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.
Special EXCLUSIVE scene with Angel and Arion available ONLY in this bundle.

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Adventure Collection features SIX amazing books for middle grade readers

We love boxed sets, and they've been hugely popular in ebook format in adult genre fiction. We looked around and didn't see much of anything for middle grade readers!

So now The Adventure Collection is here!
The set is just 99 cents right now, but it won't be for long. Preorders are guaranteed at that price.

How to Get It

If you want it TODAY, pick it up on iBooks, where it was released early for a special promotion.
iBooks -

You can PREORDER it everywhere else.
It will automatically arrive on your devices on Oct. 7.

Kindle -
BN -
Kobo -

About the Collection

The Adventure Collection includes SIX action-packed novels written especially for readers aged nine to twelve. With over one thousand pages of magic, danger, horses, and family secrets, third to eighth graders will find plenty to read and love from these bestselling authors.

THE GENIE’S GIFT by Chris Eboch — Thirteen-year-old Anise braves a sorcerer, a sea monster, and a host of challenges to seek a Genie who can give her the power she needs to change her future.

PRISCILLA THE GREAT by Sybil Nelson — An ordinary seventh grader must save her family from genetically enhanced assassins and bring down an organization that turns children into killing machines.

JINNIE WISHMAKER by DD Roy — Eleven-year-old Jinnie discovers she can grant any living thing its one true wish, only to have her power stolen by magic thieves.

OPERATION GOLDEN LLAMA by Sam Bond — Five cousins navigate the Peruvian jungle, lost cities, kidnappers and llamas while searching for ancient gold and a mysterious grandma.

CODE: ELEPHANTS ON THE MOON by Jennifer Bohnhoff — During the fight against the occupying German army in World War II, a French village girl begins to understand dark family secrets and the coded message behind a radio announcement that there are elephants on the moon.

ANGELS CLUB by Courtney Vail and Sandra J. Howell — Eleven-year-old Jacinda finds refuge from school bullies with Angel, a scrawny rescue horse she is determined to keep from being sold.