The Spring 2021 Black River Chapbook Competition Results Are Here!

We’re so excited to announce the results of the Spring 2021 Black River Chapbook Competition. And the winning manuscript is …

Killing It by Gaia Rajan


Gaia Rajan’s work has been published in The Kenyon Review, Split Lip Magazine, diode, Muzzle Magazine, Palette Poetry, and elsewhere. She is the cofounder of the WOC Speak Reading Series, the Junior Journal Editor for Half Mystic, and the Web Manager for Honey Literary. Her work has been nominated for Best New Poets and Best of the Net, and she is a two-time National Student Poet semifinalist. Her debut chapbook, Moth Funerals, was published in 2020 by Glass Poetry Press. She is seventeen years old. You can find her online at, or at @gaia_writes on Twitter.


We couldn’t be happier to add Gaia’s amazing chapbook to our series. Killing It, a collection of poetry, will be published by Black Lawrence Press in fall 2022. We’re so happy to welcome Gaia to the BLP family!

Our Spring 2021 BRCC finalists and semi-finalists were:

FINALISTS (alphabetical)

Grandma June by Mara Beneway (prose)
Ghostings by Gerri Brightwell (prose)
And on the Seventh Day, God Wrote a Pop Song by Sionnain Buckley (prose)
Gold by Robin Gow (prose)
My Burning City by Arthur Kayzakian (poetry)
Sabrina’s Last Bachelorette Party Ever by Sara Martin (prose)
Instructions May Vary by Nia Morgan (poetry)
Killing It by Gaia Rajan (poetry)


SEMI-FINALISTS (alphabetical)

The Unnatural Color of Pink by Debra Bowling (prose)
Nightworld by Susan Falco (prose)
Firewood by Joanna Hoffman (poetry)
Vortex with Baba by Gerald Majer (prose)
Flower Boi by MARS Marshall (poetry)
Plastic Mausoleum by Tegan Murrell (poetry)
Meat Rabbits by Noley Reid (prose)
Middletown by Stephanie Rogers (poetry)
Mother Map by Taylor Schaefer (prose)
Only the Forest Knows by Anindita Sengupta (poetry)
They More than Burned by Tara Stillions Whitehead (prose)
Marvelous, So Marvelous by Sarah VanGundy (prose)