November 22, 2017

As mentioned previously (here and here), we’re big fans of Container, the category-busting literary/arts project of Jenni B. Baker and Douglas Luman.

For its latest Multitudes project, Container mailed a vintage lunchbox from the 1960s-1980s to seven artists with an intentionally vague directive: transform the object into a work of visual or literary art. The result is the Container Lunchbox Series — seven one-of-a-kind creations, several of which have already been sold.

Container is currently — and only until November 30, 2017 — open for submissions.

Periodically, Container opens to submissions of original poetry, fiction, nonfiction and other text-based work to develop into limited-quantity text objects and artist’s books (think: a poetry manuscript published on a fold out map, a short story printed on a milk carton, a novel rolled into cigars and presented in a cigar box).

Read the guidelines. Go for it.


call for writers

November 16, 2017

The annual collaboration between Chuckanut Sandstone Writers Theater and Bellingham Repertory Dance is now underway, with a call for poems, short stories, and essays that will serve as the inspiration and foundation for dances to be performed April 13, 14, and 15, 2018, at the Western Washington University Fine Arts Gallery. The show: “A Night in the Gallery: Dance, Poetry, and Visual Art” will feature four or five poetry and dance collaborative works.

(Note: If you are unfamiliar with Bellingham Repertory Dance, the troupe will perform “Emerge” on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, November 17, 18, and 19, 2017.)

The call for writing follows. Submissions must be received on or before Wednesday, December 6, 2017. Follow the instructions very closely.

Choreographers in the Company read the written submissions with a fresh perspective. They look for feelings, images, or stories to convey through modern dance. Four to five performance pieces will be chosen and will involve one or more dancers. Works may be read aloud or posted prior to, during, or after the dance. All winning submissions will be presented in a Phrasings 2018 chapbook.

The program is looking for a wide range of poetry and all forms of writing to be selected for:

  • Originality — has not been published or performed previously.
  • Vivid imagery — the content could be personal, pastoral, and/or tactile.
  • Lyrical qualities — gives attention to rhythm and language.

Important note: No writing has ever been selected that refers to dancing or had obvious dance content.

Instructions (follow closely):

  1. To submit: e-mail submissions to on or before Wednesday, December 6, 2017. Use the Subject line: Submission Phrasings 2018.
  2. Submit an attachment of up to 3 poems and/or dialogue, essay, or short story as a pdf or MSWord attachment. Do not put your name on the attachment. Limit submissions to pieces that are 1-2 pages in length. They must be original and not previously performed on stage.
  3. Plus, in the body of the e-mail, please list the titles (or first lines) of the submissions and your name, phone number, street address, and e-mail address. In 75 words or less, write a short introduction that describes you and your degree of openness to how your works might be performed.

Receipt of your submission and outcomes with follow-up details will be sent via e-mail. Please address comments or questions to Carla Shafer at

. . . . .
Photo by Nolan McNally

Perhaps you’ve noticed the Poem Booth on the west side of the Community Food Co-op, next to the community board on Forest Street in downtown Bellingham. Coordinated by Christen Mattix, Summer Starr, and Shannon Laws, the Poem Booth features a poem by a Whatcom County poet. The contest for the next poet is now open.

Here’s the Call for Submissions.
Residents of Whatcom County are invited to submit a poem for display in the POEM BOOTH. The winning poem will be framed and displayed in the booth for three months, from December 1, 2017, to February 28, 2018, and the recipient will receive $25 cash and a $25 gift certificate to the Community Food Co-op.

Poem Submission Guidelines
(Only poems submitted according to these guidelines will be considered.)
Deadline: November 18, 2017, by midnight

  • Submit poems to
  • Format: one page maximum per poem, 12 point font, sent as a Word, PDF or Note attachment via email
  • Do not write your name or other recognizable information on your attached poem!
  • Do not submit your poems to individual jury members.
  • No computer? Submit your typed poem with a title and no other identifying information plus a cover page with the title of the poem, your name, phone and email address. Mail to Poem Booth, c/o Christen Mattix, 1133 Railroad Ave. #218, Bellingham, WA 98225-5059.

The winning poem will be announced on December 1, 2017. Runner-up poems will be posted on the Poem Booth Bellingham blog.

Call for words of resistance

September 23, 2017

Like many communities nationwide, Whatcom County, Washington, has an annual, one-book-together reading and discussion program, known as Whatcom READS. This year’s selection is Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa, a fast-paced story set in Seattle during the 1999 World Trade Organization protests.

In addition to the book, discussions, and readings by the author (in March 2018), writers are invited to read the book and contribute their own words to Whatcom WRITES, a contest and annual print and electronic publication.

This year’s theme is resistance and the deadline for fiction, non-fiction, and poetry submissions is midnight, Tuesday, October 31, 2017. Winning entries will be included in the publication and a selection of authors will be invited to read their work at Village Books Fairhaven on Sunday, February 4, 2018, 2pm, and at Village Books Lynden on Sunday, February 11, 2018, 2pm.

Find the details and a downloadable flyer on the Whatcom WRITES page.

way cool

June 1, 2017

If you’ve been submitting all your poems to local publications, here’s an opportunity to expand your horizons. The Antarctic Poetry Exhibition is now accepting entries “directly or abstractly inspired by the Antarctic.” The exhibition will be held in the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station (dates not yet posted). You may submit up to three poems, which are due by the end of August 2017. See the guidelines on the Antarctic Poetry Exhibition website and additional inspiration on Facebook.

emerging poet?

May 17, 2017

If you live at least six months of the year in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon or Washington; and have yet to publish a book (including chapbooks, eBooks, translations, books in other languages/countries, and self-published works); and have no book forthcoming before October 1, 2017, the Montana Book Festival invites you to submit up to five pages of unpublished poetry to the 2017 Regional Emerging Writer’s Contest (there are fiction and nonfiction categories as well). The deadline is May 31, 2017, and there is a submission fee. Follow the link for guidelines and find more Montana Book Festival online and on Facebook.


May 15, 2017

This is just a reminder: Rattle’s invitation to submit poems in response to the news remains open. Here’s what Rattle says:

“Poets Respond — a poem written within the last week about a public event that occurred within the last week will appear every Sunday. Our only criterion for selection is the quality of the poem; all opinions and reactions are welcome. Selected poets will receive $50. To have your own poem considered for next week’s posting, submit at the link on this page before midnight Friday PST. Any poems sent before the midnights of Sunday and Tuesday will also be considered for bonus postings mid-week.”

Don’t just sit there and seethe. Rattle!

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