We are no longer accepting manuscripts for our 2018 contest. Please check back here in the coming months for information about our 2019 prize.


The prize is $1,000 and publication in The Tusculum Review.

The deadline is March 1, 2018.  

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.

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). A manuscript 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 email 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). 

Entry fees include a one-year subscription to The Tusculum Review (an annual publication) and consideration for publication. We consider all works submitted for publication.

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

Editors of The Tusculum Review–and then a final judge–will determine the results of the 2018 prize. The final judge for 2018’s contest is Emilia Phillips. Family, friends, and previous students of the final judge, or those with reciprocal professional relationships with the judge, 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 judges. In the event that judges do 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.

Our 2018 Judge: Emilia Phillips

Emilia Phillips is the author of two poetry collections from the University of Akron Press, Signaletics (2013) and Groundspeed (2016), and three chapbooks, most recently Beneath the Ice Fish Like Souls Look Alike (Bull City Press, 2015). Her poems and lyric essays appear widely in literary publications including AgniBoston ReviewPloughsharesPoetry, and elsewhere. She’s an assistant professor in the MFA Writing Program and the Department of English at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her third book, Empty Clip, will be published by the University of Akron Press Spring 2018.

Emilia Phillips, 2018 judge. Photo by Tracy Tanner.

Emilia Phillips, 2018 judge. Photo by Tracy Tanner.


Adam M. Graaf, winner of TTR 2017 poetry chapbook contest

Adam M. Graaf, winner of TTR 2017 poetry chapbook contest

Adam Graaf received his MFA from the University of Massachusetts Boston. He is the recipient of the New England Poetry Club’s 2013 The John Holmes Award and a 2015 Academy of American Poets’ University & College Prize. Adam was twice nominated in 2015 for a Pushcart Prize, a 2016 Best of the Net prize, and was a finalist for The Iowa Review’s 2016 Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans. His work has appeared in apt online, CONSEQUENCE Magazine, Ibbetson Street, War, Literature & the Arts, and elsewhere. Adam lives with his wife in Minnesota.

Clay Matthews, Poetry Editor & 2017 judge

Clay Matthews, TTR Poetry Editor & 2017 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, Tennessee, and edits poetry for the Tusculum Review.


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.