Poetry Competitions, Submissions & Opportunities – October 2018

The days are getting colder and shorter so what better way to make use of the longer nights than to polish up your poems and submit them to one of over 120 poetry competitions, writing submissions and opportunities open or with deadlines in October?

And if those rejections are piling up and getting you down, have a read of ‘So Your Piece Has Been Rejected’ by Josephine Taylor in the Westerly Mag. It not only offers some useful perspective on the submissions process from an editor’s point of view, it also emphasizes that ALL writers get rejections, even amazing, renowned and celebrated ones! It’s a right of passage for us all – submit, review, adjust and keep sending your writing out into the world!

Wherever you are with your writing, keep up the good work and very best of luck!

(Click on links below for info)


October 2018

Five Lamps Arts Festival – All art forms – closes 1 Oct (submit online)

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Artist-in-Residence – Artists – closes 1 Oct (submit online)

Winter Tangerine Fellowship – Poetry, Prose – closes 3 Oct (submit online)

Irish Arts Los Gatos Writing Contests – Poetry, Fiction – closes 4 Oct (submit online)

Caboodle Flash Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 7 Oct (submit online)

The Writers’ Cafe Magazine – Poetry, Fiction, theme: Elements – closes 7 Oct (submit online)

Sixth Finch – Poetry, Artwork – closes 8 Oct (submit online)

Abridged 0-54: Control – Poetry, Artwork – closes 10 Oct (submit online)

Anastamos – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Academic, Artwork, theme: Tangible – closes 10 Oct (submit online)

Damn Zine – Poetry, Illustration and Artwork – closes 12 Oct (submit online)

Every Pigeon – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Artwork – closes 15 Oct (submit online)

Helios Quarterly – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Artwork – closes 15 Oct (submit online)

Inscape Journal – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Artwork – closes 15 Oct (submit online)

New Square – Poetry, Fiction, Essays, Reviews and more – closes 15 Oct (submit online)

Omnidawn Open Poetry Book Contest – Poetry manuscript (40-120 pages) – closes 15 Oct (submit online)

Palette Poetry Emerging Poet Prize – Poetry (3no. poems max. – poets with no more than 2no. collections published) – closes 15 Oct (submit online)

The Jake Adam York Prize – Poetry manuscript (48+ pages, US citizens only) – closes 15 Oct (submit online)

The Penn Review Poetry Prize – Poetry – closes 15 Oct (submit online)

The Southampton Review – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Drama, Artwork – closes 15 Oct (submit online)

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

Washington Square Review – Poetry, Fiction, Translation – closes 15 Oct (submit online)

Riddled With Arrows – Poetry, Fiction, Essays, Artwork and more, theme: Objects & Artifacts – closes 18 Oct (submit online)

HCE Review – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Art – closes 19 Oct (submit online)

The Bangor Literary Journal: Halloween Ekphrastic Challenge – Poetry, Flash – closes 21 Oct (submit online)

Troubadour International Poetry Prize – Poetry – closes 22 Oct (submit online)

NonBinary Review – Poetry, Fiction, Essays, Art, theme: Dante’s Inferno – closes 24 Oct (submit online)

Triple Canopy Call for Proposals – Poetry, Fiction – closes 26 Oct (submit online)

Gorse – Poetry, Fiction, Essays – closes 28 Oct (submit online)

3Elements Literary Review – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Artwork – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

Puerto Del Sol – Poetry, Fiction, Artwork, theme: Absence – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

Banshee – Poetry, Fiction, Essays – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

Bare Fiction Prize – Poetry, Fiction, Flash – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

Beech Street Review – Poetry – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

Blue Light Books – Poetry manuscript (48-75 pages) – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

Cannon Poets Sonnet or Not Poetry Prize – Poetry – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

Elixir Press Annual Poetry Award – Poetry manuscript (48+ pages) – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

Ellipsis – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Drama, Artwork – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

Hedgehog Press First Collection Pamphlet Competition – Poetry manuscript (20 poems) – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

Indiana Review – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Artwork – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

Lumina – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

Lunch Ticket – Poetry, Fiction, Flash Creative Non-fiction and more – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

National Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

Red Hen Press Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award – Poetry manuscript (48-96 pages) – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

Seneca Review – Poetry (trans and genderqueer) – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

Songs of Lennon & McCartney Competition – Poetry (trans and genderqueer) – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

Split Lip Magazine – Poetry, Fiction, Memoir – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

Sunken Garden Poetry Prize – Poetry chapbook (20-36 pages) – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

The Collaborative Voices Folio – Poetry, Fiction (two or more writers in collaboration) – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

The Feelings Journal – Poetry, Artwork – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

The Gravity of the Thing – Poetry, Fiction, Flash – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

The Interpreter’s House – Poetry, Fiction – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

The Ofi Press – Poetry, Fiction, Translation – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

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

Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry – Poetry manuscript (50-80 pages) – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

Bat City Review – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Artwork – closes 1 Nov (submit online)

Brick Road Poetry Book Contest – Poetry manuscript (50-100 pages) – closes 1 Nov (submit online)

Interim: Poetry & Politics Poetry Book Prize – Poetry manuscript (48+ pages) – closes 1 Nov (submit online)

Kenyon Review – Poetry, Fiction, Essays, Plays and more – closes 1 Nov (submit online)

Storyscape Journal – Poetry, Fiction, Artwork – closes 1 Nov (submit online)

The Bangor Literary Journal – Poetry, Fiction, Artwork, theme: Winter, Christmas, Seasonal – closes 1 Nov (submit online)

What Are Birds? Journal – Poetry, Fiction, Artwork – closes 1 Nov (submit online)

Leeds Peace Poetry – Poetry, theme: Food Inequality – closes 2 Nov (submit online)

The Ogham Stone – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Memoir, Art – closes 2 Nov (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 OCTOBER:

Saboteur Awards – Poetry, Fiction, Spoken Word – closes 4 Nov (submit online)

The Tangerine – Poetry, Fiction, Photography, Illustration – closes 4 Nov (submit online)

The Charles Causley International Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 5 Nov (submit online)

The Francis Ledwidge Poetry Award – Poetry – closes 5 Nov (submit online)

The White Review Poet’s Prize – Poetry – closes 6 Nov (submit online)

The Pangolin Review – Poetry – closes 8 Nov (submit online)

The Emma Press – Poetry, theme: Gothic – closes 9 Nov (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 October 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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Poetry Competitions, Submissions & Opportunities – September 2018

It’s that back to school time of year so get ready to knuckle down and get your poems out into the world with a new list of over 110 poetry competitions, writing submissions and opportunities open or with deadlines in September!

Last month, I was delighted to discover I’d taken first place in the 2018 Laureate’s Prize, as organised by The Poetry Business and judged by UK Poet Laureate, Dame Professor Carol Ann Duffy! Thank you so much to The Poetry Business for this opportunity and congratulations to the other prize winners in the Single Poem and Pamphlet competitions – I’m looking forward to meeting and reading with them later in the year.

I feel I should qualify this by saying it’s not been a particularly productive writing year for me – there have been too many other things snaffling up precious time. But, if I’ve learned anything over the past decade since I started writing it’s that however little you feel you’re producing work-wise, you need to keep putting it out there. Even if you only send out a handful of poems a month, you never know where or when one will land in the right place!

Wherever you are with your writing, keep up the good work and very best of luck!

(Click on links below for info) Continue reading

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

Poetry Competitions & Submissions – December 2014

Poetry Competitions & Submissions - February 2016

10 days to the end of December and if you feel you haven’t quite lived up to your potential on the writing front this year, there’s still time to get new work out, before the bells strike for 2015. Here are the poetry competitions and writing submissions on my radar for the rest of the month:

(Click on links for info)

Sentinel Annual Writing Competitions – Poetry & Short Story – closes 21 December;

Ropes 2015 – NUI Galway’s Annual Literary Anthology – Poetry, Prose, Artwork & Photography – closes 30 December;

Berfrois Poetry Prize  – Inaugural Poetry Competition – closes 31 December;

The Incubator Journal – Poetry, Short & Flash Fiction – closes 31 December;

Guernsey’s International Poetry Competition 2014 – judged by Andrew Motion – closes 31 December;

Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize 2014 – judged by Michael Symmons Roberts – closes 31 December.

And for those of you who want to get a head start on publication in the new year:

The Mississippi Review Prize 2015 – Poetry & Fiction – closes 1 January 2015.

Best of luck!

(Illustration by Nicole Ray via Etsy)

Poetry Competitions: Play by the Rules

Hoisted on my own petard!

Only last week, I was holding forth on the importance of proofreading work carefully, before making submissions or entering into competitions, and, this week, I receive a message from the organisers of one of the competitions I’d entered advising my entry was ineligible because it’s only open to UK residents…

Lesson of the Week: Check the poetry competition / submission rules carefully and abide by them!

If the organisers had simply bundled up my entry and chucked it in the bin, muttering, “Complete numpty”, I certainly wouldn’t have blamed them. Which is why what they actually did blew me away.

Continue reading