What Are Some National Poetry Contests?

What Are Some National Poetry Contests?

The Beatrice Hawley Award, The Dorset Prize and the Red Hen Poetry Press Award are national poetry contests open to submissions in English by U.S. citizens. Poetry contests often target a niche interest or poets who are currently underrepresented in publishing and may only accept submissions from certain groups.

The Carolina Wrenn Press Poetry Series accepts entries from women, members of the LGBT community, and those with disabilities. The Cave Canem Poetry Prize is open to African-American poets.

Previously published authors may not be eligible to enter some competitions, though the Cleveland State University Poetry Center Prizes holds an open competition for poets who have published one book, and the Del Sol Press Poetry Prize welcomes submissions from established authors.

Prizes vary between different competitions, with some offering publication only and others offering large sums, such as the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize and Fellowships which, as of 2015, offers a prize of $100,000 to a living U.S. poet who warrants extraordinary recognition.

Contests often have specific word length requirements, and it is important to check submission deadlines. There may also be a reading fee, payment of which needs to be included with each entry as a condition for its consideration.