LIFT now on the Kindle

Lift is Rebecca K. O’Connor’s memoir of a career in falconry. We are pleased to announce that it is now available through the Kindle Store for a mere $9.99, here. To celebrate the release of the Kindle version, Rebecca has compiled a collection of complementary essays, short stories, and poetry: Rise, also available as an E-Book for just 99¢, here. Inspired by Lift, Rise further examines life in the shadow of a raptor’s wings.

As a special promotion, Rebecca will give a free copy of Rise to anyone who can answer the following question: “In Lift, Rebecca K. O’Connor’s fascination with falconry started when she was 8 years old and a falconer’s lost peregrine landed on her roof. Who did she later discover that falcon belonged to?” Email all answers to rebecca@blueskywriting.com.

If you’d like an old fashioned paper copy, we have those too, here.


Winner of the 2010 Benjamin Saltman Award.

Howdy Pilgrims. It’s been a few months since we announced the winners of the 2010 Awards, which means deadlines for the 2011 season are coming up soon. You can find all the information you need to submit on our website, or you can find it right here in this post. Details on the individual awards are first, followed by general information on guidelines and procedures. The first deadline is a little more than a month away: entries for the Short Story Award must be postmarked by June 30th. We look forward to seeing everyone’s work!

Red Hen Press Short Story Award

For publication in the Los Angeles Review
$1000 Award
Deadline: June 30, 2011
Final Judge: Rob Roberge

Established in 2001, in celebration of the new century and a new tradition of literature, this award is for an original short story with a maximum of 25 pages. Submission is open to all writers and themes. This year’s judge is Rob Roberge.

Award is $1000 and publication of the awarded story by Red Hen Press in the Los Angeles Review. Entry fee is $20 for two stories, 25 page limit per story. Please include your name on the cover sheet only. Send SASE for notification. Entries must be postmarked by June 30.

Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award

Book Award
$3000 Award
Deadline: August 31, 2011
Final Judge: David Mason

Established in 1998, in honor of the poet Benjamin Saltman (1927-1999), this award is for a previously unpublished original collection of poetry. Awarded collection is selected through an annual competition which is open to all poets. This year’s final judge will be David Mason.

Award is $3000 and publication of the awarded collection by Red Hen Press. Entry fee is $25.00. Name on cover sheet only, 48 page minimum. Send SASE for notification. Entries must be postmarked by August 31.

Ruskin Art Club Poetry Award

For publication in the Los Angeles Review
$1000 Award
Deadline: September 30, 2011
Final Judge: Elena Karina Byrne

Established in 2003, the Ruskin Art Club Poetry Award is for an unpublished poem. Awarded poem is selected through an annual submission process which is open to all poets. This year’s final judge is Elena Karina Byrne .

Award is $1000 and publication of the awarded poem in the Los Angeles Review published by Red Hen Press. Entry fee $20 for up to 3 poems, maximum 120 lines each. Name on cover sheet only. Send SASE for notification. Entries must be postmarked by September 30.


Eligibility: The award is open to all writers with the following exceptions:

A) Authors who have had a full length work published by Red Hen Press, or a full length work currently under consideration by Red Hen Press;
B) Employees, interns, or contractors of Red Hen Press;
C) Relatives of employees or members of the executive board of directors;
D) Relatives or individuals having a personal or professional relationship with any of the final judges where they have taken any part whatsoever in shaping the manuscript, or where, for whatever reason, selecting a particular manuscript might have the appearance of impropriety.

Procedures and Ethical Considerations

To be certain that every manuscript finalist receives the fairest evaluation, all manuscripts shall be submitted to the judges without any identifying material.

Bios, acknowledgments, and other identifying material shall be removed from judged manuscripts until the conclusion of the competition.

Red Hen Press shall not use students or interns as readers at any stage of its competitions.

Red Hen Press is committed to maintaining the utmost integrity of our awards. Judges shall recuse themselves from considering any manuscript where they recognize the work. In the event of recusal, a manuscript score previously assigned by the managing editor of the press will be substituted.

Please submit materials to:

Attn: _________Award
Red Hen Press
P.O. Box 40820
Pasadena, CA 91114

Red Hen Press will only accept submissions that have been mailed to the above address; please no email attachments or faxes.

National Poetry Month has come and gone, as it does every year. It’s a fairly new phenomenon, the National [Art Form] Month; National Poetry Month only dates from the mid 90s. National Short Story Month is even newer—it turns five years old next year. It doesn’t really feel like a thing yet, the way National Poetry Month does. Still, the kids like it, and so to celebrate, we’re offering 25% off on nearly all of our short story collections, for the rest of the month, when ordered through the Red Hen website. Just use promo code RHPSSM11 at the checkout screen. For example, click here to visit the page for Working Backwards from the Worst Moment of My Life. Clicking “BUY IT NOW” will add it to your Shopping Cart. Once you’ve added everything you want to your shopping cart, enter the promo code in the text field next to the “Checkout” button, click it, and voila! A full 25% off all the short story titles in your order.

Here are just a few of the books this discount applies to:

The Girl with Two Left Breasts, by D.V. Glenn
My Life in Clothes
, by Summer Brenner
Working Backwards from the Worst Moment of My Life
, by Rob Roberge
Sacred Misfits
, by Mark Blickley
Necessary Deaths
, by Geoffrey Clark
Anyone is Possible
, edited by Mark E. Cull and Kate Gale
Blue Cathedral
, edited by Mark E. Cull and Kate Gale
Man Receives a Letter
, by Peter Gordon
Silicon Valley Diet and Other Stories
, by Richard Grayson
A Patrimony of Fishes
, by Doug Lawson
Oh, Don’t Ask Why
, by Dennis Must
About Face
, by Cecile Rossant
Motel Girl
, by Greg Sanders

…in fact, that’s all the books this discount applies to. Happy reading!


First things first: congratulations to Camille Dungy, whose Suck on the Marrow has won the Northern California Book Award! The other finalists were Matthew Zapruder for Come on All You Ghosts, Andrew Joron for Trance Archive: New and Selected Poems, Richard O. Moore for Writing the Silences, Melissa Stein for Rough Honey, and Brian Teare for Pleasure—some tough competition, if we do say so ourselves. Suck on the Marrow is also a finalist for the California Book Award—the only book to be nominated for both.

On to more commercial matters. In honor of National Poetry Month, we’re offering a (belated) discount: 25% off on all poetry titles ordered through Red Hen’s website in the month of April. Just use promo code RHPNPM11 at the checkout screen. For example, click here to visit the  page for Suck on the Marrow. Clicking “BUY IT NOW” will add it to your Shopping Cart. Once you’ve added everything you want to your shopping cart, enter the promo code in the text field next to the “Checkout” button, click it, and voila! A full 25% off all the poetry titles in your order.

And last but not least: our Fall 2011 Catalog is nearly finished. We sent it to the printer last week, and proofs arrived this very day. Hard copies will be ready in a few weeks, but the digital version is already rearing to go. Click here to have a look. Or, just look down.

Claudia Rankine, judge of the 2010 Benjamin Saltman Award.

We are pleased to announce the 2010 winners of Red Hen’s annual awards!

The winner of the Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award is Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, for her manuscript But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise, which will be published in March of 2012 by Red Hen Press. Honorable mentions go to Rickey Laurentiis for “One Country”, and to Peg Peoples for “Stammer.” The award was judged by Claudia Rankine.

The winner of the Red Hen Press Short Story Award is Sarah Faulkner, for her story “American Heartbreaker,” which will be published in the next issue of the Los Angeles Review. Honorable mention goes to Paul Luikart, for his story “Fortune Teller.” The award was judged by Dylan Landis.

The winner of the Ruskin Art Club Poetry Award is Nicholas Gulig, for his poem “Lowland.” Honorable mentions go to July Cole for “Time When the Birds Turn Silver” and to Ezra Dan Feldman for “Three Scenes from the Ankle Down.” The award was judged by Elena Karina Byrne.

Thanks to everyone who submitted. Click here for submission guidelines for this year’s awards, which will be judged by David Mason, Rob Roberge, and Elena Karina Byrne. The first deadline is coming up fast: June 30th, for the Short Story Award.


Red Hen’s New York reading series kicks off tomorrow with readings beginning at the Bowery Club tomorrow night, and running into Saturday, when we present readings from Red Hen authors Jim Tilley and Kate Coles, and special guest Billy Collins!

Details below:

William Trowbridge, author of the recently released Ship of Fool, told us at AWP about an idea he’s been kicking around for years, an idea he calls “Finalist Press.” We like this idea. So much, in fact, that we’re publishing here a little essay he wrote about the subject. We could tell you more, but Bill will tell you better. Enjoy.


by William Trowbridge

A Modest Proposal for Preventing Certain American Poets from Being a Burden to their Families and Country and for Making Finalist Notifications Beneficial and which Does Not Necessitate Anyone Being Eaten.

Here comes another one: a too-thin letter from the press that sent you an earlier letter saying your manuscript was a finalist for their annual prize. Depending on the contest, that means you were anywhere from in the top 50 or so to the top 3. This follow-up letter often includes the irksome implication that, but for the sensibility of the famous poet who was the judge, you would have won. But you lost. Again. So what does that finalist notification letter, which declared your manuscript better than nearly all the 200 to 1500 other entries, finally get you? Doodely-squat, that’s what. Till now. Now, it’s another step toward certain publication, complete with the endorsement of not one famous poet but a chorus of them singing of your choice virtues cheek to cheek.

S&H Greenstamps.

Remember S&H Green Stamps? You got them with your groceries. The more groceries you bought, the more Green Stamps the store gave you to paste in your official booklet. When all the pages were filled, it could be exchanged for certain merchandise, say a set of plastic coasters. The more booklets you filled, the better the merchandise you were entitled to. Twenty-five might get you a ceiling fan or a microwave. Some of us wondered if, say, a thousand could you get you a new Chevvy. In any case, those little stamps made the stores happy, the Green Stamp people happy, the food producers happy, and the shoppers  happy. A win-win solution to the fourth power.

Hence Finalist Press, which turns those finals letters of yours into gold—stamps, that is. It’s easy. You pay us a fee, maybe $50, for our official booklet containing 10 blank pages. Each time you receive a letter announcing you made the finals, you paste it in the booklet. When you fill your booklet, you send it, along with your manuscript, to us and, after authentication, we publish your book. Automatically. We won’t even read it, since so many highly qualified and approving people already have. Who are we to dispute their judgment? Maybe we’ll get around to reading it after it’s published. But if we don’t like it then, that’s too bad for us, not you.

William Trowbridge, Innovator.

Think of the time, money, and aggravation saved. No big checks to those judges, no suspicions that selection was made on the basis of friendship or connections, no contest ad expenses, no staff expenses for all the manuscript reading, no handling tons of submissions, no wait for a decision, no rejection

letters (which often contain paragraphs “hoping” the loser will submit again next year and which go even to the people whose manuscripts nobody would ever publish). And no finalist letters. Every submission wins. Everybody benefits, even the judges, whose opinions are made weightier by the near-agreement of the other judges.

And what about those judges? The people who won the contests found favor with only one. You’d have the endorsement of 10. Some may object that none of the 10 picked you as a winner. But remember those now-not-so-maddening implications that the second-place manuscript—or the 10th-place one, for that matter—might well be as objectively “good” as the first place one. Makes those contest wins look pretty molehilly, doesn’t it?

And it’s easy enough to glean blurbs from all those judges’ comments about the quality of their particular contest’s submissions: “Exceptional,” “Immensely talented,” “Such a range.”

But how will we market these books? Simple: we won’t. That’s always been the poet’s job. Miller Williams, founder and former director of one of the nation’s best university presses, has said that only one thing sells poetry books and it’s not good reviews or expensive ads. It’s the poet hitting the bricks to sell the books at readings. And wouldn’t you be willing to hit the bricks for Finalist Press, who rescued you from the throes of perpetual nice try? And by giving us that 60% of sales regular publishers get when authors sell their own books, you’ll help pay our bills, which will help open the door to publication for another decafinalist. Can Finalist Press ever make a profit or even break even? Of course not, which will put us in the same tub with almost all the other poetry publishers.

So step aside, mere winners: the finalists are coming through!