Poetry Competitions, Submissions & Opportunities – December 2019

It’s the end of the year and the end of a decade but there’s there’s still time to send your work out before the clock hands, cogs and levers turn to embrace the Twenties!! Here are over 120 poetry competitionswriting submissions and opportunities open or with deadlines in December – so get cracking and end the year in style!

2019 has been a tough year in many respects but also a fruitful one for me poetry-wise – winning the iYeats International Poetry Competition, Poetry Ireland featuring one of my poems as part of National Poetry Day, two poems being shortlisted for the Aesthetica Creative Writing Awards last month and being awarded the Greywood Arts Poetry Residency next February.

I have also been fortunate to spend time in residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, where I developed new work, planned some larger projects and met some of the kindest, most inspiring and talented writers, artists and performers around. It’s always a pleasure to visit and my thanks goes to the dedicated staff who make it all run like clockwork and take such good care of everyone. If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend it!

There have also been some lovely moments as part of the poetry community – reading at the launch of The North Irish Issue in January, attending the West Cork Literary Festival and John Hewitt Summer School, meeting so many fantastic writers, learning from amazing poets like Liz Berry and Kathryn Maris, listening to readings and discussions of poetry as part of the Carcanet at 50 celebrations at Poetry Ireland, teaching at festivals and hosting a wonderful conversation on Irish poetry with Salmon Poetry, Doire Press and Gallery Press at the Red Line Book Festival in October.

And, of course, the community of writers here who read the blog and took part in my poetry challenges and workshops this year. It’s been wonderful working with you and reading your gorgeous words. 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!

Wishing you all a happy holiday season and the very best of luck sending out your poems. See you in 2020!


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

If you have the means, please consider making a monthly contribution. The competitions list is read between 4500-6000 times each month. If everyone who uses the list were to contribute just €1 per month, it would go a long way to supporting not just the list but my work as a writer.

To everyone who has contributed this year, thank you so much for your kindness and generosity. May your poems go out into the world and shine!


December 2019

Doolin Writers’ Competition – Poetry, Fiction, Video Poem – closes 1 Dec (submit online)

Michigan Quarterly Review – Poetry, Fiction, Essay, Translation, theme: Water – closes 1 Dec (submit online)

Poetry Book Society Spring Pamphlet Choice – Poetry pamphlets (pub. Oct-Dec 2019, 47 pages max.) – closes 1 Dec (submit online)

Poetry Jukebox: Once Barefoot… – Poetry – closes 1 Dec (submit online)

Slice Magazine – Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Essay, theme: Persistance – closes 1 Dec (submit online)

The Cafe Writers Open Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 1 Dec (submit online)

The Iowa Review – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction – closes 1 Dec (submit online)

Popshot – Poetry, Fiction, Flash – closes 2 Dec (9am) (submit online)

The Fiddlehead Poetry Contest – Poetry – closes 2 Dec (submit online)

Tara Building Creative Scholarship – All disciplines – closes 2 Dec (submit online)

Writing Between the Vines Writing Retreat – All genres – closes 3 Dec (submit online)

Hollis Summers Poetry Prize – Poetry manuscript (60-95 pages) – closes 3 Dec (submit online)

Modern Poetry in Translation – Poetry Translation, theme: Japan – closes 6 Dec (submit online)

The Strokestown International Poetry Prize – Poetry – closes 6 Dec (submit online)

Into the Void – Poetry, Flash, Non-fiction – closes 8 Dec (submit online)

Parantheses – Poetry, Fiction, Art & Photography – closes 10 Dec (submit online)

The A3 Review – Poetry, Flash, Art manuscript (12-14 pages max.) – closes 10 Dec (submit online)

Aurivo North West Words Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 12 Dec (submit online)

Back from the Brink – Poetry, Fiction – closes 15 Dec (submit online)

Bomb Cyclone – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Translation & more – closes 15 Dec (submit online)

Bright Ideas for Poetry Day Ireland 2020 – Event submissions – closes 15 Dec (submit online)

Columbia Journal Winter Contest – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction – closes 15 Dec (submit online)

Copper Nickel – Poetry, Fiction, Essay, Translation – closes 15 Dec (submit online)

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

HCE Review – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Art & more – closes 15 Dec (submit online)

James Wright Poetry Prize – Poetry – closes 15 Dec (submit online)

Kissing Dynamite – Poetry manuscript (15no. pages max.) – closes 15 Dec (submit online)

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

Cove Park Residency – Literature/Translation (UK-based only) – closes 16 Dec (submit online)

Helen Magazine: Literary Postcard – Micro-poetry, Flash (11 lines/150 words max.) – closes 16 Dec (submit online)

Helen Magazine Impact Anthology – Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Non-fiction & more, theme: social justice – closes 16 Dec (submit online)

Iceland Writers’ Retreat – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction – closes 16 Dec (submit online)

Ink Pantry Publishing Poetry Competition – Poetry, theme: Krampus – closes 16 Dec (submit online)

Poetry International C.P. Cavafy Poetry Prize – Poetry – EXTENDED closes 16 Dec (submit online)

Dodging the Rain – Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction and more, theme: Christmas – closes 20 Dec (submit online)

ROPES Literary Journal – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Essays & more – closes 20 Dec (submit online)

Alien Magazine – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Art – closes 21 Dec (submit online)

POETRY Magazine – Poetry, Visual Poetry, Prose – closes 23 Dec (submit online)

The Puritan – Poetry, Fiction, Essay & more – closes 25 Dec (submit online)

The A3 Review – Poetry, Flash, Art, theme: Transformations – closes 28 Dec (submit online)

Against the Grain Competition – Poetry – closes 31 Dec (submit online)

Laurence Goldstein Poetry Prize – Poetry – closes 31 Dec (submit online)

Magma – Poetry, theme: Act Your Age – closes 31 Dec (submit online)

Modern Poetry in Translation – Poetry Translation – closes 31 Dec (submit online)

Nightingale & Sparrow – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction, Photography, theme: Love – closes 31 Dec (submit online)

Poetry Birmingham – Poetry, Essay, Interview – closes 31 Dec (submit online)

Shepton Snowdrop Festival Poetry Competition – Poetry & Photography – closes 31 Dec (submit online)

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

The Places of Poetry Anthology – Poetry, theme: Northern Ireland/Scotland – closes 31 Dec (submit online)

The Two Sylvias Press Wilder Series Poetry Book Prize – Poetry manuscript (48-80 pages, women over 50) – closes 31 Dec (submit online)

WoLF Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 31 Dec (submit online)

Arc Poetry Magazine – Poetry – closes 1 Jan (submit online)

Black Sun Lit – Poetry, Prose, Essay, Translation, theme: Lacunae/Death – closes 1 Jan (submit online)

Boyne Berries – Poetry, Flash – closes 1 Jan (submit online)

Columbia Poetry Review – Poetry – closes 1 Jan (submit online)

Crazyhorse – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Translation – closes 1 Jan (submit online)

LitMag – Poetry – closes 1 Jan (submit online)

The Selkie Resiliency Anthology – Poetry (Canadian/Canada-based poets only) – closes 1 Jan (submit online)

Tupelo Press Dorset Prize – Poetry manuscript (48-88 pages) – closes 2 Jan (submit online)

The Barn Owl Trust Poetry Competition – Poetry, theme: Protecting Life on Earth – closes 3 Jan (submit online)

The Disquiet Prize – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction – closes 3 Jan (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, Flash, Translation & Art – closes 5 Jan (submit online)

IOTA Shot Pamphlet Award – Poetry manuscript (16-20 pages) – closes 20 Jan (submit online)

Poets & Players Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 21 Jan (submit online)

Into the Void Poetry Prize – Poetry – closes 31 Jan (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)

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

Amaryllis – 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)

Fecund Journal – Poetry, Fiction, Essay & more (POC only) – 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 Salzburg – Poetry – open (submit by post or online)

Peepal Tree Press – Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction manuscripts from Black & Caribbean 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: experimental – 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 Poetry Village – Poetry – 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 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 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 2019, 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 – November 2019

The clocks are turned back and we’re heading into the end of the year and those deep, dark winter evenings by the fire. All the better for reviewing our poems and checking out a bumper crop of over 140 poetry competitions, writing submissions and opportunities open or with deadlines in November 2019! 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 prepare 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