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The Adrift Chapbook Contest


We are excited to announce Jen Silverman’s Bath is this year’s winner of the Adrift Chapbook Contest! Geographic and lyrical, these poems communicate harrowing insights into the landscape of relationships.


In addition, we have decided to publish the runner-up collection, Melody Gee’s The Convert’s Heart is Good to Eat. These vivid, harrowing poems meet at the intersection of cultural and spiritual identity, revealing a complex understanding of how belief defines us.  

Both of these titles will be available 2022!

We also want to thank our finalists for their wonderful work:

  • ​(Infant) (Obituary) Template - Beth Gordon

  • Limbs of Earth - Keith Jones

  • Night Ocean - Carolyn Oliver

  • Static - Ashley Taylor

  • Letters to Harrison - Daniel Mallette

  • Axiom for When the Stars Go Out - Antonina Palisano

  • Country Songs for Alice - Emma Binder

  • Ripening Kind - Erin Miller



Thank you to everyone who submitted to this year’s contest! This was easily the strongest round of manuscripts ever submitted to this contest, and we are grateful to have been trusted with such strong work. If you are looking for more opportunities, we are currently open for single poem, magazine, and poetry collection submissions.


  • Submissions will be open from March 1st 2021 until July 31st 2021.

  • Finalists and winner will be announced by Driftwood editors in October 2021.

  • The winning chapbook will be published in early 2022.



  • Poetry only. Prose poetry, experimental poetry, and poetry with a visual component (color images accepted) 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 $20 dollar submission option that will include a print copy of the winning chapbook (US shipping only). We will ship once the winning submission is published.



  • The winner will receive $500 dollars and 20 copies of their chapbook.

  • A print run of the winning chapbook will be sold on our website, through affiliate bookstores, and will be nationally and internationally distributed by IngramSpark. 

  • 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 a runner-up full publication in book form or partial publication within our bi-annual magazine. All finalists will be considered for publication. 

  • If a runner-up is chosen for full publication of their chapbook, they will be awarded $200 and 20 contributor copies.

Past Contest Winners

[2020 Contest]

[2019 Contest]

[2018 Contest]

Guest Judge

Traci Brimhall is the author of four poetry collections: Come the Slumberless from the Land of Nod (Copper Canyon); Saudade (Copper Canyon); Our Lady of the Ruins (W.W. Norton), winner of the Barnard Women Poets Prize; and Rookery (Southern Illinois University Press), winner of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, The Believer, The New Republic, Orion, and Best American Poetry.  She’s received fellowships from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing and the National Endowment for the Arts.  She’s the Director of Creative Writing at Kansas State University and lives in Manhattan, KS.

Brimhall Headshot 2019.jpg
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