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Chapbook Prize and Submissions


Submission Dates: March 1st – June 1st, 2012 by online submission manager (preferred) or regular mail ( Postmark deadline June 1st )

Awarding publication of a poetry chapbook, in print and e-book format; 75% royalties (after cost), and 50 author copies, to a writer who has not yet published a book of poetry.

THE DEAL: Fourth and Verse is a pro-poet, not-for-profit publishing venture. We can’t offer an ‘advance’ or an honorarium, but our authors earn a radically high cut of the royalties from the chapbooks they sell. We’ll be promoting and marketing our chapbooks online and in bookstores, and so will our authors. There’s a $10 submission fee, and we provide a one paragraph response, detailing the strengths and weaknesses of the chapbook manuscript as we see it, for every single submission, even (all) the ones we can’t select to publish. With a $15 submission fee we’ll provide feedback and a copy of the winning chapbook.


General and by mail guidelines:

  •  Submit a previously unpublished, chapbook-length (15-30 or so pages) manuscript of poetry. Include a self-addressed stamped envelope for response, or indicate you prefer an e-mailed response; also if you require confirmation of your mailed submission please include a self-addressed stamped postcard. If you would like your manuscript itself returned, please include the requisite mailing materials and postage.
  •  Include a brief cover letter with the title of your work and your contact info, as well as a brief bio, publishing credits or whatever you feel is helpful. Include a list of acknowledgments before the manuscript, if necessary. Your name and contact information should not appear anywhere else in the manuscript.
  • Please include a second, anonymous cover page, with just the title of your work, and no other contact info.
  •  Standard formatting concerns apply: No more than one poem per page; use a legible, 12 point font, preferably Times New Roman. That said, we don’t want to discourage experimental work, so please don’t feel you need to compromise the integrity of your project.
  • Include an entry fee of $10 with your submission, by check, made payable to Fourth and Verse Books. If you would like to receive a copy of the winning chapbook, include a check  for $15.
  • Multiple submissions may be mailed together. If you submit more than one manuscript, please supply contact info for both and an increased fee ($10 per submission).
  • Simultaneous submissions are fine, but do let us know immediately if your manuscript is accepted elsewhere.

Mail submission and entry fee to:

Fourth and Verse Books
c/o Matthew Ritger
The English Department
Cornell University
250 Goldwin Smith Hall
Cornell University Ithaca, NY 14853-3201

The winner and all other submitters will be notified no later than September 1st. Please do not inquire as to the status of your manuscript until after September 1st.


Fourth and Verse Books is a micropress which publishes two chapbooks per year: one through our First Book Prize, and one selected or solicited by the editors. If you have yet to publish a book, please submit through our competition. If not, and you’ve perused our site or one of our books and you’d like to submit an unsolicited proposal, please email a cover letter, brief bio or CV, and the manuscript itself to Pitch us the project, briefly and convincingly, and we’ll read. Be patient. It may take us several weeks to respond.