Radix Media — Own Voices Chapbook Prize

Own Voices Chapbook Prize

The Radix Media Own Voices Chapbook Prize is an annual contest dedicated to the discovery of two timely, urgent, and interrogative chapbook-length poetry collections from debut poets of color. One chapbook will be published in the Fall of 2020 and the other in the Spring of 2021.

The contest is open from March 1 until May 31, 11:59 pm EST. *** UPDATE *** These are difficult times. Many members of our community are hurting and grieving right now, and we are grieving with them. We understand if writers who want to submit to the Own Voices Chapbook Prize need time to process and take care of themselves. For that reason, we are extending the deadline to July 1, 11:59pm EST.

The Guest Judge for the 2020 Own Voices Chapbook Prize is Aria Aber.

The Own Voices Chapbook Prize includes a cash award of $500 for each winner, 25 author copies, a book launch in New York City, and a limited print run of 250 copies. At Radix Media, we pride ourselves on the production of superior quality, purposefully designed books. The poets of the winning chapbooks will work with our in-house designers to conceptualize their chapbook cover, letterpress printed on quality cover stock, like our other saddle-stitched chapbooks.


Aria Aber: Guest Judge of the 2020 Radix Media Own Voices Chapbook PrizeAria Aber is the author of Hard Damage, winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The New Yorker, Poetry, Kenyon Review, New Republic, Narrative, and elsewhere. She holds awards and fellowships from New York University, the Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing, and Kundiman. She’s currently serving as the Li Shen Visiting Writer at Mills College.


The Own Voices Chapbook Prize is open to poets of color writing in the English language who haven’t published a full-length book of poems. We are looking for work that believes the personal is political, that comes from a place of deep interrogation and critique of one’s self and the society at large, that is rebellious at heart, and that seeks to question the status quo. At a time when there is a deep reckoning of political thought in the literary community, we want to identify and highlight emerging poets who are at work on collections they deem urgent and essential to the discourse. We are not bound to particular forms, and invite poetry that is rooted in cultural oral traditions or exists in hybrid forms. We are open to, and in fact encourage, multilingual poetry and self-translated work. Collaborative manuscripts are welcome, as long as both writers are poets of color (the prize money will be shared in that event).

All entries will be considered for publication. Finalists may be offered publication by Radix Media.


The OwnVoices hashtag was founded by author Corinne Duyvis to celebrate diverse work by authors belonging to the group they are writing about. For the purpose of this chapbook prize, we want Own Voices to inspire an exploration of the self within community. We want to hear from poets belonging to under-represented and marginalized communities of color, who are working on deeply personal and culturally specific works.


  • Open to debut poets of color writing in the English language (not exclusively). Should not have published a full-length collection. Poets must be based in North America at the time of publication.
  • Collaborations and self-translations (Poet translates their own work from another language to English) welcome.
  • There is an entry fee of $10. As a small press, charging an entry fee allows us to pay an honorarium to our guest judge and offset the printing costs of the project. If you are unable to pay the fee at this time, please email meher@radixmedia.org, and your submission fee will be waived. (Only limited fee waivers are available.)
  • Please submit a manuscript of 20-40 pages. The manuscript can include pieces that have been published previously but the collection as a whole must be unpublished.
  • Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but please notify us ASAP if your collection is accepted elsewhere.
  • Your manuscript must be a single Word document. Please include a title page and table of contents page. DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR NAME, EMAIL ADDRESS, PHONE NUMBER, OR ANY IDENTIFYING INFORMATION IN THE MANUSCRIPT. Please do not include any publishing acknowledgements. Manuscripts that do not adhere to these guidelines will be immediately disqualified.


Radix Media is a worker-owned independent press and print shop based in Brooklyn, New York. We publish new ideas and fresh perspectives, prioritizing the voices of typically marginalized communities to get to the root of the human experience.