6 Summer 2021 Poetry Contests to Enter
A new season brings new opportunities to put your work out there! The process of submitting to contests offers the opportunity to revise your poems, put together a manuscript, and develop your writerly courage and confidence—plus, you just might win a prize and get published. Here are six upcoming contests to add to your calendar!
1. Marystina Santiestevan First Book Prize
Deadline: July 5
The Marystina Santiestevan First Book Prize, sponsored by the biannual literary journal Conduit, invites poets who have not yet published a full collection to submit manuscripts between 48 and 90 pages. Bob Hicok, author of nine collections and recipient of multiple Pushcart Prizes, will be the final judge. The entry fee is $25, and the winning poet will receive $1,500 and 30 copies of their published collection.
2. Rattle Poetry Prize
Deadline: July 15
Rattle is one of the most acclaimed literary magazines in the United States, having published 15 Pulitzer Prize winners, 11 National Book Award winners, and 12 U.S. Poet Laureates. The Rattle Poetry Prize offers a chance to be a part of that growing legacy. The contest seeks the strongest single poem—but entrants can submit four of their best—and it will award publication and $15,000 to one winner. Ten finalists will also earn $500 and publication. In exchange for the $25 entry fee, each poet who submits to the contest will receive a one-year subscription to Rattle.
3. The 2021 Muriel Craft Bailey Memorial Poetry Contest
Deadline: July 15
The Muriel Craft Bailey Memorial Award, run by The Comstock Review, also selects one poem for publication, but entrants can submit up to five poems for a fee of $25. Poems must not exceed 40 lines. Juan Felipe Herrera, a former U.S. Poet Laureate and the author of more than 20 books, will judge.
4. Narrative’s 13th Annual Poetry Contest
Deadline: July 16
Narrative has been publishing incredible poets—both emerging and established—since 2003. In fact, poets published by Narrative have gone on to win the Pulitzer Prize and be anthologized in The Best American Poetry. Will you be next? Submit up to five poems for a chance to receive publication and an award of $1,500 (first place), $750 (second place), $300 (third place), or $75 (given to 10 finalists). The entry fee is $25, which earns you special perks on Narrative’s website.
5. Red Wheelbarrow Poetry Prize
Deadline: July 31
See your poetry in gorgeous design with this contest, which gives the winner a letterpress broadside of their poem and $1,000 (second and third place winners receive $500 and $250, respectively). The winner and finalists will be published in Red Wheelbarrow, an annual journal housed at De Anza College. Mark Doty, the author of nine poetry collections and a New York Times bestselling memoirist, will judge. Poets can submit three poems for consideration.
6. The Off the Grid Poetry Prize
Deadline: August 31
Poets can thrive at any age. That’s the premise behind the Off the Grid Poetry Prize, founded in 2011 to celebrate poets over the age of 60. While journals and publishers often overlook older poets, this prize argues that they shouldn’t—and it awards $1,000 and publication to an older poet. Manuscripts must be 50 pages or longer. The entry fee is $25.