Turnbuckle Chapbook Contest Winner!

For months, our small group of readers have been reviewing the 250+ chapbooks submitted to this year’s contest. Last week, we finally narrowed it down to 10 finalists and some honorable mentions–there were just SO MANY GOOD MANUSCRIPTS.

Guest Judge Sara Lippmann was sent the finalists, and after careful reading, she has chosen SJ Sindu‘s chapbook, I Once Met You But You Were Dead, for publication at Split Lip Press in early 2017.


SJ Sindu

Of the manuscript, Sara said:

“This chapbook is raw and timely and unforgettable. I love the textured layers, how the stories unfold, the jagged edges, how they push up against one another in juxtaposition and in accumulation. The prose is assured, dynamic and alive, confidently moving through time and space. I love the mix presented: of style and structure, point of view — held together by a consistent yet refreshing voice. I love how the author comes at theme from different angles to prismatic effect. People ask me why I read, and my answer is for work like this: that stirs me out of my comfort zone, that upturns expectation and burrows into the deep, that grabs me by the heart and transports me, leaving me changed. This chapbook delivers on that front. There is a vitality and vulnerability to this voice, evidenced by how it shifts, often within story, breaking rules, that excites me in a way I have not felt in some time. The stories feel urgent and necessary and not overworked, seams showing, stories that speak to a big literary future ahead.”


First Runner-Up:   Shasta Grant, Gather Us Up and Bring Us Home  

(which Split Lip will also have the great fortune to publish in summer 2017!)

Second Runner-Up:  Lara Coley, WE 

Samantha Duncan, Chaos Theory

Katie Flynn, Border Patrol

Katherine Gehan, National Treasure

Meghan McClure, Portrait of a Body in Wreckages

Clare Paniccia, Threaded Daughter/Threaded Child

Emily Pinkerton, Adaptations 

Jesse Rice-Evans, Twin Hungers (recently picked up by Damaged Goods Press!)

Pete Stevens, The Girl Who Could Float



Kelly Dulaney, Grog Blossoms

Jessica Roeder, Staircases Will Outnumber Us

Susan Rukeyser, What is Reflected


Hugely grateful to our readers: Kaitlyn Andrews-Rice, Jenne Knight, Sonya Vatomsky, Jon McConnell, and Sara Biggs-Chaney, as well as the talented + insightful Sara Lippmann for helping us make this really tough decision.

Stay tuned for more!





Hello, and happy June! (WTF, how are we already halfway through this year? Time is weird.)

There is SO. MUCH. going on with both the magazine and the press. Here is the quick and dirty list to keep you up to date:

SPLIT LIP MAGAZINE NEWSto and, who are joining the Split Lip staff as Flash Fiction Editor and Memoir Editor. We are thrilled to get to add these talented writers/editors to our roster and hope you will send them work ASAP!

  • HUGE WELCOME to Kaitlyn Andrews-Rice and Jen Palmares Meadows, who are joining the Split Lip staff as Flash Fiction Editor and Memoir Editor. We are thrilled to get to add these talented writers/editors to our roster and hope you will send them work ASAP!
  • We are now accepting FLASH FICTION as its very own category! And submissions are free until the end of the month:  submit your best (under 1000 words) here.
  • Late this summer, we are going to be transitioning from an online quarterly to more of a weekly magazine–so you can get your Split Lip fix 24/7 instead of just four times a year. We are excited about this new direction, and we already have some stellar work chosen for the launch.



  • The TURNBUCKLE CHAPBOOK CONTEST finalists have been sent to our guest judge, Sara Lippmann. Stay tuned for the winner, who will have their chapbook published with Split Lip in early 2017.
  • We have books forthcoming from Mila Jaroniec (novel), Melissa Wiley (essay collection), and Kristen Arnett (story collection). We could not be more thrilled to work with these incredibly talented writers.

NOTE:  We might need a  little help in the near future. If you’re interested in learning the small press ropes, just give us a shout. It’s all volunteer (but we can pay you in books and joy).

I think that’s all? But more soon…



It’s HERE! I Am the Oil of the Engine of the World by Jared Yates Sexton

Happy Book Birthday to Jared Yates Sexton’s I Am the Oil of the Engine of the World, his second collection from Split Lip.  We are thrilled to be able to put this weird + wonderful stories out into the world.


Here is a clip of Jared reading one of the stories, You Are But a Pilgrim Venturing to a Strange and Honest Land, originally published in Cleaver Magazine.

The book is now available through Split Lip (buy directly and support small presses) or Amazon, and you can save it and review it on Goodreads. Or if you’re a book reviewer for a blog or journal, we’d be happy to send you a .pdf or hard copy–just drop us a request: editor@splitlipmagazine.com.

Thank you for reading and supporting our authors and books! Keep an eye on our social media accounts all day long for a chance to win a I Am the Oil of the Engine of the World Leap Day Grab Bag, that includes a signed copy of the book, Split Lip swag, and other surprises.

Also: Jared will be on a panel at the upcoming Voices of the Middle West 2016 and at AWP 2016 in Los Angeles (w/ BULL and Split Lip at Table #233 and at our reading w/ Little Fiction/Big Truths). Be sure to shake his hand–and get his book if you haven’t yet.



2015 Livershot Memoir Contest Winner + Finalists

Thank you to everyone who sent their flash memoir (under 750 words) for our first Livershot Memoir Contest. We narrowed almost 300 entries down to 11 (we tried for 10, but just couldn’t do it), and then we sent the entries to our final judge, Matthew Dexter, who chose the winners. All winners will be published in the Winter issue of Split Lip Magazine.


WINNER ($200 prize + publication):  Tatiana Ryckman, “My House Burned Down”

First Runner-Up (publication):  S.M. Whitfield, “Photography”

Second Runner-Up (publication): Erica Naone, “Punch”



Emily Capettini, “How to Pass a Summer; Or, Genevieve, at the Lake”

Tyrese Coleman, “Nameless Mounds”

Jennifer Jackson Berry, “The Deal, Part II: But Skin Heals Itself”

Hannah Jones, “Before and After”

Julia Kolchinsky-Dasbach, “Dear Birthplace,”

Joanne Lozar Glenn, “Blanket”

Dina Relles, “Compulsory Crossing”

Jen Rouse, “And These, My Least Best Selves”


Congratulations to all the winners and finalist who made this a super tough job. Thank you also to our powerhouse readers, Kaitlyn Andrews-Rice, Ray Shea, and Brieana Williams!


Our third title of 2016 will be…


We are thrilled to announce that Kara Vernor has signed a contract with Split Lip Press for her first chapbook, a collection of short stories called “Because I Wanted to Write You a Pop Song” (title taken from THIS amazing story of the same name).

We have been long-time fans of Kara’s work and couldn’t be more excited to work with her. Her collection comes out in June 2016, so stay tuned for cover previewsm, excerpts, and more.



POEM FILM for “Nowhere” from Katie Schmid’s chapbook

Check out this dreamy film for the poem, “Nowhere,” which is in Katie Schmid’s chapbook forget me/hit me/let me drink great quantities of clear, evil liquor.  Available now from SPLIT LIP or at Amazon (if you must):

Forget Me/Hit Me/Let Me Drink Great Quantities of Clear, Evil Liquor by Katie Schmid (Book Trailer) from Shadows on a River on Vimeo.

If you love this poem and the vibe, then we promise you’ll love this book. And we’ll love you for reading it. (I mean, we already love you, but we’ll love you even more.)


Split Lip Magazine and Press Updates

The end of this year has been a whirlwind, and we’re so excited for what’s to come in 2016. Here is what’s been going on:

Split Lip Magazine’s Fall 2015 Issue is Live! And from the feedback we’ve gotten so far, we think it’s one of our best yet.

Kayla Rae Whitaker Joins Magazine as Book Reviewer! Kayla is an insightful reader, and we’re so excited to have her as part of the Split Lip team.

We crowd sourced your favorite overlooked reads from online lit mags this past weekend on our Twitter feed. Stay tuned for the roundup!

Amanda Miska has taken over as Publisher/Editor of Split Lip Press!  And she is currently reading manuscripts to consider for our 2016/2017 catalogues. Her talented sister, Jayme Cawthern, has also joined our team as graphic designer for books and web. J. Scott Bugher, illustrious founder, is staying on to advise and keep us as punk as possible.

Katie Schmid’s 2015 Turnbuckle Chapbook award-winner, forget me/hit me/let me drink great quantities of clear, evil liquor, is now available for pre-order and will be released in January 2016.

Phew. I’m exhausted just looking at this list. But excited too! Thank you for all your support for Split Lip Magazine/Press. We couldn’t do anything without all of you.




Our 2015 Turnbuckle Chapbook Contest Winner has a COVER!

Happy Friday, friends! If you follow us on social media (find us on Facebook and Twitter!), you may have gotten to see the sneak peek of Katie Schmid’s upcoming poetry chapbook cover for forget me, hit me, let me drink great quantities of clear, evil liquor but we’re still so excited about it (the cover AND the book) that we wanted to share it again and talk a little about the process:

forget me cover_ 2_edited-1

My sister, Jayme Cawthern is a visual artist who works in a variety of media.  Growing up, we always thought about doing books together–when I finally published one, she’d obviously do the cover (this is still the future plan). I think we once even sketched out a children’s book together sometime in college. I knew she and I shared the same aesthetic and could obviously work well together, so I asked her to work on the cover. I sent her the manuscript to get a feel for the themes of the chapbook, and then I sent the author (Katie) and Jayme some samples of covers I liked. This is where we started.

From there, Katie shared what she liked about the covers/vibe, and Jayme and I brainstormed and mocked up several ideas until we found one we really loved and thought Katie would love too. The cover was created with layered oil pastels and hand lettering (no canned fonts here!). We sent the first draft to Katie with some questions–and she had a few thoughts/tweaks–and from there, we arrived at this final, beautiful draft.

For writers, having your first book is part of THE DREAM. And as an editor, it’s so important to me that the reality of someone’s book look like their dream. It’s important to me to work closely with our authors so they can be as much in love with their book as possible. And it’s important to me to make books that are as beautiful (or dark or wild) on the outside as they are on the inside.

Katie won our Turnbuckle Chapbook Contest for 2015. I’m sharing this process because submissions have opened up for the 2016 Turnbuckle Chapbook Contest.  Not only do you get to work closely on your chapbook (a real book with an ISBN and everything), you also get $100 advance and 20 author copies. And this year’s contest judge is the amazing Sara Lippman, and the entry fee is only $10. The contest is open until January 16, 2016–we hope you’ll send us your amazing books because we look forward to working with you!




IT’S CONTEST SEASON! Turnbuckle Chapbook and Livershot Short Memoir Contests

We here at Split Lip are thrilled to announce not one, but TWO contests launching today. In addition to another year of our highly successful Turnbuckle Chapbook Contest, we are launching the first ever Livershot Memoir Contest.

This is an exciting year for our chapbook contest because we’ve lowered the entry fee (from $12 to $10) and also are lucky to have a brilliant guest judge signed on to make our final selections.

sara lippman split lip

Sara Lippmann is the author of the story collection, DOLL PALACE. She was the recipient of an artist’s fellowship in fiction from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and her stories have appeared in Slice Magazine, Tupelo Quarterly, Joyland, Wigleaf and elsewhere. For more, visit saralippmann.com

We are so thrilled to get the chance to work with her, and excited to publish her selection! So get those chapbooks in, friends! You have until January 16th, 2016.

The Livershot Memoir Contest is the idea of our Memoir Editor, Matthew Dexter.  Like most writers and editors, he abhors fees (we do too, even though they’re still often necessary to do what we do), so he wanted a contest that was free, but that still rewarded a writer with more than just an online announcement or publication. So the contest was born:  $200 prize + publication for the best piece of memoir 750 words or less.  More details below.  THERE IS ONLY A ONE MONTH SUBMISSIONS WINDOW–SO GET THOSE ENTRIES IN!

turnbuckle split lip


We can’t wait to read your work! Thank you so much for supporting small presses and letting us support you.


Split Lip Welcomes New Poetry Editor

Split Lip gets the most poetry submissions by far compared to fiction and memoir, and I’m so grateful to our former poetry editors, Christina Drill and Tafisha Edwards, for doing an amazing job with the summer issue. While they’re moving on to bigger and better things (we’ll keep you posted!), we are excited to bring on Sara Biggs Chaney as our new poetry editor.

I have loved Sara’s work for years, and she’s already been part of the Split Lip family for a while–you can read more about her here, and then get to sending her your best poems.

I’m so excited about our team, and all the great things ahead.