2023 Chapbook Contest Results

Congratulations to the winner: Lillian-Yvonne Bertram's A BLACK STORY MAY CONTAIN SENSITIVE CONTENT.

They'll receive $1000 and publication in this year's series alongside three other fiinalist manuscripts, each of whom will receive $500 and publication:

  • Stephanie Anderson's BEARINGS.
  • Christopher Nelson's FUGITIVE
  • Steffan Triplett's CONSTRAINTS

Congrats to those three too. Now for the list of our finalists, all of which were outstanding, publishable, killer manuscripts.

  • Allison Field Bell's A IS FOR
  • Paul Cunningham's KNOT A TRAIN
  • Jai Dulani's AMASS
  • Emily M. Goldsmith's ALLIGATOR IS A FISH
  • Emiliano Gomez's TOWNIES
  • Elizabeth Horner Turner's OUR ENNUI REBELLION

Guessing we'll see these out in the world somewhere soon and regret not publishing them, but we can only do a handful a year. Thanks to all of those who entered. Entrants receive a free digital copy of last year's winner and, with a SASE, a free copy of this year's winner.

Seems like some folks are kicking up a bit of a ruckus about the computational poetics of our winning manuscript this year. Find a quick clarifying thread about that on Twitter.

The short version is that we have no objection to writers submitting manuscripts to us that engage large-language-model AI systems or other sorts of algorithmic writing tactics (for instance, just to name a few, found poetics, Oulipian games, cut-ups, collage, autotranslation, or sonnets)

as long as:

  • the writer is up front about their use
  • the project is awesome, interesting, surprising, and fruitful

To clarify: we are not interested in manuscripts that are entirely AI-written and mean to pass as human "stories" or "poems" or whatever. We are also not interested in boring, seamless-seeming AI generations. We want to see the writer's hand, even if the writer is using tools like LLMs.

We think you'll like Bertram's A Black Story May Contain Sensitive Content. We do. It does make use of AI as a tool. It is about that very thing in fact. It kicks ass.

If you'd like to preorder it, head over to the Merch Store. We'll have preorder links for the other 2024 Chapbook Series up shortly too.




2024 Chapbook Contest Guidelines (Deadline May 15, 2024)

The New Michigan Press / DIAGRAM chapbook contest announces our guidelines for 2022! We select the majority of our chapbook list each year from the ranks of the chapbook contest finalists, so this is the best way to get your work read. And what's more, it's all read blind. Plus you get a free chapbook just for entering and you get to know that your entry helps us do what we do.

The Prize
  $1000 plus 25 author copies AND of course publication; finalist chapbooks also considered for publication (we typically publish 3-6).
The Entry Fee
The Mailing Deadline
  May 15, 2024
What we want
  Interesting, lovely unpublished work (unpublished as a whole; individual pieces may be published already of course), prose or poetry or some combination or something between genres, 18-44 manuscript pages (no more than one poem per page if you're sending poems unless they are very, very short).
Images okay?
  Yes, as long as you can obtain reprint rights for any images you include, unless they're in the public domain or qualify under the exemption for fair use. We do prefer images be in low-res for the manuscript to keep file size down (the submissions manager maxes out at around 9 megabytes), but we'll need high-res versions if your manuscript is selected for publication. ALSO: please don't send originals of anything, since we cannot return manuscripts.
Other questions?

It's fine with us if individual works have been published elsewhere, but the manuscript can't have been published as a whole before. Please include specific acknowledgments if any of the works have appeared elsewhere: tell us where individual pieces appeared, as we do sometimes consider submitted and unpublished individual pieces for possible publication in DIAGRAM.

We recommend that your manuscript be as coherent--as much a project--as possible. Not to say everything needs to be thematic or narratively related, but most of our winning chapbooks have a feeling of aesthetic unity or connection or resonance: we think chapbooks should make sense as chapbooks, and be more than the sums of their parts. Chapbook manuscripts do not necessarily have to be diagrammatic (though the diagrammers among us do enjoy those).

Co-authored manuscripts are fine.

Manuscripts that engage algorithmic writing tactics (cut-ups, collage, erasure, large language models, AI chatbots, autotranslation softwares, etc) are fine as long as you're up front about their use.

Submitting multiple manuscripts is fine with entry fees for each.

Simultaneous submissions are fine as long as you let us know ASAP if a manuscript needs to be withdrawn.

Please don't put your name/identifying info on the piece itself. If you send electronically, it'll be in the submitter info only, and that doesn't get forward to our readers. If you send via the mail, include a detachable cover page.

Email with further questions if you have them.

How to Get Your Work to Us (electronic, preferred)

REQUIRED STEP ONE: Pay contest fee through Paypal* by filling out the form below with your last name and the manuscript title, then clicking on the [Buy Now] button just below this paragraph. You may use a credit card if you like (or a checking account etc.). No need to create an account. Once you complete step one it will click through to a page with step two on it (also copied below just in case).

* You have three options for entering the chapbook contest: the entry fee is $24, but you may also choose to bundle that with a 2023 Chapbook Subscription (digital = $37; hardcopy = $48).

1. Enter the contest & I want the 2023 chapbook subscription (digital + hardcopy, shipping incl. in US): $50

Last Name & Title of Entry

2. Enter the contest & I want the 2023 chapbook subscription (digital only): $38

Last Name & Title of Entry

3. Just the contest entry, ma'am: $25.

Last Name & Title of Entry

*If you have a hard time with paypal for any reason, drop us a line. We can take credit cards directly if you'll send us the info via email (card #, CVV (3 digit code on back), expiration date, billing address w/zipcode) at nmp--at--thediagram--dot--com, or we can give you a phone # to leave it on voicemail if you'd rather.

REQUIRED STEP TWO (COPIED FROM THE PAGE THAT PAYPAL WILL DIRECT YOU TO AFTER PAYMENT: submit your manuscript through our Submissions Manager system [here]. You'll have to create an account with the system if you haven't submitted to us before. Make SURE, SURE, that when you enter the submission's genre, you choose CHAPBOOK CONTEST ENTRY ONLY. Do NOT select "fiction," "poetry," or anything else. That way it gets read, processed, and responded-to properly (our contest submissions go through a different reading process than regular submissions). If you submit under something else things will get munged (though we are happy to read your non-contest submissions whenever, of course) and you'll have to resubmit. Please give us some kind of cover letter if you like. Or not.

Note: only one file may be submitted through the submissions manager. PDF preferred, or Word format (.doc, .docx), or .rtf is fine if necessary (we cannot read any other word processing formats; sorry). If your submission is more than one file, copy and paste it into one file or otherwise attach it. A zipfile would be acceptable if that's easier.

If you'd like your complimentary copy of the winning chapbook (or another chapbook in our series—please specify which, if any, on the envelope), mail us a self-addressed 6" x 9" envelope with $3 of postage (in USA—$7 is a safe bet if you're sending from overseas). If you do not care, there is no need for this.

If you send electronically you'll be notified electronically by default. No SASE required unless you want a copy of the winning chapbook. If you'd like us to send you a hardcopy results letter, that's fine (then send us a SASE as specified below).

How to Get Your Work to Us (old school hard copy postal mail: also OK)

If you'd rather send via the mail, fine. Mail your manuscript and check (made out to New Michigan Press--or pay online above if you'd rather and include the receipt) for $24 to: NMP/DIAGRAM Chapbook Contest, English Department, P.O. Box 210067, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721-0067.

Make sure you send us a business-sized SASE with postage if you'd like notification of the results by mail in the USA. Manuscripts cannot be returned (sorry—please don't send your only copy).

Optional: enclose a self-addressed, stamped postcard if you'd like confirmation that we received your manuscript.

Enclose a self-addressed 6" x 9" envelope with $3 of postage (in USA—$7 is a safe bet if you're sending from overseas; no IRCs please) if you would like a complimentary copy of the winning chapbook (or another chapbook in our series—please specify which, if any, on the envelope; we'll honor requests if we have the chapbook in stock). If you do not care, there is no need for this.

Please send your manuscripts via airmail. And please do not send submissions certified mail, express mail, or anything we have to sign for; it's a pain and if we're not at the office, we're not going to be able to make a trip to the post office to pick up your manuscript. If you want to overnight it, fine, just please check the "no signature req'd" box.


We don't have a rotating celebrity judge for our chapbook contest. Since we pick the majority of our chapbooks from the submissions to the contest, we judge everything internally. The final judge is our editor, Ander Monson, and the preliminary readers change year to year and usually include some members of our editorial staff. We read anonymously and try to vary our aesthetic year to year. Still, we like what we like. To find out what we like, you should probably check out our books if you haven't already.

Ethics   All contest entries are read and judged blind. Current and former students and close associates of the judge or the contest coordinator should steer clear of the contest for obvious reasons.
  That's it. Good luck!



On this page, find:

Contest Guidelines:

Contest Results:

  • (older info further down)