Poetry Competitions, Submissions & Opportunities – June 2020

The new poetry list is here with over 130 poetry competitions, writing submissions and opportunities open or with deadlines in June 2020.

What a time we’re living through. Like so many, I am appalled by the death of George Floyd and the police violence toward protesters in the US that has marked its aftermath.

Yesterday, I posted Black Lives Matter: What Can I Do As A Writer? including a list of resources, reading lists and relevant work by black writers and poets. Please read the post and take action:

  • Sign petitions;
  • Donate, if you can, share info and resources, if you can’t;
  • Educate yourself about racism and its impact on all our lives – there are reading recommendations and free resources at the link above;
  • Support black writers and writers of colour – read and share their work.

Black lives matter and we are all in this together.

Otherwise, I hope you are all well and holding it together whether you are still in lockdown or if restrictions are now easing. Take care of yourselves and each other. Stay creative, stay grounded, stay connected and stay safe.

Whatever you’re up to with your writing during June, I wish you luck. I normally ask you to consider support this blog with a small Paypal donation but this month I’d ask you to put that money toward supporting the George Floyd fund, Black Lives Matter, Bail Funds or an organisation fighting racism near you. Thank you!


June 2020

Headline Poetry and Press: Restoration V.1 – Poetry, Flash – closes 1 June (submit online)

The Montreal International Poetry Prize – Poetry – closes 1 June (submit online)

The White Review – Poetry, Fiction – closes 1 June (submit online)

The Blue Nib (Print) – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction & more – closes 5 June (submit online)

Lumin – Poetry, Visual Poetry, Text Art, Prose (experimental – 50% BME, LGBTQ+, neurodivergent, disabled, low-income and marginalised voices) – closes 7 June (submit online)

Mollyhouse – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction (welcomes work from deaf/disabled, LGBTQ+, women/non-binary and Black/POC/Indigenous writers) – closes 7 June (submit online)

The Seventh Wave Editorial Residency – Deadline extended for Black writers, artists and activists (paid opportunity) – closes 7 June (submit online)

Mslexia – Poetry, Fiction, Drama, theme: Wildlife – closes 8 June (submit online)

The Aurora Prize for Writing – Poetry, Fiction – closes 8 June (submit online)

Francis Ledwidge Poetry Award – Poetry – closes 11 June (submit online)

Columbia Journal Online – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Art, theme: Loneliness – closes 12 June (submit online)

Nottingham Virtual Print & Publishing Fair 2020 – Indie Print & Publishing, Zines, Pamphlets etc – closes 12 June (submit online)

Sonder – Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Creative Non-fiction & Art, theme: Challenges – closes 12 June (submit online)

Trócaire Poetry Ireland Poetry Competition – Poetry, theme: Standing her Ground – EXTENDED – closes 12 June (submit online)

Empty Mirror: LGBTQ+ Pride Issue – Poetry, Non-fiction, Art – closes 12 June (submit online)

EX/POST Magazine – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Drama, Art & more (feedback to 15 poetry/15 prose subs on proof of $15 donation to George Floyd-related fund) – closes 14 June (submit online)

The Sappho Prize for Women* Poets – Poetry (*cis, trans, non-binary, identifying as) – closes 14 June (submit online)

The Seventh Wave – Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Art, theme: Before After – closes 14 June (submit online)

Akron Poetry Prize – Poetry manuscript (48-90 pages) – closes 15 June (submit online)

Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year Competition – Poetry – closes 15 June (submit online)

Queen Mary Wasifiri New Writing Prize – Poetry, Fiction, Life-writing (emerging writers only) – closes 15 June (submit online)

River Styx International Poetry Contest – Poetry – closes 15 June (submit online)

Segora International Writing Competitions – Poetry, Fiction, Drama – closes 15 June (submit online)

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

Fly on the Wall Press: Mancunian Ways Anthology – Poetry, Photography, Art, theme: Manchester – closes 16 June (submit online)

Beyond the Storm Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 19 June (submit online)

Verve Poetry Press – Poetry manuscripts (pamphlet – 22-32 pages / collection – 60+ pages) – closes 20 June (submit online)

The A3 Review – Poetry, Flash, Art, theme: The Heart – closes 26 June (submit online)

Tales From the Forest – Poetry, Fiction, Art, theme: Time – closes 28 June (submit online)

Red Line Book Festival WIR – All genres – closes 29 June (submit online)

Alchemy Spoon – Poetry, Essays, Artwork, Reviews, theme: Time – closes 30 June (submit online)

Atlanta Review – Poetry – closes 30 June (submit online)

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

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

Black Lawrence Press – Poetry manuscripts (pamphlet 16-36 pages / collections 45-120 pages)  – closes 30 June (submit online)

Broken Sleep Books – Poetry manuscripts (40+ pages – welcomes working class, LGBTQ+ and BAME writers) – closes 30 June (submit online)

Copper Canyon Press – Poetry manuscript (45-200 pages) – closes 30 June (submit online)

Fairy Tale Review: The Gold Issue – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Artwork, theme: Anne Sexton’s ‘Transformations’ – closes 30 June (submit online)

Manchester Cathedral Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 30 June (submit online)

Poetry Birmingham – Poetry (incl. 5 free critiques for unpublished working class black and asian writers) – closes 30 June (submit online)

Poetry Book Awards – Independent writers and small presses – closes 30 June (submit online)

Spoonfeed – Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Creative Non-fiction & more, theme: creative food writing – closes 30 June (submit online)

Split Lip Magazine – Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Memoir (free submissions for Black writers) – closes 30 June (submit online)

Sundog Lit – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Art – closes 30 June (submit online)

The Bangor Literary Journal: The Forty Words Competition – Poetry, Fiction – closes 30 June (submit online)

The Fingal Poetry Prize – Poetry – closes 30 June (submit online)

The Interpreter’s House – Poetry, Fiction – closes 30 June (submit online)

Tiny Spoon – Poetry, Fiction, Experimental, theme: Solitude – closes 30 June (submit online)

Wells Festival of Literature International Writing Competitions – Poetry, Fiction, Children’s Books – closes 30 June (submit online)

Carte-Blanche – Poetry, Comics, Translation, Photography, theme: Anxiety – closes 1 July (submit online)

Penfro Poetry Competition – Poetry, theme: Ecology – closes 1 July (submit online)

The Blue Nib (Web) – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction & more – closes 1 July (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 JUNE:

The Second Shelf – Essays, Creative Non-fiction – closes 2 July (submit online)

Ireland Chair of Poetry Trust Special Commemorative Anthology – Poetry, Essay, theme: Poetry Mentors (emerging Irish/NI writers, especially those under-represented on the basis of gender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race, and membership of the Traveller community; as well as writers from diverse socio-economic backgrounds) – closes 6 July (submit online)

Ledbury Poetry Festival Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 16 July (submit online)

Poetry London Mentoring Scheme – Poetry (incl. travel bursary) – closes 31 July (submit online)

Impossible Archetype – Poetry (LGBTQ+, all genders) – opens 1 June & closes 1 Aug (submit online)

Shoreham Wordfest Poetry & Short Story Competition – Poetry, Fiction (10 lines / 10 words) – closes 1 Aug (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)

Dust Poetry – Poetry – 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 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)

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 – 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)

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 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 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 May 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)

Poetry Competitions, Submissions & Opportunities – May 2020

Welcome to May and the Celtic festival of Bealtaine – the mid-point between the Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice! Although we’re still figuring out how to navigate summer as we continue and/or emerge from lockdown, the good news is that there are over 120 poetry competitions, writing submissions and opportunities open or with deadlines in May 2020. Continue reading

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

Poetry Competitions, Submissions & Opportunities – December 2018

December, again – where did the year go? If you’ve been promising yourself this would be the year to finally send out your work, there’s still time!! Here are over 120 poetry competitionswriting submissions and opportunities open or with deadlines in December – so get cracking and end the year in style.

2018 has been a bumper year here on the blog, with almost double the number of readers as last year! I’ve been thinking for a while that I’d like to expand the site to provide even more advice, information and resources to help poets with writing and publication and I’ll post more about that anon.

In the meantime, I’d like to thank you all for your support and hope these lists have helped you find homes for your work. If you’re in a position to give back (see below) it would be very much appreciated.

And as you’re ticking off your Christmas shopping list, don’t forget to support writers and small presses. Poetry makes the perfect stocking filler:

https://www.bustle.com/p/8-reasons-to-give-the-gift-of-poetry-this-season-13046340

Wishing you all a happy holiday season and the very best of luck. See you in 2019!


Creating this list is a labour of love, taking the best part of 20 hours to source, organise and write each month. If you find it useful and would like to show your appreciation, click the button below and make a small contribution toward a writer’s necessities of life, like:

€1.00 (a cheeky wee bar of chocolate or a new pen)
€3.00 (a piping hot creamy latte or a new notebook)
€5.00 (a lovely cold pint of Guinness or a competition entry)
€10.00 (a scrumptious pizza or a new book)


Donate Button

You’re a star, thank you. May all your poems be award-winning instant classics!

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December 2018

Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize – Poetry manuscript (48-88 pages) – closes 1 Dec (submit online)

Doolin Writer’s Competition – Poetry, Fiction – closes 1 Dec (submit online)

Foglifter – Poetry, Prose, Cross-genre (especially queer, cross-genre, intersectional, marginal, and transgressive work) – closes 1 Dec (submit online)

Heron Tree – Poetry – closes 1 Dec (submit online)

Hot Metal Bridge – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Artwork – closes 1 Dec (submit online)

Porter Gulch Literary and Arts Journal – Poetry, Fiction, Plays, Artwork – closes 1 Dec (submit online)

Tammy – Poetry, Prose, Artwork – closes 1 Dec (submit online)

Peter Porter Poetry Prize – Poetry – closes 3 Dec (submit online)

Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize – Poetry – closes 3 Dec (submit online)

Three Drops from the Cauldron – Poetry, Flash, Artwork, theme: Midwinter – closes 3 Dec (submit online)

Into the Void – Poetry, Flash, Creative Non-fiction, Artwork – closes 7 Dec (submit online)

Strokestown International Poetry Prize – Poetry – closes 7 Dec (submit online)

Brunel International African Poetry Prize – Poetry (emerging – not yet published a full-length collection) – closes 12 Dec (submit online)

Poetry Jukebox: A Deeper Country – Poetry recording (max. 2 mins) – closes 14 Dec (submit online)

AWP Ireland Call for Papers – Topics relating to creative writing – closes 14 Dec (submit online)

Modern Poetry in Translation: UK Focus – Poetry (languages and language communities of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) – closes 14 Dec (submit online)

Not Your Mother’s Breast Milk – Poetry, Fiction, Essays, Artwork, theme: Mental Health – closes 14 Dec (submit online)

Tara Building Creative Scholarship – All disciplines – closes 14 Dec (submit online)

Baltic Writing Residency in Sweden – Poetry (10 Pages) – closes 15 Dec (submit online)

BLYNKT – Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction, theme: New Beginnings – closes 15 Dec (submit online)

Constellate – Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Artwork – closes 15 Dec (submit online)

Copper Nickel – Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction – closes 15 Dec (submit online)

Duende – Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Artwork – closes 15 Dec (submit online)

F(r)iction’s Winter 2018 Literary Contests – Poetry, Flash, Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction – closes 15 Dec (submit online)

Mikrokosmos Fiction & Poetry Contest – Poetry, Fiction – closes 15 Dec (submit online)

New Ohio Review – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction – closes 15 Dec (submit online)

Porter House Review Editor’s Prizes – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Artwork – closes 15 Dec (submit online)

Pretty Owl Poetry – Poetry, Flash, Art – closes 15 Dec (submit online)

Sequestrum – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Art – closes 15 Dec (submit online)

So To Speak – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Art – closes 15 Dec (submit online)

Swimming with Elephants Chapbooks – Poetry (25-75 pages) – closes 15 Dec (submit online)

The Blue Nib Chapbook Contest – Poetry manuscript (8 poems) – closes 15 Dec (submit online)

The Hunger – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Artwork – closes 15 Dec (submit online)

Third Coast – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Drama – closes 15 Dec (submit online)

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

Dodging the Rain – Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction and more, theme: Christmas & New Year – closes 18 Dec (submit online)

Programming Proposals for Poetry Day Ireland 2019 – Poetry events, theme: Truth or Dare – closes 19 Dec (submit online)

Overton Poetry Prize – Poetry sequence (up to 300 lines) – closes 20 Dec (submit online)

The Deva Literary Prize – Poetry manuscript (48-120 pages) – closes 20 Dec (submit online)

ROPES Literary Journal – Poetry, Flash, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction and more – closes 24 Dec (submit online)

Quercus Review Press Poetry Book Award – Poetry manuscript (up to 125 pages) – closes 28 Dec (submit online)

1919 Limerick Soviet Anthology – Poetry, Prose, Artwork – closes 31 Dec (submit online)

Brexit in Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 31 Dec (submit online)

Brighthill Press Poetry Book Competition – Poetry manuscript (48-64 pages) – closes 31 Dec (submit online)

Calyx Journal – Poetry, Flash, Fiction, Artwork – closes 31 Dec (submit online)

Carte Blanche – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction and more – closes 31 Dec (submit online)

Dorset Prize – Poetry manuscript (48-88 pages) – closes 31 Dec (submit online)

Five Aspects Poetry Competition – Poetry, theme: Spirit of Childhood – closes 31 Dec (submit online)

River Styx – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction – closes 31 Dec (submit online)

Tampa Review Prize for Poetry – Poetry manuscript (48-100 pages) – closes 31 Dec (submit online)

The Moth Poetry Prize – Poetry – closes 31 Dec (submit online)

Winter Tangerine Workshops: Feathered We Remember – Femme-identified writers, any genre – closes 31 Dec (submit online)

WoLF Poetry Competition – theme: Wanderer – closes 31 Dec (submit online)

Boyne Berries – Poetry, Fiction – closes 2 Jan 2019 (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 DECEMBER:

SAND – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Artwork – closes 5 Jan 2019 (submit online)

Arvon Mentoring Programme – Poetry, Fiction, Playwriting – closes 7 Jan 2019 (submit online)

The Stinging Fly – Poetry, Fiction – opens 3 Dec – closes 9 Jan 2019 (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)

Bear Review – Poetry, Fiction, Essays, Artwork – 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)

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

Tinderbox Poetry Journal – Poetry – 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 December 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)

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