book covers

Above: 2016 Poetry winner Henrietta Goodman; 2015 Poetry winner Bonnie Bolling; 2015 Fiction winner Rachel Hall; 2016 Fiction winner Doug Ramspeck

Congratulations to the 2018 John Ciardi Prize for Poetry winner, Beverly Burch of Oakland, California, for her manuscript, The Book of Eve. Judge: Patricia Spears Jones.

 

Congratulations to the 2018 G. S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction winner, Jennifer Wisner Kelly of Concord, Massachussetts, for her manuscript, Stone Skimmers. Judge: Stewart O'Nan.

 

The 2019 contest is open.

submit

If you have questions or concerns after reading the guidelines below, email bkmk@umkc.edu or call 816-235-2558.

Ciardi- and Chandra-winning books have gone on to receive reviews or features in such venues as:

Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, ForeWord Reviews, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Kansas City Star, Slate, Writers Almanac, etc.

and won or placed in such awards as:

the Poets’ Prize, Eric Hoffer, IPPY, ForeWord, Chautauqua longlist, Balcones Fiction, Devil’s Kitchen, Midland Authors, Towson Prize of Maryland, etc.

Click here for a list of past winners and judges.

Please read guidelines below before submitting.

Electronic submissions should include:

  • 1 Microsoft Word document or PDF. In English.
  • Poetry manuscripts: approximately 50-110 pages, single spaced.
  • Short fiction collections: approximately 125-300 pages, double spaced.
  • One title page within the manuscript (no author information)
  • No identifying information should appear in the manuscript. Such information, including acknowledgments, will be removed prior to judging.
  • Table of Contents within the manuscript (not as a separate file)
  • Non-refundable entry fee of $30 (US funds)
  • Uploaded files should have the same name as the manuscript
  • Manuscripts must be submitted online no later than January 15, 2019.

Postal Mail submissions should include:

  • Typed manuscript on standard-sized paper, bound only with a clip or rubberband (no staples or permanent binding).    
  • Poetry manuscripts: approximately 50-110 pages, single spaced.
  • Short fiction collections: approximately 125-300 pages, double spaced.
  • Two title pages within the manuscript: 
    a) title only (no author information)
    b) title, author name, address, phone number, email
  • No additional identifying information should appear in the manuscript. Such information, including acknowledgments, will be removed prior to judging.
  • Table of Contents within the manuscript.
  • SASE for notification regarding winner. No manuscripts will be returned.
  • Non-refundable entry fee of $25 (US funds).
  • Manuscripts must be postmarked no later than January 15, 2019.
Mail to:

John Ciardi Prize for Poetry or Sharat Chandra Prize for Fiction
BkMk Press
5101 Rockhill Road
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Kansas City, MO 64110

Manuscripts must be postmarked or submitted online no later than January 15, 2019.

  • No faxed or emailed submissions, please.
  • Simultaneous and multiple submissions are acceptable. Please notify us of acceptance elsewhere.
  • Current students and employees of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and current volunteer members of the New Letters and BkMk Press staffs, are not eligible.
  • Manuscripts will not be returned. No refunds will be issued.

Judging will be blind at all levels. Initial judging will be done by a network of published writers and editors. The final judging will be done by a poet and a fiction writer of national reputation. 2019 winners will be announced August, 2019 and the winning entries will be published in 2020. These competitions are held annually.

BkMk Press supports the CLMP Code of Ethics for literary contests.

Entrants will receive a copy of the winning book in their genre when it is published.

Kansas City Literary Events

Ekphrasis Poetry Reading

Friday, December 14, 2018
Kansas City, Mo.

News

Winners Announced: New Letters Literary Awards

New Letters is pleased to announce the 2018 winners of the $2,500 Conger Beasley Jr. Prize for Nonfiction, the $1,500 New Letters Prize for Fiction, and the $1,500 Prize for Poetry. See the winners, judges, and finalists here.

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Clarion Awards Selection CD Special

Jamaica KincaidJim ShepardGloria Vando & Anika ParisLuis Alberto Urrea, and Alex George, normally $7.99 per episode, this cd collection comes with over $15.00 in savings. Downloads of these programs have been reduced and are available through our archives.