Poetry Competitions, Submissions & Opportunities – July 2022

The July poetry list is here with 150 poetry competitions, writing submissions and opportunities open or with deadlines between now and the end of the month.

It’s a beautiful sunny afternoon in Dublin with temperatures soaring and, as summer is finally underway, I’ve been putting the grey cells to work on a new writing challenge for August. Between the typical holiday preoccupations of sun screen, beach bodies, BBQs and enjoying the outdoors, the ongoing COVID saga, plus dark developments around bodily autonomy and gender in the US and beyond, focusing on the physical for this summer’s challenge seems a no-brainer.

Miracle Machine: 30 Days of Writing the Body is an invitation to consider The Human Body – our physical and cognitive domain, our emotional fiefdom, our gravity-bound space ship – as a place of creative wonder and exploration. I suspect bodily concerns will feature largely in calls for submissions over the coming months and the challenge is a great way to generate new work and give shape to your thoughts and concerns.

Miracle Machine launches this coming week – to bag a spot, take advantage of early-bird prices, AND have the poetry list delivered straight to your inbox each month, jump on the waiting list here.

Whatever you’re up to with your writing this month – drafting, honing, editing or submitting – I wish you every luck and success. If you appreciate the monthly list and would like to support it, please consider making a small donation via the Paypal donation button (right) and/or share this post on your own blog or social media pages. Thank you!


JULY 2022

AUB International Poetry Prize – Poetry – closes 1 July (submit online)

The Barbara Mandingo Kelly Peace Poetry Awards – Poetry, theme: Peace & the Human Spirit – closes 1 July (submit online)

Duck Duck Mongoose – Poetry, Flash – closes 3 July (submit online)

Coverstory Books International Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 4 July (submit online)

Lyrik Kabinett Poet-in-Residence – Poetry – closes 4 July (submit online)

Mslexia Showcase – Poetry, theme: Keys – closes 6 June (submit online)

The Shahidah Janjua Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 8 July (submit online)

McLellan Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 10 July (submit online)

Belfast Pride: Poetry with Pride – Queer Poetry – closes 13 July (submit online)

IWC Cill Rialaig Residencies – IWC Professional Members – closes 13 July (submit online)

The Michael Mullan Charity Fund Writing Competitions – Poetry, Fiction, Flash – closes 14 July (submit online)

Ballybunion Arts Festival Competitions – Poetry (English & Gaeilge), Photography – closes 15 July (submit online)

Black in White Poetry Competition – Poetry, theme: Experiences of Racism – closes 15 July (submit online)

Driftwood Press Adrift Chapbook Series – Poetry manuscript (15-40 pages) – closes 15 July (submit online)

Frosted Fire Single Poem Competition – Poetry, theme: Every Breath – closes 15 July (submit online)

Stephen Spender Prize – Poetry-in-Translation – closes 15 July (submit online)

The Capilano Review – Poetry, Prose, Hybrid, theme: Bad Feelings – closes 15 July (submit online)

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

Frontier Open Poetry Award – Poetry – closes 17 July (submit online)

Hedgerow Haiku – Haiku, Short Poetry – closes 18 July (submit online)

The Liminal Review – Poetry, Fiction. Non-fiction – closes 20 July (submit online)

The Madrigal Press/The Martello Journal – Poetry, Flash, Art, theme: An Aítiúil/Local – closes 22 July (submit online)

Unapologetic Mag – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Art & more, theme: In Between – closes 22 July (submit online)

Varuna Residential Fellowships – Poetry, Fiction, Narrative Non-fiction, Drama and more – closes 29 July (submit online)

Ambit Competitions – Poetry, Fiction, Art, theme: Magick – closes 31 July (submit online)

Amsterdam Quarterly – Poetry, Fiction, Essays, Art & Photography, theme: City and/or Country – closes 31 July (submit online)

Arc Poetry Magazine – Poetry – closes 31 July (submit online)

Bad Betty Press – Poetry manuscript (10 pages) – closes 31 July (submit online)

Decomp Journal – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Art (submissions encouraged from marginalized voices, such as Queer, Trans* and Two Spirit writers as well as, Black, Indigenous, Writers of Color and those from the Global South) – closes 31 July (submit online)

Defunkt Magazine – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Art & Photography, theme: Anatomy – closes 31 July (submit online)

Hastings Book Festival Competitions – Poetry, Fiction – closes 31 July (submit online)

Humana Obscura – Poetry, Flash, Photography, Art – closes 31 July (submit online)

Ironbridge Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 31 July (submit online)

Magma 85: Poems for Schools – Poetry – closes 31 July (submit online)

Monitor Books – Poetry pamphlet (16-36 pages) – closes 31 July (submit online)

Morning Fruit Magazine – Poetry, Flash, Photography & Art – closes 31 July (submit online)

Nine Pens Nine Series Anthologies – Poetry manuscript (9no. poems) – closes 31 July (submit online)

Okay Donkey – Poetry, Flash – closes 31 July (submit online)

Pleiades Special Folio – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Hybrid, theme: Silences of War – closes 31 July (submit online)

Poetry Book Awards – Poetry Collection (indie and small press publishers) – closes 31 July (submit online)

Propel Magazine – Poetry (poets yet to publish a full collection) – closes 31 July (submit online)

Red Wheelbarrow Poetry Prize – Poetry – closes 31 July (submit online)

SEED Journal – Writers, Artists, Craftspeople, theme: Metamorphosis – closes 31 July (submit online)

Spelt Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 31 Jul (submit online)

Splonk – Prose Poetry, Flash, Micro-Fiction – closes 31 Jul (submit online)

The Haibun Journal – Haibun – closes 31 July (submit online)

The Hopper – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Art, theme: Touch (encourage submissions from BIPOC, people in the LBGTQ+ community, people with disabilities, immigrants, the incarcerated, women, non-binary people, and people of other marginalized groups) – closes 31 Jul (submit online)

The Lumiere Review – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Art ( – closes 31 Jul (submit online)

The Poetry Society Members’ Competition – Poetry, theme, All Our Houses – closes 31 Jul (submit online)

Winchester Poetry Prize – Poetry – closes 31 Jul (submit online)

Drumshanbo Written Word Weekend Poetry Film Competition – Poetry film (max. 6 mins) – closes 1 Aug (submit online)

Halfway Down the Stairs – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, theme: Cities – closes 1 Aug (submit online)

Impossible Archetype – Poetry (LGBTQ+ poets of all genders) – closes 1 Aug (submit online)

Limelight Review – Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Creative Non-fiction, theme: Pilot (disabled, neurodivergent & marginalised writers of all genders) – closes 1 Aug (submit online)

Magma Open Poetry Pamphlet Competition – Poetry manuscript (18-20 pages) – closes 1 Aug (submit online)

Mono Poetry Competition – Poetry (LGBTQ+ poets of all genders) – closes 1 Aug (submit online)

IWC Evolution Programme – Published Writers (1-2 books) – closes 3 Aug (submit online)


OPPORTUNITIES WITH RECURRING DEADLINES

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


OPPORTUNITIES WITH OPEN SUBMISSION PERIODS IN JULY 2022

Shelley200 Festival Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 5 Aug (submit online)

Poetry Wales – Poetry – closes 8 Aug (submit online)

Waterford Poetry Prize – Poetry – closes 12 Aug (submit online)

Salmon Poetry Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 14 Aug (submit online)

The Emma Press – Poetry pamphlet, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction – opens 18 July – closes 14 Aug (submit online)

Bray Literary Festival Competitions – Poetry, Flash – closes 15 Aug (submit online)

Berlin Lit – Poetry – closes 21 Aug (submit online)

Fool for Poetry International Chapbook Competition – Poetry manuscript (16-25 poems) – closes 31 Aug (submit online)

Gloucestershire Poetry Society Open Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 31 Aug (submit online)

Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition – Poetry (English & English as a second language (EAL)) – closes 31 Aug (submit online)

The Oxford Poetry Prize – Poetry – closes 31 Aug (submit online)

Acumen – Poetry – open (submit online)

Agenda – Poetry, Essays, Reviews – open (submit online)

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

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

Anthropocene – Poetry – open (submit online)

Antipoetry Magazine – Poetry – open (submit online)

Apartment Poetry – Poetry – open (submit online)

Atrium – Poetry – open (submit online)

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

Bending Genres – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction – 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)

Crow & Cross Keys – Poetry, Fiction, Flash, theme: Gothic – open (submit online)

Crowstep Journal – Poetry – open (submit online)

Damnation – Poetry, Prose, Flash – open (submit online)

Disabled Tales – Poetry, Fiction, Essay – open (submit online)

Dreich Mag – Poetry – open (submit online)

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

Dust Poetry – Poetry – open (submit online)

Empty House Press – Poetry, Prose Poetry, Flash, Hybrid  – open (submit online)

Empty Mirror – Poetry, Non-fiction, Visual Art (committed to diversity & inclusion) – 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)

Frontier Poetry – Poetry – open (submit online)

Fruit Journal – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Hybrid (LGBTQI+, with emphasis on unheard voices – POC, trans, working class) – 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)

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

Ink Sweat & Tears – Poetry – open (submit online)

Irish Literary Review – Poetry – open (submit online)

Jaden Magazine – Poetry, Non-fiction, Flash, Art & Photography (writers of colour/underrepresented writers) – open (submit online)

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

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

Lunate – Poetry, Fiction, Flash – open (submit online)

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

Neon Magazine – Poetry, Flash, Art and more – open (submit online)

Omelette Literary Magazine – Poetry, Visual Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Creative Non-fiction & more – 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)

Palette Poetry – Poetry (under-represented and marginalized voices of all colors encouraged to submit) – open (submit online)

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

Pigeon Pages – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction – open (submit online)

POETRY Magazine – Poetry (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)

Porridge Magazine – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Art – open (submit online)

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

Prelude – Poetry – open (submit online)

Prole – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction – open (submit online)

Riggwelter – Poetry, Short Fiction, Visual Art – (submit online)

River Styx – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Drama, Visual Art – open (submit online)

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

Sine Theta Magazine – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Art (Sino diaspora only. People of Chinese, Taiwanese, Hong Kong, or Macau heritage, who live anywhere away from the original ‘homeland’ of that heritage – rolling deadlines, email to express interest (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)

Sunday Mornings at the River – Poetry – open (submit online)

Tab Journal – Poetry, Poetics – open (submit online)

Tears in the Fence – 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 Lincoln Review – Poetry, Flash, Creative Non-fiction, Essays and more (actively encourages writers, artists, and photographers who come from marginalised and underprivileged backgrounds) – 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 New Yorker – Poetry, Fiction – open (submit online)

The Offing – Poetry, Translation, Art and more – 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 (submit online)

Tinderbox Poetry Journal – Poetry – open (submit online)

Trasna – Poetry, Fiction, Essays (open to writers across the world who consider Ireland a home in some regard) – 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 JULY 2022, 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)

Poetry Competitions, Submissions & Opportunities – June 2022

Hello Summer! The poetry list is back with over 140 poetry competitions, writing submissions and opportunities open or with deadlines in June 2022.

It’s been a slow start to the month for me kicking off with an internet outage – Mercury retrograde or a reminder from the Universe that summer is a time to slow down and take things easy? History will decide. Despite tech woes, the Fool’s Gold | Writing the Tarot workshop went without a hitch last weekend and the Writing Slant | Making a Poem 6-week course is now up and running, with a new group of writers eager to develop and hone their craft. Last week, we looked at expanding the world of the poem and drew inspiration from Barbara Guest, Annie Dillard, Robert MacFarlane, Maggie Smith and more.

Ideas are already brewing for a new summer writing challenge – look out for more information at the beginning of July. And, if you want to get the scoop on upcoming events before everyone else, take advantage of early-bird prices, AND have the poetry list delivered straight to your inbox each month, jump on the mailing list here.

Whatever you’re up to with your writing this month – drafting, honing, editing or submitting – I wish you every luck and success. If you appreciate the monthly list and would like to support it, please consider making a small donation via the Paypal donation button (right) and/or share this post on your own blog or social media pages. Thank you!


JUNE 2022

Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year – Poetry – closes 3 June (submit online)

Write by the Sea Writing Competitions – Poetry, Fiction, Flash – closes 3 June (submit online)

Eat the Storms – Poetry, Fiction, Art, theme: Eat the Storms – closes 4 June (submit online)

iOTA Shot Poetry Pamphlet Awards – Poetry manuscript (15-20 pages) – closes 6 June (submit online)

Mslexia Showcase – Poetry, theme: Keys – closes 6 June (submit online)

Under the Radar Magazine – Poetry – closes 7 June (submit online)

Abridged 0-82 – Poetry, Art, theme: Axis – closes 10 June (submit online)

Live Canon Poetry Collection Competition – Poetry manuscript (35+ poems) – closes 10 June (submit online)

Geoff Stevens Memorial Poetry Prize – Poetry manuscript (20 pages) – closes 12 June (submit online)

HOWL Writing – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Art & Photography – closes 12 June (submit online)#

Aurora Prize for Writing – Poetry, Fiction – closes 13 June (submit online)

Channel Magazine – Poetry, Fiction, Essay, Art – closes 15 June (submit online)

Chicago Review – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction – closes 15 June (submit online)

Fourteen Hills – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Art – closes 15 June (submit online)

Imposter Lit – Poetry, theme: Geography – closes 15 June (submit online)

Petrichor Magazine – Poetry, Visual Poetry, Video, Art – closes 15 June (submit online)

The Four Faced Liar – Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Creative Non-Fiction, Art – closes 15 June (submit online)

The MacGuffin Poem Hunt – Poetry – closes 15 June (submit online)

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

Michael Hartnett Poetry Award – Poetry Collection in English (3rd or subsequent collection) – closes 17 June (submit online)

Palette Poetry Sappho Prize for Women Poets – Poetry – closes 19 June (submit online)

The Straid Poetry Collection Awards – Poetry manuscript (38+ pages) – closes 20 June (submit online)

The Poetry Kit Spring Competition – Poetry – closes 21 June (submit online)

The Arts Council Agility Award – All artists – closes 23 June (submit online)

The Arts Council Literature Bursary Award – All genres – closes 23 June (submit online)

The Mechanic Institute Review – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction – closes 24 June (submit online)

The Puritan – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction – closes 25 June (submit online)

14 Magazine – Poetry (14 lines) – closes 30 June (submit online)

Alba – Poetry (12 lines max.) – closes 30 June (submit online)

Alchemy Spoon – Poetry, theme: Space – closes 30 June (submit online)

Bath Magg – Poetry – closes 30 June (submit online)

Candlestick Press – Poetry, theme: Christmas Stories – closes 30 June (submit online)

Fawn Press Poetry Pamphlets – Poetry manuscript (18-25 poems) – closes 30 June (submit online)

Fingal Poetry Festival Competitions – Poetry (English & Irish) – closes 30 June (submit online)

Granta – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction – closes 30 June (submit online)#

Long Poem Magazine – Poetry (75 lines min.) – closes 30 June (submit online)

Mud Season Review – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Art – closes 30 June (submit online)

Okay Donkey – Poetry, Flash – closes 30 June (submit online)

Poetry Birmingham – Poetry – closes 30 June (submit online)

Poetry London Competition – Poetry – closes 30 June (submit online)

Queen Mary Wasifiri New Writing Prize – Poetry, Fiction, Memoir – closes 30 June (submit online)

Rhino Poetry – Poetry – closes 30 June (submit online)

Rust + Moth – Poetry – closes 30 June (submit online)

Split Lip Magazine – Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Memoir and more – closes 30 June (submit online)

The Fairy Tale Review: The Rainbow Issue – Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Art (queer writers only) – closes 30 June (submit online)

Wells Festival of Literature Open Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 30 June (submit online)

Whale Road Review – Poetry, Flash – closes 30 June (submit online)

AUB International Poetry Prize – Poetry – closes 1 July (submit online)

The Barbara Mandingo Kelly Peace Poetry Awards – Poetry, theme: Peace & the Human Spirit – closes 1 July (submit online)

Duck Duck Mongoose – Poetry, Flash – closes 3 July (submit online)

Coverstory Books International Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 4 July (submit online)

Lyrik Kabinett Poet-in-Residence – Poetry – closes 4 July (submit online)


OPPORTUNITIES WITH RECURRING DEADLINES

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


OPPORTUNITIES WITH OPEN SUBMISSION PERIODS IN JUNE 2022

The Shahidah Janjua Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 8 July (submit online)

McLellan Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 10 July (submit online)

Frontier Open Poetry Award – Poetry – closes 17 July (submit online)

Ambit Competitions – Poetry, Fiction, Art – closes 31 July (submit online)

Winchester Poetry Prize – Poetry – closes 31 Jul (submit online)

Impossible Archetype – Poetry (LGBTQ+ poets of all genders) – closes 1 Aug (submit online)

Acumen – Poetry – open (submit online)

Agenda – Poetry, Essays, Reviews – open (submit online)

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

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

Anthropocene – Poetry – open (submit online)

Antipoetry Magazine – Poetry – open (submit online)

Apartment Poetry – Poetry – open (submit online)

Atrium – Poetry – open (submit online)

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

Bending Genres – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction – 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)

Crow & Cross Keys – Poetry, Fiction, Flash, theme: Gothic – open (submit online)

Crowstep Journal – Poetry – open (submit online)

Damnation – Poetry, Prose, Flash – open (submit online)

Disabled Tales – Poetry, Fiction, Essay – open (submit online)

Dreich Mag – Poetry – open (submit online)

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

Dust Poetry – Poetry – open (submit online)

Empty Mirror – Poetry, Non-fiction, Visual Art (committed to diversity & inclusion) – 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)

Frontier Poetry – Poetry – open (submit online)

Fruit Journal – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Hybrid (LGBTQI+, with emphasis on unheard voices – POC, trans, working class) – 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)

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

Ink Sweat & Tears – Poetry – open (submit online)

Irish Literary Review – Poetry – open (submit online)

Jaden Magazine – Poetry, Non-fiction, Flash, Art & Photography (writers of colour/underrepresented writers) – open (submit online)

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

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

Lunate – Poetry, Fiction, Flash – open (submit online)

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

Neon Magazine – Poetry, Flash, Art and more – open (submit online)

Omelette Literary Magazine – Poetry, Visual Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Creative Non-fiction & more – 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)

Palette Poetry – Poetry (under-represented and marginalized voices of all colors encouraged to submit) – open (submit online)

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

Pigeon Pages – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction – open (submit online)

POETRY Magazine – Poetry (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)

Porridge Magazine – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Art – open (submit online)

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

Prole – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction – open (submit online)

Riggwelter – Poetry, Short Fiction, Visual Art – (submit online)

River Styx – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Drama, Visual Art – open (submit online)

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

Sine Theta Magazine – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Art (Sino diaspora only. People of Chinese, Taiwanese, Hong Kong, or Macau heritage, who live anywhere away from the original ‘homeland’ of that heritage – rolling deadlines, email to express interest (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)

Sunday Mornings at the River – Poetry – open (submit online)

Tears in the Fence – 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 Lincoln Review – Poetry, Flash, Creative Non-fiction, Essays and more (actively encourages writers, artists, and photographers who come from marginalised and underprivileged backgrounds) – 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 Offing – Poetry, Translation, Art and more – 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 (submit online)

Tinderbox Poetry Journal – Poetry – open (submit online)

Trasna – Poetry, Fiction, Essays (open to writers across the world who consider Ireland a home in some regard) – 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 JUNE 2022, 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)

Poetry Competitions, Submissions & Opportunities – March 2021

It’s March and the poetry list is back and bringing you over 140 poetry competitions, writing submissions and opportunities open or with deadlines in March 2021!

If you’ve been wondering what happened in January and February, I’ve been at a low ebb for a while now (Exhaustion + YOU-KNOW-WHAT fatigue + Winter + Lockdown = 😥🤒🤕🤧🥴😱) and I finally hit a wall when a bug knocked me on my arse for several weeks in February, incl. my birthday – oh joy…

Self-care is such an important part of surviving in our strange new world – and I don’t mean the pampering and bubble bath kind (although that’s nice too) but recognising our own limitations – physically, mentally, emotionally – working within our actual energy levels at any given time and not over-committing out of financial necessity (not an easy call) or a misguided wish to please others. Let’s just say there have been a lot of plates spinning and crashing at my end. If you’ve been waiting to hear from me, I’ll be in touch with a tube of UHU, a Pritt stick, Blu Tac and a giant roll of gaffer tape very soon. As always, I’m grateful for the understanding, encouragement and support of this community of writers. Take care of yourself and each other as we head toward Spring, new growth, brighter days and – hopefully – happier and healthier times.

I’m starting to toss around ideas for the next 30 day challenge and National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) in April. If you’d like to hear about it as soon as it launches, jump on the mailing list for first dibs on a spot!

Whatever you are writing or sending out in March, I wish you the very best of luck. 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!


MARCH 2020

The Mechanic’s Institute Review – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction – closes 5 Mar (submit online)

Dreich Summer Anywhere Anthology – Poetry – closes 7 Mar (submit online)

Feral: A Journal of Poetry & Art – Poetry, Visual Art, theme: Weather – closes 7 Mar (submit online)

Into the Void – Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Visual Art – closes 7 Mar (submit online)

Kissing Dynamite – Poetry, Visual Art – closes 7 Mar (submit online)

Forward Prizes for Poetry – Poetry / Manuscripts (publishers only) – closes 8 Mar (submit online)

We Only Want the Earth Residency 2 – Visual Art / Multidisciplinary (artists with experience of homelessness only) – closes 8 Mar (submit online)

Marble Poetry Broadsheet – Poetry, theme: History – closes 10 Mar (submit online)

Parentheses Journal – Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Visual Art – closes 10 Mar (submit online)

Bracken – Poetry, Visual Art – closes 15 Mar (submit online)

Brian Dempsey Memorial Prizes: Single Poem – Poetry – closes 15 Mar (submit online)

Brian Dempsey Memorial Prizes: Short Collection – Poetry (10 poems, UK only) – closes 15 Mar (submit online)

Cheltenham Poetry Festival Single Poem Contest – Poetry, theme: Transformation – closes 15 Mar (submit online)

Frosted Fire: New Voices – Poetry manuscript (10 poems, poet aged 25 or under) – closes 15 Mar (submit online)

Ledbury Poetry Critics – Poets / Poetry critics of colour (UK only) – closes 15 Mar (submit online)

Lumiere Review – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, theme: Party Time – closes 15 Mar (submit online)

Poetry Day Ireland Bright Ideas – Poetry Event / Project, theme: New Directions: Maps & Journeys – closes 15 Mar (submit online)

Up the Stairs – Poetry, Visual Art – closes 15 Mar (submit online)

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

Same Page Anthology – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction – closes 17 Mar (submit online)

iOTA Shot Pamphlet Awards – Poetry manuscript (16-20 pages) – closes 22 Mar (submit online)

Desmond O’Grady International Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 24 Mar (submit online)

Indigo Literary Journal – Poetry, Prose – closes 25 Mar (submit online)

Creative Ageing Writing Bursary – Poet, Writer, Artist (aged 50+, Republic of Ireland only) – closes 26 Mar (submit online

York Literary Review – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Essay, theme: Time & Memory – closes 26 Mar (submit online)

The Rialto – Poetry – closes 30 Mar (submit online)

192 Magazine – Poetry – closes 31 Mar (submit online)

American Poetry Journal – Poetry – closes 31 Mar (submit online)

Banshee – Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Essay – closes 31 Mar (submit online)

Cinnamon Press Poetry Pamphlet Competition – Poetry manuscript (15-25 poems) – closes 31 Mar (submit online)

Glass Poetry Press – Poetry manuscript (15-25 pages) – closes 31 Mar (submit online)

Fish Poetry Prize – Poetry – closes 31 Mar (submit online)

Four Way Books Levis Prize in Poetry – Poetry manuscript (48-80 pages) – closes 31 Mar (submit online)#

Hedgehog Press: A Slim Volume of One’s Own Pamphlet Competition – Poetry manuscript (up to 20 poems) – closes 31 Mar (submit online)

Hedgehog Press: Selected or Neglected Book Competition – Poetry manuscript (up to 40 poems) – closes 31 Mar (submit online)

Magma – Poetry, theme: Anthropocene – closes 31 Mar (submit online)

Split Lip – Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Memoir, Visual Art – closes 31 Mar (submit online)

The Caterpillar Poetry Prize – Poetry – closes 31 Mar (submit online)

The Antivenom Poetry Award – Poetry manuscript (first or second collection, 48+ pages) – closes 31 Mar (submit online)

The Gutter & Edwin Morgan Trust Poetry Competition – Poetry (unpublished poets, aged 40+) – closes 31 Mar (submit online)

The Plough Poetry Prize – Poetry – closes 31 Mar (submit online)

The Red Shed Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 31 Mar (submit online)

Tupelo Press Snowbound Chapbook Award – Poetry manuscript (20-36 pages) – closes 31 Mar (submit online)

Verve Poetry Press – Poetry manuscript (60+ pages) – closes 31 Mar (submit online)

Waxwing – Poetry (limited submissions – may close early) – closes 31 Mar (submit online)

Ambit Magazine – Poetry, Fiction, Flash – closes 1 Apr (submit online)

American Poetry Journal Chapbook Series – Poetry manuscript (up to 42 pages) – closes 1 Apr (submit online)

Anthropocene – Poetry – closes 1 Apr (submit online)

Prototype Anthology – Poetry, Prose, Visual, Experimental – closes 1 Apr (submit online)

The Alpine Fellowship Writing Prize – Poetry, Fiction, Essay, theme: Untamed: On Wilderness and Civilization – closes 1 Apr (submit online)

The Lincoln Review – Poetry, Flash, Essay, Creative Non-fiction, Visual Art / Comics – closes 1 Apr (submit online)

The Momentist – Poetry, Fiction, Essay, Translation, Visual Art – closes 1 Apr (submit online)

The Tiny Journal – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction – closes 1 Apr (submit online)

Full House Lit Mag – Poetry, Prose, Script, Visual Art – closes 2 Apr (submit online)


JOURNALS / OPPORTUNITIES WITH RECURRING DEADLINES

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


JOURNALS / OPPORTUNITIES WITH OPEN SUBMISSION PERIODS IN MARCH 2021

South Downs Poetry Festival Competition – Poetry – closes 6 Apr (submit online)

Spelt Magazine – Poetry, Creative Non-fiction (special segment for writers under 25 years of age) – open 5 Mar – 10 Apr (submit online)

The Peseroff Prize Poetry Contest – Poetry – closes 15 Apr (submit online)

Cathalbui Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 17 Apr (submit online)

The Adrienne Rich Award for Poetry – Poetry – closes 30 Apr (submit online)

Tether’s End Magazine – Poetry, theme: Folklore – closes 1 May (submit online)

Seek Poetry Magazine – Poetry – closes 1 May (submit online)

The Liminal Review – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction – closes 31 May (submit online)

Acumen – Poetry – open (submit online)

Agenda – Poetry, Essays, Reviews – 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)

Bending Genres – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction – 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)

Dreich Mag – Poetry – open (submit online)

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

Dust Poetry – Poetry – open (submit online)

Empty Mirror – Poetry, Non-fiction, Visual Art (committed to diversity & inclusion) – 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)

Frontier Poetry – Poetry – open (submit online)

Fruit Journal – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Hybrid (LGBTQI+, with emphasis on unheard voices – POC, trans, working class) – 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)

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

Ink Sweat & Tears – Poetry – open (submit online)

Irish Literary Review – Poetry – open (submit online)

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

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

Lunate – Poetry, Fiction, Flash – open (submit online)

Marble – Poetry – open (submit online)

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

Omelette Literary Magazine – Poetry, Visual Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Creative Non-fiction & more – 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)

Palette Poetry – Poetry (under-represented and marginalized voices of all colors encouraged to submit) – open (submit online)

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

Pigeon Pages – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction – open (submit online)

POETRY Magazine – Poetry (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)

Porridge Magazine – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Art – open (submit online)

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

Prole – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction – open (submit online)

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

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

Sine Theta Magazine – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Art (Sino diaspora only. People of Chinese, Taiwanese, Hong Kong, or Macau heritage, who live anywhere away from the original ‘homeland’ of that heritage – rolling deadlines, email to express interest (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 Aurora Review – Poetry (quick turnaround / feedback) – 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 Lincoln Review – Poetry, Flash, Creative Non-fiction, Essays and more (actively encourages writers, artists, and photographers who come from marginalised and underprivileged backgrounds) – 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 Offing – Poetry, Translation, Art and more – 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 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 March 2021, 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)

Black Lives Matter: What Can I Do As a Writer?

For those of you waiting for the new list of poetry competitions, writing submissions and opportunities open or with deadlines in June 2020, it will be published tomorrow. Thank you for your patience.

I’ve held it back a day for #BlackOutTuesday – to show respect for the death of George Floyd, highlight the senseless loss of black lives due to police brutality and protest the disturbing use of state force against the citizens of the US right now.

We all live in a world shaped by racism and now more than ever, we need to acknowledge and understand that Black Lives Matter. This quote from a 2014 essay by Scott Woods is particularly resonant.IMG_20200602_114203_465

In immediate response to the murder of George Floyd, here’s a great summary of direct action options from Black Lives Matter.

If you want to better understand the issues surrounding racism, the POC Online Classroom is curated by and for people of colour and has a fantastic database of reading and resources, including articles, essays and poems on everything from identity to organizing to self care with writing by Audre Lorde, Bell Hooks, Angela Davis, Langston Hughes, Marlon James, Angel Nafis and more. Here are a few relevant sections to check out:

I’ve been thinking about how I could better educate myself and help amplify black voices within the literary community. If you feel as helpless as I do and want to know what you can do to take a stand against racism, here are some of the things I’m pledging to:

  1. Make a donation – to the family of George Floyd, to Black Lives Matter, to Reclaim the Block who work to make communities like George’s safer, without police intervention, or to Minnesota Freedom Fund to help with bail funds for protesters who have been arrested. In Ireland, you can tackle racism by supporting MASI (Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland) or MERJ (Migrant & Ethnic-Minorities for Reproductive Justice). Petition your local TDs and councillors to end Direct Provision. If you are in the UK, check out this poem and list of resources by poet, Salena Godden.
  2. Educate myself. Do the work to understand the insidious nature of racism and how it impacts on everyone’s lives. None of us are free from its impact, as Scott Woods explains above. Don’t ask black friends or colleagues to do this work for me. The information is widely available. There are lots of resources being shared under the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag on Twitter and Instagram right now. Here are a few ideas to get started:
    • How to Be an Anti-Racist, Ibram X. Kendi;
    • This Book is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work, Tiffany Jewell;
    • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, Reni Eddo-Lodge;
    • Me and White Supremacy, Layla F. Saad;
    • Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehesi Coates;
    • So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo;
    • This thread on racism in Ireland by Dr. Justine Akase.
  3. Support the work of black writers and poets. As a writer, read and share their work. Here are some great books to get started:
    • Citizen, Claudia Rankine;
    • Don’t Call Us Dead, Danez Smith;
    • Incendiary Art, Patricia Smith;
    • The Evidence of Things Not Seen, James Baldwin (pretty much anything by Baldwin);
    • White Teeth, Zadie Smith;
    • The Black Flamingo, Dean Atta;
    • Don’t Touch My Hair, Emma Dibiri;
    • This Hostel Life, Melatu Uche Okorie;
    • Correspondences: An Anthology to Call for an End to Direct Provision, ed. Stephen Rea and Jessica Traynor;
    • The Jhalak Prize is also a great reference point for recent work by British BAME writers.
  4. Amplify. I actively seek out and highlight submission opportunities for Black writers, as well as other marginalised groups, in my monthly poetry list but am painfully aware how few journals and competitions make their work a priority. As an editor or publisher, please ensure your submissions policy is inclusive toward black and other marginalised groups of writers. Make space for their voices.
  5. Listen. Who am I following on social media? Whose voices and experiences am I paying attention to? Am I only listening to voices and experiences that chime with my own? Break out of the echo chamber. Accept that my opinion is neither relevant nor necessary in every conversation.
  6. Know that I will make mistakes. Know that those closest to me will make mistakes and some will not be interested in doing the work. Don’t dig in behind these errors. Learn from them. Apologise and pledge to do better. Continue to hold myself and others accountable for words or actions that are harmful to others. Do this with compassion.

Will you join me?

Don’t forget, when buying books, please try and support local, independent and/or black-owned bookshops. 

For some poetry to read right now, here’s a great compilation of Poems of Protest, Resistance, and Empowerment by Poetry Foundation. It includes one of my all-time favourite poems: Rosa Parks by Nikki Giovanni.

…they noticed his stutter and probably understood
why his mother wanted him out of Chicago during the summer
when school was out. Fourteen-year-old Black boys with limps
and stutters are apt to try to prove themselves in dangerous ways
when mothers aren’t around to look after them.

Rosa Parks – Nikki Giovanni

Update: Here’s a fantastic thread of poems and recommended reading by black poets from Luther X. Hughes on Twitter.

Update: Here’s a link to an Antiracist Allyship Starter Pack from Kandice Le Blanc’s post ‘Dear White People, This is What We Want You to Do’, with thanks to writer and editor Chiamaka Enyi-Amadi for sharing on FB.

Update: Here’s a link to Racial Equity Tools: Arts & Culture Strategies, with thanks to Chiamaka, as above, for sharing on FB.

Update: For those who prefer visual materials, Two Thumbs Up: Movies and Documentaries to Use (and Avoid) When Teaching Civil Rights, an article by Hasan Kwame Jeffries at Zinn Education Project, is a great run-down of good, bad and downright ugly documentaries and films covering civil rights history.

I realise this only scratches the surface of a pervasive problem and if you have any other ideas or reading recommendations, please feel free to add them in the comments section below. I’ll keep updating this post as more ideas about useful information come to me.

Featured Image: Black Lives Matter

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 put together 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

TIMEY RYMEY: A FREE ONLINE WRITING CHALLENGE FOR POETRY DAY IRELAND 2020

‘Time is a storm in which we are all lost.’ – William Carlos Williams

‘…it’s more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff.’ – The Doctor

‘There Will Be Time’ is the theme for Poetry Day Ireland 2020 and to celebrate you’re invited to become Time Lords for the day and explore the phenomenon of Time in all its glory in this FREE online writing challenge!

We are living in the eye of a global storm right now but through poetry we can write the words to change the weather, unravel the wibbly-wobbly bits or find our way home.

The rules of the challenge are simple. 

  • Read the Time-themed prompts and poems.

  • Listen to the Time-themed tunes.

  • Write for 15 minutes.

  • Share your poem in the Facebook group.

  • Read and respond to other posted work.

Most of all, be creative and enjoy yourself!

how do i join the writing challenge?

Here’s what to do:

  • Sign up for the FREE challenge on Eventbrite by clicking the button below.

  • Join the Timey Rhymey Challenge Facebook group on 29 April.

  • Get ready to enjoy a day of Timey Rhymey poetry writing fun!

What are you waiting for? Click here to sign up:

The group opens on the 29 April, with a welcome, introductions and time-related stuff to get you in the mood for writing.

The challenge proper kicks off on Thursday 30 April for Poetry Day Ireland 2020, with poet Angela T. Carr sharing new prompts and inspiration throughout the day.

This event is hosted in conjunction with Poetry Ireland as part of their Bright Ideas programme for Poetry Ireland Day 2020.

what’s next?

Please share the challenge on social media with the hashtags #PoetryIrelandDay #ThereWillBeTime #TimeyRhymey.

Don’t forget to tag me @adreamingskin and @poetryireland (Twitter & Instagram).

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.

Getting Lost: A Poetry Essay for The Lonely Crowd

‘To enter a wood is to pass into a different world in which we are transformed. It is no accident that in Shakespeare’s comedies, people go into the greenwood to grow, learn and change. It is where you travel to find yourself, paradoxically, by getting lost.’

Roger Deakin, Wildwood: A Journey Through Trees (Hugo Hamilton, 2007)

 

At poetry workshops, when a writer has finished reading their work and the rest of the group are still re-reading and processing, four words are often blurted into this space:

‘And that really happened.’

Perhaps it has to do with the discomfort of a silence, the unease of waiting for a response and a need, conscious or unconscious, to reinforce the credibility of the work. To me, factual basis is irrelevant in a poem. The rendering of events as they occurred may be good journalism or memoir, but a poem requires something more. To become a poem, the facts must pass through a crucible, they must be transformed.

 

This month, I have four new poems published in The Lonely Crowd, a wonderful literary journal based in Wales. To mark the occasion, editor John Lavin invited me to write a short essay about these poems – you can read the full essay at The Lonely Crowd website, along with lots of other writers discussing their work, and also listen to me reading the poem, ‘Root’.

The journal is beautifully produced, a surprisingly hefty tome packed with great poetry, fiction and interviews including new work by Irish writers Caitriona Lally, John McAuliffe, Kevin Cahill, Meadhbh Ni Eadhra, Arnold Fanning, Kevin Graham, Kathleen MacMahon, K.S. Moore, Grahame Williams and Paul Whyte, plus gorgeous cover photography by Jo Mazelis. Lavin is zealously active in his sharing of the work on social media and I’m hugely grateful for all his hard work in selecting and promoting exciting new writing from the UK and Ireland.

From a writer’s perspective, The Lonely Crowd is such a generous and rewarding place to be published – I’d highly recommend getting a hold of a copy and considering them for your work when they open for submissions again in 2019.

You can buy this and other individual issues of The Lonely Crowd or a yearly subscription at their online shop.

And if you’re looking for places to send your work right now, check out the current list of poetry competitions, submissions and opportunities open or with deadlines in November.

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Featured Images © Jo Mazelis, 2018.

Submitting to Poetry Competitions: Which Competition?

I’m struggling with the flu right now but the general BLEUGH has been tempered by some good news on the poetry front.

I’ve had a couple of pieces accepted for a new women-led anthology on bodily autonomy, edited by poet and academic, Kathy D’Arcy, and due to be published by New Binary Press in the Spring. We have a historic referendum coming up in 2018, to repeal the 8th Amendment which compromises women’s healthcare in Ireland, and I’m proud to be among a chorus of voices writing about this important issue.

I’ve also had poems shortlisted and commended in a couple of competitions – the Doolin Writers’ Weekend Poetry Competition and the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize 2018.

A writer recently asked me, ‘What makes a good competition poem?’ As many of you read this blog for the monthly poetry competitions and submissions list, I thought it might be useful to talk a little bit about submitting work to competitions. I’m no expert but there are certain boxes I like to tick when deciding whether to enter a competition and what poems to send.

Why Submit to Competitions?

For me, it started with not being very confident and wanting to get a sense of whether the poems were any good – did they stand up to scrutiny? I submitted to competitions rather than journals because they are anonymous. I didn’t want to be submitting work over and over to an editor who (in my mind) would roll their eyes and exclaim, ‘Not this eejit again!’. Rejection is a big part of the process of writing and the competition route seemed a gentler introduction to disappointment.

I was very lucky to bag a win early on – a micro-poetry competition – word for word, my best pay-day to date! That early success encouraged me to keep writing and to keep submitting.

I do think it’s a good idea to ask yourself what you want to get out of the experience. It rarely leads to wealth or glory but don’t despair – I have a few ideas about why it might still be worth your while!

Which Competitions?

This is a tricky one. Some competitions are hugely prestigious and attract thousands of entries from around the world. As a rule of thumb, the higher the prize money, the bigger the draw. It means your work will be read alongside – and have to hold its own against – established and extensively published writers.

These competitions are highly competitive. It doesn’t mean younger writers can’t win, especially if they have been writing seriously for a few years and have established a track record of good work, but if you’ve only written a handful of poems then these competitions are probably not a good bet. The idea of winning a major prize as a novice writer is seductive but, generally, they go to writers who have been working at their craft for years.

If you’ve yet to publish a full-length collection of poetry, look out for competitions that specifically target unpublished writers. Your work will be part of a smaller pool and be read alongside writers with a similar level of experience.

What About Competition Fees?

I also see a lot of debate online about the cost of submitting to competitions (and some journals) and how it can be a bar to lower-income poets putting their work forward.

I don’t believe competitions are money-making scams intended to exploit writers. They have legitimate costs that need to be covered – prize money, judge’s fee, administration, technical costs (eg. Web Hosting, Submittable, Paypal). Many offer discounts for multiple entries or membership. If there is a profit, generally it is being plowed back in to activities and publications that support writers. No-one is buying a yacht and retiring to the Caribbean on the back of a poetry competition!

That said, there are always exceptions. If a competition is hosted by an organisation you’ve never heard of, who doesn’t have a strong or transparent online presence and who charge an exorbitant sum for entry, then proceed with caution. Check out a few comparable competitions to establish the going rate.

I know it can seem hard that everyone pays and only a handful benefit, but I like to take a wider view. Nobody owes you anything as a writer – not publication, not prestige, nothing. When I trained as an architect, I had to absorb the cost of tools, equipment, wardrobe, membership fees – all the things I needed to present myself as a working architect. Same goes for writing. Paying to enter competitions and submit to journals is just the cost of doing business. It also helps support organisations and journals that in turn support writers – you’re contributing to a healthy literary community.

I am a low-income poet. I don’t have full-time income to rely on and this means I have to pick and choose the opportunities I pursue. I’m serious about building a body of work, so I set aside an affordable sum to invest in myself as a writer and I only enter competitions when I have work of a suitable standard.

No writer should enter every single poem they write into a competition or enter every competition out there! In one year, I might write 50-100 poems – only a handful of these will be competition standard.

IF I’M LUCKY.

With limited funds and a limited number of suitable poems, I pick my targets carefully. The odds are always against winning but there are better odds on valuable side-benefits. I look for competitions that are democratic, offering the largest number of rewards to the widest group of people.

Poetry Competition Checklist

  • Is the competition run by an established organisation or journal? Making the long/shortlist of a competition held by a reputable literary organisation or journal, eg. The Poetry Society / Magma, builds credibility and increases the chances of your name/work being noticed by other editors, publishers and literary organisations, festival committees etc. It also looks good on a writing CV, if applying for literary jobs, grants or bursaries.
  • Is the judge an established writer? Does the competition publish the judge’s comments? It’s an opportunity to have your work read and possibly selected / commented upon by a writer you would never have access to normally. Having a blurb about your work by an established writer can be helpful when approaching publishers and, again, it’s good for the writing CV.
  • How many principal prize winners? Does the prize money go to a single winner? Look out for competitions that spread the wealth among several winners and offer acknowledgement to runners-up.
  • Is there a published long/shortlist? It’s not feasible to give everyone a prize but it doesn’t cost organisers anything to publish these lists when they are an integral part of the judging process. If a competition attracts 2000 entries, your poem making it to the last 50 puts it in the top 2-3% – that’s no small achievement. Being included on a longlist, or going from the longlist to the shortlist in successive years, gives writers a boost in confidence / credibility and costs the organisers nothing. When writers pay good money to support a competition, I believe organisers should spread the love and offer as much value as possible in return.
  • Will the winners / runners-up / shortlist poems be published? If the competition is run by a reputable journal, it may also offer publication/payment to the top entries, eg. Mslexia Women’s Poetry Competition, Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize. Some competitions offer publication in an anthology. Publication in a reputable journal is always good. I’m warier of competition anthologies. Some are highly regarded and widely read within the literary community, eg, The Forward Prize annual anthology. Others feel like another way to exploit writers, using the writers work without payment and then expecting the writer to pay for a copy of the anthology to have a record of their published work. I’d watch out for the latter. If a writer has paid to enter a competition and the organisers want to use their work for publication, the very least they should do is provide the writer with a copy of that publication. I also have a bit of a bugbear about competitions publishing the entire shortlist without paying for use of the work. Most competitions exclude poems that have been prize-winners in other competitions but if a poem is commended or makes it to the shortlist, it might easily do better in another competition with a different judge or be submitted for publication to a journal. The only thing that would prevent it being sent out again is publication.
  • Will there be a prize-giving or reading? Many competitions are held by literary festivals to coincide with and help promote their main event, eg. Ledbury Poetry Prize. If prize-winners and runners-up (sometimes even the shortlist) are also invited to read at the festival, it’s an opportunity to meet and thank the judge, and have the work heard by a literary audience.

Sometimes, I’ll forego one or more of these. For example, if it’s a judge whose work I particularly admire and it would mean a lot to me to have my worked chosen by them. As a writer, it’s up to you to decide what’s important to you and hold yourself to that standard.

All of this is conditional on the poems being good enough to hold their own in a competition. I’ve written more than I intended about the competitions themselves, so I’ll save what makes a competition-worthy poem for the next post.

In the meantime, is there anything I’ve missed? What things do you consider when deciding whether or not to enter a competition? Please leave a comment below.

NB. I live in Ireland and these thoughts are based on my experience of the UK/Irish literary scene. I’d also love to hear thoughts about submitting to competitions in other parts of the world.

Photo by Gratisography