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Contests

The Peseroff Prize Poetry Contest​

“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.

  • Submissions window: March 1 to May 1, annually

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

  • Fee: $10

  • Submit up to three poems comprised together in one file

  • 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Poems should be previously unpublished.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. 

 

Current Judge: Amanda Shea

Prior judges include:

  • Jake Skeets (2023)

  • torrin a. greathouse (2022)

  • Chen Chen (2021)​

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 to December 1, annually

  • 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 We are interested in previously unpublished prose ranging from 1,000 - 4,000 words, each with a $10 entry fee.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.​ Please do not submit your work if you are associated with the MFA program at the University of Massachusetts, Boston or the Finalist Judge.

Prior judges include:

  • Ron Currie (2023)

  • Camille Bordas (2022)

  • Chloe Aridjis (2021)

  • Porochista Khakpour (2020)

Recent Winners

2023

Breakwater Fiction Contest

 

Winner:

Noor Imaan, Moonspotting, selected by Ron Currie

The Peseroff Prize in Poetry

Winner:

Amanda Dettmann, The Smear, selected by Jake Skeets

2022

Breakwater Fiction Contest

 

Winner:

Justina Elias, Love Bite, selected by Camille Bordas

The Peseroff Prize in Poetry

Winner:

Livia Meneghin, Reply to a COVID-related Reasonable Accommodation Decision Notification Letter, selected by torrin a. greathouse

2021

Breakwater Fiction Contest

 

Winner:

Christopher Berardino, Dog Bait, selected by Porochista Khakpour

The Peseroff Prize in Poetry

Winner:

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

2020

Breakwater Fiction Contest

 

Winner:

Melissa Bowers, The Acquittal, selected by Susanna Kaysen

The Peseroff Prize in Poetry

Winner:

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

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