Each year, the Michigan Writers Cooperative Press (MWCP) publishes winners of its chapbook contest. The purpose of the press is to help writers publish their first book in a literary genre. Poetry, short-story collections, and works of creative nonfiction will be considered. 

Selections are based on literary merit, not genre–meaning we may publish more than one winner in a given genre, or no winner in another genre. In past years, MWCP has published up to three winners. Readers specializing in each genre carefully consider and jury each eligible submission, and then forward the finalists to the contest judge.

2020 Contest Judges

Poetry: Fleda Brown

Fleda Brown’s tenth collection of poems, The Woods Are On Fire: New and Selected Poems, was chosen by Ted Kooser for his Contemporary Poetry Series from the University of Nebraska Press in 2017. Her memoir with Sydney Lea, Growing Old in Poetry: Two Poets: Two Lives, came out in 2018 from Green Mountain Press. Fleda is also the author of memoir-essays, Driving With Dvorak, and co-edited two books, most recently On the Mason-Dixon Line: An Anthology of Contemporary Delaware Writers.  Her work has won the Felix Pollak Prize, a Pushcart Prize, the Philip Levine Prize, the Great Lakes Colleges New Writer’s Award, and has twice been a finalist for the National Poetry Series. She is professor emerita at the University of Delaware, where she taught for 27 years and directed the Poets in the Schools program. She was poet laureate of Delaware from 2001-07. She now lives in Traverse City, Michigan, and is on the faculty of the Rainier Writing Workshop, a low-residency MFA program in Tacoma, Washington. Visit Fleda online here.

Fiction: Hadley Moore

Hadley Moore’s collection Not Dead Yet and Other Stories won Autumn House Press’s 2018 fiction contest and is out now. Her short stories, novel excerpts, and nonfiction have appeared in NewsweekMcSweeney’s Quarterly ConcernWitness, Amazon’s Day One, the Alaska Quarterly Review, the revived December, the Indiana ReviewAnomaly (formerly Drunken Boat), Quarter After EightConfrontationThe DrumSequestrumMidwestern Gothic, and other publications. She is at work on a novel and another collection, and is an alum of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. Visit www.hadleymoore.net and follow her on Twitter.

Nonfiction: Heather Shumaker

Heather Shumaker is the author of books for children and adults. She’s the author of three nonfiction books, including Saving Arcadia, a narrative nonfiction book about Great Lakes land conservation. Saving Arcadia (Wayne State, 2017) has won state and national awards including: Michigan Notable Book Award, Eric Hoffer Award finalist, and Next Generation Indie Book – Environment Winner. Her nonfiction parenting/ education books (It’s OK Not to Share, Tarcher Penguin, 2012 and It’s OK to Go Up the Slide Tarcher Penguin RandomHouse, 2016) have been translated into Arabic, Chinese, French, Korean, Romanian, and Russian.

Heather also writes fiction. Her newest book, The Griffins of Castle Cary, is a slightly spooky read for middle grade readers, ages 8-12 (Simon & Schuster, 2019). She frequently visits schools and teaches workshops around the country. Visit Heather online here.

Learn more about the contest (and submit!) here.

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