Small Axe 2019 Literary Competition


Small Axe recently announced its 2019 Literary Competition and the news that it is now accepting submissions in French. See competition description and brief guidelines below. 

The Small Axe Literary Competition encourages the production and publication of Caribbean fiction and poetry in English, Spanish and French. The competition focuses on poetry and short fiction from emerging writers whose work centers on regional and diasporic Caribbean themes and concerns. This competition is part of the Small Axe Project’s ongoing commitment to Caribbean cultural production and our mission to provide a forum for innovative critical and creative explorations of Caribbean reality.

With this competition, we hope to encourage and support the region’s rich literary heritage, in the tradition of precursors such as Bim (Barbados, 1942), Kyk-over-al (Guyana, 1945), Tropiques (Martinique, 1941), Focus (Jamaica, 1940), Orígenes (Cuba, 1944), La poesía sorprendida (Dominican Republic, 1944), Revista del Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (Puerto Rico, 1945), Conjonction (Haiti, 1946), Revista Casa (Cuba, 1960), and Savacou (Jamaica, 1970).

The Small Axe Literary Competition consists of two categories: poetry and short fiction. First and second prizes are chosen from each category by a distinguished panel of judges. In 2017, the Small Axe Literary Competition entered an important new phase, and is now inviting entries in Spanish, English, and French. Beginning this year with Spanish, we will accept submissions in each of the three languages in a three-year rotation.

First Prize: $750; Second Prize: $500

2019 competition submission deadline: 15 June 2019
Winners will be announced in October and will be published in Small Axe 62, July 2020

Writers wishing to compete for a Small Axe Literary Prize must submit the following to

A double-spaced Word document containing: an original, unpublished short story (maximum 7,000 words), or an original selection of unpublished poetry (maximum ten poems, not exceeding ten manuscript pages).

Submissions should not currently be under review for publication elsewhere and should remain unpublished throughout the duration of the competition.

All submissions should be in 12pt font, Times New Roman, numbered consecutively in the bottom right hand corner, with no other information in the header or footer. Manuscripts must be free of any author information. No PDFs

A separate document with full contact information (name, email address, mailing address, and phone) and a biography (not exceeding 250 words), including previously published works should be included with the manuscript email submission.

As a competition for emerging writers, entrants should not have published a book in the category for which they are competing. If a writer has published chapbooks and/or self-published, they are still eligible.\

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