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5 February Poetry Contests to Enter

Submitting your work can be intimidating and nerve-wracking. However, putting your words out there provides an opportunity to hone your revision process, familiarize yourself with the publishing industry, and—above all—grow your poetry career. Whether you have a few polished, unpublished poems or a full collection in the works, there’s a February poetry contest for you. We’ve handpicked these five opportunities to jump-start your submission process. 


Slippery Elm Prize

Deadline: Feb. 1, 2021

Entry fee: $15

Award-winning poet Conor Bracken judges this poetry prize, which asks poets to submit up to three unpublished, original poems. Winners will receive $1,000 and be published in Slippery Elm, and all entrants will receive a copy of the issue.


Yeats Poetry Prize

Deadline: Feb. 1, 2021

Entry fee: $15+

This contest packs a $1,000 first-place prize and $500 runner-up award for one poem of up to 60 lines. Awarded by the Yeats Society of New York, the honor pays tribute to William Butler Yeats, the first Irish poet to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. 


Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award

Deadline: Feb. 1, 2021

Entry fee: $18

This annual contest celebrating Allen Ginsberg’s literary legacy welcomes submissions of up to five poems. First-prize winners can expect $1,000, with second place and third place commanding $200 and $100, respectively. Winners and honorable mentions also receive publication in the Paterson Literary Review.


Hippocrates Prize

Deadline: Feb. 14, 2021

Entry fee: $10

This unique award is granted to a poet who submits one poem on the complex topic of medicine and health. Readers and judges for the award include both impressive poets and accomplished medical professionals. The poet who best illuminates a medical subject through their work will gain £1000 (about $1,360), as well as publication.


Willow Run Poetry Book Award

Deadline: Feb. 20, 2021

Entry fee: $20

Open to poets around the world, the Willow Run Poetry Book Award is for writers who have developed a full-length manuscript. Submit a cohesive 75 to 100 pages of poetry, and you could win $1,000 and be published by Hidden River Press. 


Happy submitting!