Chapbooks rule. These small collections of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry are often a great first publication for up-and-coming writers. They can also be a wonderful way to enjoy work by one of your favorite authors, bound in a new form. Whether you’re looking for a contest to submit your short manuscript to, or simply a fun new book that will fit in your purse or pocket, here is a list of some of our favorite chapbook presses.
Rose Metal Press is, in its own words, “an independent press dedicated to the publication of hybrid genres.” While they also publish longer works (they have a pretty awesome Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction) they host a great annual Short Short Chapbook Contest. We were happy to review the winner of the ninth contest, Ghost Box Evolution in Cadillac, Michigan by Rosie Forrest. The judge for this fall’s contest is Amelia Gray, so get those manuscripts ready!
Like Rose Metal Press, Black Lawrence Press publishes both chapbooks and longer-form manuscripts, and they welcome submissions during their open reading periods. They also host two competitions for fiction and poetry chapbooks a year, one in the fall and one in the spring. They published Masters Review author Blake Kimzey’s kickass chapbook Families Among Us.
Madras Press publishes short stories as well as novella-length booklets from the likes of Kelly Link, Kevin Brockmeier, and Aimee Bender. Let us tell you: these books are beautiful. Each author chooses a charity for the proceeds of the sales to be donated to.
RopeWalk Press is run through the University of Southern Indiana and hosts an annual chapbook contest. Past winners include the likes of David James Poissant.
Bull City is an awesome micropress based in Durham, NC. Along with publishing a quarterly magazine and poetry chapbooks (check out the Frost Place Chapbook Competition) they have been publishing fiction and nonfiction chapbooks since 2015, when they partnered with Origami Zoo Press.
by Sadye Teiser