30 Writing Competitions and Submission Calls for Poets

Written by S. Kalekar | June 19, 2017

This list is divided into two: submission calls and competitions for poets, including fellowships and one essay contest; prizes range from $250 to AU$10,000. They are listed according to deadline. The calls are for various topics, styles, as well as geographical and age demographics of poets.

Special submission calls include those confronting shaming, LGBTQ themes, poetry by underrepresented writers, various poetry forms and poems on modern relationships, and found poetry on a specific theme. Some journals also have editors’ prizes. Some publish work by new and upcoming writers along with prize-winning poets, and regularly nominate work for various prizes.

Submission calls

The Puritan

They are looking for poems of any length, including sequences and long poems, and are open to other genres. There is also a call for The Town Crier Editor-in-Residence positions, to take creative control of the blog for one month – see guidelines.

Deadline: Rolling; reading till 25 June for the Summer issue
Word count: Up to 4 poems; one fiction or essay up to 10,000 words, under 500 words for flash fiction; 2,000 words and up for interviews; 1,500-6,000 words for reviews
Pay: $15/poem or page, capped at $60; $50 for fiction; $100 each for essay, review or interview; $200 for The Town Crier Editor-in-Residence; $20 for work in the Supplement Series
Details here.

Long Poem Magazine

They publish long poems, one essay per issue, and book reviews. They have published a diverse range of poets, including some prestigious names, and also translations and collaborative works. They welcome both traditional and modern voices.

Deadline: Reading in June for Issue 18
Word count: Submit up to 2 poems, at least 75 lines; contact for essay proposals and book reviews
Pay: Unspecified
Details here.

Boxcar Poetry Review

They accept poetry by both new and established poets, reviews of first books of poetry and first book poet interviews/conversations. They nominate poetry for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. One poem with the most votes in each issue gets a $25 Peer Award.

Deadline: 30 June 2017
Word count: 3-5 poems
Pay: One $25 award per issue
Details here.

Beltway Poetry Quarterly: Sterling A. Brown Tribute Issue

This award-winning magazine showcases work of poets in Washington, DC and the surrounding mid-Atlantic region – Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Delaware. They are seeking poems about Sterling A. Brown (the first Poet Laureate of Washington), for Brown, or poems that address the subjects closest to him: music (especially jazz, blues, work songs and spirituals), racial identity and folklore. They do not accept work outside of their annual submission call.

Deadline: 30 June 2017
Word count: Up to 5 poems
Pay: Unspecified
Details here.

Twelve Point Collective: Modern Relationships theme issue

They want poetry, fiction and non-fiction on the Modern Relationships theme, widely interpreted. There is an option to publish anonymously. Each work will be paired with the work of a newfound artist. They invite writers to be a part of their collective.

Deadline: 30 June 2017
Word count: Up to 5 poems, up to 3,000 words for short stories and 2,500 words for essays
Pay: One copy of the book
Details here.

Fifth Wednesday Journal Special Issue

This is the journal’s first special issue call. They want writing by immigrants or children of immigrants of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries, written by by US and Canadian residents. Works are eligible for an annual Editor’s Prize in fiction, and poetry of $150. They seek poems of any length or style, but are less likely to publish a poem longer than 4 pages.

Deadline: 1 July 2017
Word count: Five poems of up to 4 pages, fiction and creative non-fiction of 1,000-12,000 words
Pay: Two contributor copies, one-year subscription with the issue following; annual Editor’s Prize of $150
Details here.

Sonic Boom

They publish experimental poetry, Japanese short-forms and flash fiction. The special feature call is for parallel haiku. They also have a link to an editor interview.

Deadline: 1 July 2017
Word count: Various for different sections; see guidelines
Pay: Non-paying
Details here.

Blithe Spirit

This is a quarterly journal of the British Haiku Society. They want poems in all haikai genes, and writing about haiku. There is also a Museum of Haiku Literature Award (£50) for the best haiku from the previous issue. Each issue has a section on the season just ended.

Deadline: 1 July 2017
Word count: Unspecified
Pay: One £50 award per issue
Details here.

Ashville Poetry Review

This is an annual literary journal that publishes 180-220 pages of poems, interviews, translations, essays, historical perspectives and book reviews. Hard copy submissions only.

Deadline: 15 July 2017
Word count: 3-6 poems; unspecified for others
Pay: Unspecified
Details here.

Heron Tree Special Issue

They want found poems crafted from either The Climates of the Continents by W. G. Kendrew or The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang. They are open to any and all approaches to found poetry construction and erased, altered, or remixed text; poets must use Kendrew’s Climates of the Continents or Lang’s Blue Fairy Book as source material (links to both work on their website). Accepted poems will be published online and collected in e-pamphlets available for free downloading.

Deadline: 15 July 2017
Word count: 1-3 poems
Pay: No payment
Details here.

Impossible Arcetype

They want work by LGBTQ poets of all genders. All forms are welcome. For their second issue, they want work that is striking, beautiful and musical.

Deadline: 16 July 2017
Word count: 1-4 poems; prefer submissions of up to 10 pages
Pay: No payment
Details here.

Jazz Cigarette #5: Forms

They are looking for works in various types of form poetry. They want the poets to bend rules and re-think possibilities. Blends of art and text are welcome. They want Villanelle, Pantoum, Ghazal (seven stanzas to two pages), Rondeau, Visual Poetry (sculpture poetry, erasures, etc.), Abecedarian, Triolet, Haibun, Concrete Poetry, Code Poetry, GIF Poetry, Cento, weird Sestina, any type of Hybrid form, Asemic Writing, Tanka Sequence (no singles), Renga, and englyn.

Deadline: 1 August 2017
Word count: 3-5 poems
Pay: Unspecified
Details here.

Aftermath: Explorations of Loss & Grief

Works for this anthology should examine what it means to face the consequences after tragedy strikes. They encourage under-represented voices to submit.

Deadline: 15 August 2017
Word count: 500-3,000 words for prose; unspecified for poetry
Pay: $35/work for poetry, $0.06/word for fiction and non-fiction
Details here.

The Adroit Journal

This is a quarterly online journal. They accept poetry and prose from the same writer simultaneously during their reading period. They also publish reviews and interviews. Their poets are regularly nominated for Pushcart, Best of the Net, and various other prizes. They also run an annual poetry prize for students, for which entry fee waiver is available.

Deadline: 15 August 2017
Word count: Up to 8 poems, no line limits; up to 3 prose pieces of 3,000 words
Pay: Unspecified
Details here.

Shame: An Anthology

The writing should challenge shaming, which is both a cultural practice and a form of abuse, and the effects of which are often long-term and far-reaching. The editor wants pieces which confront this issue critically and break the silence around it. While personal narratives are welcome, the work should consider an audience beyond the writer.

Deadline: 31 August 2017
Word count: Up to 5 poems, up to 10 pages; 1-2 essays, up to 20 pages
Pay: Unspecified
Details here.

Ekphrasis – A Poetry Journal

They publish ekprhrasis poetry. Identify the specific work of art that each poem addresses. Hard copy submissions; query by email if submitting from outside the US. All poems published in the calendar year are eligible for the $500 Ekphrasis Prize.

Deadline: None specified
Word count: 3-5 poems
Pay: One copy of the journal; each published poem eligible for an annual $500 prize
Details here.

Argot Magazine

They are looking for writing that spans queer culture, the feminine narrative, marginalised communities, and politics and culture. This is a queer-focused website, and they prefer work by queer writers and artists.

Deadline: Rolling
Word count: Unspecified; accept both poetry and prose
Pay: $35 for shorter poems, up to $250 for long-form investigative pieces
Details here.

32 Poems Magazine

They publish poetry and reviews of recent poetry collections twice yearly; each issue has 32 poems. They have published major prize winners as well as emerging and debut poets, and have subscribers in 20 countries. Postal poetry submissions are fee-free for all; non-subscribers’ online submissions are charged.

Deadline: Rolling
Word count: Up to 5 poems, of up to 32 lines; 1,000+ words for reviews
Pay: $25/poem and two copies of the magazine
Details here.

Tokyo Poetry Journal

This is a biannual Japan-based journal of poetry and art.

Deadline: Rolling
Word count: Unspecified
Pay: Unspecified
Details here.

Algebra of Owls

They want contemporary, engaging poetry. Some selected poetry could be published in a print anthology pamphlet.

Deadline: Rolling
Word count: 3 poems of up to 50 lines each; one submission per month
Pay: Unspecified
Details here.

The New Verse

They publish politically progressive poetry on current events and topical issues.

Deadline: None specified
Word count: None specified
Pay: No payment
Details here.

Competitions for poets

Utah Original Writing Competition

For unpublished manuscripts and short writing by Utah writers in various categories.

Value: $1,000 and $500 each for a novel, creative non-fiction book, a book-length collection of short stories, and a young adult book (this is a first-book category); $300 and $150 each for poetry (up to 10 poems, or 1,000 lines), short fiction and creative non-fiction essay (up to 7,500 words each) categories
Deadline: 23 June 2017
Open for: Utah writers aged 18 or older; the guidelines have specific residency requirements
Details here.

Creative Future Literary Awards

This is a writing competition for poetry (200 words) and flash fiction (300 words) on the theme of ‘Important Nothings’ – a Jane Austen quote to celebrate her 200th anniversary this year. It is for under-represented writers in the UK – carers and care leavers, those with physical, mental or learning disability or sensory impairment, long-term illness, substance misuse issues, for the homeless or those in temporary accommodation, abuse survivors, long-term unemployed, offenders or ex-offenders, part of the black, minority ethnic and refugee (BMER)/traveller community, LGBTQ community, or older persons.

Value: 12 prizes, including cash – £200, £150, £100, £50 – for each prose and poetry; professional mentorship and manuscript consultation for the top two categories; and courses/workshops, and inclusion in an anthology for all winners
Deadline: 26 June 2017
Open for: Under-represented writers in the UK
Details here.

Waterford Poetry Prize 2017

This is a poetry prize for those living in Ireland. There is a 40-line limit and they accept only hard copy submissions.

Value: €400 and a writing course; €300; €200
Deadline: 26 June 2017
Open for: All writers living on the island of Ireland
Details here.

NYFA Canadian Women Artists’ Award

This is an award for Canadian women artists, including students in bachelor’s or master’s degree programs, living in New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut. There are various submission requirements, including a work sample (see guidelines). Artists can apply in various categories, including fiction, non-fiction literature, poetry, playwriting/screenwriting. The award is meant to support an early-career artist.

Value: $5,000
Deadline: 30 June 2017
Open for: Female Canadian citizens between the ages of 21 and 35 who are living and working in New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut
Details here.

The British Czech & Slovak Association’s 2017 Writing Competition

They are looking for fiction or non-fiction on the links between Britain and the Czech/Slovak Republics, at any stage in their history, or describing society in transition in the Republics since 1989. Topics could be history, politics, the sciences, economics, the arts or literature. The writing must be 1,500-2,000 words and the suggested (not compulsory) theme is Brexit. Writers can submit as many entries as they like. Their website says the competition is open to writers of all ages, educational backgrounds and nationalities, and the competition is subject to terms and conditions, which are available by email or a phone call.

Value: £300 and £100, and publication in the British Czech and Slovak Review
Deadline: 30 June 2017
Open for: All writers
Details here.

2018 Oregon Literary Fellowships

These are for helping Oregon writers initiate, develop or complete literary projects in poetry, fiction, literary nonfiction, drama and young readers literature. Writers in the early stages of their career are encouraged to apply. Submit 15 pages of poetry or 25 pages of prose; the work could be published or unpublished. Writers may also ask to be considered for Writers of Color Fellowship, Women Writers Fellowship, Oregon Arts Commission Fellowships or the Swails/Monroe Fiction Fellowships. There are also fellowships for Oregon-based magazines/small presses.

Value: Unspecified, but nine writers and two publishers were awarded $3,500 each last year
Deadline: 10 July 2017
Open for: Current, full-time Oregon residents; the requirements for residency are different for various fellowships

Details here and here.

Kathleen Grattan Poetry Award

This is a biannual poetry award for New Zealand/Pacific residents. This is for a collection of poems or one long poem; submit a minimum of 20 pages. Individual poems may have been published before, but not the collection itself.

Value: AU$10,000 and a year’s subscription to Landfall magazine
Deadline: 31 July 2017
Open for: New Zealand or Pacific permanent citizens or residents
Details here.

Polar Expressions Publishing: 10th Annual National Poetry and Short Story Competitions

These competitions, for poetry and short stories, are open for Canadian residents and citizens of all ages. Poems must be up to 48 lines and short stories, up to 750 words.

Value: CA$500, CA$250, CA$100 each in poetry and short story for those aged 16 or over; CA$200, CA$100 and CA$50 each in poetry and short stories for those aged 15 and under; publication
Deadline: 31 July 2017
Open for: Canadian residents and citizens
Details here.

The 2017 Winter Tangerine Awards

This is for new and emerging poets and writers. Submit up to 4 poems (up to 8 pages) and/or 12 pages of prose.

Value: Two prizes of $250, publication; $20 for finalists
Deadline: 1 August 2017
Open for: New and emerging poets and writers (those who have not published a book)
Details here.