Guidelines: The Robin Becker Chapbook Prize

Submissions for the Robin Becker Prize are now closed. Manuscripts were considered from May 1 –  June 16 (deadline extended) for the 2016 series. Thank you for your interest in this series, and please consider purchasing one of our chapbooks to help support the press.  

Official guidelines: the 2016 Robin Becker Chapbook Prize for an original, unpublished poetry manuscript in English by an L/G/B/T/Q writer:

  • 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 Robin Becker Chapbook Series in a limited edition of 100 copies.
  • Each winning poet will receive 25 copies, 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.
  • NB: the guest judge and the publisher may, upon close consultation, choose not to award publication in either category should a manuscript not rise to the breathtaking standard set by previous titles in the series. Send your best work, kids.
  • The 2016 reading period will extend from May 1 – June 16.
  • There is no reading fee.
  • The final judge for this year’s series is Julie R. Enszer.
  • 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.
  • Include a brief (100-200 words) biographical note, including a statement of any previous or pending book or chapbook publication.
  • The author’s name should not appear in the manuscript.
  • All manuscripts will be blind judged, meaning all identifying material will be separated 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 listing).
  • Close friends and current or recent students of the judge are asked to refrain from sending work so that we may adhere to a consistent judging ethic. (If you’re unsure, just ask.) Thanks.
  • Simultaneous submissions are acceptable, but please notify us promptly if your manuscript is accepted elsewhere by sending an e-mail to sevenkitchens at yahoo dot com.
  • Submissions must be postmarked or e-mailed between May 1 and June 16, 2016.
  • The winning manuscripts will be announced on or before October 1, 2016.
  • 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.
  • If sending by e-mail, please send TWO documents in Microsoft Word format (.doc or .docx file); you must include the words “Becker 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 BECKER_YOUR TITLE. The second document should include all other front matter (title page with author information, acknowledgments page, bio, and statement of previous book or chapbook publication), and should be titled BECKER_YOUR TITLE_FRONT MATTER.
  • There is no reading fee for the Robin Becker Chapbook Prize. However, we will gratefully accept any donation that you wish to make in support of this series. Checks should be made out to Ron Mohring; Paypal donations may be sent to sevenkitchens at yahoo 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 (preferred), as a Microsoft Word attachment, to sevenkitchens at yahoo 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.


This year’s guest judge is Julie R. Enszer, whose work includes two collections of poetry, Sisterhood (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2013) and Handmade Love (A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2010). An earlier, limited-edition version of Sisterhood was published in the Summer Kitchen Series by Seven Kitchens Press. She is editor of Milk & Honey: A Celebration of Jewish Lesbian Poetry (A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2011). Milk & Honey was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in Lesbian Poetry. She is the editor of Sinister Wisdom, a multicultural lesbian literary and art journal, and a regular book reviewer for the Lambda Book Report and Calyx.


This chapbook series honors Robin Becker, whose continuing accomplishments as a poet, professor, and mentor of lesbian and gay writers deserve wider acclaim. Becker serves as poetry editor for the Women’s Review of Books and is a professor of English and Women’s Studies at Pennsylvania State University. She is the author of seven collections of poems, including Giacometti’s Dog (1990), All-American Girl (1996), The Horse Fair (2000), Domain of Perfect Affection (2006), and Tiger Heron (2014), all from the University of Pittsburgh Press, and of the chapbook Venetian Blue (Frick Art & Historical Center, 2002).

Titles in this series to date:

  • Lost Lands by Judith Barrington (2008 winner, selected by Robin Becker)
  • Postcard from P-town by Steven Riel (2008 finalist)
  • Scavenge by RJ Gibson (2009 co-winner, selected by Ruth L. Schwartz)
  • Inland Sea by Erin R Bertram (2009 co-winner, selected by Ruth L. Schwartz)
  • Radiantly We Inhabit the Air by Christina Hutchins (2010 co-winner, selected by Eloise Klein Healy)
  • The Mystery of Horses by Austin Gray (2010 co-winner, selected by Eloise Klein Healy)
  • Each Perfect One by Ellen Goldberg (2011 co-winner, selected by Judith Barrington)
  • Catch & Release by D. Gilson (2011 co-winner, selected by Judith Barrington)
  • Indecency by David J. Daniels (2012 co-winner, selected by Elena Georgiou)
  • Portraits by Sarah Wiseman (2012 co-winner, selected by Elena Georgiou)
  • Something to Hide My Face In by Doug Paul Case (2013 winner, selected by Ron Mohring)
  • What Hollywood Taught Me by Alison Taverna (2015 co-winner, selected by Ching-In Chen)
  • Fifty Degrees by Gregg Shapiro (2015 co-winner, selected by Ching-In Chen)

4 thoughts on “Guidelines: The Robin Becker Chapbook Prize

    1. Seven Kitchens Press Post author

      Melinda, I suppose it depends on how many copies were distributed. If less than, say, 25, then I don’t know that it would “count” in any official estimation. But some presses (including Seven Kitchens) publish limited-edition chapbooks in print runs of less than 50, and I believe those definitely count. Of course some folks don’t count self-published work at all, but that’s a gray area as well.
      Either way, your manuscript is eligible. Just provide as much detail as you can about the previous publication and we’ll put it into one or the other category.

  1. Pingback: The Robin Becker Chapbook Prize | Astigmatic Revelations

  2. Pingback: Becker submissions close 7/31 | Seven Kitchens Press

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