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Contests

The Peseroff Prize Poetry Contest

 

  • Submissions window: March 1—May 1

  • Prize: $1000 and publication in our next forthcoming issue

  • Fee: $10

“Whenever something new develops in poetry, many will argue, ‘That’s not poetry.’ Think of the reception of William Carlos Williams . . . spoken word poets, poets who incorporate graphics, poets who write in code so robots can read them. It’s all poetry.” –Joyce Peseroff

The Peseroff Prize honors Joyce Peseroff’s work as a poet, teacher, editor, innovator, and mentor. She helped found the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Massachusetts Boston, served as its first director, and retired from teaching in 2014.

 

Submit up to three poems and a $10 entry fee. There are no restrictions on content or form: “it’s all poetry.” Poems should be previously unpublished. All entries will be considered for publication. We accept simultaneous submissions, but please notify Breakwater if submission is accepted elsewhere. 

 

2022 FINALIST JUDGE: torrin a. greathouse

Winner and Finalists will be published in our next forthcoming issue.

Please do not submit your work if you are associated with the MFA program at the University of Massachusetts, Boston or the Finalist Judge.

The Breakwater Fiction Contest

 

  • Submissions: October 1, 2022 - December 1, 2022

  • Prize: $1000 and publication in our next forthcoming issue

  • Fee: $10

We are seeking submissions for pieces that breathe freshness to the form. We are interested in previously unpublished prose ranging from 1,000 - 4,000 words, each with a $10 entry fee. All entries will be considered for publication. We accept simultaneous submissions, but please notify Breakwater if submission is accepted elsewhere.​

 

2023 FINALIST JUDGE: Camille Bordas

 

Winner and Finalists will be published in Issue 33.

 

Please do not submit your work if you are associated with the MFA program at the University of Massachusetts, Boston or the Finalist Judge.

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Recent Winners

2021

Breakwater Fiction Contest

 

Winner:

Christopher Berardino, Dog Bait, selected by Porochista Khakpour

         

Finalists:

Hanna Mahon, One Person Tent

Katherine Gutierrez, Handover Notes

Brenda Salinas Baker, Dearly Domesticated​

The Peseroff Prize in Poetry

Winner:

Josh Cake, I am tired of being pizza, selected by Chen Chen

         

Runner-up:

Saleem Penny, the haints of the Jesús María visit their insurance agent...

           

Finalists:

S. Erin Batiste, Notes from Workshop: An Abecedarian

Ashley Dailey, Mismemory

Justin Davis, Ghazal for a Mid-2000s Snap Rapper

Jo Angela Edwins, Ecdysis

Stephanie Niu, Garbage Boogie

Connor Simons, a hospice erasure

tae min suh, Late August in Galveston, Texas

2020

Breakwater Fiction Contest

 

Winner:

Melissa Bowers, The Acquittal, selected by Susanna Kaysen

         

Finalists:

Krystal Song, Security

G.M. Monks, To Help You Experience My Feelings

The Peseroff Prize in Poetry

Winner:

Tarik Dobbs, Anti-Drone Niqab Made From Silver, selected by Oliver Baez Bendorf

Finalists:

Jose Luis Pablo, Ghazal for a Queer Boy's Hands

Monica Ong, Shooting Stars

Karah Kemmerly, once I was weightless

Elana Lev Friedland, Your Internet connection is unstable

Alex Chertok, Speech to Text

Sara Elkamel, The Book of Two Experiences