as the primary means of expression (Maloch & Bomer, 2013)—for example, to teach scientific information (Ebbers, 2002). A hybrid text is also referred to as an informational storybook (Leal, 1992), a blended or mixed-genre text (Elster & Hanauer, 2002), a multi-genre text (Flurkey & Goodman, 2004), or a postmodern picture book (Pantaleo, 2014; Sipe & Pantaleo, 2008).

      Unfortunately, we are not accepting hybrid texts with graphics or visual arts, yet, but we hope to in a future call for submissions.

      Thanks for your question.

      Best,
      The Digging Team

  3. Hi — My chapbook “Three Fat Men” is 76 pages when it is double spaced (dialogue). Can I send it anyways? Its a lightly science fiction story about 3 aliens who come to Earth around Chrismastime and discover a horrible plot to kill old people.

    1. We have a small budget right now which is why our page count is low. But that may change for a future call. I would recommend you hold off on submitting for this call.

    2. I have a chapbook consisting of prose and poetry that runs to 27500 words. I appreciate that it’s too big for your current plans but note you say said plans might change. Will you alert people if/when that happens?

    3. We don’t plan on changing our guidelines this year. It’s simply not cost-effective at this time.

      Apologies for that.

    1. The manuscript should be understandable to an English speaker, but it doesn’t have to be totally in English. For example, Braschi’s Yo-Yo Boing is a work written in Spanglish.

      We do accept international submissions. If you win, the US dollar cash prize will be sent via Paypal. International fees may apply.

  4. What if there is identity revealing information in the acknowledgments section? I want to acknowledge the people who made this piece possible, while respecting your blind submission policy.

    1. Include your acknowledgment with your synopsis. This is not shown to the readers.

  5. What size of paper should the submission be on?
    Do you have any margin size preferences?
    Is everything specified in one document (points 4 & 5 about upload document and manuscript) so you split out the acknowledgements!

    1. Because this is a competition, we don’t require specifics yet. Our printed chapbooks are softcover, pocket-sized (Book Width 4.25 inches.
      Book Height 6.87 inches.) For the competition, we simply ask for a standard manuscript on 8.5″×11″ or A4 paper size,
      12-point (10 pitch) font size. You can feel free to layout the pages as you wish so long as the manuscript is 36 pages max. If your front matter and acknowledgment page push this max to 40 pages, that’s fine. Best of luck!

  6. Marta C. Weeks – Marta C Weeks, is an author of fantasy, paranormal, speculative and historical fiction, poet, and columnist. On her website, she likes to share with others tips and articles about writing and social issues. Lives in Northern California with her husband/editor. After a career in state service: as Program Specialist and Research Analyst, she freelanced for CBS Sacramento Arts&Entertainment, Examiner.com, and Ex-In the City Guides. Some of her poems were published by Scruffy Dog, Editred, Poetry for Conservation and others. Completed courses at the University of Iowa, UCD, extension, Poynter’s, Gotham, and Odyssey. Participates in Goodreads, Sierra Writers, Horror Writers, PRG and others. Poetry finalist, 2012 San Francisco Indie Publishing Contest Screenwriting finalist in the ISA 2017 Short Story Contest Quarter Finalist on Screen Craft. Published The Sylph's Tale on Amazon and Boook2Read. Also, the screenplay adaptation of The Sylph’s Tale or Ayekah the Damned on Amazon Studios. Marta C Weeks webpage: https://www.martacweeks.com Facebook: Marta C Weeks
    Marta C. Weeks says:

    Dear Editor, I tried to submit a collection of poetry during the Open Submission Periods by clicking the black box, “Click Here To Submit” to no avail! There was no time, that I saw for deadline, only saw a day time and that day is today. Help? Please? Thank you.

    1. Sorry you missed the deadline. Submittable usually closes the submissions window at midnight. Send us an email at editor@diggingpress.com and we’ll see if we can figure something out.

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