Chapbook Competition Deadline Extension!

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Our new submission deadline for the 2015 Chapbook Competition, “To Inhabit,” is March 1st, 2016! Get all the details here.

Dear friends,

At this time of midwinter, of thankfulness for Winter’s nurturing rest and anticipation of Spring’s renewing flame, we’re at an exciting moment in the life of QuillsEdge Press.

We’ve received nearly 150 entries in our 2015 chapbook contest, and they are marvelous collections of poetry. Our deep & heartfelt thanks to each of you who’ve entrusted your work to our readers. We are frequently blown away by the power & craft of the poetry we’re reading, and we don’t envy our judge, Mary Ann McFadden, her final decision!

This month, QuillsEdge Press welcomes our new executive editor Ann Davenport, who joined us as a reader several months ago. Our esteemed co-founder, Elliott batTzedek, is moving on to launch a new publishing project. As the Board and staff work diligently to ensure a smooth and successful transition in leadership, we also want to take a moment to draw a deep breath, celebrate all the Press has accomplished, and look to the vibrant future.

To that end, we are also glad to announce a brief extension to this year’s contest! If you wanted to enter, but didn’t quite have time to finish preparing your manuscript, we have great news – you have until March 1st to submit your chapbook to QuillsEdge Press. This year’s theme centers around “To Inhabit.” Please see our submission guidelines here.

We can hardly wait to read your work! As always, please know how honored we are that you’re a part of our community. Thank you for inhabiting this world with us.

With warmth & poetry –

Jane, Jude, and Anique
Board of Directors
QuillsEdge Press

Our 2nd Competition Opens 11/01/2015!

QuillsEdge Press is proud to announce our 2nd Annual Chapbook Competition for Women Poets Over 50!

Our Theme: To Inhabit (a body, a landscape, an ecosystem, a dream, a memory, a nightmare, a fantasy, a place, a time)

Our Judge: Mary Ann McFadden

The competition opens November 1st, 2015 and runs through January 31st, 2016. Check back here in early October to download the guidelines and get the link to enter online!

We’ve been editing our hearts out!

Been a while since our last post – but only because we’ve been busy being editors!

The second of the two winning manuscripts just flew digitally to our designer, Joe Carlough, so layout can begin. We can’t wait to see the proofs, which will be coming soon. Soon soon soon.

Since QuillsEdge Press is dedicated to creating community, and not only to publishing “contest winners,” we’re doing something different with our first two chapbooks. Each one will have a complete winning manuscript in a front section, and then a separate section at the back where each of the other four finalists will have two poems. When you buy our books (and you WILL buy them!), you’ll also be getting four poems by each finalist as a sample of the depth and variety of poetry submitted to us.

And all six finalists will be invited to be readers for our next contest! Just like every other small press, we have to run contests to fund the work, but for us strengthening bonds between women poets is just as much our mission as publishing chapbooks.

More exciting news is coming soon, including our next competition, readings, how to BUY THE BOOKS, and announcements of new Board members!

Meanwhile, here’s part of the cover image for Lucia Galloway’s chapbook, created by poet and artist (and now BOARD MEMBER) Anique Taylor.

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QuillsEdge Press is Proud to Announce 2 Winners in Our First Competition!

After Judge Barbara Crooker read through our 6 finalists, she wrote us to say she couldn’t decide between her top two choices. Both were so good, and so different, she said. We agreed, and so decided to commit to publishing both.

About our first winner, The Garlic Peelers by Lucia Galloway, Barbara says:

One of the things I look for in a chapbook is unity of theme, keeping in mind Frost’s dictum that if 26 separate poems make up a book, then the 27th poem is the book itself. The Garlic Peelers exemplifies this. I love the stunning title poem, and the way the other poems unfolded, like cloves of garlic from its core. I also admired the variety of forms and voices used, and the central metaphor: women’s lives as many-layered and essential as garlic. I like the way Lucia Galloway plays with multiple levels of meaning (chase/chaste/chastened; skins/scraps/leavings/chaff), the quotes that are salted between sections, and the way each section is introduced by lines that are excerpted and reworked from the title poem. No good recipe is complete without garlic, and no poetry shelf will be complete without this fine book.

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QuillsEdge Press is Proud to Announce 2 Winners in Our First Competition!

After spending weeks reviewing our 6 finalists, Judge Barbara Crooker wrote to us to say she could not choose between her two favorites – both were so excellent, and so very different from each other. We agreed, so have committed to publishing both. We’re starting the editing process now, so stay tuned about publication information!

Of The Lighthouse Keeper’s Wife by Suellen Wedmore, Barbara Crooker says:

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Wife has as its narrators five very different women, five separate personas, five unique voices, like the multi-faceted Fresnel lens used in lighthouses. Each poem is a small gem; “lapidary” comes to mind in describing them. The central metaphor, women finding their strength in adverse and sometimes unchosen circumstances, took my breath away. This is a book of poetry that reads like a novel, and I challenge any reader to come away unmoved.

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Our Vision

In brief, our mission statement:

Quillsedge is a non-profit press dedicated to promoting the work of women poets over the age of fifty through the publication of high quality chapbooks and through building connections and community among older women writers.

And for a bigger picture, our vision statement

The vision of Quillsedge Press is to fight the social invisibility of women poets as we age. We know that these women poets are producing some of the best, most vibrant, and most important contemporary poetry, and we know how often our work is dismissed by editors and editorial committees. To counter this invisibility we plan to publish beautiful chapbooks of highest quality poetry, and to take action to educate the poetry community about why this writing is indispensable.

As a press we take a broad view of what “woman” means and respect gender self-definition. Our goal is to publish great poetry that grows out of the rich variety of living as female: living coupled, partnered, single, having children or not; defining orientation as heterosexual or lesbian with the complex of identities– dyke, queer, trans, butch, femme, etc. Further, we understand that race and gender are integral aspects in the lives of women of color, and women whose first language is other than English.

Our goal is to publish poetry that astounds, delights, explodes, makes startling connections, and both expands and empowers what it is to be a woman writer. We seek poets with a deep commitment to craft, and clear engagement with the world of contemporary poetry. Rather than poems that stay in the realm of memoir or autobiography, we seek poems that launch from the personal, that are resonant with life here and now, that display tenacity, vibrancy, innovation and that explore the timeless and the timely.

Deep respect for women and for the art and craft of poetry are our guiding principles. We intend to grow connections between poets, and so expect the poets we publish to engage with each other’s work through reviews, blogs, tweets, readings, and other publicity. Because we embrace poetry as deeply personal and deeply political we expect our work, and yours, to change the world.