2021 CHESTNUT REVIEW Poetry Chapbook Contest

(Sponsored by Duotrope)

CHESTNUT REVIEW is thrilled to announce our 2021 poetry chapbook contest! (See our 2020 winner’s chapbook here).

Manuscripts will pass through a multi-stage reading process and authors may receive responses to their submission at any time between January and June, 2021. All manuscripts will be read by the editors of CHESTNUT REVIEW, who will select one winner.


  • Submissions open from 1 November 2020 until 31 December 2020 via our regular Submittable page (link below).
  • A winner will be announced, along with finalists, in June 2021.
  • The winning chapbook will be published in paperback in fall 2021.


  • Poetry only (no images or other media)
  • Length: 25-30 pages of poetry
  • Times New Roman, 12-point font is preferred. 
  • Poems may have been published individually, but never as a collection. At least 50% of the poems must be unpublished at time of manuscript submission.
  • Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please let us know immediately if the collection has been accepted elsewhere via Submittable.
  • Multiple submissions are permitted. Each submission must be accompanied by the submission fee.
  • Submit works written in English only. Translations are not accepted.
  • Please submit your manuscript in a .doc or .docx format.
  • Submissions are blind, so do not include any identifying information in the manuscript.
  • Include a title page with the manuscript title only and a table of contents. No acknowledgments pages, please.
  • Submission fee is $15.


  • The winner will receive $600 USD and 20 copies of their chapbook in hard-copy.
  • The winner will also receive a 2-year Duotrope Gift Certificate ($100 value).
  • The winning chapbook will be advertised in the CHESTNUT REVIEW and featured for sale on Amazon.com and via our website.
  • The winning author will be interviewed in a feature in the October 2021 issue of CHESTNUT REVIEW.


  • We reserve the right to feature poems from the winning chapbook, at our discretion, in future issues of CHESTNUT REVIEW without further compensation, and submission of a manuscript indicates your acceptance of these terms.
  • CHESTNUT REVIEW will produce a finished print-on-demand chapbook for sale and 20 copies to the author by 1 November 2021. In the unlikely event this deadline is not met, all rights return to the author, who retains the prize money without penalty or obligation.
  • CHESTNUT REVIEW does not provide e-book versions of the text. We will deliver the Adobe Indesign file for your book on request if you wish to use it as the basis of an e-publication. We cannot provide any technical assistance in preparing such publication.

[The entry period for the contest below has concluded. Winners will be announced in December, 2020. A new contest will be announced for 2021.]
2020 Stubborn Writers Contest
May 1-June 30, 2020

Category: Flash Fiction (<1000 words). Judge: Siamak Vossoughi
            First Prize: $500, Second Prize: $250, Third Prize: $125

Category: Poetry (<60 lines). Judge: Mary Buchinger
            First Prize: $500, Second Prize: $250, Third Prize: $125

Category: Short Fiction (1000-5000 words). Judge: Siamak Vossoughi
            First Prize: $500, Second Prize: $250, Third Prize: $125

Mary Buchinger is the author of Navigating the Reach (forthcoming, Salmon Poetry), e i n f ü h l u n g/in feeling (2018, Main Street Rag), Aerialist (2015, Gold Wake), and Roomful of Sparrows (2008, Finishing Line). Her poetry has appeared in  AGNI, DIAGRAM, Gargoyle, Nimrod, [PANK], Ruminate, Salamander, Slice Magazine, The Boston Globe, The Cortland Review, The Hollins Critic, The Massachusetts Review, and elsewhere. One of her poems is permanently installed in the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she lives and served as Poetry Ambassador. Mary grew up on a farm in Michigan, worked in Ecuador as a Peace Corps volunteer, and earned a doctorate in linguistics from Boston University. She is president of the New England Poetry Club (founded in 1915 by Robert Frost, Amy Lowell, and Conrad Aiken) and professor of English and communication studies at MCPHS University in Boston; her website is www.MaryBuchinger.com

Siamak Vossoughi is an Iranian-American writer living in Seattle. He has had stories published in Glimmer Train, Missouri Review, Kenyon Review, Columbia Journal, Gulf Coast, West Branch, Slippery Elm, Bellingham Review, Washington Square, and Chestnut Review. His first short story collection, Better Than War, received a 2014 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and was shortlisted for the 2016 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. His second collection, A Sense of the Whole, will be published in 2020 by Orison Books as the recipient of the 2019 Orison Fiction Prize. He worked for many years at Presidio Hill School in San Francisco, and was most recently the artist-in-residence at the University of Washington College of Education. His website is www.siamakvossoughi.com.

Contest Rules

  1. Submissions open May 1, 2020 and close on June 30, 2020. Winners will be announced in December and the winning pieces will appear in the January 2021 issue of Chestnut Review.
  2. Submission fee is $20. Submissions are free on two days, May 15 and June 15, 2020, from 12:00 AM to 11:59 PM Mountain Daylight Time each day. Free submissions are subject to our normal limits on Submitable (500/month) and will close automatically and without prior notice when that limit is reached. Note that the limit includes regular submissions to the magazine, so the total number of possible free submissions may vary. All fees are nonrefundable. Free submissions and paid submissions will be evaluated identically.
  3. All submitted work must be the sole creation of the submitter and may not have been previously published in any medium.
  4. Chestnut Review retains publication rights of winning pieces as for any accepted piece of work in the magazine; all other rights remain with the author.
  5. Simultaneous and multiple submissions are permitted, as long as they adhere to these guidelines.
  6. We reserve the right to offer publication to submissions in addition to those of the prize winners. Such offers will be for usual payment ($100 per piece), regardless of genre, and may be for any future issue of Chestnut Review.
  7. Open to U.S. writers only. Winners will be required to submit a Social Security number for tax purposes to receive cash prizes.
  8. Any entrant in any category who has a social or professional relationship with the judge of that category is ineligible to submit.
  9. Entrants who contact the judge regarding their entry before the contest or prior to the announcement of winners will be immediately disqualified without refund.
  10. The judges will award three prizes (1st, 2nd, 3rd) in each category. The decisions of the judges are final. Judges will not provide critiques of submissions.
  11. All prize winners’ pieces will be featured in the January 2021 issue of Chestnut Review; prize payment is in lieu of usual publication payment.

Types of Entries

  • Short Fiction: one piece of 1,000-5,000 words.
  • Flash Fiction: 1-4 pieces, each less than 1000 words.
  • Poetry: up to 5 poems, each <60 lines in length.

Methods of Entry

  1. Entries will only be accepted through our Submittable account (link below).
  2. This is a blind contest, and all entry documents must be free of any identifying information, including file names. Pieces with identifying information will be disqualified and not read by judges, and no refund will be given to the submitter. Please note that there is no title or bio field for this contest on Submittable.
  3. All submitted work should be in one file.
  4. Documents should be in Times New Roman or another standard font, 12 point. PROSE should be double-spaced and pages should be numbered, with word count indicated before each piece. POETRY should be single-spaced, one poem to a page, and with any continuation to the next page clearly indicated.