2015 BkMk Press Book Prize Guidelines

photo of Universitiy House at UMKC, home of BkMk Press

Congratulations to the 2015 winners: Bonnie Bolling, John Ciardi Prize for Poetry for The Red Hijab, selected by H. L. Hix, and Rachel Hall, G.S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction for Heirlooms, selected by Marge Piercy. Guidelines for 2016's prizes will be posted here soon.  




Are you ready to submit your contest entry for 2015?

2 ways to enter: by mail or online

Submit & Pay Online Here by January 15, 2015

(Please read guidelines below before submitting.)

Prize For the best book-length collections of poetry & of short fiction in English by a living author

$1,000 & Publication of Winning Book for Each Prize

Short-Fiction Book Award

The G. S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction

Poetry Book Award

The John Ciardi Prize for Poetry

Submissions include:

  1. Typed manuscript on standard-sized paper, or  1 MS Word document or PDF, in English. Bound only with a clip or rubber band (no staples or permanent binding)
    manuscripts: approximately 50 -110 pages, single spaced.
    Short fiction collections: approximately 125- 300 pages, double spaced.

  2. Acknowledgments on a separate page within the same document
  3. Two separate title pages within the same document:
    (click for sample)
    a)  title only (no author information)

    title, author name, address, phone number, acknowledgements (if any)

  4. Table of Contents within the same document.

  5. SASE for notification only. No manuscripts will be returned.

  6. Non-refundable reading fee of $25 plus printing charge for each manuscript submitted electronically (US funds)
    (please include check made payable to BkMk Press
    or click here if you wish to pay for a postal submission by credit card; print and complete this form and enclose with your paper manuscript)

  7. No faxed submissions, please. Email only through online submission page
    & note payment information in email. 

  8. Entrants will receive a copy of the winning book in their genre when it is published.

    Simultaneous and multiple submissions are acceptable. Please notify us of acceptance elsewhere.

Manuscripts must be postmarked or submitted online no later than January 15, 2015. Manuscripts will not be returned.  No refunds will be issued.

Judging will be blind at all levels. Initial judging will be done by a network of published writers and editors. The final judging will be done by a poet and a fiction writer of national reputation. 2015 winners will be announced August, 2015 and the winning entries will be published in 2016.  These competitions are held annually.

2014 Prizes Winners: 

G.S. Sharat Chandra Prize
The King of the Gypsies
by Lenore Myka

selected by Lorraine M. López

John Ciardi Prize
One Blackbird at a Time: The Teaching Poems
by Wendy Barker

selected by Alice Friman


Submit & Pay Online

Or Address To:

John Ciardi Prize for Poetry or Sharat Chandra Prize for Fiction
BkMk Press
University of Missouri-Kansas City
5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499

(816) 235-2558*
Fax (816) 235-2611
bkmk@umkc.edu (for questions only, no emailed manuscripts accepted)

Available to contest entrants at the special price of $10 each postage paid are

Past winners of the John Ciardi Prize for Poetry:

The Resurrection Machine by Steve Gehrke,  selected by Miller Williams 

Kentucky Swami by Tim Skeen, selected by Michael Burns  

Escape Artist by Terry Blackhawk, selected by Molly Peacock 

Fence Line by Curtis Bauer, selected by Christopher Buckley 

The Portable Famine by Rane Arroyo, selected by Robin Becker 

Wayne's College of Beauty by David Swanger selected by Colleen J. McElroy 

Airs & Voices by Paula Bonnell (selected by Mark Jarman) 

Black Tupelo Country by Doug Ramspeck, selected by Leslie Adrienne Miller 

Tongue of War by Tony Barnstone, selected by B. H. Fairchild 

Mapmaking by Megan Harlan, selected by Sidney Wade

Secret Wounds By Richard Berlin, selected by Gary Young 

Axis Mundi by Karen Holmberg, selected by Lorna Dee Cervantes 

Beauty Mark by Suzanne Cleary, selected by Kevin Prufer 

Border States by Jane Hoogestraat, selected by Luis J. Rodriguez..

Past winners of the G. S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction:

A Bed of Nails by Ron Tanner, selected by Janet Burroway 

I'll Never Leave You by H. E. Francis, selected by Diane Glancy 

The Logic of a Rose: Chicago Stories by Billy Lombardo, selected by Gladys Swan 

Necessary Lies by Kerry Neville Bakken, selected by Hilary Masters

Love Letters from a Fat Man by Naomi Benaron, selected by Stuart Dybek 

Tea and Other Ayama Na Tales by Eleanor Bluestein, selected by Marly Swick 

Dangerous Places by Perry Glasser, selected by Gary Gildner 

Georgic by Mariko Nagai, selected by Jonis Agee

Living Arrangements by Laura Maylene Walter, selected by Robert Olen Butler 

Garbage Night at the Opera by Valerie Fioravanti, selected by Jacquelyn Mitchard 

Boulevard Women by Lauren Cobb, selected by Kelly Cherry 

Thorn by Evan Morgan Williams, selected by Al Young. 


In 2015, look for the new books by winners of our 2014 poetry and short fiction contests:

One Blackbird at a Time: The Teaching Poems by Wendy Barker, selected by Alice Friman,

King of the Gypsies: Stories by Lenore Myka, selected by Lorraine M. Lopez.

Winner of John Ciardi Prize for PoetryWinner of Sharat Chandra Prize for Fiction Winner of Sharat Chandra Prize for FictionWinner of John Ciardi Prize for Poetry

Kansas City Literary Events

Susan Rieke and Divya Bhalla

Thursday, August 27, 2015
Lawrence, Kan.


Congratulations to 2015 BkMk Press winners


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