Small Axe Literary Competition

The Small Axe Project has initiated an annual literary competition to encourage the production and publication of Caribbean fiction and poetry. The Small Axe Literary Competition will focus on poetry and short stories from emerging writers whose work centers on regional and diasporic Caribbean themes and concerns. This competition is part of the Small Axe Project’s ongoing commitment to Caribbean cultural production and our mission to provide a forum for innovative critical and creative explorations of Caribbean reality. With this competition, we hope to encourage and support the region’s rich literary heritage, in the tradition of precursors such as Bim, Kyk-over-al, Focus and Savacou.

The competition will consist of two categories: poetry and short fiction. Two winners will be chosen from each category. Winners will be chosen by a distinguished panel of judges. For the 2009 competition the judges for poetry were Edward Baugh, Lorna Goodison, and Mark McWatt; and for short fiction, Garfield Ellis, Geoffrey Philp, and Merle Collins.

First Prize: $750     Second Prize: $500

Winners of the 2010 competition will be published in Small Axe 35 (July 2011).

Submission deadline: April 30, 2010

Writers wishing to compete for a Small Axe Literary Prize must submit the following to

  • A double-spaced Word document containing: an original, unpublished short story (maximum 7,000 words), or an original selection of poetry (maximum ten poems, not exceeding ten manuscript pages). Submissions must be blind.
  • A separate document with a one-page biography, including previously published works and full contact information (name, email address, mailing address and phone)

More information available at:

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