A poet friend is interested in this press's contest, but I see some warning flags: a huge prize from a small press that doesn't even have its own domain name, and its books seem to be sold on Etsy. Anybody know anything yea or nay?
To me this actually looks okay. I've actually heard of the winner of the last contest (Jennifer Key), though I can't tell you from where.
Granted, looking "okay" doesn't necessarily mean it's a great deal. Never having heard of the press before -- and being relatively plugged in to the poetry world -- means that winning the contest won't bring your friend any great acclaim. That said, it's a chapbook contest, and chapbook contests rarely do.
They say they follow CLMP standards, which is a good thing (as most small, literary presses try to do the same). They also have blind submissions -- or that's why they ask for two cover pages, one minus the author's info.
Lastly, the prize is 10K dollars. For a chapbook. That's more than most major poetry book prizes. In fact, that's crazy.
I'm not pointing that out as a red flag. Just as sheer madness.
(In sum: for money and possible chapbook publication, go for it; for the publication bringing cred in the poetry world, it probably won't so much.)
I think that kind of reading fee is pretty common for a chapbook competition.
I can't believe the prize money either. They do have gorgeous looking books for sale... but looking at the Etsy store, there have only been a handful of sales since 2011.
What a strange set of attributes.
$25 is pretty normal for book-length poetry competitions, as well as literary short-story & novel competitions. Chapbook prizes usually run anywhere from $5 to $15, though a few are free to enter and some (as with this one) run up to $25.
The prize money is crazy (I will say again). And, really, if they have an endowment that allows for that sort of prize, I don't see why they wouldn't just waive the fee altogether and/or make it nominal only (and take the cost of running the competition/printing/etc. out of the prize money).
I entered this contest a bit more than a year ago. After the deadline for entry the press extended the deadline to allow more entries. My feeling was that they just didn't get enough money. When they chose someone, it was someone local to them. It left a bad feeling in my mouth. I had scrambled to submit my work and I think I paid $30. I had the sense they kept the contest open until they had enough $. Also, when I emailed to enquire after the first deadline, the response was rather rude. Just my experience.