The Cathy Smith Bowers Chapbook Contest

The Cathy Smith Bowers Chapbook Contest


Dear Friends,

Apologies, but we have decided to discontinue this contest due to a dwindling number of people entering. We are very proud of the books we published through this contest, but the simple fact is: there are hundreds of contests of this type out there competing for entries. Some of those places have sponsors and grant money available to them. We do not, but we still are happy to read and publish good manuscripts and poets are welcome to submit them to us through the link below. We consider poetry manuscripts year-round.


M. Scott Douglass
Publisher/Managing Editor
Main Street Rag Publishing Company

Detailed Submission Guidelines:

  • Manuscript should begin with a cover sheet including title of manuscript, author’s name and complete contact information (including email address and phone number).
  • Please use US letter size paper (8.5 X 11) and do not include images.
  • Notes of explanation for contents, quotes or source material are acceptable at the back of the collection.
  • Page numbering is helpful, appreciated, but not necessary.
  • Table of Contents is also not necessary, but appreciated.
  • Additional details for submission formatting on the Submittables page.


Any questions should be directed to:


Previous Winners:

2020 — Marrying Maracuyá by Sara Ries, St. Petersburg, FL

2019 — When I Hold You Up to the Light by Doralee Brooks, Bridgeville, PA

2018 — Mortality, with Pronoun Shifts by Don Colburn, Portland, OR

2017 — Summer Job by John Stupp, Sewickley, PA

2016 — Good Housekeeping by Jason Gebhardt, Washington, DC


Contest Recommendations

Email Submission Instructions

Main Street Rag does allow for email submissions, but the guidelines for file preparation are specific. They are designed to level the playing field for those who are not as adept in file preparation and unfamiliar with unintended changes in formatting that can occur when a WORD file is moved from one computer to another. They are for author benefit since we will not adjust the files we receive. So, please read them carefully before choosing this option and give yourself enough time to prepare the file as close to instructions as possible.

Guidelines for email submissions

Reading Fee for Cathy Smith Bowers Chapbook Contest:

(Please ONLY pay online if you intend to enter an electronic attachment. Printed hardcopy entries should pay by check.)