Poetry Competitions, Submissions & Opportunities – January 2023

Happy New Year! I hope you are ready to roll up your writing sleeves again because the list is back and its the biggest ever with a whopping 170 poetry competitions, writing submissions and opportunities open or with deadlines in January 2023!

At this time of year, our ancestors’ lives slowed in tune with the season – an essential time of rest and reflection that we have lost to the demands of modern industry, whose measures of productivity and success have also seeped into the expectations we have for ourselves and our creative work.

Creativity is a slow process. We must gather ourselves before we sow and reap – gather our energies, our ideas, our resources.

Join me from tomorrow (7 January 2023) to gently navigate the post-holiday gloom and nurture our creativity with 30 days of creative sparks, carrying us through the winter darkness to the dawn of spring. Winter Almanac | A Writing Journey in January draws inspiration from the treasures of January, that we might view this much-maligned month with kinder eyes!

In addition to the usual prompts, creative exercises, images, music and writing tips, we’ll also be welcoming award-winning UK poet John McCullough for a special guest reading and a chat!

Together, we will gather our thoughts, our ideas, our hopes and take stock, with prompts, creative exercises, images, music and writing tips to fire the imagination, inspire new writing and provide the perfect creative boost to the start of a new year. Click the button below for more information and booking details.

Praise for Previous 30 Day Writing Events:

The best poetry prompts I’ve ever seen, bar none! Full of great ideas, helpful guidance, and good humor and plenty of room to maneuver… What a wonderful way to spend the month!

– Caroline Wellman

‘A lovely way to read more poems. I loved the challenge! I signed up to the Facebook group and I found the sharing on there motivational; it made me keep going and even prioritise it in my day!’

– Julie Runacres

‘…a brilliant mixture of direction and freedom… Completely transformed my month, my mental health and, after a very tough year… helped me build a new creative practice in an area I’ve always loved.’

– Chloe Orrock

I do hope you can join us!

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!


Passengers Journal   – Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Art – closes 6 Jan (submit online)

The Banyan Review – Poetry, Non-fiction, Art – closes 6 Jan (submit online)

The Amphibian – Poetry, Fiction, theme: Wildlife/Nature – closes 7 Jan (submit online)

Archetype Mag – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Photography & Art – closes 7 Jan (submit online)

Writer in the Park: Ljubljana UNESCO City of Literature International Literary Residency 2023 – All genres – closes 7 Jan (submit online)

Little Fires of Brigid Poetry Competition – Poetry, theme: Brigid – Spring, Fire, Renewal – closes 8 Jan (submit online)

Shepton Snowdrops Poetry Competition – Poetry, Photography, theme: Let Nature Thrive  – closes 8 Jan (submit online)

The Cormorant – Poetry, Flash  – closes 8 Jan (submit online)

Button Poetry Chapbook Contest – Poetry manuscript (20-30 pages)  – closes 9 Jan (submit online)

James Merrill House Writing Residency – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Plays  – closes 9 Jan (submit online)

CCI Artists Residency Programme – All disciplines – closes 12 Jan (submit online)

Listowel Writers Week Writing Retreat Bursary – All disciplines – closes 12 Jan (submit online)

Wales Poetry Award – Poetry – closes 12 Jan (submit online)

Alien Magazine – Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Art – closes 13 Jan (submit online)

Discovery Poetry Contest – Poetry manuscript (unpublished poets only) – closes 13 Jan (submit online)

Colorado Prize for Poetry – Poetry manuscripts – closes 14 Jan (submit online)

Modern Poetry in Translation: Vietnam Focus – Poetry – closes 14 Jan (submit online)

Nightingale & Sparrow – Poetry, Prose, Photography, Art, theme: Crystalline – closes 14 Jan (submit online)

Anderson Center Residency – Writers, Artists, Musicians, Performers – closes 15 Jan (submit online)

Butcher’s Dog Magazine – Poetry – closes 15 Jan (submit online)

Columbia Journal Print Contest – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Translation – closes 15 Jan (submit online)

Driftwood Press Writing Contests – Poetry, Fiction – closes 15 Jan (submit online)

Defunct Magazine – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Hybrid – closes 15 Jan (submit online)

Gigantic Sequins – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Art – closes 15 Jan (submit online)

Ink Sweat & Tears – Poetry, Prose, Film & Visual Poems – closes 15 Jan (submit online)

Neon Magazine – Poetry, Prose, Photography, Comics, theme: Machines – closes 15 Jan (submit online)

Palette Poetry: Previously Published Poem Prize – Poetry – closes 15 Jan (submit online)

Ploughshares Journal – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction – closes 15 Jan (submit online)

The Edward Thomas Fellowship Poetry Award – Poetry – closes 15 Jan (submit online)

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

Wet Grain – Poetry – closes 15 Jan (submit online)

Eavan Boland Emerging Poet Award – Poetry (Unpublished Irish/US writers only) – closes 17 Jan (submit online)

Poetry Kit Competition – Poetry – closes 17 Jan (submit online)

Lambda Literary Writer’s Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, YA, Screenwriting & more – closes 18 Jan (submit online)

Wurlitzer Foundation Artist Residency – Poets, Writers, Playwrights, Screenwriters & more – closes 18 Jan (submit online)

Carcanet Press – Poetry manuscripts (15-20 pages) – closes 20 Jan (submit online)

Hurston Wright Foundation Legacy Award – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction (Black writers only) – closes 21 Jan (submit online)

The Hyacinth Review – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Art & more, theme: Heritage/Inheritance – closes 21 Jan (submit online)

Full House Literary – Poetry, Prose, Hybrid, Art & more – closes 22 Jan (submit online)

MudRoom Mag – Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction – closes 25 Jan (submit online)

The London Magazine Poetry Prize – Poetry – closes 25 Jan (submit online)

Bournemouth Writing Prize – Poetry, Fiction – closes 27 Jan (submit online)

The Face Project – Ekphrastic Poetry, Fiction – closes 29 Jan (submit online)

Cúirt New Writing Prize – Poetry, Fiction, Irish language – closes 30 Jan (submit online)

The Stockholm Review of Literature – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction – closes 30 Jan (submit online)

Allegro Poetry Magazine – Poetry – closes 31 Jan (submit online)

Amsterdam Quarterly – Poetry, Fiction, Nonfiction, Art – closes 31 Jan (submit online)

Beloit Poetry Journal – Poetry – closes 31 Jan (submit online)

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

Epoch Magazine – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Art – closes 31 Jan (submit online)

Frontier Poetry Hurt & Healing Prize – Poetry – closes 31 Jan (submit online)

Fruit Journal – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Art, theme: Interrelation (LGBTQ+ writers only) – closes 31 Jan (submit online)

Kent & Sussex Poetry Society Open Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 31 Jan (submit online)

Magma Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 31 Jan (submit online)

Ó Bhéal Five Words International Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 31 Jan (submit online)

Propel Magazine – Poetry (unpublished poets only) – closes 31 Jan (submit online)

Seashores Haiku Journal – Poetry – closes 31 Jan (submit online)

Split Lip Magazine – Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Memoir, Art & more – closes 31 Jan (submit online)

StoryTown Poetry Competition – Poetry, theme: Doorways – closes 31 Jan (submit online)

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

SurVision Books – Poetry manuscripts (Irish writers only) – closes 31 Jan (submit online)

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

The Cheshire Prize for Literature – Poetry, Fiction, Children’s Literature, Scriptwriting – closes 31 Jan (submit online)

The Deadlands – Poetry, Fiction (Black authors only in January) – closes 31 Jan (submit online)

The Dolores Alberola Poetry Prize – Poetry manuscript – closes 31 Jan (submit online)

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

The Madrigal – Poetry, theme: Metamorphosis – closes 31 Jan (submit online)

Waxwing – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Translation & more – closes 31 Jan (may close sooner when limit reached – submit online)

Arc Poem of the Year – Poetry – closes 1 Feb (submit online)

Honest Ulsterman – Poetry, Prose, Critical Writing – closes 1 Feb (submit online)

Woodberry Poetry Room Creative Fellowship – Poets, Writers, Translators, Artists, Composers – closes 1 Feb (submit online)

Yeats Poetry Prize – Poetry – closes 1 Feb (submit online)

Arts Council Ireland: Touring & Dissemination Scheme – All genres – closes 2 Feb (submit online)


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


Arts Council Agility Awards – All genres – closes 9 Feb (submit online)

Arts Council Bursary Awards – All genres – closes 9 Feb (submit online)

Arts Council Markievicz Awards – All genres – closes 16 Feb (submit online)

Southword – Poetry – closes 28 Feb (submit online)

The Rialto Nature & Place Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 1 Mar (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)

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)

Narrative Mag – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction. Plays – 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 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 JANUARY 2023, 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)


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.