Guidelines: The Keystone Chapbook Series

(currently OPEN)

Submissions for the Keystone Chapbook Series are considered annually annually during the month of June. Thank you for your interest in Seven Kitchens Press. 


Seven Kitchens Press is proud to sponsor the annual Keystone Chapbook Series for original, unpublished poetry manuscripts in English by writers with a Pennsylvania connection. Seven Kitchens Press was launched in 2007 with Underground Singing by Harry Humes and we are proud to continue this, our longest-running chapbook series. 

  • 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, each in a limited edition of 100 copies.
  • Each chapbook will be printed in a limited edition of 100 copies, with the option of successive printings. The chapbooks will be designed, printed, and hand-assembled by Seven Kitchens Press. The authors will receive 25% of the print run. Additionally, the publisher will distribute ten review copies to reviewers, libraries, and organizations at the author’s recommendation.
  • The annual reading period will extend from June 1 – June 30, with the selected title(s) scheduled for publication in December.
  • There are no restrictions on content or form. 
  • There is no reading fee, though we encourage readers to purchase copies of our chapbooks and we gratefully accept donations large or small. Seven Kitchens survives solely on your donations and on the sale of our chapbooks.
  • 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.
  • Manuscripts will be read by series editors Jeff Walt and Karen Weyant.
    • The editors may, at their discretion, choose not to award publication in either category. It is also possible that more than one manuscript in either category may be offered publication. Please send your very best work.
  • Submit a paginated manuscript of 16-20 pages of poems with no more than one poem per page. Include a title page and a table of contents, but no identifying information in the manuscript. Do not include images of any kind. Please don’t use fancy fonts. Title the document according to the following format: Keystone_Manuscript Title.
  • In a separate file, please provide the manuscript title, author name, address, email and phone number. This file should include acknowledgments if anything in the manuscript has been previously published. Please also provide a brief biographical note, and title the document according to the following format: Keystone_Your Last Name.
  • In your brief (one paragraph) biographical note, include a statement of any previous or pending book or chapbook publication. (We need this information in order to read your manuscript in its proper category; we are very open to work by new writers and this series is designed to showcase both emerging and established poets.) 
  • Please follow all guidelines. Manuscripts received without necessary information will indicate to us that you have not spent adequate attention to presenting your work. It’s always a good idea to check any publisher’s website for complete guidelines rather than rely on second-hand sources.
  • The collection may contain a series of poems or one single chapbook-length poem.
  • Collaborative works are welcome. Should a winning manuscript be collaboratively written, author copies will be distributed equally (for example, two authors writing collaboratively would receive 15 copies apiece, or 30% of the print run).
  • Simultaneous submissions are accepted, 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 emailed or posted between June 1 – June 30.
  • Please do not double-dip: If your manuscript is currently under consideration for another of our series, please do not send the same work for this series.
  • Multiple submissions are welcome (please send as separate entries) as long as they are not already under consideration for another of our series.
  • We hope to announce the winning manuscript(s) on or before September 1; manuscripts will be scheduled for publication in December. 
  • Authors will receive updates throughout the process: once finalists have been selected, they will be notified by email, and all other entrants will be individually notified via email. 
  • Manuscripts will not be returned. E-mailed submission is preferred, but you may send via regular mail.
  • If sending by mail, please mail flat in an 8.5 x 11 envelope. Please do not use expedited delivery services; your postmark date is sufficient to ensure your entry qualification, and we will allow 7-10 days for receipt of all entries mailed after June 30. Use First-Class Mail and consider spending the money you’ve saved on a chapbook from a small, independent press! Mail your manuscript to: Ron Mohring, Publisher; Seven Kitchens Press; 2547 Losantiville Ave; Cincinnati OH 45237.
  • If sending by e-mail, please send your manuscript (as two attachments) in Microsoft Word format (.doc or .docx file); include the words “Keystone Chapbook” in the subject line of your e-mail, and send to sevenkitchenspress at gmail dot com.
  • Manuscript titles will be posted, alphabetically by title, on the Seven Kitchens Press site (remember to refresh this page to see the most current information).
  • There is never a reading fee; 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. Please feel free to reach out directly via the email address above if you would like to discuss other options.
  • We do ask that you familiarize yourself with at least some of the work published by Seven Kitchens Press (a sample poem from each chapbook is published on the authors’ pages at 
  • Please consider purchasing titles in this series. For a modest donation of $10 with your manuscript entry, we are happy to send you any available title in this series; just indicate in your cover material if you wish to do so.  
  • Please direct any inquiries to publisher Ron Mohring via the above email address. Though we welcome and appreciate social media connections, we might not see questions posted there.
  • Please notify us of any changes in your contact information, especially your e-mail address!

About the Series Editors:

Jeff Walt (website) was born and raised in rural Pennsylvania among a community of railroad workers, brick layers, and stripminers. He graduated from Goddard College in Vermont with his MFA in Writing and Literature in 1993. Jeff has placed in various national poetry contests and is best known for poetry in which he depicts the grind of working-class life–tiresome workloads, the temporary joys of addiction, struggling relationships. He lives in Palm Desert, CA and is Founder & Director of The Desert Rat Residency for Writers , which sponsors The Desert Rat Poetry Prize. For many years, he was the Steve Kowit Poetry Prize Coordinator. His book, Leave Smoke, was published by Gival Press and was awarded the 2020 Housatonic Book Award. Jeff’s chapbook, Soot, was selected by guest judge Karen J. Weyant as #5 in the Keystone Chapbook Series and published in 2010; it’s still a good read.

Karen J. Weyant (website) was born and raised in rural Pennsylvania and is an Associate Professor of English at Jamestown Community College in Jamestown, New York.  She is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Stealing Dust (Finishing Line Press) and Wearing Heels in the Rust Belt (Main Street Rag).  Her poems have been published in over 100 journals including Chautauqua, Copper Nickel, Crab Orchard Review, Harpur Palate, Fourth River, Flyway, Spillway, Rattle, River Styx and Whiskey Island. Her poetry has also appeared in Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry series and Sundress Publications’ Best of the Net annual anthology. Karen’s essays have been published in About Place, Briar Cliff Review, cream city review, Lake Effect, Potomac Review, Storm Cellar, and Waccamaw. She has been honored with a New York Foundation for the Arts poetry fellowship and the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities.

All previous titles in the Keystone Series are available for purchase. Please support these poets:

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.

16 thoughts on “Guidelines: The Keystone Chapbook Series

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  11. Emily Krinos

    Hi, I’m looking to submit and was wondering about the page limitation. It says 16-24 pages without front matter, but do the table of contents, sub-section cover pages, and author’s note count in this page limit? Or is it just number of poems?

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