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spacer.gif   The JOMP Book Awards
Posted by : cj on Friday, June 14, 2013 - 05:22 PM
Chicago Poetry News: Click On Headlines .


Chicago Poetry Press is presently reviewing full length manuscripts of poetry for consideration into the Journal of Modern Poetry Book Awards. The winning poet will receive a three year publishing contract through Chicago Poetry Press, which will publish the winning manuscript in a perfect bound edition with a full color cover to be sold at, and elsewhere.

The winning poet will receive ten complimentary copies of the book and will receive a $2.50 per book author royalty on books sold at the anticipated cover price of $12. The winning poet will also be entitled to purchase additional copies of the book at half the cover price to be resold at the poets' discretion at readings or at other events in whatever way author sees fit.

If you would like to review one of the JOMP Book Award titles, please take a look at

The following are the guidelines and some suggestions for submission:

*Chicago Poetry Press is currently only accepting book manuscripts from poets who are entered into the Journal of Modern Poetry competition or who have received runner-up status from a previous competition. Before submitting your manuscript, please go to and follow the instructions to enter the competition. Once you have entered the JOMP competition, you may then enter your full length manuscript into the Book Award competition with no additional entry fee required.

*I am looking to publish previously unpublished full length book manuscripts (not chapbooks). Manuscripts should be at least 65 pages long (40 to 50 poems on average) or longer, with a title page, a table of contents, and your poetry. (To clarify: it is okay if the poems themselves have been published elsewhere individually or at your own blog--as long as the entire manuscript has not been published in book form by another publisher.)

*Chicago Poetry Press is only accepting electronic manuscripts in Microsoft Word or compatible programs. Manuscripts can be sent in an email as one single attachment to along with a cover letter**.

**Along with your manuscript, include a cover letter pitching your book to me. I want to know who you are, why you believe your manuscript will be appealing to the general public, who you anticipate your market audience will be, and how (if selected) you will help promote your book and help create sales for your book.

*Your entire manuscript should be submitted in one document as one single attachment. Assuming you are submitting your cover letter as a separate attached document, if your submission email contains more than two attachments then you are doing something wrong.

*Keep in mind Chicago Poetry Press will only be publishing between two and four books a year, and just because Chicago Poetry Press is reviewing manuscripts for possible publication does not obligate Chicago Poetry Press to choose a winner if the right manuscript hasn't been found yet.

*The Book Award is very competitive. I am looking to publish not only the highest quality manuscript but also a manuscript that will be appealing to the general public (in other words, a book that will sell). If you believe your book will sell, let me know why in your cover letter.

*Chicago Poetry Press is not a vanity press that will publish your book for money; so please just follow the guidelines and don't ask to be the exception.

*Chicago Poetry Press may have to hang on to your manuscript for quite some time before a decision is made, so be patient.

*If your manuscript is a simultaneous submission please inform me of this in advance and if your manuscript has been selected for publication elsewhere please inform me of this immediately. Thank you.

*If your manuscript is chosen for publication and you agree to the terms, you will be expected to sign a contract giving Chicago Poetry Press exclusive rights to your manuscript for a three year period.

*Previously unpublished manuscripts only please.


*Please format your manuscript so that all your poems, titles of poems, table of contents and everything else text-based is consistently in one standard font.

*Do not use any fancy fonts. Any attempt to be creative with your fonts will most assuredly be completely ignored when it comes time to formatting the actual book.

*Just send text. No photos or images. Your poetry should be able to speak for itself.

*Format your manuscript as simply as possible. Acceptable styles and formatting includes italics, bold letter, underlines, indentations, spacing and so forth.

*Please, no complicated formatting. You are submitting a manuscript of poetry, not a power point presentation.

*Please, do not insert page breaks; just use your "enter" key to go down to the bottom of the page to get to the next page. Page breaks are a complete nightmare to work with. They are invisible and create all sorts of havoc when attempting to rearrange poems within the manuscript.

*Please, no embedded links to sections or headings. Links aren't going to work on the page so why insert them at all?

*Please no headers or footers if you can avoid them. Footnotes can be inserted at the bottom of the page at the end of the poem instead of in a footer.

*If you can, rather than using tabs to indent your lines, use your space bar; for example, rather than using two five space tabs to create a ten space indent, instead tap your space bar ten times to create the indent. Why? Sometimes when a poem that uses a lot of tabs is copied from your original document and then pasted into a pre-formatted template, really crazy things happen and the poem ends up being scrambling all over the place.

*Keep your page borders consistent. Don't try to format your poem by changing the borders of the entire page. Once again, that just causes all sorts of havoc when your text is copied and then pasted into a pre-formatted template. The two formats don't recognize each other and your poems ends up being gibberish.

*None of the complicated formatting described above will be going into your actual book so it doesn't help; it just complicates things. Just about everything you do other than simply pasting your poems into your document will have to be undone in order to format your manuscript into a book template.

*Once again, you are sending a finished manuscript, not a finished book. So don't worry about the cover or what fonts will be used or the interior design of the book; if your manuscript is selected for publication, that will be created for you with your cooperation. For now, just send your poetry with a table of contents and a title page and your cover letter pitching your book. That's all I need to decide if I would like to publish it or not.

(This page will occasionally be updated with more suggestions.)

Go back to the JOMP 16 page.

Note: Click Here to read the JOMP Book Award Guidelines.

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  Poetry Contest
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