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SX Literary Competition


The Small Axe Literary Competition encourages the production and publication of Caribbean fiction and poetry. The competition focuses 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 (Barbados, 1942), Kyk-over-al (Guyana, 1945), Tropiques (Martinique, 1941), Focus (Jamaica, 1940), Orígenes (Cuba, 1944), La poesía sorprendida (Dominican Republic, 1944), Revista del Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (Puerto Rico, 1945), Conjonction (Haiti, 1946), Revista Casa (Cuba, 1960) and Savacou (Jamaica, 1970).


The competition consists of two categories: poetry and short fiction. Two winners are chosen from each category by a distinguished panel of judges.

First Prize: $750; Second Prize: $500

2016 Competition submission deadline: 31 May 2016

Winners of the 2016 competition will be published in Small Axe 53 – July 2017

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  • A double-spaced Word document containing: an original, unpublished short story (maximum 7,000 words), or an original selection of unpublished poetry (maximum ten poems, not exceeding ten manuscript pages). Manuscripts must be free of any author information. No PDFs.
  • A separate document with full contact information (name, email address, mailing address and phone) and a biography (not to exceed 250 words), including previously published works should be included with the manuscript email submission.