Book News

Contest :: Kallisto Gaia Press Extends Prize Deadlines

cover of Impossible Naked Life by Luke Rolfes

$1200 Prize Each! Fiction & Poetry Prize Deadlines Extended through 1/24/22!

Extended Deadline: January 24, 2022
Extended deadlines for the Acacia Fiction Prize and Saguaro Poetry Prize! Each winner receives $1,200 and publication + 20 copies. Fiction Judge is Gabino Iglesias. Poetry Judge is Wendy Barnes. Send us your polished manuscripts. See our website for full details.

Contest :: January 15 Deadline to Enter Inaugural Emma Howell Rising Poet Prize

drawing of a heron standing on one leg with willow springs books written to the right of it

Deadline: January 15, 2022
The contest is in honor of Emma Howell who was born in Portland, Oregon, and died in 2001, at the age of twenty. She left behind a single volume of poetry: Slim Night of Recognition. This prize is an effort to promote the publication of young poets, to honor Emma’s memory, as well as honor the time and effort her father, Christopher Howell, former Director of Willow Springs Books, has put into our press. Prize: $2,000 + manuscript publication. Eligibility: Poets 35 years old and younger who have not yet published a book-length poetry manuscript. Submit:

Shadow & Light in Samuel Martin’s Newest Novel

Guest Post by Elizabeth Genovise.

Samuel Thomas Martin, author of This Ramshackle Tabernacle and A Blessed Snarl, has produced a third work of high-caliber fiction: When the Dead are Razed, published by Slant Books. With the mesmerizing setting of urban Newfoundland as its backdrop, the novel follows the perilous adventures of Teffy Byrne, a woman determined not to raze the dead, but rather to seek justice on their behalf.

Long-interred mendacities, deeply troubled faith, and the constant threat of catastrophe keep the strings tight and ringing throughout the entire narrative as Teffy strives to solve the mystery of a young woman’s murder. There is both shadow and light in these characters and in the novel itself, with moments like these speaking to us from someplace raw and real and painfully recognizable:  “She hears a creak and spins, searches the tear-smudged room, but there’s no one there. Not a soul. Only her. Her and the goddamn wind. ‘And you!’ she turns on Christ. ‘Why is it that we ask and ask and ask and you do nothing? You do nothing! Not for me or Fin or Ger. Not for any of us! Who are you!?’ she screams. ‘Who are you to shuck off being God!'”

Martin’s novel is a wild ride, but its sensational plot does not undercut its exploration of critical ideas, specifically the necessity of memory, truth, and justice.

When the Dead are Razed by Samuel Thomas Martin. Slant Books, September 2021.

Reviewer bio: Elizabeth Genovise is an MFA graduate from McNeese State University and the author of three short story collections, the most recent being Posing Nude for the Saints from the Texas Review Press.

December 2021 eLitPak :: NIEA Now Open for Entries

Screenshot of NIEA's flier for the NewPages December 2021 eLitPak Newsletter
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Deadline: March 31, 2022
The 16th Annual National Indie Excellence® Awards (NIEA) are open to all English language printed books available for sale, including small presses, mid-size independent publishers, university presses, and self-published authors. NIEA is proud to be a champion of self-publishing and small independent presses going the extra mile to produce books of excellence in every aspect.

View the full December 2021 eLitPak Newsletter.

December 2021 eLitPak :: Still Time to Enter Tartt First Fiction Award

Screenshot of Livingston Press September, October, November, December 2021 flier for the NewPages eLitPak
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This year’s co-winners were Judy Juanita of Oakland, CA. and Schuyler Dickson of Houlka, MS. Their respective books will come out in June. Don’t forget the deadline for the new contest is December 31. Please see our website for full submission details and to see our forthcoming books, also. Credit cards accepted for all book purchases.

View the full December 2021 eLitPak Newsletter.

A Totally Fine Flash Collection

Book Review by Katy Haas.

Zac Smith wants you to know that everything is totally fine. Or maybe it’s totally fucked. Or maybe it’s totally normal. Or maybe it’s somehow all three at once. Forthcoming Everything Is Totally Fine is a collection of flash fiction presented in three sections: “Everything is Totally Fucked, “Everything is Totally Fine,” and “Everything is Normal Life.” The stories are a little zany, a little bit off-kilter, which makes every page fun and unexpected. But there is one thing a reader can come to expect after reading a few of these little stories: things are maybe not okay, despite the narrators’ wishes to repeat how totally fine it all is.

The narrator of “Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts Frosted S’mores Pastries 2ct” wants to “explore new ways of feeling like shit” and ends up “feeling like shit in the wrong way, or feeling like the wrong kind of shit.” The man in “Giving Up Requires Agency in a Way that Feels Like It Shouldn’t by Virtue of Being the Act of Giving Up,” leaves the piece feeling “miserable in a deep, ominous way.” Even the titular octopus of “The Octopus” “felt unhappy and didn’t know what would make it happy. It reasoned possibly nothing could.”

Maybe it’s the shorter, colder days, or the approach of year three of a global pandemic, or reflections on society and climate change and politics and on and on and on that makes these hopeless stories so enjoyable and relatable despite the pitiful and off-the-wall circumstances. Maybe it’s the mix of seriousness and silliness that is everyday, normal life, or the vague notion that none of it matters, not really. Whatever it is, Zac Smith’s figured it out in this fun, fucked, fine collection.

Everything is Totally Fine by Zac Smith. Muumuu House, January 2022.

Contest :: 1 Month Left to Submit to Rattle’s 2022 Chapbook Prize

Screenshot of Rattle's flier for the NewPages Fall 2021 LitPak
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Deadline: January 15, 2021
The 2022 Rattle Chapbook Prize offers three winners $5,000 for a chapbook (up to 36 pages), plus 500 author copies, and distribution to Rattle’s 8,000+ subscribers. Entry fee of $25 includes a 1-year subscription to the magazine. For complete guidelines and to read past winners, visit our website:

Call :: An Attentive, Organized, & Professional Publisher

atmosphere press logo

Deadline: Rolling
Atmosphere Press currently seeks book manuscripts from diverse voices. There’s no submission fee, and if your manuscript is selected, we’ll be the publisher you’ve always wanted: attentive, organized, on schedule, and professional. We use a model in which the author funds the publication of the book, but retains 100% rights, royalties, and artistic autonomy. This year Atmosphere authors have received featured reviews with Publishers WeeklyKirkus, and Booklist, and have even appeared on a giant billboard in Times Square. Submit your book manuscript at

A Homey Little Book

Guest Post by Petra Mucnjak.

This novel begins with a young girl named Emily Benedict returning to the small town of Mullaby, where her mother had grown up and her grandfather still resides. Although her grandfather’s demeanor appears to be somewhat aloof, her grandfather welcomes Emily home, generously offering her the choice of picking one of his many empty spare rooms as her bedroom. Naturally, the girl chooses her mother’s former room and soon realizes that it possesses an extraordinary air to it. Then there is the issue of the mysterious lights which have the habit of appearing over the lake at night . . .

The Girl Who Chased The Moon is the first book I have read by Sarah Addison Allen and, expecting a syrupy family-reconciliation-romance novel, I was delightfully surprised upon encountering a humorous, warm, humane tale about family, friends, and how being haunted by the ghosts of the past doesn’t necessarily have to mean havoc. Miss Allen’s writing is very poetic, her words luring the reader into her small American town with no more or less than the charm of a siren. Sentences like “The air outside was tomato-sweet and hickory-smokey, all at once delicious and strange,” brought me into the center of this wonderful atmosphere, making my senses hum.

Continue reading “A Homey Little Book”

Contest :: The Annual Memoir Prize for Books

Memoir Prize for Books

Deadline: December 31, 2021
The second annual Memoir Prize awards Memoir and Creative Nonfiction book-length works of exceptional merit in the categories of traditional, self-published, and previously unpublished prose. Submit your full-length memoir on any subject matter for a chance to win cash and a feature in Memoir Magazine. The only contest of its kind dedicated exclusively to the Memoir genre accepts full-length books of memoir or narrative creative nonfiction, essay collections, or graphic narratives for consideration. No restrictions on length, type of publisher, or year of publication. Extended Deadline: December 31, 2021. Enter at