YellowJacket Press (YJP) announces the Annual Chapbook Contest for Florida Poets.  The winner(s) will receive $200, 30 copies and will be included in the 10th anniversary anthology. Poetry manuscripts should be no longer than 24 pages, including title page, table of contents and acknowledgments. Include a brief bio, date you became a Florida resident, and notice of previous publications of specific poems, if applicable. Include SASE, along with $10 reading fee (check or money order made payable to Gianna Russo). Manuscripts will not be returned.  All entrants must be permanent adult residents of Florida.

Postmark deadline is December 1st. The winner(s) will be announced by March 15, 2015.

Send submissions to

Yellow Jacket Press Chapbook Competition

1410 E. Paris Street

Tampa, Fl. 33604

No e-mail submissions.  All entrants may receive a copy of the winning book.

Previous winners of the contest include Dive by Heather Sellers of Tampa (2014); The Magician’s Daughter by Meryl Stratford of Hallandale Beach (2013); Girls Turned Like Dials by Liz Robbins of St. Augustine (2012); A Tiny Hunger, by Laura Sobbott Ross of Sorrento (2011); My Grandfather Singing by Jesse Millner of Fort Myers (2010); Better Accidents, by Kate Sweeney of Tampa (2009); Our Keen Blue House, by Michael Trammell of Tallahassee (2008); Many Loves, by Michael Hettich of Miami (2007); Night Windows, by Susan Lilley of Orlando (2006); Music in Arabic, by Mary Jane Ryals of Tallahassee (2006); Florida Straits, by Gregory Byrd of Clearwater (2005). To purchase one of the above, send an additional $6.50 along with your submission.


YellowJacket Press is delighted to announce that the winner of the 4th Annual Peter Meinke Award is At Each Moment, Air by Aliesa Zoecklein of Gainesville. The runner up was Reckoning by Wendy Buffington of New Port Richey.

Finalists were Your God Is Here Too by Robert Annis of Oldsmar; Waiting to Touch the Sky by Christine Cock of Brooksville; Sister Crown by Melanie Graham of Tampa; Strange Houses by Andrew Hemmert of Winter Park; I Am That Box, I Own These Boxes by Michele Parker Randall of Sanford. The submissions were judged anonymously by members of our board.

Overall, this contest attracted a terrific collection of submissions--probably the strongest set ever. So BIG CONGRATS to our winner, and all finalists and THANK YOU to everyone who participated.

As Mary Oliver says, "Poetry isn’t a profession, it’s a way of life. It’s an empty basket; you put your life into it and make something out of that." So many of you are doing that. Keep do it; keep writing.


YellowJacket Press served high-proof poetry at the 7th Annual Florida Poets Happy Hour.


Serving some of the best poetry and poets in Florida, the The Florida Poets Happy Hour included 2-for-1 readings featuring Heather Sellers, winner of the 10th Annual Florida Poets Contest and runner-up Melissa Fair; Aliesa Zoecklein, winner of the 4th Annual Peter Meinke Prize and runner-up Wendy Buffington; and local poets Robert Annis and Brogan Sullivan.



YellowJacket Press (YJP) is pleased to announce the winner of the 9th Annual YellowJacket Press Chapbook Contest for Florida Poets.  Heather Sellers of Tampa won for her manuscript The Vine which will be published in early summer.  In addition, YJP will publish the finalist in our Special Edition series.  Congratulations to Melissa Fair for her manuscript Abandon.

There were three runners-up whose work was also noteworthy: Lux by Jim Gustafson of Fort Myers; Singing My Name Out of the Dark Waters by Linda Goddard of Winter Springs; and Honeymoon Woods by Zan Gay of Coral Springs.  Congratulations to all winners and runners-up.

All entries were judged anonymously.

Established in 2005, YellowJacket Press (YJP) is an independent small poetry press and currently the only publisher of poetry chapbook manuscripts in Florida.  YJP sponsors the annual YellowJacket Press Chapbook Contest for Florida Poets.  Renowned across the state, the annual contest identifies the state’s most vital and vibrant poets and brings their exhilarating, well-crafted poems to the public eye.

YellowJacket Press















Heather Sellers, Tampa

(YJP Contest Winner)

Dive (2014)


Aliesa Zoecklein, Gainesville

(Peter Meinke Prize)

At Each Moment, Air


Melissa Fair


Abandon (2014)


Meryl Stratford,

Hallandale Beach

(YJP Contest Winner)

The Magician's Daughter (2013)


George Bishop, Saint Cloud

(Peter Meinke Prize)

Following Myself Home (2013)


Liz Robbins, St. Augustine

(YJP Contest Winner)

Girls Turned Like Dials, 2012


Jordan Scott, Tampa

(Peter Meinke Prize)

Night Errands, 2012


Paul David Adkins

The Upside Down House, 2012


Christopher Tozier, Eustis

A Little Book of Light History:

From Delft to Ocean Park, 2012


Mary Elizabeth Perez,


Museum of Chairs, 2012


Laura Sobbott Ross, Sorrento

(YJP Contest Winner)

A Tiny Hunger, 2011


Melissa Carroll, Tampa

(Peter Meinke Prize)

The Karma Machine, 2011


James Tokley, Sr., Tampa

(The Poets Laureate Project)

The Epic of the Sandwiche Cubano, 2011


Peter Meinke, St. Petersburg

(The Poets Laureate Project)

Lassing Park, 2011


Jesse Milner, Ft. Myers

(YJP Contest Winner)

My Grandfather Singing, 2010


Cole Bellamy, Tampa

The Mermaid Postcard, 2010


Kirsten Holt, Tampa

Overwintered, 2010


Barbra Nightingale, Hollywood

Two Voices, One Past, 2010


Kate Sweeney, Tampa

(YJP Contest Winner)

Better Accidents, 2009


Richard Downing, Hudson

Four Steps Off the Path, 2009


Pamela, Epps, Temple Terrace

A Last Glance, 2009


Michael Trammell, Tallahassee

(YJP Contest WInner)

Our Keen Blue House, 2008


Robert S. Carr, Orlando

Mystery of the Root, 2008


Michael Hettich, Miami Shores

Many Loves, 2007


Sharon Scholl, Atlantic Beach

Message on a Branch, 2007


Susan Lilley, Orlando

(YJP Contest Co-Winner)

Night Windows, 2006


Mary Jane Ryals, Tallahassee

(YJP Contest Co-Winner)

Music in Arabic, 2006


Gregory Byrd, Clearwater

(YJP Contest Co-Winner)

Florida Straits, 2005