G.S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction  and  John Ciardi Prize for Poetry

Prizes for book-length collections of poetry &
of short fiction in English by a living author.

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

Contests will open June 1, 2020

Submission Deadline: January 15, 2021

Electronic submissions (through the BkMk website or Submittable) should include:

  • 1 Microsoft Word document or PDF. In English.
  • Poetry manuscripts: approximately 50-110 pages, single spaced.
  • Short fiction collections: approximately 125-300 pages, double spaced.
  • One title page within the manuscript (no author information)
  • No identifying information should appear in the manuscript. Such information, including acknowledgments, will be removed prior to judging.
  • Table of Contents within the manuscript (not as a separate file)
  • Non-refundable entry fee of $30 (US funds)
  • Uploaded files should have the same name as the manuscript
  • Manuscripts must be submitted online no later than January 15, 2021.

Postal Mail submissions should include:

  • Typed manuscript on standard-sized paper, bound only with a clip or rubberband (no staples or permanent binding).   
  • Poetry manuscripts: approximately 50-110 pages, single spaced.
  • Short fiction collections: approximately 125-300 pages, double spaced.
  • Two title pages within the manuscript: a) title only (no author information) b) title, author name, address, phone number, email.
  • No additional identifying information should appear in the manuscript. Such information, including acknowledgments, will be removed prior to judging.
  • Table of Contents within the manuscript.
  • SASE for notification regarding winner. No manuscripts will be returned.
  • Non-refundable entry fee of $25 (US funds).
  • Manuscripts must be postmarked no later than January 15, 2021.

Mail to:

John Ciardi Prize for Poetry or G. S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Fiction
BkMk Press
5101 Rockhill Road
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Kansas City, MO 64110

  • No faxed or emailed submissions, please.
  • Simultaneous and multiple submissions are acceptable. Please notify us of acceptance elsewhere.
  • Current students and employees of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and current volunteer members of the New Letters and BkMk Press staffs, are not eligible.
  • 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. 2021 winners will be announced August, 2021 and the winning entries will be published in 2022. These competitions are held annually.

BkMk Press supports the CLMP Code of Ethics for literary contests.

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