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If you enjoy writing poetry, or have just recently started experimenting, entering poetry contests can be a great way to hone your talent and get exposure for your work.

Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities out there, and many of them come with a chance to win cash prizes! We’ve put together a list of poetry contests that you can enter today so you can grow your confidence and your skills.

2021 Poetry Contests

Contest NameSubmission GuidelinesFirst PrizeEntry FeeDeadline
The 2021 Colorado Prize for Poetrywww.coloradoreview.colostate.edu/colorado-prize-for-poetry/$2,000$28January 14, 2021
William Matthews Poetry Prizewww.ashevillepoetryreview.com$1,000$20January 15, 2021
Rising Writer Prizeswww.autumnhouse.org/submissions/rising-writers-poetry/$500$25January 15, 2021
North American Book Awardwww.poetrysocietyofvirginia.org$1,000$35January 15, 2021
Magma Poetry Competitionwww.magmapoetry.com/magma-2020-21-poetry-competition/£1,000£5January 20, 2021
8th Ó Bhéal Five Words International Poetry Competitionwww.obheal.ie/blog/five-words-poetry-competition/$750$5January 26, 2021
The Kent and Sussex Poetry Society Open Competitionwww.kentandsussexpoetry.com/the-kent-sussex-poetry-society-open-competition/£1,000£5January 31, 2021
Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awardswww.poetrycenterpccc.com/awards$1,000$18February 1, 2021
The 16th Elmbridge Literary Competitionwww.rcsherrifftrust.org.uk/copy-of-the-2020-elmbridge-literary£250£5February 5, 2021
Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicinewww.hippocrates-poetry.org/index.html£1,000£7February 14, 2021
Nature and Place Poetry Competition 2021www.therialto.co.uk/pages/nature-poetry-competition-2021/£1,000£7March 1, 2021
TCK Publishing Poetry Awards Contestwww.tckpublishing.com/2021-poetry-awards-contest/$1,000$5March 31, 2021
Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contestwww.winningwriters.com/our-contests/wergle-flomp-humor-poetry-contest-free$3,000$20April 1, 2021
Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prizewww.marshhawkpress.org/marsh-hawk-press-poetry-prize-awards/$1,000$25April 30, 2021
Farnham Flash Fiction Competition 2021www.dystopianstories.com/events/farnham-flash-fiction-competition-2021/£750£5June 4, 2021

Are Poetry Contests Legit?

It’s very normal for the organizers of poetry contests to charge entry fees (anywhere from $5–$50 is typical, depending on the prominence of the host organization and the prize amount).

However, there are some contests that should be avoided. Many are actually vanity publishers, aiming to sell you expensive personalized products and attract you to conferences. Others claim the right to publish your entry regardless of whether or not you win a prize. Check out this list of contests to avoid before entering.

To find a legitimate poetry contest, you should always read the fine print, and make sure the prize being offered matches what’s written in the guidelines.

How Do You Enter a Poem Contest?

When it comes to entering any type of writing contest, the most important thing is to follow the guidelines to a tee. The contest’s host should have detailed guidelines that explain deadlines, how you should submit your work, minimum and maximum word counts, etc.

It would be a shame for all your hard work to be disqualified from a contest for failure to comply with something as simple as a formatting rule, so make sure you review the guidelines thoroughly.

For more tips, check out our guide on how to enter a writing contest so you can increase your chances of success.

Enter TCK Publishing’s 2021 Poetry Contest

TCK Publishing invites you to enter our first annual Poetry Contest! We’re accepting submissions now through March 31, 2021.

Submit up to five poems totaling no more than 500 words with an entry fee of $5 for your chance to win $1,000. Read the full poetry contest rules and enter now!

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