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     Arthur Smith Poetry Prize (2024)

appalachian mountains in north carolina

The Arthur Smith Poetry Prize will open again for submissions on June 1, 2024. We find it hard to believe this will already be our fourth such competition. Read more about the Arthur Smith Poetry Prize.

Accepting Submissions June 1 through September 30, 2024.

Winners will be announced in January 2025

Winning poet receives: a $1,000 advance; a standard royalty contract +10 gratis copies of the book when it is completed.

Finalists will also be considered for future publication.


(opens June 1st!)

2024  Final Judge:

Allison Joseph is a chocolate skinned woman and in this picture she wears a bright pink sleeveless top. she has a gentle close-lipped smile, and wire-rimmed glasses. Her dark hair is pulled back.She sits in a natural setting with an old stone wall behind her.

Allison Joseph directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Southern Illinois University. She serves as poetry editor of Crab Orchard Review, the publisher of No Chair Press, and the director of Writers In Common, a writing conference for writers of all ages and experience levels.

Her poetry collection, Confessions of a Barefaced Woman (Red Hen 2018), was the Gold/First Place Winner in the 2019 Feathered Quill Book Awards poetry category.Her books and chapbooks also include What Keeps Us Here (Ampersand), Soul Train (Carnegie Mellon UP), In Every Seam (University of Pittsburgh Press), Worldly Pleasures (Word Tech Communications), Imitation of Life (Carnegie Mellon UP), Voice: Poems (Mayapple Press), My Father’s Kites (Steel Toe Books), Trace Particles (Backbone Press), Little Epiphanies (NightBallet Press), Mercurial (Mayapple Press), Mortal Rewards (White Violet Press), Multitudes (Word Poetry), The Purpose of Hands (Glass Lyre Press), Double Identity (Singing Bone Press) Corporal Muse (Sibling Rivalry Press) and What Once You Loved (Barefoot Muse Press).

Preliminary Readers:

Shlagha Borah is a woman with Asian features and long dark hair. She wears a spaghetti-string top and a serious expression in this black-and-white photo.

Shlagha Borah (she/her) is from Assam, India. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Cincinnati Review, ANMLY, Salamander, Nashville Review, Florida Review, and elsewhere. She received an MFA in Poetry from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and is an Editorial Assistant at The Offing. She has received support for her work from Brooklyn Poets, SAFTA, The Hambidge Center, The Peter Bullough Foundation, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She co-founded Pink Freud, a student-led collective working towards making mental health accessible in India. Find her on Instagram @shlaghab and X @shlaghaborah.

(photo by Rajdeep Kataki)

Edison Jennings lives in Southern Appalachia, working as a Head Start aide and GED tutor. He holds a Virginia Commission for the Arts Fellowship. His poems have appeared in Kenyon Review, Poetry Daily, Rattle, Slate, Southern Review, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere. His book, Intentional Fallacies, is available at Broadstone Books.

(photo from

Competition Guidelines

  • Eligibility: We will be happy to receive work by any poet writing in English. Poems published in print or online periodicals, anthologies, or chapbooks may be included, but the manuscript itself must be unpublished. Original work only; translations are ineligible.
  • Format: Minimum of 48 pages. There is no maximum length, but we expect manuscripts not to be much more than 90 pages. Pages should be numbered with no more than one poem per page. Please include a title page with title only, a table of contents, and an acknowledgments page.
  • Simultaneous Submissions: Simultaneous submissions are acceptable. Please notify Madville Publishing immediately if your manuscript is accepted elsewhere.
  • Multiple Submissions: Submission of more than one manuscript is acceptable, but each manuscript must be submitted separately and include a separate entry fee.
  • International Submissions: We accept international submissions.
  •  Revisions: The winner will have the opportunity to revise the manuscript before publication. No revisions will be considered during the reading period.
  • Entry Fee: $25
  • Deadline: September 30, 2024
  • Winner will be announced January 2025.

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Wild Wind – we know who’s in

Cover for Wild Wind:Poems and Stories Inspired by the Songs of Robert Earl Keen edited by Sandra and Ron cooper with a preface by Willy Braun of Reckless Kelly. The cover shows an abstract, multi-colored painting of a guitar with white lettering superimposed over it.

Wild Wind: Poems and Stories Inspired by the Songs of Robert Earl Keen

edited by Sandra Johnson Cooper and Ron Cooper, with a preface by Willy Braun of Reckless Kelly

Coming November 19, 2024

This anthology of poems and short stories is an homage to Texas singer/song-writer Robert Earl Keen, who stands in the songwriter/storyteller tradition of Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, John Prine, and Keen’s contemporaries Lyle Lovett and James McMurtry. The poems and short stories here are each inspired by Keen’s songs, some expansions of themes of Keen’s songs, others move in creative directions suggested by the characters in his work. Keen’s songs are impressive for their literary sensibility (he was an English major at Texas A&M University) and have influenced many songwriters as well as authors of fiction and poetry.


  • Preface: Willy Braun
  • Poetry: Alan Birkelbach – Rick Campbell – Greg Clary – Andy Coat – Rupert Fike – Carl Freeman – Carol Kraus – karla k. morton – Jeff Newberry – Garrison M. Somers
  • Fiction: Heath Bowen – Michael Cody – Ron Cooper – Sandra Cooper – Patrick Michael Finn – Scott Gould – Donna Wojnar Dzurilla – Bobby Horecka – Patti Meredity
  • Memoir: Kim Davis­­
  • Screenplay: Janna Jones

South Carolina natives Sandra Johnson Cooper and Ron Cooper have lived in Florida since 1988 and have been fans of Robert Earl Keen for nearly as long. They both teach at the College of Central Florida where Sandra specializes in American literature, and Ron specializes in philosophy and world religions.

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London Book Fair 2024

t was 1950’s house wife day. At our booth at the London book fair. Thanks to H.A Stories Lucid house press Madville publishing Micheal Nelson Brandy Miller Jennae Elle Beaugard R.L Merril Abeni Celeste And so many other authors

Six Madville Books went to the London Book Fair

Our friends, Jade and Wilnona, the “And I Thought Ladies,” took six or our recent titles to the London Book Fair this year. These are some of the pictures they sent back. We expect a few more, so check back! We wish we could have joined them. It looks like they had a really great time in our tiny 2 meter by 2 meter booth.

Here is an article we just read that does a great job of describing the experience of the London book Fair. That NYT Piece about LBF??

Madville books on display

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Appalachian Studies Conference

Our Instagram ad to promote the 7 Madville authors who attended the 47th annual Appalachian Studies Conference. They are pictured here in thumbnail, Jim Minick, Linda Parsons, Darnell Arnoult, Pauletta Hansel, Susan O'Dell Underwood, Dana Wildsmith, and Lisa J. Parker

Our Madville poets did a fabulous job of representing us at the 47th Annual Appalachian Studies Conference

The theme was, Beloved Community: Pride in Identity, Culture, and Geography, and the conference took place March 7-9, 2024, at Western Carolina University, in Cullowhee, North Carolina. The Madville poets in attendance were Jim Minick (The Intimacy of Spoons), Linda Parsons (Valediction), Darnell Arnoult (Incantations), Pauletta Hansel (Heartbreak Tree), Susan O’Dell Underwood(Genesis Road and Splinter), and Lisa J. Parker (The Parting Glass and This Gone Place). (Dana Wildsmith (With Access to Tools) couldn’t make it.)

This is the first year we’ve attended this conference, but our poet, Jim Minick had this great idea… After all, we have so many wonderful poets from the region, It makes sense for us to participate in regional conferences. And look how happy they all are!