Submissions Open for OutWrite’s 2021 Chapbook Competition 

April 5, 2021
Marlena Chertock and Malik Thompson, OutWrite Co-Chairs

Submissions Opening for OutWrite’s 2021 Chapbook Competition 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — OutWrite is pleased to announce its third Chapbook Competition, running from April 15th to June 15th, 2021. The winning chapbooks will be celebrated at the 2021 OutWrite LGBTQ Literary Festival. Submission details are included at the end of this text.

Each winner will receive 25 copies of their winning chapbook, an offer of print publication from Neon Hemlock Press, and an opportunity to read from their work at OutWrite 2021.

Winning chapbooks will be selected in three categories by the competition judges:

Nonfiction: Christopher Gonzalez
Christopher Gonzalez is the author of I’m Not Hungry but I Could Eat, a story collection forthcoming from SFWP in fall 2021. His writing has appeared in the Nation, Catapult, the Millions, Best Small Fictions 2019, and elsewhere. He is a fiction editor at Barrelhouse and lives in Brooklyn, NY, but mostly on Twitter @livesinpages.

Fiction: Darcie Little Badger
Darcie Little Badger is a Lipan Apache writer with a PhD in oceanography. Her critically acclaimed debut novel, Elatsoe, was featured in Time Magazine as one of the best 100 fantasy novels of all time, and her second novel, A Snake Falls to Earth, is publishing with Levine Querido in October 2021. Darcie’s short fiction, nonfiction and comics have appeared in multiple places, including Nightmare Magazine, Strange Horizons, and The Dark. She is currently engaged to a veterinarian named T.

Poetry: Dena Rod
Dena Rod is a non-binary poet whose work has been highlighted in My Shadow is My Skin: Voices from the Iranian Diaspora, Butter Press, and Imagoes: A Queer Anthology. Their debut poetry collection is forthcoming from Milk and Cake Press May 2021. In 2020, Dena toured with Sister Spit, debuted the chapbook swallow a beginning, and joined The Rumpus‘s features team. A fellow of Kearny Street Workshop’s Interdisciplinary Writer’s Lab, Dena writes to illuminate their experiences in the Iranian American diaspora and queer communities through creative nonfiction essays and poetry. Connect with Dena at

There is no fee to enter this year’s contest.

Please follow these guidelines in preparing your submission:

  • Chapbooks may be submitted in three categories: fiction, nonfiction & poetry.
  • We will accept submissions in all three categories in English.
  • OutWrite is a celebration of LGBTQ literature; entries that explore aspects of LGBTQ culture or identity are encouraged.
  • Thematically-linked works are encouraged, but not required. There are no limitations regarding genre.
  • Manuscripts should be no shorter than 20 pages and no longer than 40 pages. This does not include the table of contents or title page.
  • Submissions are open from April 15th to June 15th, 2021.
  • Each writer may only submit one entry per category.
  • Your manuscript should be in a standard size 12 font. Please single-space poetry and double-space prose/nonfiction. Please include a title page and a table of contents; do not include an acknowledgements page (winning entries will be given the opportunity to adjust front and back matter before publication).
  • The collection as a whole must be unpublished, but individual poems/stories/essays may be previously published (as long as relevant rights have reverted to you).
  • We will be accepting simultaneously submitted work. All semi-finalists will be required to remove their work from simultaneous review upon notification.
  • Winners will be announced in July. Publication will be in fall 2021.

Entries must be submitted no earlier than April 15th, 2021 and no later than June 15th, 2021. The submission window closes at 11:59pm EST on June 15th.

Submit all entries via this submission form. Queries can be made to If the form is inaccessible to you for any reason, please email your submission to the email above with all of the information requested by the form.

Any updates to these guidelines will be posted here.

About OutWrite
OutWrite is a celebration of LGBT literature, held annually the first weekend in August in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit:

About Neon Hemlock Press
Neon Hemlock is a purveyor of queer chapbooks and speculative fiction based in Washington, DC. More information at

About the DC Center
The DC Center for the LGBT Community educates, empowers, celebrates, and connects the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. To fulfill our mission, we focus on four core areas: health and wellness, arts & culture, social & support services, and advocacy and community building. We envision communities where LGBT people feel healthy, safe, and affirmed.

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