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CSU Poetry Center 2019 Open Book Competition Now Open!

2019 Open Book Poetry Competition


JANUARY 1, 2019 – APRIL 5, 2019

The Cleveland State University Poetry Center welcomes submissions for our Open Book Poetry Competition; the winner will receive $1,000, publication, and a standard royalty contract. This year’s contest will be judged by a panel of previous CSU authors: Nicholas Gulig, Dora Malech, & Sheila McMullin.

Nicholas Gulig is a Thai American poet from Wisconsin and the author of Orient, North of Order, and Book of Lake. Currently he resides in Fort Atkinson, WI and works as an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Dora Malech is the author of Stet (Princeton University Press, 2018), Say So (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2011) and Shore Ordered Ocean (The Waywiser Press, 2009). Her poems have appeared in publications that include The New YorkerPoetryThe Best American PoetryPoetry London, The Kenyon ReviewLana Turner, and Tin House.  She lives in Baltimore, Maryland, where she is an assistant professor in The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University.

Sheila McMullin is the author of daughterrarium, winner of the 2016 Cleveland State University Poetry Center First Book Prize chosen by Daniel Borzutzky. She co-edited the collections Humans of Ballou and The Day Tajon Got Shot from Shout Mouse Press. She is a community organizer working with youth to amplify their voices through storytelling and civic participation. She holds an M.F.A. from George Mason University and volunteers to maintain the free little libraries in her neighborhood. Find more about her writing, editing, and activism online at


1. Manuscripts are eligible for the Open Book Poetry Competition if the author has published at least one full-length collection of original poetry in English of 48 pages or more with a press run of at least 500 copies. Translations are not eligible. ** This competition is not open to first books. **

2. Intimate friends, relatives, or current and former students of the panel of the judges are not eligible to submit. Faculty, staff, students, and alumni of Cleveland State University or the Northeast Ohio MFA Program (NEOMFA) are not eligible to submit their work.

Guidelines & Notes

1. Make sure to record your most current information (name, manuscript title, address, phone number, and email address) in your Submittable account; this is the information we will use to contact you. Manuscripts should be 48 pages minimum, 150 pages maximum. No other cover page or biographical information should be included in your submission and your name should not appear elsewhere in the manuscript. You may include an acknowledgments page that lists previously published poems.

2. Multiple submissions are welcome and simultaneous submissions are acceptable (please inform us immediately if the manuscript is accepted elsewhere).

3. The CSU Poetry Center reserves the right to consider all entrants for publication; a list of winners and finalists will be posted on the Poetry Center website in late summer/early fall of 2019.

To Submit

1. Upload your manuscript as a .docx or .pdf to Submittable (mail submissions are not eligible).

2. There is a $28 reading fee, which must be paid through Submittable. As a token of our appreciation for your readership and support of innovative literary publishing we will mail each writer a recent book from our catalog. Please make sure that the address listed in your Submittable account is up to date.

3. Email [email protected] with any further questions.


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