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The Adrift Chapbook Contest


​We are excited to announce Kimberly Povloski's hell of birds as the winner of our first Adrift Chapbook Contest! hell of birds is a truly striking collection of poetry that guest judge Erica Dawson praises as "ferocious with its energy and acrobatics. I was surprised and anxious and uncomfortable and relieved and back and forth." 


In addition, we have decided to publish the runner up collection, Charles Malone's Questions About Circulation. Erica Dawson calls the collection "vivid and visceral and palpable. All the perks of James Wright and Wendell Berry but with a kind of lyricism those two others lack sometimes."

Both of these titles will be available late 2018 / early 2019, and we will post regularly about their production and availability. We would also like to thank our other finalists whose work stood out to us:

  • Alexa Doran, Paradise

  • Sara Watson, Our Imaginary Childhood

  • Maya Salameh, habibi

  • Simone Person, Smoke Girl

Lastly, we want to extend our warmest gratitude to everyone who submitted to the contest. There were hundreds of wonderful manuscripts sent in, and narrowing these down to one winner was one of the toughest jobs we have ever had at Driftwood Press. We are ecstatic to begin publishing chapbooks on a regular basis, and your support is continually cherished and appreciated. 

Below are the guidelines of the 2018 contest, kept here for posterity's sake. The guidelines for the 2019 contest have changed considerably; please check the 2019 contest page for those.


  • Submissions will be open from February 15th until 
    April 22th.

  • Winner will be announced by August 15th.

  • The winning chapbook will be published in late 2018
    or early 2019.



  • Poetry only. Prose poetry, experimental poetry, and poetry with a visual component (black & white images only) are all welcome.

  • 15-40 pages of poetry (this does not include title, section break, or acknowledgement pages). We won't turn you away if you are a few pages over or under, but please stay within that limit.

  • A standard, 12-point font is preferred. 

  • Poems may have been published individually, but never as a collection.

  • Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please let us know immediately if the collection has been accepted elsewhere.

  • Submit works written in English only, no translations.

  • Please submit your manuscript in a .doc, .docx, or PDF format.

  • We read submissions blindly, so please do not include your name, email, or any identifying characteristics on the manuscript itself.

  • Base submission cost is $12. Additionally, we are offering a $24 dollar submission option that will include both a print copy of the winning chapbook and a back issue of our magazine. We will ship them together when the winning submission is published.


  • The winner will receive $200 dollars and 20 copies of their chapbook.

  • A print run of the winning chapbook will be sold on our website and through our affiliate bookstores (in Tampa, FL and Austin, TX). 

  • The winner will also have the opportunity to be interviewed about their work; the interview will be published in the chapbook following the poems.

  • The managing poetry editor may offer the runner-up the opportunity to have part of their work published as the sole poetry contribution in a future magazine issue (the writer will receive 15 copies of that issue).

Guest Judge

  • We are honored and excited to have Dr. Erica Dawson as our first guest judge for the Adrift Chapbook Series! Erica is the director of the MFA program at the University of Tampa. Her collection The Small Blades Hurt won the POET'S PRIZE in 2016, and her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Believer, and many others. 

erica dawson, poetry contest, poetry award
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