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Our first WaterSedge Poetry Chapbook contest winner has been selected by our judge, Ohio’s poet laureate Amit Majmudar!

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The 2016 WaterSedge Poetry Chapbook Contest

At Writer’s Relief, we know how challenging it is for poets to get their poetry manuscripts published. So we’re very happy to sponsor the WaterSedge Poetry Chapbook Contest and support the work of a talented poet.

Since 1994, the Writer’s Relief office has been located a mere stone’s throw from the New Jersey Meadowlands: a large ecosystem of vital wetlands in the metropolitan region. Home to many species of plant life, fish, mollusks, and crustaceans, the Meadowlands are an important bird habitat. However, located so close to urban development, the conservation of the Meadowlands is imperative. In this fragile environment that is home to numerous endangered and threatened species, the water sedge is an endangered plant struggling to survive.

The efforts of water sedge to flourish despite difficult odds seems kindred in spirit to poets hoping to successfully publish their poetry books and chapbooks in an uncooperative publishing environment. With the WaterSedge Poetry Chapbook Contest, we can help our winning poets get published and thrive. The winning poet’s chapbook will receive both print and e-book publication through our Self-Publishing Relief division. All royalties belong to the winner.

 Contest Judge: Amit Majmudar, Ohio’s first poet laureate

Deadline for entering the 2016 WaterSedge Poetry Chapbook Contest: May 25, 11:59 p.m. ET


Deadline: May 25

Entry Fee: $20

Page count: 24-48 pages in length


Prize Information

The winner of the WaterSedge Poetry Contest will receive:

$500 cash prize; publication of the poetry chapbook in both print and e-book formats; Amazon distribution for Kindle and print; and 25 free print copies. 


Submission Guidelines

  • BLIND SUBMISSION: DO NOT include your name or contact info anywhere on the manuscript; include your name and contact information on the entry form
  • File Name: PoetryChapbookManuscript.doc (or .docx or .rtf)
  • Submit the manuscript as one file
  • 12-point Times New Roman
  • Single-spaced, typed
  • 1 poem per page (Note: Though poems can be more than 1 page long, each poem must start on a new page regardless of length.)
  • Include table of contents
  • Include cover/title page
  • Include acknowledgements page (any previous publications of the poems in the manuscript)
  • Include page numbers
  • Do NOT include any images or illustrations in manuscript
  • 24-48 pages
  • Each entry must include the $20 entry fee
  • U.S. residents only are permitted to submit(Because the winning manuscript will be published using Amazon/CreateSpace, their rules prohibit us from choosing a winner for this contest if they live outside the U.S.)
  • Only poets over 18 years of age are eligible to submit
  • Current or former clients and employees and their family members, or anyone otherwise affiliated with Writer’s Relief and its subsidiaries, are not eligible to enter the WaterSedge Poetry Chapbook Contest


Judge: Amit Majmudar


Amit Majmudar, Ohio’s first poet laureate, is a novelist, poet, essayist, and diagnostic nuclear radiologist (M.D.). Majmudar is the author of two novels and several poetry collections. He was a finalist for a Poetry Society of America’s Norma Faber First Book Award, and his poetry was selected for a Donald Justice prize. His most recent collection of poems, Dothead, was published on March 29. Majmudar’s poetry has appeared in The New YorkerThe New York Review of BooksThe Atlantic Monthly,  Poetry Magazine, and The Antioch Review. His work has been featured in several anthologies, including Best of the Best American Poetry, 1988-2012.

Dr. Majmudar writes and practices in Dublin, Ohio, where he lives with his wife, twin sons, and baby daughter.

Visit Amit’s author website.

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