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Questions about Judging for the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award and Open Competition

How are the competitions screened?

The series editor screens every entry. The entries are read over and over again until the series editor arrives at a group of finalist manuscripts to send an outside judge for the selection of the winning collection or collections. There is no artificial number of finalists set before the entries arrive—the finalist manuscripts are all of the entries the series editor feels are ready to be published and would make fine additions to the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry.

How are author information, cover letters, biographical notes, and acknowledgments handled?

All of the above materials are removed from the manuscripts when the entries are processed. The finalist manuscripts are sent to the final judge free of all such materials.

The Crab Orchard Series in Poetry competitions DO NOT claim to be screened or judged blind since the manuscripts entered may include some or all previously published poems. We want the persons screening and judging our competitions to be avid readers of contemporary poetry and expect their experience as readers to be an integral part of their knowledge of poetry.

How is the final judge selected?

Final judges for the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry competitions are accomplished poets. Our past judges include Michelle Boisseau, Ralph Burns, Richard Cecil, Chad Davidson, James Harms, Cynthia Huntington, Rodney Jones, Judy Jordan, Allison Joseph, Julia Kasdorf, Yusef Komunyakaa, Dorianne Laux, Leslie Adrienne Miller, Ricardo Pau-Llosa, Lucia Perillo, Lee Ann Roripaugh, Tim Seibles, Jason Sommer, Cathy Song, Maura Stanton, Natasha Trethewey, Michael Waters, David Wojahn, and Jake Adam York.

Beginning with the 2009 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry competitions, the final judge will be selected and announced before the submission period opens for each competition. Current or former students, colleagues, and close friends of the final judge, and current and former students and employees of Southern Illinois University Carbondale and authors who have published a book with Southern Illinois University Press or have a book under contract with Southern Illinois University Press are not eligible to enter either competition.

Since people often wonder if they are too close to the final judge to submit a manuscript I would offer this advice from Four Way Books:

"Please do not submit to this contest if you are close enough to the judge that [the judge's] integrity, your integrity, and the integrity of the press would be called into question should you be selected as the winner."

This seems a very good rule of thumb to me.

Finally, entrants are not to contact the final judge under any circumstances. All questions should be directed to Jon Tribble, Series Editor of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry.

What happens if the judge decides not to select a winner or winners?

If for any reason a final judge is unable to select a winner or winners from the finalist manuscripts, the series editor will make the selection or selections.

The Crab Orchard Series in Poetry (through Southern Illinois University Press) will ALWAYS PUBLISH the winner or winners of our competitions and award the promised prizes OR ALL ENTRY FEES WILL BE REFUNDED.

Please contact Jon Tribble, Series Editor of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry, with any other questions.

 

 

The Crab Orchard Series in Poetry

published by Southern Illinois University Press

copublished by Crab Orchard Review

Jon Tribble, Series Editor

 

CRAB ORCHARD SERIES IN POETRY TITLES FROM SIU PRESS:

Year
Author
Title
2013 First Book Award see guidelines Submit 5/10-7/8/2013
2013 Open Competition Award see guidelines Submit 10/1 - 11/17/2012
2013 Open Competition Award see guidelines Submit 10/1 - 11/17/2012
2012 Editor's Selection Chad Davidson From the Fire Hills
2012 First Book Award Tarfia Faizullah Seam
2012 Open Competition Award Jeffrey Skinner Glaciology
2012 Open Competition Award Jason So