Fall 2019 Chapbook Competition
August 23 – November 1, 2019
Prizes: First prize is 12 copies of the chapbook; additional prizes include your artwork or piece featured in an issue of The Bitchin’ Kitsch.
For the eighth time, The Bitchin’ Kitsch is proud to announce our chapbook competition. We are looking for an unpublished chapbook of writing, artwork, or a combination of both between 16-20 pages in length (this includes any acknowledgements page, table of contents, and bios). The competition is open to new, emerging, and established writers and/or artists who have or have not submitted to The Bitchin’ Kitsch previously. Collaborations are also accepted. The winner will receive book publication with 12 artist copies, and energetic promotion by The Bitchin’ Kitsch staff.
The B’K Chapbook Competition is open to anyone writing in the English language or any artist. Translations and previously published works are not eligible. Individual written pieces and artworks may have been previously published in other publications as long as the work as a whole has not.
Submit a collection of works (written, visual, or both) of between 16-20 pages with the title and page number clearly on the upper right hand side of each page. Each piece will be read anonymously and the submission information will only be referred to after the piece has been thoroughly reviewed.
All pieces, in order to be considered, must obey our general submission guidelines. Be sure to read these in full. A violation of any one of these guidelines will result in an immediate disqualification from the competition. If you need further assistance in understanding these guidelines, we do have a set of podcasts and style guides that discuss these topics further, which can be found on our general submission page.
These things are prohibited from all submissions:
- The piece implicates you in a crime.
- The piece is partially or fully plagiarized.
- The piece slanders a member of the general population (public figures are exempt from this rule, as they open themselves for criticism).
- The piece uses marginalized genders or children as an object/bargaining chip for a male protagonist (either the plot involves saving the damsel, or they are used as an object to “hurt” the protagonist in some way).
- The piece reduces people from marginalized genders to body parts, objects, or in another way dehumanizes them.
- The piece’s main focus is sexual attraction or exploitation.
- The piece is erotica or is sexually explicit to a degree that could be triggering for people with past sexual trauma.
- The piece sexualizes a child. This means anyone under 18 years old, no matter what.
- The piece glorifies or sexualizes violence against marginalized genders (unless it is absolutely clear that it is consensual).
- The piece uses child molestation or rape against children as a plot point (unless it is a memoir or experienced non-fiction, which will be judged on a case-by-case basis by a survivor. There is NO wiggle room on this. Our primary editor is a survivor and will not subject themselves to the pain of reading this unless it is written by a survivor about their experience, because we value and understand the need for catharsis through art. NO ONE ELSE is permitted to submit a piece with this plot point.).
- The piece uses rape or sexual violence against marginalized genders as a plot point (unless it is a memoir or experienced non-fiction, which will be judged on a case-by-case basis by a survivor. There is NO wiggle room on this. Our primary editor is a survivor and will not subject themselves to the pain of reading this unless it is written by a survivor about their experience, because we value and understand the need for catharsis through art. NO ONE ELSE is permitted to submit a piece with this plot point.).
- The piece includes content that could be considered sexist, fetishist (unless consensual), homophobic, transphobic, racist, ableist, or in any other way offensive to a protected class or minority.
- Things that we consider sexist: naming all characters except the ones from marginalized genders, providing developed cisgender male characters but flat characters from marginalized genders, generalizing based on gender, use of pejorative terms, etc.
- Things that we consider fetishist: depicting certain races as hyper-sexual or animalistic in their sexual appetites, depicting certain genders or gender identifies as sex objects or hyper-sexual, depicting certain sexual identities as hyper-sexual or as something to be observed by others (voyeurism), sexualizing things that people naturally do that are not sexual in nature, etc.
- Things that we consider homophobic: depictions of homosexual relationships as less valid than heterosexual relationships, sexual orientation erasure, the depiction of sexual orientation as abnormal or as a mental illness, generalizing based on sexual orientation, use of pejorative terms, etc.
- Things that we consider transphobic: depictions of transgender people as less valid than cisgender people, the depiction of a gender identity as abnormal or as a mental illness, generalizing based on gender identity, dead naming or misgendering a trans person, use of pejorative terms, etc.
- Things that we consider racist: depictions of people of color as less than white people, depictions of people of color in a way that could be interpreted as animalistic or fetishized, generalizing based on race, the use of racial stereotypes, use of pejorative terms, etc.
- Things that we consider ableist: depictions of people with disabilities as heroes for doing something ordinary, depictions of people with disabilities as having tragic or empty lives for reasons having to do with their disability alone, using people with disabilities as a symbol rather than a fully fleshed out character, generalizing based on ability, use of pejorative terms, etc.
Additional chapbook specific guidelines include:
- If your chapbook is a poetry or an art chapbook, pages should only contain one poem or one piece of art, as this is how it will be formatted in the final version. Please use 12 point font to determine number of pages. If you submit your chapbook formatted a different way, the review committee will reformat, and your submission could be disqualified if the number of pages exceeds the limit.
- The submitted chapbook must be the final version. Small edits (spelling and grammar) can be made after acceptance, but the chapbook must not change from the submitted version. Our review team approved a specific chapbook.
- The 16-20 pages is a total count, including any acknowledgements page, table of contents, and bios. Acknowledgements pages, table of contents, and bios are not required. However, if your chapbook covers specific sensitive topics having to do with a protected class, we will require a bio that explains your expertise or inclusion in that class.
- If chosen, you will need a chapbook cover. You are welcome to design your own, have someone else design it, or Chris can design one for you. If Chris does design your cover, please be specific with what you want, and keep the edits to a minimum. We do want you to get the chapbook you want, but we are also doing this on our own dime and time.
All entries must be received by 5 pm MST on November 1, 2019. Submit through our online form.
There is a $10 reading fee for this competition. The fee can be paid in our store or by sending it via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We do try to recoup the costs associated with this competition as the fee that we change doesn’t cover the costs of printing, binding, shipping, and staff time. Therefore, we do post the winning chapbook in our store and on Kindle. When we break even, we send checks to the chapbook author for all profits made on a quarterly basis. But your chapbook is yours. It does not belong to us and you retain full rights.
Our third chapbook competition winner is David Thompson, with her chapbook, “A World Without Horses.” Copies of David’s chapbook are available on Kindle.
Our second chapbook competition winner is Clara B. Jones, with her chapbook, “Ferguson and Other Satirical Poems About Race.” Copies of Clara’s chapbook are available on Kindle.
Our first chapbook competition winner is Glen Armstrong, with his chapbook, “Set List.” Check it out here: