Friday, January 18, 2019

January 2019 Update

We’re a little later than usual in getting out the final selections from our annual open reading period.  We knew at the time we came up with our finalists that it’d be into the early part of the New Year that we’d be making our final selections.  The selected authors were contacted last week, and we’re ready to announce them now.  Although we don’t really have a schedule, per se, the first chapbook will be from Emily Hockaday; it will appear around the Vernal Equinox.  Following that, we have three others selected from the 2018/2019 pool of manuscripts . . . Brendan Walsh, Howie Good, and Jessie Janeshek.

We’ll try and come up with a firm schedule that will carry us into the Summer.  Generally, we’ll be looking a spacing the first three chapbooks out every six to eight weeks.  Jessie’s will likely be later in the year in coordination with other publications.  Next month, we should have a more solid schedule. 

Thanks to everyone who submitted and/or continues to support our poets and their work.

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Saturday, December 15, 2018

December 2018 Update

We’re mostly through the manuscripts for first-reads and we anticipate notifying finalists this week.  Very few of those not chosen as finalists will be notified, so please check back here in a week or so if you haven’t heard anything. 

Going through the finalists’ manuscripts will likely carry into the New Year (but not too far).  I’m a little afraid we’ll be accepting more manuscripts than planned, ultimately, because we received a lot of quality work.

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All the Twists of the Tongue

Like many creative writing undergrads, I got a fair amount of poetic inspiration from Sylvia Plath. Arguably, too much.  And when I left college, her work was one of only a couple things I continued studying (the other being the American Civil War, but that’s another story).  Anyone with a passing knowledge of Plath knows what a shit her husband (Ted Hughes) was and that, besides her suicide, the biggest tragedy was that control over her work went to Hughes and his sister.  He edited her final collection of poems, Ariel, and her journals.  In publishing the latter, Hughes removed some passages he didn’t think were fit for public consumption; many painted him in a bad light.

Cathleen Conway has crafted a collection of found poems using these removed fragments as source material. All the Twists of the Tongue is a masterful work that shapes the voice of Plath into something else . . . familiar but different.  Being Plath-based, the poems include a healthy dose of darkness, but there’s a winking lightness when the poems brush against the mythology.  Like in “Bildungsroman” . . . “I know about / the pirated Sylvia.  Ego and Narcissus.  I resent pirated Sylvia.”  Lovely.

From “Falcon Yard”:

“It is a narrow-minded way of looking at things:
ugly raised wrist-scars, no false notes.

So nasty and cruel and calculated—
how he praised this in me.

I was guilty of an indiscretion…
what a fool one is to sincerely love.”

You can order a copy (or copies) on the Titles page.  Cat ordered extra copies to distribute in the U.K., but there are international-shipping options (with separate prices) in you need to order here.  In either case, do yourself a favor.


As we sink deeper / sail further into the Holiday season, we’re making our way through the manuscripts received during the open reading period that closed earlier this month.  Had I not left my laptop charging cable at home when we were out of town for Thanksgiving, I’d be a lot further along.  Early indications are we have a really good mix of interesting work. 

While we wade through manuscripts, we’re preparing to release Cathleen Conway’s All the Twists of the Tongue, which is a collection of found poems sourced from material Ted Hughes edited out of Sylvia Plath’s journals prior to publication.  It’s awesome.  And this chapbook marks the first time we’ve used a professional printer (in testing some cover options), so if you order a copy, maybe you’ll receive one of those.  The release will be Friday (night, if we’re being honest).


The 2018/2019 chapbook season open reading starts just after Halloween. . . officially midnight (00:00 November 1).  Here are the guidelines.
—One entry per person.  No reading fee.
—Manuscripts will be read as “blindly” as possible, so please take your name off the title page.
—Manuscripts should have between 16 and 24 pages of poems.
—Email submissions to greybookpress (at) gmail (dot) com.  Subject line: “SUBMISSION - [LAST NAME] - [TITLE]”
—If you’ve had a chapbook published by GBP, you’re not excluded this time.  But if there are multiple GBP veterans among the “finalists,” only one will be considered for publication.
—Send submissions until 11:59 p.m. on November 14, 2018.
—Notifications before the New Year.
—There will be at least one “winner” and one “runner up.”  The “winner” will receive an open-ended publication with 25 author copies.  The other accepted manuscript(s) could be limited editions of 50 (in which case, 15 author copies).

In selecting chapbooks for publication, we usually aim for “range” in making multiple acceptances.  For instance, the favorite/best/most resonant chapbook will be the “winner,” and other selected manuscripts will be . . . different (from the “winning” chapbook and one another). 

If you have any questions not answered/addressed above, let us know at the email listed above.

Good luck!


I trust everyone is getting ready for Halloween / Samhain / All Saints’ Day / Day of the Dead.  Besides stockpiling booze and costume supplies, consider where you’re going to send that poetry chapbook manuscript.  Because just after we wrap up Halloween, the two-week window will open for chapbook manuscripts.  Details will be posted here in a couple days. 

We’ve been hard at work on prepping a chapbook from Cathleen Allyn Conway that will be coming out next month (around the time the open reading period closes).  In addition, we’ve secured a chapbook from Nava Fader and we’re looking at one or two others.  The publication schedule will start taking shape soon, and will include anything accepted from the open reading. 

See you soon!  Stay tuned!