Edward Vidaurre, publisher and editor in chief of FlowerSong Press, describes the press’s authors as “an all-star team of healers” who are “not only invested in self but also community.” Founded in 2011 in McAllen, Texas, as VAO Publishing, FlowerSong “nurtures essential verse from, about, and through the borderlands,” championing writers from the United States, Latin America, and beyond. The press publishes poetry and prose, as well as titles for children and young adults in partnership with Juventud Press. New releases from FlowerSong include Dreaming With Mariposas by Sonia Gutiérrez, a magical bildungsroman in vignettes, and Luz at Midnight by Marisol Cortez, the “story of an ill-timed love that unfolds in the time of climate change.” Good Cop/Bad Cop, an anthology of art and writing responding to police brutality, is among the titles set for publication in 2021. An abiding commitment to both its readers and writers steers all facets of the press’s work. “The authors of FlowerSong know I push hard for them,” says Vidaurre. “For those who pick up a book from us, I want them to feel that these living words have been custom-made just for them in a beautiful book.” Vidaurre and his team also prioritize timely responses to submitters. “I read for the future of my community, my people that have been underrepresented,” says Vidaurre of seeking out new work for the press. “I want to read and say, ‘I see influences of Julio Cortázar, Allen Ginsberg, Miguel Hernández, Amiri Baraka, Gloria Anzaldúa,’ and then say, ‘But…this feels original, and there’s a truth here I haven’t read before.’” Submissions are open year-round through the press’s website.
Find details about every creative writing competition—including poetry contests, short story competitions, essay contests, awards for novels, grants for translators, and more—that we’ve published in the Grants & Awards section of Poets & Writers Magazine during the past year. We carefully review the practices and policies of each contest before including it in the Writing Contests database, the most trusted resource for legitimate writing contests available anywhere.