The Small Axe Literary Competition encourages the production and publication of Caribbean fiction and poetry. The competition focuses on poetry and short stories 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.
First Prize: $750; Second Prize: $500
The 2016 competition is now closed. Check back at the end of February for more details on 2017 competition.
Winners will be announced in October.
Winners of the 2016 competition will be published in
Small Axe 53 - July 2017
Writers wishing to compete for a Small Axe Literary Prize must submit the following to email@example.com:
- A double-spaced Word document containing: an original, unpublished short story (maximum 7,000 words), or an original selection of unpublished poetry (maximum ten poems, not exceeding ten manuscript pages).
- Submissions should not currently be under review for publication elsewhere and should remain unpublished throughout the duration of the competition.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 to exceed 250 words), including previously published works should be included with the manuscript email submission.
A note about eligibility
- 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.
- Beginning in 2017 we will accept submissions in Spanish, French, and English.