Guidelines: The Keystone Chapbook Series

Submissions for the 2016 Keystone Chapbook Series are now closed. Thank you for sending your work and sharing the word about our longest-running series. We are pleased to announce that this year’s judge will be Ellen McGrath Smith, author of Nobody’s Jackknife (West End Press) and of the chapbook, Scatter, Feed (Seven Kitchens Press). Please check back here for news of the manuscripts selected by this year’s judge.

Thanks so much to last year’s judge, Deirdre O’Connor, who selected “R” by Tammy Robacker and “Cruel Folklore” by Eric Schwerer as co-winners. Both chapbooks are available for purchase, as are all titles in this series. Thank you, as well, to folks who made donations to help support this series. 

We will consider manuscripts for the 2017 Keystone Prize from June 1 – July 15.

Official guidelines: the 2017 Keystone Chapbook Series seeks original, unpublished poetry manuscripts in English by Pennsylvania writers:

  • Two manuscripts, one by a writer with, and one by a writer without, previous book or chapbook publication, will be selected for publication in the Keystone Chapbook Series in a limited edition of 100 copies.
  • Each winning poet will receive 25 copies of her chapbook, which will be designed, printed, and hand-assembled by Seven Kitchens Press. Additionally, the publisher will distribute ten review copies to reviewers, libraries, and organizations at the author’s recommendation.
  • The 2017 reading period will extend from June 1 – July 15, and the selected title(s) will be scheduled for publication in February, 2018.
  • There is no reading fee; however, we gladly accept donations in any amount.
  • We consider a “Pennsylvania writer” as one who was born in, or has lived in, Pennsylvania, as well as any writer with a self-defined “Pennsylvania connection.” The manuscript need not address Pennsylvania themes, though such work is welcome.
  • The final judge for the series will be announced here.
  • Submit a paginated manuscript of 16-24 pages (not including front matter), with no more than one poem per page.
  • Include two cover pages: one with the manuscript title, author name, address, e-mail and phone number; the second cover page should have the manuscript title only.
  • Include a table of contents page.
  • Include, if applicable, an acknowledgments page for work previously published.
  • The author’s name must not appear in the manuscript.
  • All manuscripts will be blind judged, meaning all identifying material will be separate from the manuscripts as they are logged. Manuscript titles and log numbers will be posted on the Seven Kitchens Press site (remember to refresh this page to see the most current information).
  • Simultaneous submissions are acceptable, but please notify us promptly if your manuscript is accepted elsewhere by sending an e-mail to sevenkitchenspress at gmail dot com.
  • Submissions must be postmarked or e-mailed between June 1 and July 15, 2017.
  • Manuscripts will not be returned. E-mailed submission is preferred, but you may send via regular mail.
  • If sending by mail, please use a binder clip and mail flat in an 8.5 x 11 envelope.Include a brief (100-200 words) biographical note, including a statement of any previous book or chapbook publication.
  • If sending by e-mail, please send TWO documents in Microsoft Word format (.doc or .docx file); you must include the words “Keystone Chapbook” in the subject line of your e-mail.
    • One document should be the complete, paginated manuscript with title page and table of contents, and should be titled KEYSTONE_YOUR TITLE. 
    • The second document should consist of all front matter (title page with author information, acknowledgments page, bio, and statement of previous book or chapbook publication), and should be titled KEYSTONE_YOUR TITLE_FRONT MATTER. Please do not send images.
  • There is no reading fee for the Keystone Chapbook Series. However, we will gratefully accept any donation that you wish to make in support of this series. Checks may be made out to Ron Mohring; Paypal donations may be sent to sevenkitchenspress at gmail dot com.
  • Copies of the winning chapbooks will be available to entrants at the price of $9 with free shipping. Please bear in mind that a limited-edition print run may sell out quickly, so if you want to guarantee yourself a copy, consider an early purchase. Inquiries regarding other titles in the series are welcome at the e-mail address below.
  • Send your manuscript:
    • by e-mail, as a Microsoft Word attachment, to sevenkitchenspress at gmail dot com; or
    • by mail to Ron Mohring, Publisher; Seven Kitchens Press; PO Box 492; Loveland OH 45140.

Entrants are responsible for keeping the press informed of changes in address or contact e-mail.

Titles in this series to date:

  • Underground Singing by Harry Humes
  • Still by Deborah Burnham
  • Long Corridor by Lisa Sewell
  • Spring Melt by Katherine Bode-Lang
  • Soot by Jeff Walt
  • The Schwenkfelders by Rebecca Lauren
  • Braids & Other Sestinas by Leonard Kress
  • Never a Note Forfeit by Catherine Staples
  • Breakdown: Banjo Poems by Dave Bonta
  • The Salvager’s Arts by William Woolfitt
  • Wooden Boys by Michael Hurley
  • Field Trip to the Underworld by Hayden Saunier
  • by Tammy Robacker
  • Cruel Folklore by Eric Schwerer

We also highly recommend the anthology Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania, edited by Marjorie Maddox and Jerry Wemple and published by Penn State University Press.

7 thoughts on “Guidelines: The Keystone Chapbook Series

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