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 Name||Submission Guidelines||First Prize||Entry Fee||Deadline|
|The 2021 Colorado Prize for Poetry||www.coloradoreview.colostate.edu/colorado-prize-for-poetry/||$2,000||$28||January 14, 2021|
|William Matthews Poetry Prize||www.ashevillepoetryreview.com||$1,000||$20||January 15, 2021|
|Rising Writer Prizes||www.autumnhouse.org/submissions/rising-writers-poetry/||$500||$25||January 15, 2021|
|North American Book Award||www.poetrysocietyofvirginia.org||$1,000||$35||January 15, 2021|
|Magma Poetry Competition||www.magmapoetry.com/magma-2020-21-poetry-competition/||£1,000||£5||January 20, 2021|
|8th Ó Bhéal Five Words International Poetry Competition||www.obheal.ie/blog/five-words-poetry-competition/||$750||$5||January 26, 2021|
|The Kent and Sussex Poetry Society Open Competition||www.kentandsussexpoetry.com/the-kent-sussex-poetry-society-open-competition/||£1,000||£5||January 31, 2021|
|Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards||www.poetrycenterpccc.com/awards||$1,000||$18||February 1, 2021|
|The 16th Elmbridge Literary Competition||www.rcsherrifftrust.org.uk/copy-of-the-2020-elmbridge-literary||£250||£5||February 5, 2021|
|Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine||www.hippocrates-poetry.org/index.html||£1,000||£7||February 14, 2021|
|Nature and Place Poetry Competition 2021||www.therialto.co.uk/pages/nature-poetry-competition-2021/||£1,000||£7||March 1, 2021|
|TCK Publishing Poetry Awards Contest||www.tckpublishing.com/2021-poetry-awards-contest/||$1,000||$5||March 31, 2021|
|Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest||www.winningwriters.com/our-contests/wergle-flomp-humor-poetry-contest-free||$3,000||$20||April 1, 2021|
|Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize||www.marshhawkpress.org/marsh-hawk-press-poetry-prize-awards/||$1,000||$25||April 30, 2021|
|Farnham Flash Fiction Competition 2021||www.dystopianstories.com/events/farnham-flash-fiction-competition-2021/||£750||£5||June 4, 2021|
|Mudfish Poetry Prize||www.mudfish.org||$1,200||$20||July 31, 2021|
|Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales Poetry Prize||broadkillriverpress.com||$500||Free||August 15, 2021|
|Indiana Review “1/2 K” Prize||indianareview.org/1-2-k-prize-2/||$1,000||$20||August 15, 2021|
|Grayson Books Poetry Prize||graysonbooks.com/contest.html||$1,000||$25||August 15, 2021|
|Kallisto Gaia Press Poetry Prize||www.kallistogaiapress.org/poetry-prize/||$1,200||$20||August 20, 2021|
|The Off the Grid Poetry Prize||www.grid-books.org/off-the-grid-press||$1,000||$25||August 31, 2021|
|Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry Prize||www.utica.edu/eugene-paul-nassar-poetry-prize||$2,000||Free||August 31, 2021|
|Off the Grid Poetry Prize||www.grid-books.org/off-the-grid-press||$1,000||$25||August 31, 2021|
|Black Warrior Review||bwr.ua.edu||$1,000||$15||September 1, 2021|
|Radar Poetry Coniston Prize||www.radarpoetry.com/contest||$2,000||$20||September 1, 2021|
|Dogwood Literary Awards||dogwoodliterary.com/submissions/||$1,000||$10||September 5, 2021|
|The Moth Nature Writing Prize||themothmagazine.com||$1,191||$18||September 15, 2021|
|The Jake Adam York Prize||copper-nickel.org/bookprize/||$2,000||$25||October 15, 2021|
|James Hearst Poetry Prize||northamericanreview.com/james-hearst-poetry-prize/||$1,000||$20||October 31, 2021|
|Rhino Poetry Founders' Prize||rhinopoetry.org/founders-prize/||$500||$10||October 31, 2021|
|Tethered By Letters Fall Poetry Contest||frictionlit.org/about/submit/||$300||$8||November 1, 2021|
|Annual Gival Press Poetry Award||www.givalpress.com/contests||$1,000||$20||December 15, 2021|
|Jeff Marks Memorial Poetry Prize||decembermag.org/jeff-marks-memorial-poetry-prize/||$1,000||$20||December 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!
Did you find this post helpful? Let us know in the comments below!
If you enjoyed this post, then you might also like:
- How to Enter a Writing Contest: 8 Tips for Success
- What to Do After Winning a Writing Contest: 5 Ways to Celebrate Your Win
- 2020 Writing Contests: Where and How to Enter Your Work
- How to Improve Your Writing Skills: 6 Simple Ways to Grow
As a blog writer for TCK Publishing, Kaelyn loves crafting fun and helpful content for writers, readers, and creative minds alike. She has a degree in International Affairs with a minor in Italian Studies, but her true passion has always been writing. Working remotely allows her to do even more of the things she loves, like traveling, cooking, and spending time with her family.