Honeysuckle Press is the sister organization of Winter Tangerine and has a similar aesthetic with absolutely stunning artwork and clean, readable website design. It is “a literary press committed to expanding and redefining human truths by prioritizing the narratives of unsung communities.”
Their 2nd annual chapbook contest is open to everyone–there are no fees to submit. But this is no ordinary chapbook contest! Don’t miss this chance to have your work read by amazing judges and to win an excellent prize package!
- Poetry Judge: Danez Smith
- Prose Judge: Zinzi Clemmons
- Prize Package: Each winner will receive $500, print publication, author copies, distribution in bookstores across America, and a jar of berry jam. Finalists may be offered publication at Honeysuckle Press’s discretion.
Honeysuckle Press publishes poetry, fiction, memoir, etc. and will begin accepting queries for full-length manuscripts of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction in 2018. I wondered how and why this press came to be, so I asked Honeysuckle Press founder and editor-in-chief Yasmin Belkhyr a few questions to find out. See my interview with Belkhyr and FREE chapbook contest information below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about Honeysuckle Press.
BELKHYR: Honeysuckle Press is a literary press devoted to centering the narratives of unsung communities. We’re a sister organization of the literary magazine, Winter Tangerine. Honeysuckle Press was founded in October of 2016. We host an annual chapbook contest — we recently announced the two incredible winners of the 2017 contest, judged by Saeed Jones and Bhanu Kapil, on our website. We’ll be published five chapbooks in 2018, as well as an essay collection called “We Make America Great”.
HOPKINSON: How/why was Honeysuckle Press originally started?
BELKHYR: At Winter Tangerine, we had been discussing the possibility of opening a press for a few years but it wasn’t a priority because we didn’t know exactly what we were looking to accomplish with a press that we couldn’t do with the magazine. We found direction in our commitment to freedom, justice, and healing for communities silenced or misrepresented in traditional media. There is a power to a physical book, a tangibility that goes beyond what WT accomplishes on the internet. We want to physically create books of resistance — even, and perhaps especially, if that resistance is simply survival.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
BELKHYR: We want to publish books that feel real, that feel like coming home. There are so many stories that aren’t given space. Our mission is to create platforms and community for those on the margins, anyone who exists within liminal space. We want to further what we know about ourselves and each other. We want to read writing that builds community. We want work that disrupts traditional narratives, work that holds new and daring worlds.
HOPKINSON: What do you wish you’d see submitted, but rarely comes in?
BELKHYR: I wish we received more work from trans, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming folks. There is a true deficit of trans literature in the world. According to the 2015 VIDA count, less than 1% of bylines were attributed to trans people. Trans femmes of color in particular face a dangerous mix of transphobia, misogyny, and racism while navigating the world. Within the canon, they are nearly nonexistent. Their narratives are necessary. Moving forward, we will be better about actively seeking work from, and otherwise supporting, trans folks in the literary world.
On a purely personal note, I also wish we received more work that engages with the surreal and the fantastical, as elements of reflection and dissection. I recently finished Carmen Maria Machado’s gorgeous short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, and I was so struck by the unexpected and visceral ways she explored womanhood and violence.
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite lit mags/journals?
BELKHYR: Some recent favorites have been the Shade Journal, noble/gas quarterly, Wildness, and the Shallow Ends.
HOPKINSON: Where can folks send submissions?
BELKHYR: Through our Submittable, here!
BELKHYR: Sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org is best!
DEADLINE: March 1, 2018
ENTRY FEE: None
PRIZE: Each winner will receive $500, print publication, author copies, distribution in bookstores across America, and a jar of berry jam. Finalists may be offered publication at Honeysuckle Press’s discretion.
FORMS: Poetry chapbooks and prose chapbooks (20 pages – 40 pages)