Announcing: The Winner of Lit Shark Magazine’s October Poem of the Month!


Happy Friday, readers, writers, and shark fans! I hope you had a wonderful week! I was originally going to post a traditional Friday Feed, but then I realized I had one specific announcement to make that deserved its own space: the results for Lit Shark Magazine’s very first Poem of the Month contest!

The October Poem of the Month culminated from submissions that were received in September, and I was absolutely floored by the poems I received for consideration. Raw, vulnerable, descriptive, metaphorical, lyrical, imaginative—I experienced so much joy in reading these. Thank you to everyone who submitted!

For those of you who would like to submit for one of Lit Shark’s Poem of the Month contests, you absolutely still can! Submissions are considered on a rolling basis, and it’s always free to enter. Submit over here up to five poems, or ten pages of poetry. If you want to be considered for our current contest (November), please submit by or before Halloween!


Now, For the Honorable Mentions!

I read so many great poems during this round, and I accepted some for publication in Issue 3 of Lit Shark Magazine: The Spooky (TEETH) Edition and Issue 4 of Lit Shark Magazine, the final issue of 2023, but there were two that I HAD to nominate for an Honorable Mention. And they are: 

Shannon Frost Greenstein – “Just Another Poem about the Moon”

Beth Marquez – “From Lightning to the Earth”

These were deeply feeling, vulnerable, visual, and visceral poems, and they absolutely deserve a special mention.


And the Winner Is…

I am so pleased to announce that the winner of the contest is none other than Catherine Broadwall, who also wrote SHELTER IN PLACE and FULGURITE (both from Cornerstone Press, 2019 and 2023) and WATER SPELL (forthcoming from Cornerstone Press).

Her winning poem is entitled “Ecology,” and it beautifully explores womanhood, artisthood, and even potential motherhood. Through surprising literary devices, images, and quarreling foxes, she breathes fresh air into tropes we’ve all thought about and perhaps even been haunted by.

About Catherine Broadwall:

Catherine Broadwall is the author of Water Spell (Cornerstone Press, forthcoming 2025), Fulgurite (Cornerstone Press, 2023), Shelter in Place (Spuyten Duyvil, 2019), and other collections. Her writing has appeared in Bellingham Review, Colorado Review, Mid-American Review, and other journals. She was the winner of the 2019-2020 COG Poetry Award and a finalist for the 2021 Mississippi Review Prize in poetry. She is an assistant professor at DigiPen Institute of Technology, where she teaches creative writing and literature.

Her website is

Instagram: @catherine.broadwall

Facebook: /catherine.broadwall/


“Ecology” by Catherine Broadwall

Ecology by Catherine Broadwall

Having trained myself on poison,
the melon tastes especially sweet,

pinned with bright tines to the
good dishes. Soft fruit oozing

its creamsicle juice. Sky that
reflects in its puddle.

Everything sugared and miracle
light. Wind hardly rattling

the table. I want to be a wife.
I want to be an artist. I hope

these impulses
are not a contradiction,

will not quarrel like
territorial foxes

chancing an encounter
in a wood.

To wife: to comb out
the snarls of life (?). To write:

to roll down a grass hill (?).
I want to be smooth. I want

to be rough. I want to be
moonlight and shelter.

And what is the natural enemy of
the woman who wants to do both?

My heart pumps blood into
my seesaw head

until all of my hair
is fire-red.


“Ecology” Broadside Created by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

For each contest, the winner will receive a unique digital broadside of their winning poem, and the one I created can be found below. I put so much love into it and so enjoyed making it, I hope that you find joy in it and can feel the essence of what I’ve personally taken from Catherine’s poem.


On the Lookout For the Next Winner!

We have ten days left in October (crazy!), so if you’d like to be considered for our November Poem of the Month, please submit your poems for consideration as soon as possible!

One winner will be selected, and they will receive $20, a unique digital broadside of their winning poem, mentions on our social media and our website, and a feature in our next issue of Lit Shark Magazine.

Honorable Mentions will also be considered, and they will receive a mention on our social media and website, and they will be featured in the next issue of Lit Shark Magazine.

Submitting to the Poem of the Month contest also counts as a general submission, so even if your work isn’t selected as a winner or honorable mention, your work may still be picked up for an upcoming issue! With it being free to enter, what do you have to lose?

Happy Writing and Happy Submitting, readers, writers, and shark fans!

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. You will not be charged extra, but a portion of your purchase will help support Lit Shark’s causes in inclusive and accessible literature and writing resources, as well as our growing movement in conversation education, rescue, and revitalization.

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Written By McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan (she/her/hers) lives and writes in Europe with her family (originally from the Midwest). In addition to being the Editor-in-Chief of Lit Shark Magazine and the Banned Book Review, she is a novelist, poet, and book reviewer. She received her MFA in Poetry from Western Michigan University and her BA in English/BS in Education from Indiana University South Bend, where she began her work in publishing. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, Young Ravens Review, The Birds We Piled Loosely, and Encore Magazine, among others; and her book reviews and essays have appeared in The Rumpus, Green Mountains Review, Memoir Mixtapes, The Life Collective, Her Journal, Motherly, and more. When not writing, she enjoys reading, appreciating nature, and spending time with her husband and three children.




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