The prize is $1,000 and publication in The Tusculum Review. Additionally, the winner will receive 10 author copies of the winning chapbook beautifully printed by the English and Fine Arts departments of Tusculum College.

The deadline is March 1, 2017. We are now accepting manuscripts.

Send contest submissions to:
The Tusculum Review
P.O. Box 5113
60 Shiloh Road
Greeneville, TN 37743.

Mark envelopes: “CHAPBOOK CONTEST.”

The entry fee is $20 per chapbook manuscript. We accept checks and money orders made payable to The Tusculum Review. Entry fees include a one-year subscription to The Tusculum Review (an annual publication) and consideration for publication.

Each chapbook manuscript entered should consist of 20-30 pages of poems in a standard 12-point font. No more than one poem may appear on a page. You may enter more than one chapbook manuscript (as long as you include a $20 reading fee with each manuscript). Entries need not be thematically coherent or connected through narrative. Co-authored manuscripts are permitted.

Include a title page, a table of contents, and an acknowledgements page (if any of the poems have been previously published).

Please send a cover letter with your contest entry. The cover letter should include the title of your entry, your name, postal address, phone number, and e-mail address. Please do NOT include your name or any other identifying information on any page of the chapbook manuscript.

For this contest, it is acceptable if individual works in your chapbook manuscript have been published elsewhere, but the manuscript as a whole cannot have been published previously (online or in print).

Manuscripts will not be returned; they will, instead, be recycled.

Finalists will be sent to our current Poetry Editor, a Contributing Editor, or a member of our Advisory Board, who will serve as final judge for the 2017 prize. Family, friends, and previous or current students of Advisory Board members or editorial staff, or those with reciprocal professional relationships with the Board or editors, will be disqualified from the contest.

Manuscripts will be numbered, and all names on the manuscripts will be removed before they are read and work is presented to the judge. In the event that the judge does not deem any submissions worthy of the prize, The Tusculum Review reserves the right to extend the call for manuscripts or to cancel the award.

The winner and finalists will be listed on The Tusculum Review companion website.


Clay Matthews, Poetry Editor & 2017 judge

Clay Matthews, 2017 Poetry Chapbook Judge

Clay Matthews has published poetry in journals such as The American Poetry Review, Black Warrior Review, Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, and elsewhere. His most recent book, Shore, was recently released from Cooper Dillon Books. His other books are Superfecta (Ghost Road Press), RUNOFF (BlazeVox), and Pretty, Rooster (Cooper Dillon). He teaches at Tusculum College in Greeneville, TN, and edits poetry for the Tusculum Review.


Christine Starr Davis, winner of TTR's 2016 Poetry Chapbook Contest

Christine Starr Davis, winner of TTR’s 2016 Poetry Chapbook Contest

Judge Allison Joseph has selected Skin, Bone, Feather by Christine Starr Davis of Lincoln, Nebraska as winner of our 2016 poetry chapbook contest. Skin, Bone, Feather, for which Davis will receive a $1,000 cash prize, will appear in TTR vol. 12/2016. Davis will also receive 10 artist copies of her winning chapbook produced by the English and Fine Arts departments at Tusculum College.

Christine Starr Davis holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts with a dual degree in poetry and creative nonfiction. She was a finalist in the Spoon River Poetry Review Editor’s Prize in 2015, named Great Plains Emerging Writer in 2014 by South Dakota State University, wrote for the Tupelo Press 30/30 Project in May 2013, and was nominated in 2010 for a Pushcart Prize in Poetry. Her work has appeared in Cider Press Review, Clackamas Literary Review, Confrontation, Lake Effect, Monarch Review, Nimrod, Permafrost, Soundings East, Spoon River Poetry Review, Whiskey Island Magazine, and others. She maintains a website at


The Flea Circus of Time and Solitude  Carolyn Moore ♦ Tigard, Oregon

OK By Me  Sheila Sanderson  Prescott, Arizona

2016’s JUDGE

Advisory Board Member & 2016 Judge, Allison Joseph

Allison Joseph, Advisory Board member & 2016 judge

Allison Joseph is the author of What Keeps Us Here (Ampersand, 1992), Soul Train (Carnegie Mellon, 1997), In Every Seam (Pittsburgh, 1997), Imitation of Life (Carnegie Mellon, 2003) and Worldly Pleasures (Word Press, 2004). Her honors include the John C. Zacharis First Book Prize, fellowships from the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers Conferences, and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Poetry. She is editor and poetry editor of Crab Orchard Review and director of the Young Writers Workshop, an annual summer residential creative writing workshop for high school writers. She holds the Judge Williams Holmes Cook Endowed Professorship and serves as Director of the SIUC MFA Program in Creative Writing.


Previous contest judges for The Tusculum Review include: Mary Jo Bang, Aimee Bender, Kate Bernheimer, Jericho Brown, Amy Gerstler, Jaimy Gordon, Allison Joseph, Michael Martone, Sara Pritchard, Nate Pritts & Wayne Lee Thomas.