Every once in a while a new press with new ideas and amazing projects appears on the literary scene. Platypus Press is one of those. I’ve been nothing but impressed with their creativity and professionalism. They are an independent press based in England and seek to unearth innovative contemporary poetry and prose from a broad variety of voices and experiences. They are accepting no fee poetry manuscript entries for their annual Broken River Prize from May 1 to July 31. Each year a different poet will judge the contest—2020’s judge is poet Kaveh Akbar. His poems appear in The New Yorker, Poetry, The New York Times, Paris Review, Best American Poetry, and elsewhere. His newest full-length volume of poetry, Pilgrim Bell, will be published by Graywolf and Chatto/Random House in 2021.
As always, I wanted to know more about this contest, so I asked editor Michelle Tudor a few questions to find out. See my interview with Tudor and a link to their submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about Broken River Prize.
TUDOR: The Broken River Prize is our annual poetry contest for manuscripts 35-50 pages in length with poet Kaveh Akbar as judge. Poets have the chance to win $250 and publication in 2021.
HOPKINSON: How/why was the Broken River Prize originally started?
TUDOR: We had wanted to run a contest for a while. We’ve released a lot of full-length books through the press, so we thought it would be a good way to find shorter collections.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
TUDOR: This is difficult to answer as we’re not judging the contest. We’re just looking for really great poetry that stands out.
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite lit mags/journals?
TUDOR: We’ve been reading a lot of creative non-fiction lately and some great places for that are: Guernica, Catapult and Granta.
HOPKINSON: Where can folks send contest entries?
TUDOR: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject header ‘Broken River Prize Submission’
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
CONTEST DATES: May 1 – July 31, 2020
ENTRY FEE: None
- Publication by Platypus Press in 2021.
- $250/£200 prize money + 10 copies of the published book
FORMS: Poetry manuscript of 35-50 pages
NOTES: 1/3 of the poems should be unpublished