Friday, July 31, 2015

Announcing the Quarter Finalists to the 2016 Mary Ballard Poetry Chapbook Prize

We had an amazing field of poetry to judge this year. For our fifth Mary Ballard Poetry Chapbook Prize, we have selected 200 quarter finalists, our largest field ever.

In the next phase, we will narrow these chapbooks to about 30 semifinalists to be announced on August 31. Absolutely keep your simultaneous submissions active during this time, but do let us know if you are accepted elsewhere and need to withdraw. (Three poets got their chapbooks accepted by other publishing companies during the process. Congratulations!)

We will also be talking to our celebrity poet about the timing of judging the finalists, so we can have a rough idea of when we will have a winner this year. It's always fun to hold on to the secret of who our final judge will be. We've had some wonderful ones in the past -- Jay Parini, Fred Marchant, Dorothea Lasky, and Larry D. Thomas.

Congratulations poets, and please, if we made an error in your title or name, reply to the email you received when we confirmed your original submission to let us know. We kept the capitalization you provided when you filled in the form, but if you weren't going for e.e. cumming's style, let us know.

And here they are!

Adriana Claudia Ciobotu ~ A Symphony of Sighs
Aidan Ziliak ~ What Do I Do with My Diploma?
Ajamu Abdullah ~ ProtoStar
Alan D. Harris ~ Fall Ball and other late inning storylines
alex stolis ~ Postcards from the Knife Thrower
Alice Stinetorf ~ Within Our Vagrant Flesh
Alina Stefanescu ~ i watch dishes
Aline Alzime ~ Love Solstice
Allie Marini ~ Cliffdiving
Amitabh Vikram Dwivedi ~ Selected Poems
Amy Krohn ~ Grass Fire
Ana Prundaru ~ Cinderella takes a Gap Year
Andrea Janelle Dickens ~ Landscape With Buffalo
Andrea Marsiano ~ Distance
A.M Rees ~ Insecurities and Remedies
Ann Taylor ~ The Exquisite Truth: Heloise and Abelard
Anna Cates ~ Starry, Starry Nights
Anne Britting Oleson ~ Ruelle des Rèves
Atar Hadari ~ Letters to Larkin
Ava Love Hanna ~ The Life-Cycle of a North American Woman
B Deep ~ In The Belly Of A Star
Beate Sigriddaughter ~ Thirteen Love Poems and Twelve Songs of Despair
Becca Lamarre ~ You Are The Pestle
Ben Johnson ~ The Art of Communication
Benjamin Pfau ~ Vanilla
Betty Lipton ~ On A Wednesday My Childhood Died
Bill Cushing ~ Two Centuries
Blake C. Aarens ~ Clearing A Silted Stream
Briana Forney ~ Missing Antecedent
Bud R. Berkich ~ Halley Street Revisited
Cari Oleskewicz ~ You'll Find Me on the Highway
Carol Dorf ~ The Theory Headed Dragon
Carolyn Martin ~ Say the Words
Cassandra Baliga ~ Giant Shadows From Small Corners
Catherine Moore ~ Flesh is Narrative
Cherise Wyneken ~ White Cranes
Christina M. Rau ~ Liberating The Astronauts
Clara Freeman ~ A Southern Woman's Confessional- Poems from the soul
Clinton Siegle ~ Syria
Corey Ginsberg ~ Bowling in the Bumper Lane
Courtney Claire Taylor ~ The Moon for Our Garden
D. I. Ejuailo ~ Sounds of a Missing Jazzman
Daniela Violin ~ Something Scandalous
Dante Di Stefano ~ Grace Notes
darlene anita scott ~ Try Years of Today Like Today
David Butler ~ The Dogfish
Deborah Chava Singer ~ Body of Feeling, Body of Knowledge
Derek Kannemeyer ~ What Lives
Diana Woodcock ~ IInto Vastness and Freedom
Don Thompson ~ Something About the Light
Donna J. Sanders ~ Lost in Paradise
Donna Nelesen ~ Women as Overcomers
Dori Appel ~ Escape Artist
Dot Dannenberg ~ The Wild Eye
Dr. Graham ~ Tiny Little Cracks: Lessons Learned in the Classroom (and other Tales of Enlightenment)
Eleanor Stanford ~ Forming the Artificial Body
Elise Hempel ~ Older Man
Elizabeth Breder ~ My Own Making
Elizabeth Johnston ~ Where the Wild Sing
Emma Decent ~ I dare you
Fernando Valdivia ~ Seam Allowances
Fletch Fletcher ~ Love the Loop
Gail Eisenhart ~ Lost and Found
Gail Langstroth ~ Hyena Dreams
Gary Beck ~ The Mind of a Liar
Gary Glauber ~ Focal Points
Gene Hult ~ Render
Gina Marie Mammano ~ Pill Hill and Other Stories
Hannington Mumo ~ A Sound From Africa's Lyrical Caves
Heather Awad ~ Cleaning Out Closets
HeidiLynn Nilsson ~ The Math of Gifts that Are Not Wages
Hemant Bawankar ~ Words ...and Poetry
Howard Sage ~ Nutritious Contention
Issa M. Lewis ~ Tricks of Light
Irene Bloom ~ Stirrings
Ivy Alvarez ~ The Museum of Welsh Life
J.C. Elkin ~ Legacy
Jack Peachum ~ Seat Of the Pants Poems
Jackie Craven ~ Thirsty Wishes
Jacqueline Seewald ~ Heart of Wisdom
James G. Piatt ~ Reflections of an Aging Poet
James M. Croteau ~ Tangled in the Sweat on My Neck
Janne Karlsson ~ Cooking for the void
Jane Rosenberg LaForge ~ In Remembrance of the Life
Janet M. Powers ~ Some Other Magic
Janet Ruhe-Schoen ~ Dedicatorias/ Dedications
Jay K. Mishra ~ Trance-Memories
Jennifer Ruth Jackson ~ The Layers of This Being
Jerri Hardesty ~ On Location
Jessica Goody ~ Other Voices
Jim Davis ~ Neon
Jimmy Reed ~ Illuminating Words of Fortitude in Some Dark Times
Joan Canby ~ Rancho Peude Ser
Joe Henry Gonzales, Jr. ~ Roses and Sparrows Die In Texas
John C. Mannone ~ Elements of Survival
John Reinhart ~ Black and White Teeth Marks
Judith Kelly Quaempts ~ All That We Are
Judith Waller Carroll ~ Ordinary Beauty
Julia Hones ~ The creature inside a cage with wings
Julianna Tresca ~ Darkness is Misunderstood
Julie Fowler ~ In Search of Sweetness
June Capossela Kempf ~ Lifelines
JW Mark ~ Menagerie
KJ Hannah Greenberg ~ Politics Like Sardines
Karen Little ~ Joined at the Root
Kathleen Gunton ~ If in This Sleep
Kathleen Rose Guiles ~ My Tender Side
Kathy Engel ~ The Lost Brother Alphabet
Kevin Zepper ~ Moonman
Kira Geiger ~ Nothing Like This Dream
Kirby Wright ~ At the Artist Colony
Knar Gavin ~ Live Lives
Nolo Segundo ~ The Enormity of Existence
Laryssa Wirstiuk ~ Vanna White Clapping
Laura Foley ~ Between Apple and Limb
Laura Lee Perkins ~ Soul Music
Laura Taylor ~ Kaleidoscope
Laurie Kolp ~ The End, Beached
Leah Mueller ~ Allergic to Everything
Leland James ~ The Barrenness of Light
LindaAnn Loschiavo ~ "Dangerously in Love"
Lisa Folkmire ~ Lessons I Thought I Understood: A Poetry Collection
Lisa Hartz ~ Bloom or Perish
Lisa L. Lynn ~ From the Alembic: Alchemical Poems
Lisa M. Hase-Jackson ~ When I Die, Remember Me
Lisa Timpf ~ Only Natural
Loretta J. Oleck ~ Songs From the Black Hole
Lucy Chau Lai-Tuen ~ Paper Daughter
Lukata Martin ~ Imperfect Expressions of Perfect Concerns
Magdalena Ball ~ Most of Everything is Nothing
Malia Rock ~ Be Careful Who You Make Memories With
Margaret Rozga ~ Measure of Peace
Marguerite Costigan ~ Rock & Fire
Marilyn Zelke-Windau ~ Woof Worthy
Mark Alen Jenkins ~ Forklift Tattoo
Mark Mansfield ~ Past the Narrows
Mark Smith-Soto ~ Only Human
Mark Wacome Stevick ~ Local Habitations
Martin Willitts Jr ~ Snowy Day
Mary Angus ~ Pandora's Boxes - Fragile
Mary Buchinger ~ Vagrancies
Mary Kipps ~ The Art of Kissing Softly
Mary W. Jensen ~ Break Free From Stillness
Maureen Sherbondy ~ Belongings
Meg Eden ~ Drowning in the Floating World
Melissa Atkinson Mercer ~ After the Miracle Season
Melodic Rose ~ The Ephemorphosis
Michael Baldwin ~ Messing With Texas
Michael Campagnoli ~ Fuoco
Michael Jones ~ [S]ELF
Michelle Chen ~ A Thousand Natural Shocks
Miles Liss ~ All the Constellations
mobnika john ~ "Not that I love you less"
Nathanael Cook ~ From the Happy Stones of the Living
Ndaba Sibanda ~ A Season to Reason
Nick Hilbourn ~ Pacha
P.C. Vandall ~ Brain Freeze and Heart Burn
Pat Anthony ~ In the Pink Bowl
Patti Sullivan ~ Top Forty
Paul David Adkins ~ Baghdad Menagerie
Paul Dickey ~ The Wall Refuses to Allow Itself to Be Painted
Paul Fauteux ~ Scattered Letters
R. Bremner ~ Kerouac Dreams, Kerouac Visions
Raegen Pietrucha ~ An Animal I Can't Name
Raydene Nash ~ Love Within A Nervous Breakdown
Rhiannon Thorne ~ Stillbirth
Rob Stephens ~ The Art of Fugue
Rose M. Smith ~ Holes in My Teeth
Ruchika Jain ~ A Sun in My Ear
Sandra Campbell ~ Breaking Through
Sarah Ann Winn ~ Gone Golden
Sarah Frances Moran ~ Evergreen
Sarah Lilius ~ Lightning, Glass, and Stone
Sarah Richards ~ Complexities, of Mind and Body
Savannah Thorne ~ Dare
Schuyler Peck ~ An Alcoholic's Holy Water
Scott Beal ~ The Octopus
Sea Sharp ~ The Swagger of Dorothy Gale & Other Filthy Ways to Strut
Shari Caplan ~ Advice from a Siren
Shauna Osborn ~ Indra's Net
Shawn Ballard ~ Time for the Rats and Pigeons to Dance
Simon Peter Eggertsen ~ Without Knowing
S. Wallace ~ Women's Voices: Seasons of Change
Shinjini Bhattacharjee ~ Homebodies and Other Exhibits
Simon Mermelstein ~ The Continuing Adventures of Orthomax (now with Bombastic Pentameter!)
Skyy ~ A Womans Worth
Sondous Alsoubani ~ verses of an overzealous friend
Sonja Johanson ~ Stirring Settled Honey
Stephanie Lane Sutton ~ Revocation
Steve LaVigne ~ My heart the betrayer
Tanque R. Jones ~ Little Deaths
Theodore Irvin Silar ~ Nunc Dimmitis
Thu Anh Nguyen ~ Passages
Tinasha LaRayé ~ skin, of the chocolate complexion
Tracey S. Rosenberg ~ Quiet Burning Makes a Good Marriage
Tracie Renee ~ Soundtrack
Tracy Davidson ~ Another Sunrise
Trish Hopkinson ~ Stranger Underneath
Ty Stumpf ~ Remains
Valerie Wieland ~ Life is a Test
Verna Cole Mitchell ~ Dinner of English for the Teacher

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The 2015 Ballard Poetry Prize collection is out -- Children Born on the Wrong Side of the River

We are thrilled to announce the official release of our newest prize-winning poetry collection, Sarah McCartt-Jackson's Children Born on the Wrong Side of the River.

Larry D. Thomas, former Texas Poet Laureate and member of the Texas Institute of Letters, judged the contest and found the collection both realistically and luminously depicted. "The brutality of life is brilliantly counterpointed by the elegance of lyrical diction," Thomas said. "It's a memorable collection."

The poems form a narrative about Ora, a woman living a hard existence, who works through the loss of her children, a grief that McCartt-Jackson calls, "unending but not life-ending."

McCartt-Jackson, who is the current poet-in-residence for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, recognizes that a lot of people don't read poetry. "I knew I wanted to make a collection with a narrative arc to show readers, even non-readers of poetry, that reading a collection of poems can be equivalent to--or even better--than reading a novel."

The book is available in both paperback and ebook form at the following retailers and bookstores:

Powell's Bookstore
Barnes & Noble
Google Play

Monday, March 30, 2015

The 2016 Mary Ballard Poetry Chapbook Prize is open for entries!

We are pleased to announce that the 2016 Mary Ballard Poetry Chapbook Prize is open for submissions April 1 through June 30, 2015. There is NO fee to enter this contest and international entries are welcome.

Please realize that this is a chapbook competition for 20-40 pages of poetry. Entries with fewer than 20 pages will simply be discarded.

Mary Ballard Wright wrote poetry, but almost no one knew it. She raised three children through two marriages, kept a home, and scribbled verses in those moments when she dared to think of something other than daily life.

In 1979, a tornado swept through her town of Wichita Falls, taking her home and everything she owned. Among the things she lost were her life's work, handwritten poems kept in a closet.

Mary died in 2010, and here at Casey Shay Press, we have decided, in her memory, to publish one poet each year. It is our hope that by encouraging poets to send their work out into the world, we can help keep others from sudden loss, be it a natural disaster, a technical failure that destroys a hard drive, or a personal loss in the theft of the laptop or computer.

The winner of the Mary Ballard Poetry Chapbook Prize will receive $500 and 25 printed copies of the chapbook. The chapbook will be sold in both physical and electronic versions via a publishing contract with Casey Shay Press.

There is NO fee to enter this contest, but each entrant may submit only one manuscript.

Rule for Entries:

Deadline: June 30, 2015

  • The Mary Ballard Poetry Chapbook Prize is open to all poets, published or unpublished.
  • The prize is open to international entries, although the poetry should be in English.
  • Manuscripts may be either a collection of poems or one long poem and should be a minimum of 20 pages and a maximum of 40 pages (not including the title page).
  • Poems should adhere to a theme, however loosely.
  • We consider themes for adults as well as collections for children.
  • Individual poems may be previously published, but poems should not have been published as a group in any form, including self-published collections.
  • No more than 10% of the poetry should have been posted to the poet's own blog or web site previously, and print and digital rights to any published poems should have reverted to the author to be eligible.
  • All poems should be single spaced and typed in size 12 Times New Roman or similar font.
  • Each manuscript should include a title page. This page should include the title, a one-sentence explanation of the chapbook's theme, and contact information on the poet. Please use your real name for your submission. If you prefer to use a pseudonym on your chapbook, you may list that as well and we will use it on public contest results.
  • If any poems have been previously published, please indicate their titles and where they were published.
  • If the poet already participates in readings, poetry groups, or writers' organizations, we would love to hear about that, but it is optional.
  • The reading period for the 2016 competition begins on April 1, 2015. Entries must be submitted by June 30, 2015. Submissions will only be considered if received between those dates.
  • The quarter-finalists will be announced July 31, 2015. Semi finalists Aug. 30. Finalists Sept. 30. The winner will be chosen by a celebrity poet judge, and we can't always be sure when the judging will be completed, but hopefully by Nov. 1.
  • We are all-electronic. Fill out this form to submit your entry:


    Go to the Entry Form


Take a look at our previous winners:

Uncommon Clay by Darlene Franklin-Campbell, judged by Jay Parini, author of The Last Station, Robert Frost: A Life, and numerous poetry collections.

You can read free samples of her work at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Seven Times to Leave by Jeannette Angell, judged by Fred Marchant, Director of the Creative Writing Program at Suffolk University and author of The Looking House.

Read her work at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Splitting the Velvet Dark by Elaine Mott, judged by Dorothea Lasky, professor of poetry at Columbia University's School of the Arts, and the author of three full-length collections of poems.

Read her work on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Monday, January 12, 2015

My Big Brother's Birthday is here -- in hardcover!

Something we'd wanted to do for a long time was to introduce some of our early works in hardcover editions. Today, we released one of our treasured titles: My Big Brother's Birthday by John J Asher.

Barnes & Noble
iBooks version

The book has always been available in electronic form, but for this release, we are introducing a new Kindle version made especially for tablets! It has pop up text and all the features you'd expect from a modern children's title.

Here's a little more about the book:

Why can't it be MY birthday?

Little brother is sure everyone at the big-kid birthday party will push him out of the way and gobble up all the treats. If only it were HIS birthday instead!

But just when he can't feel any worse, an unexpected turn means that his big brother's birthday just might end up being the best day of all!

Written and illustrated by long-time children's artist John J. Asher, My Big Brother's Birthday is the perfect reading for younger children who may be feeling left out on a sibling's big day.

Purchase the hardcover and get the ebook for free through Kindle's Matchbook program. You can read this book both traditionally and on the go!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Winner of the 2014 Mary Ballard Poetry Chapbook Prize is Sarah McCartt-Jackson

We are pleased to announce the winning chapbook: Children Born on the Wrong Side of the River by Sarah McCartt-Jackson.

Sarah McCartt-Jackson
photo by Karin Partin Wells
Sarah calls Kentucky home. She is currently the artist-in-residence for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. She has published another chapbook called Vein of Stone.

Her works have been published in Indiana Review, Journal of American Folklore, The Fourth River, and NANO Fiction. Tidal Basin Review selected her as their inaugural Poetry Series Center Feature poet.

Our 2015 judge was Larry Thomas. Thomas is a former Poet Laureate of Texas, an inductee to the Texas Institute of Letters, and has published multiple volumes of poetry, most notably, Where Skulls Speak Wind. He has been nominated for five Pushcart Prizes.

Thomas said of Children Born on the Wrong Side of the River, "The brutality of life 'on the wrong side of the river' is brilliantly counterpointed by the elegance of lyrical diction and unforgettable imagery."

Children Born on the Wrong Side of the River will be released in April 2015 as both a paperback and digital edition.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Announcing the finalists to the 2015 Mary Ballard Poetry Chapbook prize

Once again we have had an amazing year. Each level of the contest was a larger group this year. Almost 200 quarterfinalists. Over 50 semifinalists. Now we are down to three.

At the next stage, these three chapbooks will be sent to our poet-judge. While our goal is to have a winner in November, the schedule of our judge will determine when we announce. Finalists, we will be in touch with you every step of the way.

I hope all of you will continue to send your poems out into the world. Our contest will open again in late spring. We're thrilled to have read your work.

And here they are:

Children Born on the Wrong Side of the River by Sarah McCartt-Jackson

Letters to Sneha by Souradeep Roy

Love and Sorrow    by B.J. Buckley

Congratulations to all of our entrants. It's been a terrific year.

Our Romance Superbundle has gone live!

Today we are very pleased to announce the release day for a special project -- a boxed set of seven full-length romance novels centering around first love.

These types of ebook bundles have become popular, and we are thrilled to have three New York Times bestselling authors and one USA Today bestselling author in this one.

Kindle -

Special limited-time boxed set of SEVEN first-love romances by New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors.
This superbundle of new adult romances includes over TWO THOUSAND print pages about young couples risking everything for that one perfect love.

EXCLUSIVE scenes and epilogues by five of the authors can ONLY be found in this bundle.
RANDOM ACTS OF TRUST by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julia Kent — Sam blew it with Amy four years ago, but when they reconnect at one of Sam’s gigs, their explosive reunion will either rip open old wounds, or help them forget their painful past.
Special EXCLUSIVE SCENE featuring Amy and Sam is available ONLY in this bundle.
BLUE ROSES by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Mimi Strong — In this hilarious romantic comedy, a gruff motorcycle repair shop owner tries to win the heart of a jaded florist, despite all the times she’s sent apology flowers to his ex-girlfriends.

HEARTBITTEN by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Aubrey Rose — A shy grad student studying blood cancer falls for a billionaire playboy — until she discovers he is a vampire.
Special EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PEEK of Bloodstricken is available ONLY in this bundle.

LOST by bestselling author Nadia Simonenko — Maria's terrifying past haunts her until she meets a kindred spirit in Owen, a fellow college student with secrets of his own. Will they find their way forward together or will their troubled pasts consume them both? 
FOREVER INNOCENT by USA Today bestselling author Deanna Roy — When the death of young couple’s seven-day-old baby tears them apart, only the love they’ve nurtured since they were children can possibly bring them back together.
Special EXCLUSIVE scene featuring Gavin and Corabelle is available ONLY in this bundle.
UNCAGED LOVE by author JJ Knight, from the bestselling series with over 1000 five-star reviews — An MMA fighter living in the shadow of his pro boxing father begins training a young woman with powerful raw talent, sparking a love affair that could jeopardize them both.
Special EXCLUSIVE scene featuring Colt’s reaction to Jo jumping from his father’s limo available ONLY in this bundle.
NO ONE’S ANGEL by bestselling author Kelly Walker — When Arion’s long-lost online gaming partner unexpectedly shows up shivering and frightened on his doorstep, the pair must confront her past to have any hope for a future.
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