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the ihlr chapbook



For the 2023 Chapbook Competition, we will select a winning collection of poetry. Manuscripts should be 28 - 36 pages with each poem starting on a new page. The winning manuscript will be published in the Fall of 2023 as a separate issue (Volume 25.3). Full-color cover art will reflect the collection’s content and emphasize its title, not the name of Iron Horse. The published chapbook will look like the single-author book that it is. The winner also receives a $1,000 honorarium and 15 copies.




  • Entries must be between 28 and 36 manuscript pages, with each poem starting on a new page. 

  • Manuscripts must be typed, with one-inch margins, 12-point font. 

  • While individual portions of the chapbook may have been published elsewhere, the chapbook as a whole must be previously unpublished. 

  • The author’s name and contact information must appear on the Submittable form, but it must NOT appear anywhere on the manuscript. There should be no footers or headers containing the author's identity. And no bio page. Manuscripts with biographical information will be disqualified. 

  • Do not include acknowledgments of previous publications. Manuscripts including an acknowledgments page will be disqualified. 

  • Pages must be numbered. 

  • We only accept electronic manuscripts, submitted as ONE pdf file, with the entire chapbook in that single file. Do NOT submit poems in individual files. 

  • The $18 entry fee includes a one year's subscription to IHLR. 

free submit day

We will accept 25 free submissions on March 1, 2023. On that day, we will open a special gate, revealed on our social media pages (connect with us below) and here on our website. We will accept only one free submission per person (automatically disqualifying subsequent free submission attempts). Once we hit 25 submissions in the free gate, we will close it. Free submissions will not receive a subscription. We offer this opportunity in the hopes of targeting writers who cannot afford to enter otherwise. If you can afford to enter, please do not take one of the 25 available free slots.


January 15, 2023 to March 15, 2023: Submit here.

To submit on March 1 for free (with no subscription): We will post the link here on March 1.


We'll announce finalists and the winner here, the finalists in late spring, the winner during the summer.

2022 semi-finalists

Robert Barham, Jars of Daybreak (nf)

Maryah Converse, Consequences (nf)

Jackie Craven, Featherfall (f)

Michael Horton, If Everything Would Just Stand Still (f)

Jill McCabe Johnson, Dead Reckoning (nf)

Matt Knutson, In the Hills

Christine Kwon, The Lady of Cut Flowers (f)

Saul Lemerond, What Was Black Dots Is Now People (f)

Wendy Oleson, To Suture; To Bind (f)

Marc Sheehan, The Birth of Exurbia (f)

Alan Sincic, Portable Glory (f)

2022 finalists

Shuly Xóchitl Cawood, Having It Out with Love (nf)

Dustin Hoffman, A Sky So Sharp (f)

Ingrid Keenan, Smile: Five Stories (f)

Erica Plouffe Lazure, Fall of Athens (f)

William Torrey, Freedom of Movement (f)

2022 winner!

Shuly Xóchitl Cawood

previous winners

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