Announcing the 2015 FIRSTS! Contest
judged by Myung Mi Kim

Contest judge Myung Mi Kim’s first book Under Flag was published by Kelsey Street Press in 1991

Reading Period: August 15–September 15, 2014

2015 Judge: Myung Mi Kim

In this series of first books by emerging writers, Kelsey Street Press continues to link its editorial policy of addressing the marginalization of women writers to a poetics of allowance that encourages women to write directly from their own creative imperatives.


The contest is open to women writers who have never published a full-length book of poetry, which we define as any publication greater than 47 pages. Our definition of “woman” includes transsexual, transgender, and genderqueer individuals. This year current and former students and close friends of Myung Mi Kim may not submit manuscripts to the contest.


Poems in your manuscript may have been previously published in periodicals or chapbooks. However, no more than one-third of the manuscript that you submit may have been published in chapbook form. If more than one-third of your manuscript has been published in chapbook form, then it is not eligible for this contest. Failure to meet this eligibility requirement will result in disqualification from the contest. Finalists will be asked to provide a list of all chapbooks published and the poems from their manuscript included in those titles.


Manuscripts are reviewed anonymously. A Kelsey Street Press selection committee screens all of the manuscripts from which five to ten finalists will be chosen for consideration by the judge. This year Myung Mi Kim will select the winner.


The winning manuscript may be subject to revision as part of KSP’s normal editorial process. The book will be designed by a professional designer and the manuscript may be modified in order to adhere to the Firsts! series template. The manuscript selected in 2014 will be published in 2015. KSP will promote the book in conjunction with the author. The book will be distributed through SPD and available for sale online via KSP’s website and

View full contest guidelines.

Previous FIRSTS! titles include:

Rings by Jasmine Dreame Wagner, the 2014 FIRSTS! Winner










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