Poetry Competitions, Submissions & Opportunities – January 2020

Happy New Year!

A new year and a new decade – time to weigh up the past, think about the future and set some writing resolutions for 2020. And to help you hit those goals here’s the January poetry list – over 120 poetry competitionswriting submissions and opportunities open or with deadlines in January 2020!

In addition to the poetry deadlines for this month, I’ve done a New Year blitz on all the Open Submission links (thanks to Claire Hennessy for the tip!) and removed journals that are no longer operating or have changed their submissions policy. I’ve also added a whole bunch of new links to literary journals who are always open for submission including heavy-hitters like POETRY Magazine, PN Review, The Poetry Society, The Moth and more, giving you even better opportunities to get those poems out into the world!

January can be a bit of a flat month after all the festivities so I’m running a 30 Days of Winter Writing Challenge, with daily prompts to help build a regular writing practice. All you have to do is write for 15 minutes about whatever the prompt brings to mind. 

Places are booked out in the official challenge group but if you could do with a little inspiration over the next few weeks, here’s the prompt list – feel free to follow along at your own pace. If you’re feeling brave, post an extract of your writing on social media with these tags: #30DaysofWinter #30DayChallenge #JanuaryWriteOff.

30 Days of Winter_2020_prompts

If you’d like to hear about future events, sign up to my mailing list for first dibs on the next challenge before it goes public!

Whether you’re writing or submitting during January, I wish you a happy and successful 2020! If you appreciate the monthly list and would like to support it, consider making a small donation via the Paypal donation button (right) and/or share the link on your own blog or social media pages. Thank you and best of luck!


January 2020

Arc Poetry Magazine – Poetry – closes 1 Jan (submit online)

Black Sun Lit – Poetry, Prose, Essay, Translation, theme: Lacunae/Death – closes 1 Jan (submit online)

Boyne Berries – Poetry, Flash – closes 1 Jan (submit online)

Columbia Poetry Review – Poetry – closes 1 Jan (submit online)

Crazyhorse – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Translation – closes 1 Jan (submit online)

LitMag – Poetry – closes 1 Jan (submit online)

The Selkie Resiliency Anthology – Poetry (Canadian/Canada-based poets only) – closes 1 Jan (submit online)

The North – Poetry – closes 1 Jan (submit online)

Tupelo Press Dorset Prize – Poetry manuscript (48-88 pages) – closes 2 Jan (submit online)

The Barn Owl Trust Poetry Competition – Poetry, theme: Protecting Life on Earth – closes 3 Jan (submit online)

The Disquiet Prize – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction – closes 3 Jan (submit online)

Dartmouth Poet in Residence at The Frost Place – Poetry – closes 5 Jan (submit online)

SAND – Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Translation & Art – closes 5 Jan (submit online)

Mslexia – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction – closes 6 Jan (submit online)

Yaddo Residency – All disciplines – closes 5 Jan (submit online)

Centre Culturel Irlandais Residency – All disciplines – closes 8 Jan (submit online)

Arts Council Ireland: Touring & Dissemination Scheme – All genres – closes 9 Jan (submit online)

Gorse 13: Taboo – Poetry, Fiction, Essay, Art – closes 9 Jan (submit online)

The A3 Review Chapbook Submission – Poetry, Fiction, Art – closes 10 Jan (submit online)

The Colorado Prize for Poetry – Poetry manuscript (48-100 pages) – closes 14 Jan (submit online)

Cork International Poetry Festival: Prebooked Poetry Introductions Reading – Poetry, Fiction, Essay, Art – closes 15 Jan (submit online)

Rattle Chapbook Prize – Poetry (15-30 pages) – closes 15 Jan (submit online)

Seashores Haiku Journal – Poetry – closes 15 Jan (submit online)

Visual Verse – Poetry, Flash, Non-Fiction – closes 15 Jan (submit online)

The Stinging Fly – Poetry, Fiction – closes 16 Jan (submit online)

The Edward Thomas Fellowship Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 18 Jan (submit online or by post)

IOTA Shot Pamphlet Award – Poetry manuscript (16-20 pages) – closes 20 Jan (submit online)

Poets & Players Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 21 Jan (submit online)

The Emma Press – Poetry pamphlets (20-24 pages) – closes 24 Jan (submit online)

The A3 Review – Poetry, Flash, Art, theme: Thanatos – closes 25 Jan (submit online)

Mother Tongues Poetry Competition – Poetry (Age 8-18 years old) – closes 27 Jan (submit online)

Arts Council Ireland: Literary Bursary Award – All genres – closes 30 Jan (submit online)

Amsterdam Quarterly – Poetry, Fiction, Essays, Art, theme: Media – closes 31 Jan (submit online)

Bad Betty Press – Poetry manuscript (send 10 pages, under-represented writers encouraged) – closes 31 Jan (submit online)

Clav Mag – Poetry, Fiction, Essay – closes 31 Jan (submit online)

Foundry – Poetry (under-represented writers encouraged) – closes 31 Jan (submit online)

Into the Void Poetry Prize – Poetry – closes 31 Jan (submit online)

LossLit – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction (Under-represented writers encouraged) – closes 31 Jan (submit online)

Lunch Ticket: Amuse-Bouche – Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Creative Non-fiction and more – closes 31 Jan (submit online)

Neon Magazine – Poetry, Flash, Art and more – closes 31 Jan (submit online)

Pigott Poetry Prize – Published poetry collections (Ireland only) – closes 31 Jan (submit online)

Prole Laureate Competition – Poetry – closes 31 Jan (submit online)

Room Magazine – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction, Art, theme: Neurodivergence (Under-represented writers encouraged) – closes 31 Jan (submit online)

Teignmouth Poetry Festival 2020 Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 31 Jan (submit online)

The Iowa Review Awards – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction – closes 31 Jan (submit online)

The Keats-Shelley Prizes – Poetry, Essay, theme: Songbird – closes 31 Jan (submit online)

The Kent and Sussex Poetry Society Open Competition – Poetry – closes 31 Jan (submit online and by post)

The Plough International Poetry Prize – Poetry – closes 31 Jan (submit online)

The Rupture – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction – closes 31 Jan (submit online)

The Account – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction – closes 1 Feb (submit online)

The Southhampton Review – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction. Art – closes 1 Feb (submit online)

Not Very Quiet – Poetry, theme: Open – Surprise us! – closes 2 Feb (submit online)


JOURNALS / OPPORTUNITIES WITH RECURRING DEADLINES

Ó Bhéal Five Words – Poetry – deadline each week, annual prize (submit online)

Rattle: Poets Respond – Poetry, theme: current events – deadline each week (submit online)


JOURNALS / OPPORTUNITIES WITH OPEN SUBMISSION PERIODS IN JANUARY:

Abridged 0-59: Persephone – Poetry – closes 7 Feb (submit online)

The Honest Ulsterman – Poetry, Fiction, Essay & more – closes 7 Feb (submit online)

Poetry Ireland Introductions – Poetry (unpublished poets, Ireland only) – closes 9 Feb (submit online)

Acumen International Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 28 Feb (submit online)

Southword Journal – Poetry – closes 29 Feb (submit online)

Listowel Writers’ Week Poetry Awards – Poetry  – closes 29 Feb (submit online)

Acumen – Poetry – open (submit online)

Agenda – Poetry, Essays, Reviews – re-opening early 2020 (submit online)

Algebra of Owls – Poetry – open (submit online)

Ambit – Poetry, Fiction, Art – open (submit online)

A New Ulster – Poetry, Fiction, Artwork – open (submit online)

Anthropocene – Poetry – open (submit online)

Apartment Poetry – Poetry – open (submit online)

Atrium – Poetry – open (submit online)

Bear Review – Poetry, Fiction, Essays, Artwork – open (submit online)

Brittle Star – Poetry, Fiction – open (submit online)

Carve Magazine – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction – open (submit online)

Cheat River Review – Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Non-Fiction – open (submit online)

Driftwood Press – Poetry, Fiction, Literary Criticism – open (submit online)

Fecund Journal – Poetry, Fiction, Essay & more (POC only) – open (submit online)

FIVE:2:ONE – Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Artwork by underrepresented writers (POC, LGTBQ, non-binary, neurodivergent, trauma survivors etc.) – open (submit online)

Guernica – Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Photo Essays – open (submit by post)

Hosking Houses Trust Residencies – Women writers over 40 (all genres – must have contract to publish / broadcast / perform) – open (submit online)

I Am Not A Silent Poet – Poetry, theme: protesting abuse – open (submit online)

Idler – Poetry, Fiction, Essays – open (submit online)

Ink Sweat & Tears – Poetry – open 13 Jan 2020 (submit online)

Irish Literary Review – Poetry – open 1 Jan 2020 (submit online)

Lighthouse Literary Journal – Poetry & Short Fiction – open (submit online)

LitMag – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction, Essays – open (submit online)

Marble – Poetry – open (submit online)

New Contrast – Poetry, Fiction – open (submit online)

One – Poetry, a single poem – open (submit online)

Orbis – Poetry – open (submit by post (UK) or online (overseas only))

PANK – Poetry – open (submit online)

POETRY Magazine – Poetry – open 2 Jan 2020 (submit online)

Poetry Ireland Review – Poetry – open (submit by post)

Poetry London – Poetry – open (submit by post or online)

Poetry Salzburg – Poetry – open (submit by post or online)

Poetry Wales – Poetry – open (submit by post or online)

Peepal Tree Press – Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction manuscripts from Black & Caribbean writers – open (submit online)

PN Review – Poetry, Essays, Reviews – open (submit by post)

Rattle – Poetry – open (submit by post and online)

Riggwelter – Poetry, Short Fiction, Visual Art – open 31 March 2020 (submit online)

Shakespeare & Co Tumbleweeds Residency – all writers – open (submit online)

South Bank Poetry – Poetry – open (submit online)

Spry Literary Journal – Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Creative Non-fiction, Artwork – open (submit online)

Squawk Back – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Reviews, Plays – open (submit online)

Stand Magazine – Poetry, Fiction – open (submit online)

Stepaway Magazine – Poetry, Flash Fiction, theme: walking in the city – open (submit online)

Tears in the Fence – Poetry – open (submit online)

The American Journal of Poetry – Poetry – open (submit online)

The Brooklyn Quarterly – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Translation, Humour – open (submit online)

The Cardiff Review – Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Flash (preference given to students and unpublished graduates of Creative Writing, English Literature & Journalism) – open (submit online)

The Compass Magazine – Poetry – open (submit online)

The Curly Mind – Poetry, theme: experimental – open (submit online)

The Dark Horse – Poetry – open (submit by post)

The Ellis Review – Poetry, published weekly – open (submit online)

The Galway Review – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Reviews, Plays – open (submit online)

The Lake – Poetry – open (submit online)

The Lascaux Review – Poetry, Fiction, Essays – open (submit online)

The London Magazine – Poetry, Non-Fiction, Art – open (submit online)

The Missouri Review – Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction – open (submit online)

The Moth – Poetry, Fiction – open (submit online)

The Ofi Press Magazine – Poetry & Short Fiction – open (submit online)

The Poetry Village – Poetry – open (submit online)

The Poetry Review – Poetry – open (submit online)

The Sea Letter – Poetry, Fiction, Artwork – open (submit online)

The Selkie – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Features (marginalised and/or under-represented voices incl. women (or identify as), people of colour, immigrants, LGBTQIA+, neurodivergent and more) – open (submit online)

The Seventh Quarry – Short Poetry – open (submit online)

The Southeast Review – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction, Reviews, Artwork – open (submit online)

The Sun Magazine – Poetry, Fiction, Essays, Interviews – open (submit online)

The Times Literary Supplement – Poetry (submit by post)

Three Drops From a Cauldron – Poetry, Flash, theme: Myth, Folklore, Fables, Fairytales – on hiatus until 2021 (submit online)

Tinderbox Poetry Journal – Poetry – open (submit online)

Wildness – Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction – open (submit online) Best of luck!


If you have a competition or journal with a deadline in January 2020, and it is not included above, feel free to add the details with a link in the comments section below!


(Illustration by Nicole Ray via Etsy)

Submitting to Poetry Journals & Competitions: A Beginner’s Guide

Chatting to writers during the recent #JanuaryWriteOff 30 Day Challenge, it became clear many people find the process of submitting to poetry journals and competitions quite daunting. From formatting to bios to fees, there can be a lot of hoops to jump through and I thought it might be useful to walk you through the process.

What Goes into a Submission?

When you’re preparing work to send out into the world, you will need to prepare a package of information comprising some, or all, of the following:

  • Your work, presented in accordance with the competition or journal’s Submission Guidelines;
  • A short writer’s bio;
  • A cover letter and/or a completed application form;
  • An author’s photo;
  • Competition or Submission fees (if applicable).

Let’s take a look at each of these in more detail. Continue reading

JOIN THE 30 DAYS OF WINTER WRITING CHALLENGE

Do you want to set some new writing resolutions this winter? Fancy getting a jump on a new year and new decade by having 30 crisp new first drafts by 1 February 2020?

Following the success of the January & April Write-Offs and 30 Days of Summer, the 30 Day Writing Challenge returns next month with #30DaysofWinter – a series of fun new year and winter-themed prompts to spark your imagination and get you writing every day during January 2020.

Writers on my mailing list always get first dibs on new opportunities and places on the new challenge have already been snapped up overnight. Numbers are limited and the remaining spots will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

The challenge takes place online – follow at your own pace at home or interact with the Facebook group and community, it’s up to you. All the information is on the website – just click the button below for details. And if you have any questions, drop me a line.

Hope to see you in the Challenge!

 

Poetry Competitions, Submissions & Opportunities – December 2019

It’s the end of the year and the end of a decade but there’s there’s still time to send your work out before the clock hands, cogs and levers turn to embrace the Twenties!! Here are over 120 poetry competitionswriting submissions and opportunities open or with deadlines in December – so get cracking and end the year in style! Continue reading

Poetry Competitions, Submissions & Opportunities – November 2019

The clocks are turned back and we’re heading into the end of the year and those deep, dark winter evenings by the fire. All the better for reviewing our poems and checking out a bumper crop of over 140 poetry competitions, writing submissions and opportunities open or with deadlines in November 2019! Continue reading

JOIN THE 30 DAYS OF SUMMER WRITING CHALLENGE

Do you want to keep your daily writing practice on track this summer? Fancy having 30 crisp new first drafts by 1 September?

Following the success of the January & April Write-Offs, the 30 Day Writing Challenge returns next month with #30DaysofSummer – a series of fun summer and sun-themed prompts to spark your imagination and get you writing every day during August 2019.

Writers on my mailing list always get first dibs on new opportunities and places on the new challenge have already been snapped up overnight. Numbers are limited and the remaining spots will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

The challenge takes place online – follow at your own pace at home or interact with the Facebook group and community, it’s up to you. All the information is on the website – just click the button below for details. And if you have any questions, drop me a line.

Hope to see you in the Challenge!

 

Surviving NaPoWriMo: Tips for a 30-Day Poetry Challenge

NaPoWriMo kicks off on April 1 and writers around the world will attempt to write a poem a day for 30 days. I’ve taken part in NaPoWriMo and other 30-day challenges, and I’ve also hosted them. I thought it might be useful to share some tips about how to get the most out of an intensive creative challenge.

Why Do It?

Writing is a solitary experience – we are only accountable to ourselves and that can be isolating. A 30-day challenge provides the opportunity to:

  • Focus: Put your writing front and centre for a set period of time.
  • Commit: Show up at the page every day.
  • Establish Boundaries: Protect your writing time as an integral part of your day.
  • Create a Writing Habit: It only takes 22 days to form a habit.
  • Be Part of a Community: Enjoy support and encouragement around a shared experience.
  • Be Surprised: At what you can accomplish in a single month!

What to Expect?

Week 1 – enthusiasm, excitement, fun – it’s a novelty and you’re full of ideas!

Week 2 – life intrudes, miss a day and it feels like failure, habit starts to slip.

Week 3 – inspiration fades, repeating yourself, overwhelm, time to push through.

Week 4 – almost there, renewed spurt of energy, rush of adrenaline, triumph!

Top TIPS for Surviving NaPoWriMo

It’s easy to become overwhelmed and burn-out when doing an intensive challenge like this, or to miss a day due to the everyday responsibilities and feel like a failure. Here are some ideas to help you make it through.

  1. Go easy on yourself: NaPoWriMo is a bit of fun, not another chore. If you miss a day, start again the following day. If need to take a day to catch your breath, same. Don’t write off the whole challenge because of a couple of missed days. At the end of the month, you will still have achieved much more than you normally would or had even thought possible.
  2. Manage your mindset: The challenge is derived from NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month in November, where the focus is on quantity, not quality. Think of it as a 30-day scavenger hunt – you want to spark an idea, capture the essence of it and move on. Switch off your critical voice. Knowing that these are fast first drafts takes the pressure off. As Jodi Picoult says: ‘You might not write well every day but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.’
  3. Limit your writing time: I recommend a 15-minute free-write. It’s enough time to explore an idea or prompt but not so much that it will interfere with the rest of your day. It keeps the bar nice and low and the challenge manageable. Setting your alarm clock 15 minutes earlier or taking the time out at the end of the day isn’t too much of a hardship.
  4. Use prompts: Prompts focus the mind on finding the best way to write about a subject, rather than finding something to write about. It’s one less barrier to getting started and they can startle interesting responses that, otherwise, you might never have written. There are lots of resources online for writing prompts and the official NaPoWriMo site publishes a prompt every day.
  5. Join a group: Because it’s a global phenomenon, there’s so much support out there for poets during the month of April. A group provides encouragement for when the novelty wears off and you need to dig a little deeper. Check in once a day to keep yourself accountable. I recommend a ‘no critique’ environment as the work is just at the first draft stage – the focus of the group should simply be on supporting and encouraging one another in the task.
  6. Don’t try to write a complete poem in a day! Poems need time to come to fruition – this is about catching an idea, getting enough down on the page to pick up again later but do try to get the complete shape of the poem if you can. You’re creating a store of potential poems to come back to and develop.
  7. Manage Expectations: Not every idea will be genius and that’s OK. There is more to be gained in showing up at the page every day. It trains your mind to be receptive and open to new ideas. Think of it as a month of new beginnings, of exploration rather than achievement.
  8. Don’t Cheat: If you’re working with prompts, it can be tempting to pull a poem with a similar theme out of a drawer to give yourself a day off. The problem is your brain knows you didn’t do the work, that you’ve let yourself off the hook, and – because brains like problem-solving – it immediately goes looking for other ways to bunk off, the scamp! I recommend the fifteen-minute free-write for this reason – it’s achievable, even on the busiest of days. And if you need a day off, it’s better just to acknowledge this and start fresh the next day.
  9. Experiment with Poetic Form: Not every poem has to be an epic! On the days when the words are in short supply, try one of the many short poetic forms like Haiku, Cinquain, Triolet or Sonnet. Here’s a great resource of 100 Poetic Forms to play with.
  10. Ego & Competition: Challenges and group dynamics can quickly bring out your competitive streak – ignore it! The only person you are competing with in writing is yourself – your last poem, your best ideas. Don’t get caught up in ego trips or mind-games.
  11. To share or not to share? It’s daunting to share a first draft with a group of strangers – I leave it up to you to decide if it’s the right choice for you. Other options are to share a line or two that you like from your free-write or to simply report how you got on that day. I do think it’s important to post something every day even if you’re finding it hard to write (especially if you’re finding it hard to write). It’s a good way to check in with your writing self and reading the group’s responses to the challenge may shake something loose!
  12. Read other poems: Whenever I feel stuck in my writing, I’ll pick up a collection, start to read and within minutes ideas are sparking! In order to draw from the well of inspiration, we first have to fill it. A great resource is the Poetry Foundation’s Poem a Day – sign up to their mailing list and you’ll receive a poem a day in your inbox.
  13. Enjoy!

If that’s whetted your appetite, there are still a few places left in my NaPoWriMo April Write Off – a private Facebook group with prompts, daily advice, inspiration and lots of feedback and encouragement. Click the button below to sign up.

***April 2019 Challenge Now Closed***
 

Featured image by Anna Sullivan for Unsplash.

Are you ready to Crush #NaPoWriMo in 2019?

Welcome to the April Write Off – A #napowrimo 30 day Challenge!

National Poetry Writing Month is almost upon us – the time of year when writers around the world take on the challenge of penning a poem every single day for a month.

Are you ready to make 2019 the year you conquer #NaPoWriMo???

Following the success of the January Write Off, I’m launching a brand spanking new 30 day challenge to spark your imagination and get those creative juices flowing in April.

It’s the perfect way to hold yourself accountable to your writing goals during #NaPoWriMo.

Writers on my mailing list always get first dibs on new opportunities and over half the spots have already been snapped up overnight. Numbers are limited and the remaining spots will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

All the information is on the website – just click the button below for details. And if you have any questions, drop me a line.

Hope to see you in the Challenge!

Last-minute Christmas Gift: Poetry Mentoring Gift Voucher

Voucher_blankIf you’re stuck for a perfect gift for the poet in your life – or want to drop a hint to Santa for yourself – gift vouchers are available for my one-to-one poetry mentoring sessions.

Each session includes a preliminary report on up to 6 poems (or 150 lines), a one-hour mentoring session via Skype/phone and a follow up email with reading recommendations.

The voucher can be personalised and delivered by email, ready to be printed and popped into an envelope, ready for Christmas morning.

And if you’d like to know more about what to expect, here’s what one writer had to say about a recent poetry mentoring session:

‘I didn’t have any set expectations, but I did have hopes and these were more than matched by the turn of events. The initial written feedback immediately latched on to the problems that I was experiencing and the mentoring session advanced tidily from there into a detailed critical examination of my poems… It was pretty focused – sometimes very focused – on the details of how I could advance my skills and understanding of form and content. This focus was facilitated by the relaxed and discursive mode of joint examination of my poems. I got so involved that for a while I forgot the time and everything else really, becoming pretty well immersed in the liminal moment of it…which (speaking as a teacher myself) I think is pretty much exactly how teaching / learning events should be. I found it powerfully effective as a tool for opening up blockages in my own thinking process and revealing potential ways that I can advance my skill and understanding as a poetic writer.’

– C. Sparks, Co. Sligo

To book, go to the poetry mentoring page on my website OR just drop me a line!