Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Mary Ballard Poetry Chapbook Prize is open!

In honor of National Poetry Month, Casey Shay Press announces its first Mary Ballard Poetry Chapbook Prize.

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, 25 printed copies of the chapbook, and a book contract for the sale of physical and electronic versions of the chapbook.

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

Rule for Entries:

Deadline: August 31, 2011

  • The Mary Ballard Poetry Chapbook Prize is open to all poets, published or unpublished.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 blogs or web sites 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 2012 competition begins on April 13, 2011. Entries must be submitted by August 31, 2011. Submissions will only be considered if received between those dates.
  • The semi-finalists will be announced October 2011.
  • We are all-electronic. How to submit: [Edited -- our submission process will change in 2014. Watch the blog for details.]

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The cover for Baby Dust is here!

We can finally reveal the cover of our next release, Baby Dust: A Novel about Miscarriage and Pregnancy Loss.

The novel will be released in October 2011 during Pregnancy Loss Remembrance Month. We will be hosting several events on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, which is October 15th, including a candle lighting during the International Wave of Light, a book reading, and possibly a Walk to Remember. Plans will be developing over at in the coming months.

Back cover copy for the book:

The five women sitting in the circle of chairs all had great dreams of motherhood.

Then their babies died.

Melinda joins the support group after she is forced to leave her miscarried fetus in a trash can rather than inconvenience her power-lawyer husband on a business trip. There she meets Dot, who believes the wrath of God caused the baby conceived in an extra-marital affair to grow without a brain.

They are joined by seventeen-year-old Tina, who is ejected from the high school for pregnant teens when her premature baby lives only a few hours.

Their friend Janet’s miscarriage has evolved into uterine cancer. And Stella, who leads the group, must face the old choices that cost her a family of her own.

Based on the stories of dozens of real survivors, Baby Dust is a moving tribute to the strength of mothers who must endure this most impossible loss.