All About Creative Nonfiction Chapbooks

March 14, 2018 § 11 Comments

zz fawcportraitBy Chelsea Biondolillo

I still remember the first nonfiction chapbook I ever found at the AWP bookfair. I’d walked up and down all the aisles and talked my voice hoarse, and maybe I was asking the wrong question, but nobody had one until the SweetLit table. There, I bought Amy Monticello’s Close Quarters, and when I got home, I ordered Donna Steiner’s Elements. I cherished those two for the possibilities they represented (and for the wonderful writing.) The next year, I head about a few presses who were expanding their flash fiction chapbooks to “prose.” And each year since, whenever I’ve been able to attend, I add a few more CNF chaps to my collection.

When Randon Billings Noble mentioned organizing a panel for this year’s AWP on the nonfiction chapbook, I jumped at the opportunity to participate, but life had other plans and I knew by August that I wouldn’t make it to Tampa to join her, Bernard Grant, BJ Hollars, and Penny Guisinger at the front of the room. So, I offered up my participation on “All About Creative Nonfiction Chapbooks” in the form of the below list. These presses have all said (at one time or another) that they would consider nonfiction/prose/hybrid chaps.

This list is bound to be out of date the minute it goes live, because the literary landscape is a shifty thing. Also, many in the list only consider chap submissions during defined contest periods, so please read up on any press policies before hitting send. And don’t forget to buy CNF chapbooks, too. Be the market you wish to see in the literary world.

Chelsea Biondolillo’s List

  • Etchings Press Chapbook contest
  • Rose Metal Press
  • Cutbank (cross-genre)
  • Eastern Point Press
  • Slashpine Press
  • Diagram
  • Porkbelly Press
  • A-Minor Press
  • Sweet Lit
  • Origami Zoo Press
  • Palooka Press
  • Matter Press
  • Tammy
  • New Delta Review
  • Split Lip Magazine – Turnbuckle /Uppercut Chapbook Contests
  • Batcat Press
  • Birds Piled Loosely – Hard To Swallow   Chapbook Series
  • Damaged Goods Press (essays, hybrids from Queer and Trans Writers)
  • Devilhouse Press
  • Disorder Press
  • Eggtooth Editions
  • Garden-Door Press
  • Hermeneutic Chaos Press
  • Lightning Key Review – Wilt Chapbook Prize (CNF only!)
  • Long Day Press
  • Newfound Prose Prize
  • The Operating System
  • Underground Voices e-shorts (experimental)
  • Throwback Books (prose)
  • Arcadia – Ruby Irene Poetry Chapbook Contest (I know, but it says CNF, too)
  • Bateau Press – Keel Chapbook Contest (hybrid prose)
  • The Florida Review – Jeanne Leiby Chapbook Award
  • H_NGM_N (prose)
  • Homebound Publications – Little Bound Chapbook Series
  • PANK
  • Gold Line Press Chapbook Contest
  • The Cupboard Pamphlet’s Chapbook Contest (prose)
  • Ghost Proposal Chapbook contest (essays, multi-media, experimental, post-genre)
  • Gazing Grain Press contest (prose)
  • Lime Hawk
  • Mason Jar Press
  • Ursus Americanus Press (prose)
  • elsewhere Chapbook Prize (prose)
  • Sundress Publications chapbook contest
  • Sutra Press
  • Epiphany Magazine (published in magazine)
  • The Head and Hand Press – Breadbox Chapbook series
  • Iron Horse Review prose chap competition
  • Vinyl 45 Chapbook contest (YesYes Books) (prose, mixed genre)
  • Paper Nautilus Press
  • Pithead Chapel Press
  • Ugly Duckling Presse
  • Anchor & Plume Press
  • Ghost Ocean Mag – Treelight Chapbook contest
  • smoking glue gun – chapbook contest
  • Red Bird Chapbooks
  • Vine Leaves Press
  • Special thanks to:
  • my own declined file in Submittable,
  • Allison Joseph’s priceless CRWROPPS list,
  • Entropy Mag’s ‘Where to Submit’ monthly feature, and
  • The Review Review

these are all the places I check when I want to know who considers CNF chaps.

NOTE: YMMV. The literary landscape is a many splendored thing. Some of these are annual contests, some of these might not exist anymore. Some charge money, some offer money, some don’t do one or the other or both. And some ran wee-wee-wee-wee all the way home. -Chelsea

Download the Word File: CNFChapbookmarkets

Chelsea Biondolillo
is the author of the prose chapbooks Ologies and #Lovesong, both from Etchings Press, University of Indiana. Her essays have been collected in Best American Nature and Science Essays 2016Flash Nonfiction FunnyWaveform: Twenty-first Century Essays by WomenHow We Speak to One Another: An Essay Daily Reader, and others. She has an MFA in nonfiction and environmental studies, and currently teaches writing workshops online. She lives well outside of Portland, OR, surrounded by farms and old growth forest, and blogs intermittently at

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