Poetry Competitions, Submissions & Opportunities – May 2018

April’s gone, the sun has appeared, winter is finally behind us and with 100 poetry competitions, writing submissions and opportunities open or with deadlines in May, there’s plenty to put a Spring in your step this month! #sorrynotsorry

Whether you were NaPoWriMo-ing or simply reading your way through National Poetry Month, I hope you’ve found lots to inspire you in April. Here in Ireland, we celebrated our National Poetry Day on the 26th and I was delighted to take part in a guerilla art project #LabelLit, a kind of poetry treasure hunt where poets in Ireland and beyond, shared micro poems on luggage labels and tied them up in their favourite places to be found by passersby. The project is the brainchild of poet Maria McManus – if you’d like to know more, check out this lovely little film about Label Lit.

I was also proud to help launch Autonomy (New Binary Press, 2018), edited by Kathy D’Arcy – an anthology of writing about bodily autonomy, in advance of the upcoming referendum to Repeal the 8th Amendment to the Irish Constitution on 25 May – at Books Upstairs and University College Dublin. Every copy purchased contributes to women’s healthcare organisations. Packed full of poetry, prose and essays examining an emotive issue from a multitude of perspectives, it is a powerful collection and essential reading for anyone who wants to understand what it means to be a woman living in Ireland, without access to essential healthcare.

I was also lucky enough to attend a workshop on Reviewing Poetry at Poetry Ireland, with Kate Kelloway of The Guardian and The Observer and John MacAuliffe of The Irish Times. I’ll put together a post on their thoughts and observations on appraising poetry shortly.

In the meantime, start submitting and best of luck!

(Click on links below for info)

May 2018

Mairtín Crawford Poetry Award – Poetry (unpublished poets – 6-10 poems) – closes 1 May (submit online)

Poetry London Clore Prize – Poetry – closes 1 May (submit online)

Porridge – Poetry, Fiction, Essays, Art and more – closes 1 May (submit online)

The Stony Thursday Poetry Book – Poetry – closes 4 May (submit online)

Tap Lit Mag – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction – closes 5 May (submit online)

The Writers’ Cafe Magazine – Poetry, theme: Corridors & Passageways – closes 7 May (submit online)

Dublin Book Festival Call for Submissions – Authors & Publishers – closes 11 May (submit online)

Bennington Review – Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Non-Fiction – closes 15 May (submit online)

Paper Nautilus Vella Chapbook Prize – Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Non-Fiction (16-24 pages) – closes 15 May (submit online)

Ploughshares Emerging Writers Contest – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction (Unpublished writers only) – closes 15 May (submit online)

The Boiler – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction, Art – closes 15 May (submit online)

Two Sylvias Press Chapbook Prize – Poetry (17-24 pages) – closes 15 May (submit online)

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





Dodging the Rain – Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction and more – closes 18 May (submit online)

Dirty Paws Poetry Review – Poetry – closes 25 May (submit online)

The A3 Review – Poetry, Fiction, Flash and more, theme: Moon – closes 25 May (submit online)

The Honest Ulsterman – Poetry, Prose & Critical Writing – closes 25 May (submit online)

Poetry and Psychoanalysis Competition – Poetry – closes 27 May (submit online)

Welsh Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 27 May (submit online)

Kweli Journal – Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction (writers of colour only) – closes 30 May (submit online)

Battered Moons Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 31 May (submit online)

Bray Literary Festival Call for Submissions – All genres – closes 31 May (submit online)

Crazyhorse – Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction – closes 31 May (submit online)

Frogmore Poetry Prize – Poetry – closes 31 May (submit online)

Ljubljana International Literary Residency – All genres – closes 31 May (submit online)

Lord Whisky Sanctuary Fund Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 31 May (submit online)

Marble Poetry – Poetry – closes 31 May (submit online)

Strix – Poetry, Fiction – closes 31 May (submit online)

The Bridport Prize – Poetry, Fiction, Flash – closes 31 May (submit online)

The Poets’ Republic – Poetry – closes 31 May (submit online)

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

Under the Radar – Poetry – closes 31 May (submit online)

ZYZZYVA – Poetry, Fiction, Essays, Art – closes 31 May (submit online)

Festival of Firsts Open Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 1 June (submit online)

Field Notes – Poetry, Fiction, Essays and more (women, lgbtqia, gender non-conforming, POC, and/or other marginalized voices) – closes 1 June (submit online)

Fourteen Hills – Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Art and more – closes 1 June (submit online)

Harvard Review – Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Translation – closes 1 June (submit online)

Helen Literary Magazine – Poetry, Flash, Essays, Art and more (esp. work by people of color, LGBTQIA+, disabled creatives, and other marginalized groups)  – closes 1 June (submit online)

Three Drops Press – Poetry, Micro/Flash, theme: Changelings & Fairy Rings  – closes 1 June (submit online)


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

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


Paper Swans Poetry Pamphlet Prize – Poetry (18-24 poems) – open 1 March – 30 June (submit online)

Fool for Poetry Competition – Poetry (16-23 pages) – closes 30 June (submit online)

Prole Pamphlet Competition – Poetry (15-30 pages) – closes 30 June (submit online)

UC Vice-Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize – Poetry – closes 30 June (submit online)

The North: Irish Issue – Poetry – closes 31 July (submit online)

2 Elizabeths – Poetry, Fiction, Flash – open (submit online)

400 & Falling – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Translation, Artwork (emerging writers)  – (submit online)

Acumen – Poetry – open (submit online)

Algebra of Owls – Poetry – open (submit online)

Apple Picking Press – Poetry – open (submit online)

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

Antiphon – Poetry – open (submit online)

Apartment Poetry – Poetry – open (submit online)

Atrium – Poetry – open (submit online)

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

By and By Poetry – Poetry – open (submit online)

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

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

Disclaimer Magazine – Poetry, Fiction, Journalism, themes: Politics, Economics, Art – open (submit online)

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

Fields Magazine – Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Artwork – 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)

GFT Press – Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Non-fiction – open (submit online)

Gravel – Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Creative Non-Fiction, Artwork – open (submit by post)

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

HCE Review – Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Photo Essays – open (submit online)

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)

Inside the Bell Jar – Poetry, Fiction, theme: mental illness – 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)

Memorius – Poetry, Fiction – open (submit online)

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

Noepe Center Residency Program – Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Memoir, Plays – open (submit online)

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

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

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

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

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

Riggwelter – Poetry, Short Fiction, Visual Art – open (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)

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

The Curlew – Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction, theme: the natural world – open (submit online)

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

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

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

The Great American Literary Magazine – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Reviews, Plays – open (submit online)

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

The MacGuffin – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction, Artwork – open (submit online)

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

The Next Review – Poetry, Fiction, Reviews – open (submit online)

The Nottingham Review – Poetry & Fiction – open (submit online)

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

The Quill Magazine – Poetry, Prose, All Genres (new writers only) – open (submit online)

The Sea Letter – Poetry, Fiction, Artwork – 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)

Three Drops From a Cauldron – Poetry, Flash, theme: Myth, Folklore, Fables, Fairytales – open (submit online)

Vending Machine Press – Poetry, Flash, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Essay – 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 May 2018, 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)


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