cow creek chapbook prize

The Cow Creek Chapbook Prize is a poetry chapbook contest brought to you by Pittsburg State University and Emerald City. We're open to all styles and subjects. As long as the poems challenge and capture the imagination, we want to see them. 

The winning poet will receive $1,000 and 25 author copies. The chapbook will be published as a perfect bound book and sold both online and in limited bookstores. Guidelines and the submission portal are below. 

this year's judge:

Marcus Wicker is the recipient of a Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, a Pushcart Prize, The Missouri Review's Miller Audio Prize, as well as fellowships from Cave Canem, and the Fine Arts Work Center. His first collection Maybe the Saddest Thing (Harper Perennial), a National Poetry Series winner, was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award. Wicker's poems have appeared in The NationPoetryAmerican Poetry ReviewOxford American, and Boston Review. His second book, Silencer—also an Image Award finalist—was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2017 and won the Society of Midland Authors Award, as well as the Arnold Adoff Poetry Award for New Voices. Marcus teaches in the MFA program at the University of Memphis, and he is the poetry editor of Southern Indiana Review.


  • Submit 15-30 pages of poetry with a $15 entry fee by May 15, 2020.

  • Simultaneous submissions are fine, but please let us know if the chapbook is accepted elsewhere.

  • Multiple submissions are also fine, but each chapbook must be submitted separately.

  • It’s okay if individual poems have been previously published (or if they are accepted over the course of the contest), but the arrangement of poems must be an original work.

  • Submissions are read blind, so please don’t include your name or other identifying information anywhere on the manuscript.

  • An acknowledgements page is welcome but not required.

  • Past or present students of Pittsburg State University and individuals directly connected to the judge are not eligible to submit.

editorial staff:


Alysse Gopalakrishnan

Chloe Hanson

Grace Hendickson

Kayla McCollough

Mawi Sonna

Peter Vertacnik

Winniebell Zong

questions? contact us:

We subscribe to the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses Contest Code of Ethics. Guidelines and issues of conflict of interest can be found above. Part of that code is making our process transparent to the public. All chapbooks are initially read by the editorial staff. Exceptional chapbooks then go to a second round of readers, who narrow potential winners down to ten finalists, which are sent to the guest judge for selection. 

© 2019 by Cow Creek Chapbook Prize