Guidelines: The Robin Becker Chapbook Series

(currently closed)

Submissions for the Robin Becker Chapbook Series are considered annually in April. Thank you for your interest in Seven Kitchens Press and this series. Full guidelines are posted below.  

Official guidelines: Since 2008, the Robin Becker Chapbook Series has sought original, unpublished poetry manuscripts in English by LGBTQ+ writers. All styles welcome. We are especially interested in reading poets from marginalized communities. 

  • 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, each in a limited edition of 100 copies.
  • Each winning poet will receive 25 copies of their 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 annual reading period will extend from April 1 – April 30, with the selected title(s) scheduled for publication in November. 
  • 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.
  • Our series editor is Steve Bellin-Oka.
  • The editor and publisher 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.
  • 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: Becker_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 postmarked or e-mailed between April 1 and April 30, and the selected title(s) will be announced on or before August 1.
  • 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 as long as they are not already under consideration for another of our series.
  • 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 April 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 in Microsoft Word format (.doc or .docx file); include the words “Becker Chapbook” in the subject line of your e-mail, and please title your document Becker_Your Title. 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. Any amount is appreciated. Checks should 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.
  • Please consider purchasing titles in this series. For a modest donation of $10 with your manuscript entry, you may select a copy of 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!


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 was a professor of English and Women’s Studies at Pennsylvania State University. She is the author of eight collections of poems, including Giacometti’s Dog (1990), All-American Girl (1996), The Horse Fair (2000), Domain of Perfect Affection (2006), Tiger Heron (2014), and The Black Bear Inside Me (2018), all from the University of Pittsburgh Press, and of the chapbook Venetian Blue (Frick Art & Historical Center, 2002).

About the Series Editors:

Steve Bellin-Oka (2021 – ) earned his M.F.A. from the University of Virginia and his Ph.D. from the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers. He is the author of a chapbook, Dead Letter Office at North Atlantic Station (Seven Kitchens Press 2017). His first book of poems, Instructions for Seeing a Ghost, was chosen by Peter Balakian as the winner of the 2019 Vassar Miller Prize and was published in 2020 by the University of North Texas Press. The recipient of a 2019-2020 Tulsa Artists Fellowship from the George Kaiser Family Foundation for public engagement with the arts, he has previously taught creative writing, literature, and film studies at the University of Mississippi, St. Norbert College, and Eastern New Mexico University. His other honors include fellowships from Yaddo, the Vermont Studio Center, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Crosstown Arts. He is the poetry editor of The Bookends Review and a contributing editor for Nimrod International Journal. He has previously served with Seven Kitchens Press as co-editor of the Keystone Chapbook Series. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Steve currently lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he is a teaching artist.

Ron Mohring (2008 – 2020) is the author of four chapbooks: Amateur Grief (Frank O’Hara Prize), The David Museum (New Michigan Press Prize), Beneficence (Pecan Grove Press), and Touch Me Not (Two Rivers Review Prize), His full-length collection, Survivable Worldwon the Washington Prize, and his second book, The Boy Who Reads in the Trees, is forthcoming in 2023 from The Word Works. Ron has served as the Stadler Fellow and as the Philip Roth Resident in Creative Writing at Bucknell University. In 2007 he founded Seven Kitchens Press. 

Crystal Boson (2017 – 2020) is the author of two chapbooks from Seven Kitchens Press: The Icarus Series (2009) and The Queer Texas Prayerbook (2012). Her newest collection, bitter map, was published by honeysuckle press. She is a Cave Canem Fellow and former academic. Find her web site here.

Titles in this series to date:

Our sincere thanks to the following poets who have served as guest judges in this series:

  • Robin Becker
  • Ruth L. Schwartz
  • Eloise Klein Healy
  • Judith Barrington
  • Elena Georgiou
  • Ching-In Chen
  • Julie R. Enszer
  • Nickole Brown

21 thoughts on “Guidelines: The Robin Becker Chapbook Series

    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.

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  8. L

    Is it okay if the manuscripts includes some prose poetry? I know some places prefer not to have them submitted so I thought I should check.

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  10. corastillwrites

    This is a rather awkward question, but what counts as LGBTQ? I consider myself to be queer (I’m asexual/aromantic) but I know some people would say otherwise and I just wanted to check if it’s okay to submit to this contest.

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