Category Archives: finalists

Fall 2012 Black River Chapbook Competition Finalists & Semi-Finalists

Here they are: the finalists & semi-finalists for the Fall 2012 Black River Chapbook Competition! Now that we have a short list to focus on, we’ll be announcing a winner from among the finalists in the next week or so. Many thanks to all who sent manuscripts our way; we were blown away by the submissions this time around!


 In the Village That Is Not Burning Down by Travis Brown
The Polychrome Clinic by Caroline Crew
A Necessary Erosion by Caleb Curtiss
The New Sorrow Is Less Than the Old Sorrow by Jenny Drai
Length of Fetch by Jesse Lichtenstein
Speak and Let the Serpent Crawl Out by Matthew Minicucci
Trace by Simone Muench
Canopy by Barbara Tomash


Dizzy Bridge Stories by Kevin Carey
Neverending Journey by Angela Jane Fountas
Two Stories by Otis Haschemyer
The Aquarium by Jen Knox
Oh My Darling by Cate Stevens-Davis
Another Demon Lober by Robley Wilson


Field Recordings by Brian Barker
machine gun villa by Lillian Bertram
The Oar by Sara Gelston
200 Moons by Charles Hood
Best Poems by Mike Krutel
Facts, and Other Things by Joel Lee
Songs of the Immortals by M. B. McLatchey
The Hollow More Than Shape Is Certain by Jill Osier


The Method by Aaron Apps
Klaus And Jill by John Colasacco
Thirteen Ways of Looking at Love, Flowers, and the Statue of Liberty by Dale Edmonds
Carter’s Orchard and Into the Big Smoke by Matt Hobson
The Secret Garden by James Musgrave
Where We Go When All We Were Is Gone by Sequoia Nagamatsu
Alone by Kathryn Shaver

Congratulations, Shane McCrae!

Dear Friends,

It is my great pleasure to announce the winner of the Spring, 2012 Black River Chapbook Competition. Congratulations to Shane McCrae for winning the competition with his manuscript Nonfiction!

We are also pleased to announce that two other chapbooks have been selected for publication. Black Lawrence Press will publish No Girls No Telephones by Rebecca Hazelton and Brittany Cavallaro. We will also publish This is not a sky by Jessica Piazza.

Complete lists of the Spring, 2012 Black River Chapbook Competition finalists and semi-finalists can be found on the Black Lawrence Press blog. Now, please let me introduce you to the newest members of the Black Lawrence Press family.


Diane Goettel

Executive Editor

Black Lawrence Press

Winner – Shane McCrae


Shane McCrae is the author of Mule (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2011), a finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the PEN Center USA Literary Award, and Blood (Noemi Press, 2013), as well as two chapbooks, One Neither One (Octopus Books, 2009) and In Canaan (Rescue Press, 2010). His work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The Best American Poetry 2010, Fence, Gulf Coast, jubilat and others. In 2011, he received a Whiting Writer’s Award.
Finalist – Rebecca Hazelton

No Girls No Telephones

Rebecca Hazelton has been published in Agni, The Southern Review, and The Gettysburg Review, featured on Verse Daily and Ink Node, and included in Best New Poets 2011. She was the 2010-2011 Jay C. and Ruth Hall Poetry Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Creative Writing Institute. She won The Ohio State Press/The Journal poetry award in 2011, for her forthcoming first book, Fair Copy, and in 2012, won The Discovery/Boston Review Prize. Her second book, Vow, is forthcoming from Cleveland State University Press.
Finalist – Brittany Cavallaro

No Girls No Telephones

Brittany Cavallaro’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Tin House, Gettysburg Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, and Best New Poets 2011, among others. Her awards include the David and Jean Milfosky Prize from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she received her MFA, scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and a Distinguished Graduate Student Fellowship from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she is currently a second year doctoral student.
Finalist – Jessica Piazza

This is not a sky

Jessica Piazza’s first collection of poems, Interrobang, is forthcoming from Red Hen Press in 2013.  She was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Southern California.  She is a co-founder of Bat City Review, an editor at Gold Line Press, a contributing editor at The Offending Adam and has blogged for The Best American Poetry and Barrelhouse.  Find out more at

KILLING THE MURNION DOGS is a Finalist for the High Plains Book Award

Congratulations to Joe Wilkins, whose poetry collection KILLING THE MURNION DOGS was named a finalist in the Best Poetry Category for the High Plains Book Awards! A well-deserved honor. Click here to buy a copy of this acclaimed book.

KILLING THE MURNION DOGS: Finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize

Congratulations to Joe Wilkins, whose poetry collection KILLING THE MURNION DOGS  was selected as a finalist for the 2012 Paterson Poetry Prize! A well-deserved accolade. Buy yourself a copy of this wonderful collection here.

Congratulations, Jen Michalski!

BIG congratulations go to Jen Michalski, who has won the 2012 Big Moose Prize with her novel The Tide King.

Jen Michalski’s first collection of fiction, Close Encounters, is available from So New (2007); her second, From Here, is forthcoming from Aqueous Books (2013); and her collection of novellas is forthcoming from Dzanc (2013). She also is the editor of the anthology City Sages: Baltimore (CityLit Press 2010), which won a 2010 “Best of Baltimore” award from Baltimore Magazine. She is the founding editor of the literary quarterly jmww, a co-host of the monthly reading series The 510 Readings and the biannual Lit Show in Baltimore, and interviews writers at The Nervous Breakdown.

Thanks to everyone who participated! And congratulations to those who made it to the long and short lists.

Up Next…

Black Lawrence Press is currently accepting submissions for the Spring, 2012 Black River Chapbook Competition.

Have a little book you think we’d like?

The Black River Chapbook Competition: Fall 2011 Finalists & Semi-Finalists

We’re happy to ring in 2012 by announcing the finalists and semi-finalists for the Fall 2011 Black River Chapbook Competition! It’s always tough to choose among the many wonderful submissions, but here they are:

Poetry Finalists
Bone Letters – Peter Schwartz & Nicelle Davis
Farmstead of the Burning Field – Duncan Campbell
Mountain Redemption – Nick McRae
not meant for you     Dear Love – Brian Clements

Poetry Semi-Finalists
Annunciation – Barbara Tomash
Malice Aforethought – Jon Flieger
Proximity – Jan Freeman
Sludge – Vivian Prescott
The War Reporter – Dan O’Brien

Fiction Finalists
A Purposeful Violence – Nicole Louise Reid

Fiction Semi-Finalists
Amateur Husbandry – Phillip Sterling
One of Many Off-Seasons – Laurie Ann Cedilnik

Congratulations to all!

The 2011 St. Lawrence Book Award – Finalists

All of the editors here at Black Lawrence Press are very pleased to present the finalists and semi-finalists for the 2011 St. Lawrence Book Award. We thank everyone who participated  and wish the best of luck to those who made it to the finalist round.

Poetry Finalists
Brenda Sieczkowski – Like Oysters Observing The Sun
Carolina Ebeid – Utopian Flying Machines of the Last Century
Darren Morris – The Future
Jennifer Beebe – Again an Oath in the Face of Absence
Jennifer Givhan – Red Sun Mother
Laura Donnelly – The Principle of Flickering
Russell Evatt – A Lake Instead of a Sea
Fiction Finalists
Adrian Van Young – The Man Who Noticed Everything: Tales
Christopher Bundy – Walking on the Moon
Joseph Ponepinto – Desperate Men, Desperate Measures
Joshua Green – Dirtyville Rhapsodies
Kelly Luce – Ms. Yamada’s Toaster
Lisa Gornick – Louisa Meets Bear
Mark Connelly – That Sardi’s Smile
Maureen Pilkington Rossi – Float And Other Stories This Side Of The Water
Roger Pincus – Waking Up in the Dark
Stace Budzko – Gimme Gimme Gimme: Stories
Steven Yates – Some Kinds of Love
Poetry Semi-Finalists
Annie Christain – Tall As You Are Tall between Them
Anthony Frame – A Generation of Insomniacs
Barbara Duffey – I Might Be Mistaken
James Najarian – Armenia, PA
Kathleen M Kelley – This Fickle Mind
Lucy Biederman Thirty – Years of Thursdays
Matthias Regan – Gapers’ Delay
Megan Lobsinger – The Last Chance Texaco
Michaela Essl – When you think you smell roses
Rebecca Kaiser Gibson – Listening In
Sara Talpos – Black Sea
Sarah Wangler – Bawl Ass
Fiction Semi-Finalists
Anne Valente – By Light We Knew Our Names
Jason Kapcala – North to Lakeville
Katey Schultz – Personae Of War
Kevin Lavey – Taking Possession
Rheea Mukherjee – In These Cities We Dreamed

Steven Gillis and Abayomi Animashaun up for ForeWord Book of the Year!

We’re so proud to announce that two BLP autors, novelist Steven Gillis (The Consequence of Skating) and poet Abayomi Animashaun (The Giving of Pears), have been named finalists for the ForeWord Book of the Year! Winners will be announced at Book Expo America. Fingers and toes crossed…

BLP Welcomes Adam Prince!

We are very pleased to welcome Adam Prince, the newest member of the Black Lawrence Press family. His short story collection The Beautiful Wishes of Ugly Men, a finalist for the St. Lawrence Book Award, will be published late next year.

A graduate of Vassar College and the University of Arkansas MFA program, Adam Prince is currently a Ph.D. candidate in English with a creative writing emphasis at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  Up until 2010, Prince had stories published in various journals, including The Missouri Review, Black Warrior Review, and Mid-American Review, but this past year has marked a significant breakthrough.  In 2010, Prince won first prize in the Winter Contest from Narrative Magazine, The Wabash Prize for Fiction from Sycamore Review, and also placed stories with The Southern Review, Monkeybicycle, and LIT.  In May of 2010, he married the poet Charlotte Pence.  Finally, at the year’s end, his first collection, The Beautiful Wishes of Ugly Men, was accepted by Black Lawrence Press.

The collection is about men attempting to reconcile their lustful, baroque imaginations with the realities of their actual lives.  The work is ambitious but accessible, aiming toward the subtlety and cold shock of James Salter and the moment-by-moment entertainment of George Saunders.  Selecting one of Prince’s works for The Wabash Prize, judge Peter Ho Davies described it as “notable for its acute observation, wry wit, and delicate characterization” resulting in “a quietly, almost furtively, heartbreaking story.”

You can read one of Adam Prince’s prize-winning stories here:

You can also read an interview with the author here:


Charlotte Pence Wins the Black River Chapbook Competition

The editors at Black Lawrence Press are very pleased to announce that Charlotte Pence has won the Black River Chapbook Competition for her manuscript Branches. Charlotte will receive $500 in prize money and a publication contract from BLP.

Charlotte Pence is a Ph.D. candidate in creative writing at the University of Tennessee and former editor of Grist: The Journal for Writers. She most recently received the 2009 Discovered Voices award from Iron Horse Literary Journal given to one graduate student in the country for poetry each year. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Kenyon Review Online, Prairie Schooner, North American Review, Denver Quarterly, RATTLE, Tar River, and many other journals. She also has an anthology forthcoming with University Press of Mississippi titled Lyrical Traditions: The Intersections Between Poems and Songs.

Many thanks to everyone who participated in the Black River Chapbook Competition and congratulations to all of the poets and writers who made it to the finalist rounds.