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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$2,000$28January 14, 2021
William Matthews Poetry$1,000$20January 15, 2021
Rising Writer$500$25January 15, 2021
North American Book$1,000$35January 15, 2021
Magma Poetry£1,000£5January 20, 2021
8th Ó Bhéal Five Words International Poetry$750$5January 26, 2021
The Kent and Sussex Poetry Society Open£1,000£5January 31, 2021
Allen Ginsberg Poetry$1,000$18February 1, 2021
The 16th Elmbridge Literary£250£5February 5, 2021
Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and£1,000£7February 14, 2021
Nature and Place Poetry Competition£1,000£7March 1, 2021
TCK Publishing Poetry Awards$1,000$5March 31, 2021
Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry$3,000$20April 1, 2021
Marsh Hawk Press Poetry$1,000$25April 30, 2021
Farnham Flash Fiction Competition£750£5June 4, 2021
Mudfish Poetry$1,200$20July 31, 2021
Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales Poetry$500FreeAugust 15, 2021
Indiana Review “1/2 K”$1,000$20August 15, 2021
Grayson Books Poetry$1,000$25August 15, 2021
Kallisto Gaia Press Poetry$1,200$20August 20, 2021
The Off the Grid Poetry Prize$1,000$25August 31, 2021
Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry$2,000FreeAugust 31, 2021
Off the Grid Poetry$1,000$25August 31, 2021
Black Warrior$1,000$15September 1, 2021
Radar Poetry Coniston$2,000$20September 1, 2021
Dogwood Literary$1,000$10September 5, 2021
The Moth Nature Writing$1,191$18September 15, 2021
The Jake Adam York$2,000$25October 15, 2021
James Hearst Poetry$1,000$20October 31, 2021
Rhino Poetry Founders'$500$10October 31, 2021
Tethered By Letters Fall Poetry$300$8November 1, 2021
Annual Gival Press Poetry$1,000$20December 15, 2021
Jeff Marks Memorial Poetry$1,000$20December 15, 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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