Monday, April 2, 2012

The 2013 Mary Ballard Poetry Chapbook Prize is open for submission!

We are pleased to announce that the 2013 Mary Ballard Poetry Chapbook Prize is open for submissions April 1 through June 30, 2012. There is NO fee to enter this contest.

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 to keep others' work 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 where we kept our work.

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, 2012

  • The Mary Ballard Poetry Chapbook Prize is open to all poets, published or unpublished.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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, that will be arranged later.
  • 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 2013 competition begins on April 1, 2012. Entries must be submitted by June 30, 2012. Submissions will only be considered if received between those dates.
  • The quarter-finalists will be announced July 31, 2012. Semi finalists Aug. 30. Finalists Sept. 15. 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. How to submit: [Edited -- our submission process will change in 2014. Watch the blog for details.]
Take a look at our 2012 winner: Uncommon Clay by Darlene Franklin-Campbell. The 2012 contest was 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.


  1. We're noticing a couple errors in places listing our contest. We ARE a royalty paying publisher. Your $500 prize is actually an advance against royalties. Should the book earn well enough to pay out more than the initial $500, you will continue to earn royalties while the book is still in print. Those specificities will be in the contract.

    All finalists will see the contract prior to their names being announced and their entries forwarded to the celebrity poet judge, so they have a chance to withdraw and another semi-finalist move up if needed.

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  3. An inquire on the rights to our submitted chapbook, will we still posses the rights to all poetry submitted whether we win or not?

  4. should the date be June 30, 2013? This is confusing, considering the contest at the top states for 2013, but the final date is for June 30 2012, which one is it? Thanks