5 March 2022 Poetry Contests to Submit To

Entering poetry contests and submitting to literary journals stands out as one of the most common writing resolutions. Putting your writing into the world can boost confidence, make you more comfortable with the process, and help you work toward a deadline or goal. Take the next step by submitting to these five upcoming contests. 


1. Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award

Deadline: March 1

No entry fee


This contest from Broadside Lotus Press invites Black poets to submit an unpublished manuscript of 60 to 90 pages for publication. Broadside Lotus Press has previously published fascinating books celebrating Black culture, including titles about Booker T. Washington, Octavia Butler, and the legacy of blues music. Writers interested in submitting should mail their work to the press at 8300 East Jefferson Ave., Apt. 504, Detroit, MI 48214. The winner receives $500 in cash. 


2. The Robinson Jeffers Tor House 2022 Prize for Poetry

Deadline: March 15

Entry fee: $10 for up to three poems, $15 for up to six poems, and $2.50 for each additional poem


This competition pays tribute to Robinson Jeffers, perhaps best known for adapting the Greek tragedy Medea for the stage. Poets interested in submitting have the freedom to submit in any style or form, with the only rule being that they can’t exceed three pages. Additionally, writers can send as many poems as they want. Manuscripts should be mailed to the Tor House Foundation at Box 223240, Carmel, CA 93922. One first-place winner earns $1,000, with honorable mention winners receiving $200. Forrest Gander, a Pulitzer Prize winner and professor at Brown University, serves as the final judge. 


3. The Prairie Schooner Raz-Shumaker Book Prize Series

Deadline: March 15

Entry fee: $25


Past winners of this prestigious award, given by one of the nation’s best journals, include Jihyun Yun, Aria Aber, and Venita Blackburn. To be a part of this literary lineage, submit an unpublished manuscript of at least 50 pages. Entrants can send a physical copy to 110 Andrews Hall Lincoln, NE 68588-0334, or use Submittable. The prize is $3,000, as well as publication from the University of Nebraska Press. 


4. The National Poetry Series

Deadline: March 15

Entry fee: $35


Many poets dream of getting a collection published by revered presses like Penguin Books, Milkweed Editions, and Ecco. The National Poetry Series aims to make that a reality for five winning authors by partnering with five prominent publishers. The contest accepts manuscripts between 48 and 64 pages and uses Submittable. Open to U.S. citizens and Americans living abroad, the contest rewards winners with publication and a $10,000 cash prize.


5. The Airlie Prize

Deadline: March 15

Entry fee: $25


Airlie Press, which counts Dorianne Laux and Naomi Shihab Nye among its advisory members, has published more than 20 evocative titles. The press looks to continue this with its annual Airlie Prize, inviting poets to send manuscripts of between 48 and 90 pages. One winner will be awarded with publication and a $1,000 prize. 


Happy submitting!