Submission Call 

Dolly Parton Poetry Anthology

to debut January 19, 2023

Dolly Parton portrait in pop art style 

Last year, many of you helped celebrate Dolly’s Parton’s 75th birthday with Limp Wrist’s tribute issue, co-edited by Limp Wrist editor Dustin Brookshire and poet Julie E. Bloemeke.

We had over 18 poems selected from hundreds of submissions. Both Collin Kelly and Caridad Moro-Gronlier were nominated for Pushcart Prizes. We Zoom-debuted the issue with a reading, complete with musical numbers and a fashion homage to our favorite Saint of Tennessee.

But Julie and Dustin decided one celebration was not enough, and fortunately the folks at Madville Publishing agreed.

So, what better way to begin 2022 than by topping off our cup of ambition? Help us celebrate Dolly Rebecca Parton by submitting your work for the Dolly Parton Anthology, which will debut on January 19, 2023. Submission window will open on Dolly’s birthday and close at midnight (CST) on June 30, 2022.

What we are looking for:

Dazzle us with your Dolly expertise. Pay tribute to her music, movies, TV appearances, philanthropy, Dollywood, Dollyisms, interviews, fashion influence, religious connection, family history. We want to see how you envision Dolly as a cultural phenomenon, and how your work helps amplify Dolly as a national treasure. And, while we love rhinestones and sequins, we want to see poems that move beyond Dolly as queen of glitz and sparkle.

Poems don’t have to be “fully Dolly”—we invite work with cameos, Dolly impersonators/look-a-likes, or Dolly-adjacent portraits. We want to read poems that include a well-placed Dolly appearance that strengthens the intention of the poem.

Do’s to consider: Show us you’ve read some Dolly history, are up on Dolly lore, or give us some anecdotes that will surprise us. Reveal some Sevierville or Nashville or share some insight into Dolly’s costume designers or tour bus driver. Know where or on what Dolly first penned the lyrics to “I Will Always Love You?” Run with that.

However, tread carefully when considering messing with perfection: there is a reason “Jolene” moves us all; trying to improve on Dolly’s writing might just make you a bit too mighty for your britches.

Previously published poems will be considered; please provide information on where the poem first appeared and be certain that you retain rights to your work.

A few notes for previous Dolly Limp Wrist issue submitters:

If you submitted to the Dolly Limp Wrist issue and your poem was accepted, you will be required to resubmit. If you submitted to the issue previously and your Dolly poem was not accepted, please only submit revised versions of your work.

Thanks to fundraising and generous donations, Madville is waiving the submission fee for the anthology.

Dustin and Julie will be donating their royalties, which will be paid annually, to Dolly’s Imagination Library. To be transparent, they will also provide evidence of the donations by way of their personal websites.

Submission Guidelines:

  • All submissions must be uploaded to Submittable. Poems submitted via email will not be considered.
  • Submit no more than 5 poems in one Microsoft Word document.
  • Poems should not exceed 3 pages each; submissions should not exceed 15 pages total.
  • Poems should be single spaced and in Times New Roman font.
  • The Microsoft Word document should not contain any author identifying information.
  • All submissions must be received by midnight (CST) on June 30, 2022.


Contributors will receive one copy of the anthology as payment for the acceptance of their work.

Need inspiration? Start here:

The winning poet receives a $1,000 advance, a standard royalty contract, and 20 copies of the published book. Finalists will also be considered for future publication.

Judge: Charlotte Pence

Charlotte Pence will judge the 2nd Annual Arthur Smith Poetry Prize 

with preliminary readers: Catherine Childress & Candance (Candee) Reaves

Charlotte Pence’s new book of poems, Code, received the 2020 Book of the Year award from Alabama Poetry Society and was a finalist for Foreword Reviews Indie Poetry Book of 2020.  Code details not only the life cycle of birth and death, but also the means of this cycle: DNA itself. Her first book of poems, Many Small Fires (Black Lawrence Press, 2015), won Foreword Reviews’ silver medal award in poetry. Both poetry books weave together personal experience and scientific exploration. She is also the author of two award-winning poetry chapbooks and the editor of The Poetics of American Song Lyrics. Her poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction have recently been published in Harvard Review, Poetry, Sewanee Review, Southern Review, and Brevity. A graduate of Emerson College (MFA) and the University of Tennessee (PhD), she is now the director of the Stokes Center for Creative Writing at University of South Alabama.

Competition Guidelines

· Eligibility: We will be happy to receive work by any poet writing in English. Poems published in print or online periodicals, anthologies, or chapbooks may be included, but the manuscript itself must be unpublished. Original work only; translations are ineligible.

· Format: Minimum of 48 pages. There is no maximum length, but we expect manuscripts not to be much more than 90 pages. Pages should be numbered with no more than one poem per page. Please include a title page with title only, a table of contents, and an acknowledgments page.

· Simultaneous Submissions: Simultaneous submissions are acceptable. Please notify Madville Publishing immediately if your manuscript is accepted elsewhere.

· Multiple Submissions: Submission of more than one manuscript is acceptable, but each manuscript must be submitted separately and include a separate entry fee.

· International Submissions: We accept international submissions.

· Revisions: The winner will have the opportunity to revise the manuscript before publication. No revisions will be considered during the reading period.


· Entry Fee: $25

· Deadline: September 30, 2022.

· Winner will be announced by December 31, 2022, and the winning collection will be published Fall 2023.

· Visit for more information.

The poet, Arthur Smith, for whom this competition is named. He fixes the viewer with a kind eye. 

ARTHUR SMITH was born in central California. He received degrees from San Francisco State University (B.A., M.A.) and from the University of Houston (Ph.D.). He passed away on November 9th, 2018. To those who knew and loved him, he was a master teacher and a masterful poet. His first book of poems, Elegy on Independence Day, was awarded the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize and was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in 1985. That same year, it was selected by the Poetry Society of American to receive the Norma Farber First Book Award. His second book of poems, Orders of Affection, was published by Carnegie Mellon University Press in 1996, and his third book, The Late World, was published in 2002, also by Carnegie Mellon University Press. His most recent book of poems is The Fortunate Era (2013). His work has been honored with a “Discovery”/The Nation Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, two Pushcart Prizes, and he was selected as the Theodore Morrison Fellow in Poetry for the 1987 Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference. He served two terms as an advisory member of the Tennessee Arts Commission Literary Panel, and he was a Professor of English at the University of Tennessee. His poems have appeared in numerous journals including

Madville Publishing