Looking to publish? Meet your dream editor, designer and marketer on Reedsy.

Find the perfect editor for your next book

1 million authors trust the professionals on Reedsy. Come meet them.

DIRECTORY

Best Poetry Writing Contests in 2024

Showing 131 contests that match your search.

The Free Verse Prize

Poetry Society

Genres: Poetry

The Free Verse Prize is a new poetry prize, which supports the Free Verse Poetry Book and Magazine Fair. The judge is poet and former Poetry Book Fair director, Chrissy Williams. Poems can be on any theme, and should have fewer than 40 lines.

Additional prizes:

Publication in Poetry News and the Poetry Book Fair programme

💰 Entry fee: $6

📅 Deadline: March 18, 2024

Sonnet Poetry Contest

FanStory.com Inc

Genres: Poetry

A sonnet is a poem with a specific structure. It has 14 lines and a specific rhyme scheme. The topic is open! Write about anything for this poetry contest. Just follow the rules on how to write a sonnet. To read the rules and for an example view the contest announcement. Cash prize for the winner of this contest.

Top Prize:

$100

💰 Entry fee: $10

📅 Deadline: November 06, 2022 (Expired)

Iridescence Award

Kinsman Avenue Publishing, Inc

Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Poetry, and Science Fiction

Kinsman Quarterly seeks fiction and poetry submissions from BIPOC authors for the Iridescence Award by December 31. Themes should include the supernatural, extraterrestrial, paranormal--urban fantasy, magical realism, science fiction, Afro-futurism, etc. Winners receive cash prizes up to $500 USD and publication in our literary magazine and E-book. No fees required.

Top Prize:

$500

Additional prizes:

Publication in Kinsman Quarterly and the Iridescence anthology

📅 Deadline: January 31, 2024 (Expired)

Craft your masterpiece in Reedsy Studio

Plan, write, edit, and format your book in our free app made for authors.

Learn more about Reedsy Studio.

3-6-9 Poetry Contest

FanStory.com Inc.

Genres: Poetry

This poem has three stanzas. Each stanza has three lines that follows the 3-6-9 syllable count. The first line has 3 syllables, the second line has 6 syllables and the last line 9 syllables. The subject can be anything.

Top Prize:

$100

💰 Entry fee: $10

📅 Deadline: September 20, 2022 (Expired)

Genres: Poetry

We seek work that actively pushes boundaries, that forces us to question traditions and tastes. If your work takes risks, we want to read it. We like strong narratives that make us feel something and stories we haven’t seen before. We accept work, written in English, from anywhere in the world—regardless of genre, style, or origin—and welcome speculative writing and experimental literature. Strange is good. Strange with a strong character arc is even better. Keep it weird, folks.

Top Prize:

$300

Additional prizes:

Publication

💰 Entry fee: $10

📅 Deadline: April 30, 2024

Ambroggio Prize

Academy of American Poets

Genres: Poetry

The Ambroggio Prize is a $1,000 publication prize given for a book-length poetry manuscript originally written in Spanish and with an English translation. The winning manuscript is published by Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe, publisher of literary works, scholarship, and art books by or about U.S. Hispanics.

Top Prize:

$1,000

Additional prizes:

Publication by Bilingual Press

📅 Deadline: February 15, 2024 (Expired)

swamp pink Prizes

crazyhorse

Genres: Essay, Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, and Short Story

From January 1st to January 31st, submit short stories and essays of up to 25 pages or a set of 1-3 poems. Winners in each genre will receive $2,000 and publication.

Top Prize:

$2,000

Additional prizes:

Publication

💰 Entry fee: $20

📅 Deadline: January 31, 2024 (Expired)

Anthology Poetry Award

Anthology Magazine

Genres: Poetry

Entries are now invited for the Anthology Poetry Award. Established to recognise and encourage excellence in the craft of poetry writing and to provide a platform for publication, it is open to original and previously unpublished poems in the English language. Poems submitted must be on the theme of ‘Freedom’ and should not exceed 40 lines.

Additional prizes:

2nd: €500 | 3rd: €250

💰 Entry fee: $18

📅 Deadline: August 31, 2023 (Expired)

Genres: Poetry

The TCK Publishing Poetry Awards Contest is an international poetry contest established in 2021. Each year’s prizewinner receives a $1,000 honorarium and publication of his or her poem on the TCK Publishing website. This contest is open to writers from all countries, backgrounds, and walks of life. Each submission may include up to five poems totaling no more than 500 words.

Top Prize:

$1,000

Additional prizes:

Publication on TCK Website

💰 Entry fee: $5

📅 Deadline: June 30, 2024

Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Memoir, Non-fiction, Poetry, Script Writing, Short Story, and Novella

Geminga is a neutron star so small it was difficult to detect. With Geminga: $500 for Tiny Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, or Art, Sunspot Lit honors the power of the small. No restrictions on theme or category. Word limit is 100 for fiction and nonfiction. Micropoetry is limited to 140 characters. Graphic novels should be 4 pages or less.

Top Prize:

$500

Additional prizes:

Publication in digital and print

💰 Entry fee: $12

📅 Deadline: January 31, 2024 (Expired)

The Book of the Year Awards

The Independent Author Network

Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Novel, Novella, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Thriller, Young Adult, Crime, and Short Story

The Independent Author Network presents the 10th Annual IAN Book of the Year Awards, an international contest open to all authors with 55 fiction and non-fiction categories. Winners are eligible to receive a share of cash prizes of $6,000 USD. Open to all English language print and eBooks available for sale, including small presses, mid-size independent publishers, university presses, and self-published authors.

Top Prize:

$2,500

Additional prizes:

$6,000.00 USD in total cash prizes

💰 Entry fee: $49

📅 Deadline: August 16, 2024

Adrienne Rich Award for Poetry

Beloit Poetry Journal

Genres: Poetry

We’re open to a wide range of forms and styles in contemporary poetry. We’re always watching for new poets, quickened language, and work that offers a fresh purchase on the political or social landscape.

Top Prize:

$1,500

Additional prizes:

1500

💰 Entry fee: $15

📅 Deadline: April 30, 2024

Willow Run Poetry Book Award

Hidden River Press

Genres: Poetry

Hidden River Arts offers a yearly prize of $1000 and publication in Hidden River Press, an imprint of Hidden River Publishing, for an unpublished book-length collection of poetry of 75 to 100 pages. The award is open to all poets writing in English around the world.

💰 Entry fee: $20

📅 Deadline: April 30, 2024

Genres: Fiction, Poetry, and Short Story

"Reputation is an idle and most false imposition, oft got without merit and lost without deserving." - William Shakespeare For some, it is a lifetime’s pursuit, often slipping through their grasp while others see it fall into their hands by mere chance. However achieved, through talent or luck, Fame can be an ill-fated prize. The 19th Elmbridge Literary Competition, run in partnership by The R C Sherriff Trust and Elmbridge Borough Council, is looking for short stories and poems on the theme of the double-edged sword that is ‘FAME’.

Additional prizes:

Published chapbook

💰 Entry fee: $6

📅 Deadline: February 23, 2024 (Expired)

Genres: Fiction, Flash Fiction, Short Story, Crime, Essay, Fantasy, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Novella, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller, and Young Adult

Indignor House Publishing is proud to announce that our annual writing competition (INDIGNOR PLAYHOUSE Short Story Annual Competition) is officially open with expected publication in the fall of 2024. Up to 25 submissions will be accepted for inclusion in the annual anthology.

Top Prize:

$500

Additional prizes:

2nd: $250 | 3rd: $150

💰 Entry fee: $20

📅 Deadline: March 01, 2024 (Expired)

Fischer Prize

Telluride Institute

Genres: Poetry

This annual award is open to poets of all ages living in the US. Deadline for submissions is August 31st, 2021.

Top Prize:

$1,000

Additional prizes:

Attendance at Telluride Literary Arts Festival

💰 Entry fee: $10

📅 Deadline: August 31, 2024

Take a Photo Poetry

FanStory.com Inc.

Genres: Poetry

Go out for a walk and take a camera, smartphone or tablet with you. Snap a picture of something interesting and write a poem about it when you get home. Post the photo along with the poem.

Top Prize:

$100

💰 Entry fee: $10

📅 Deadline: August 31, 2022 (Expired)

Dream Quest One Poetry

Dream Quest One

Genres: Poetry

Write a poem, 30 lines or fewer on any subject, style, or form, typed or neatly hand printed.

Top Prize:

$250

Additional prizes:

2nd: $125 | 3rd: $50

💰 Entry fee: $5

📅 Deadline: March 31, 2024

Genres: Poetry

In his groundbreaking course on ecopoetry, writer and professor Craig Santos Perez focuses on how to use poetry as a voice for the planet. This month, write a poem about what you know and love from the natural world. Your poem may focus on an element of the environment under threat, explore changes in nature, or honor the planet we call home.

Top Prize:

$100

Additional prizes:

Runner up: $50 | Best peer review: $50

💰 Entry fee: $0

📅 Deadline: September 25, 2023 (Expired)

Bacopa Literary Review Annual Writing Contest

Writers Alliance of Gainesville

Genres: Essay, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, and Short Story

Bacopa Literary Review’s 2024 contest is open from March 4 through April 4, with $200 Prize and $100 Honorable Mention in each of six categories: Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Flash Fiction, Free Verse Poetry, Formal Poetry, and Visual Poetry.

Top Prize:

$200

Additional prizes:

100

📅 Deadline: April 04, 2024

The Hudson Prize

Black Lawrence Press

Genres: Essay, Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, and Short Story

Each year Black Lawrence Press will award The Hudson Prize for an unpublished collection of poems or prose. The prize is open to new, emerging, and established writers.

Top Prize:

$1,000

Additional prizes:

Publication

💰 Entry fee: $28

📅 Deadline: March 31, 2024

Genres: Fiction, Flash Fiction, Poetry, and Short Story

Subscribe to Fanstory for $9.95 a month and enter as many contests as you like from their list of writing and poetry contests, updated daily. All participants receive feedback from a community of writers, and the winner of each contest receives a cash prize of up to $100.

💰 Entry fee: $10

📅 Deadline: January 31, 2023 (Expired)

The Paul Cave Prize for Literature

Tim Saunders Publications

Genres: Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Novella, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller, and Young Adult

The Paul Cave Prize for Literature, established in 2023 by Tim Saunders Publications, is in memory of Paul Astley Cave-Browne-Cave (1917 to 2010), a hugely inspirational magazine and book publisher. What we are looking for All forms of poetry: haiku, free verse, sonnet, acrostic, villanelle, ballad, limerick, ode, elegy, flash fiction, short stories and novellas. Work must be new and unpublished. International submissions welcome.

Additional prizes:

Best Short Story: £50 | Best Flash Fiction: £25 | Best Poem: £25

💰 Entry fee: $15

📅 Deadline: September 30, 2024

Creative Writing Award for Poetry

Aesthetica Magazine

Genres: Poetry

The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award celebrates outstanding writers. The Award was launched after the publication of Aesthetica Magazine, as a way to support the next generation of literary talent. The Creative Writing Award is open to Poetry and Short Fiction submissions on any theme, however, we are particularly interested in works that reflect upon our ever changing world.

Additional prizes:

Publication in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual | Two online masterclasses with Arvon | A course from the Poetry School

💰 Entry fee: $15

📅 Deadline: August 31, 2024

Genres: Poetry

The TRP Southern Poetry Breakthrough Series highlights a first full-length collection by emerging authors from each state in the southern U.S. This year's state is South Carolina. Open to any poet born in South Carolina, currently residing in South Carolina, or who has lived in South Carolina for five consecutive years at any point, who has not yet published a full-length collection of poetry. The author may have published chapbooks or books in other genres. Submissions accepted through Submittable only.

📅 Deadline: March 01, 2024 (Expired)

Tor House Prize for Poetry

Robinson Jeffers Tor House Foundation

Genres: Poetry

The annual Tor House Prize for Poetry is a living memorial to American poet Robinson Jeffers. The contest is open to well-crafted poetry in all styles, ranging from experimental work to traditional forms, including short narrative poems. Poems should be no longer than 3 pages.

Top Prize:

$1,000

Additional prizes:

$200 for honorable mention

💰 Entry fee: $10

📅 Deadline: March 15, 2024

Kinsman Poetry Slam

Kinsman Avenue Publishing, Inc

Genres: Poetry

Poetry entries wanted for the upcoming collection, SLAM! Up to $300 in cash prizes. We are looking for captivating rhythm, form, hard-hitting themes of culture, resilience, passion, and justice. BIPOC Poets are encouraged to submit. Entries should have unpredictable patterns of rhyme and explore free verse and playfulness with language.

Top Prize:

$300

Additional prizes:

Publication in Kinsman Quarterly and the "SLAM" anthology.

💰 Entry fee: $6

📅 Deadline: April 30, 2024

Minute Poetry Contest

FanStory.com Inc

Genres: Poetry

Share a minute poem to enter this poetry contest. It's a fun poem to write. It has three stanzas. Each stanza has the same 8-4-4-4 syllable count. So the first line has eight syllables. All other lines in the stanza have four. Cash prize to the winner!

Top Prize:

$100

💰 Entry fee: $10

📅 Deadline: April 13, 2024

Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize

Academy of American Poets

Genres: Poetry

Established in 1975, this $25,000 award recognizes the most outstanding book of poetry published in the United States in the previous calendar year. The prize includes distribution of the winning book to hundreds of Academy of American Poets members.

Top Prize:

$25,000

Additional prizes:

Publication and distribution of book

💰 Entry fee: $75

📅 Deadline: May 15, 2024

Genres: Poetry

For our Poetry Prize, send no more than three poems in a single document. The winner will be awarded $1000 and publication in an upcoming issue of Indiana Review. This year's contest will be judged by Oliver Baez Bendorf.

Top Prize:

$1,000

Additional prizes:

Publication

💰 Entry fee: $20

📅 Deadline: March 31, 2024

Genres: Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Non-fiction, Novel, Novella, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Short Story, Thriller, and Young Adult

The Reader Views Literary Awards program helps level the playing field for self-published authors, recognizing the most creative and exciting new books in the industry. Our awards program is recognized industry-wide as one of the top literary awards programs for independent authors.

Top Prize:

$2,500

Additional prizes:

Several marketing prizes (e.g. book review)

💰 Entry fee: $89

📅 Deadline: December 15, 2024

James Laughlin Award

Academy of American Poets

Genres: Poetry

Offered since 1954, the James Laughlin Award is given to recognize and support a second book of poetry forthcoming in the next calendar year. Along with $5,000, the winner receives an all-expenses-paid weeklong residency in Miami Beach, Florida, and distribution of the winning book to approximately one thousand Academy of American Poets members. Submissions are accepted January 1 through May 15 each year.

Top Prize:

$5,000

Additional prizes:

Distribution of book to Academy of American Poets members

📅 Deadline: May 15, 2024

Narrative Prize

Narrative Magazine

Genres: Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, and Short Story

The Narrative Prize is awarded annually for the best short story, novel excerpt, poem, one-act play, graphic story, or work of literary nonfiction published by a new or emerging writer in Narrative. The submission system is open all year.

Top Prize:

$4,000

💰 Entry fee: $27

📅 Deadline: June 15, 2024

Harold Morton Landon Translation Award

Academy of American Poets

Genres: Poetry

This $1,000 award recognizes a poetry collection translated from any language into English and published in the previous calendar year. Established in 1976, it is given annually. A noted translator chooses the winning book.

Top Prize:

$1,000

📅 Deadline: February 15, 2024 (Expired)

The Lascaux Prize in Poetry

The Lascaux Review

Genres: Poetry

Poems may be previously published or unpublished, and simultaneous submissions are accepted. Winner receives $1,000, a bronze medallion, and publication online in The Lascaux Review. The winner and all finalists will be published in the annual print journal.

Top Prize:

$1,000

💰 Entry fee: $15

📅 Deadline: March 31, 2024

Discover the finest writing contests of 2024 for fiction and non-fiction authors — including short story competitions, essay writing competitions, poetry contests, and many more. Updated weekly, these contests are vetted by Reedsy to weed out the scammers and time-wasters. If you’re looking to stick to free writing contests, simply use our filters as you browse.

Why you should submit to writing contests

Submitting to poetry competitions and free writing contests in 2024 is absolutely worth your while as an aspiring author: just as your qualifications matter when you apply for a new job, a writing portfolio that boasts published works and award-winning pieces is a great way to give your writing career a boost. And not to mention the bonus of cash prizes!

That being said, we understand that taking part in writing contests can be tough for emerging writers. First, there’s the same affliction all writers face: lack of time or inspiration. Entering writing contests is a time commitment, and many people decide to forego this endeavor in order to work on their larger projects instead — like a full-length book. Second, for many writers, the chance of rejection is enough to steer them clear of writing contests. 

But we’re here to tell you that two of the great benefits of entering writing contests happen to be the same as those two reasons to avoid them.

When it comes to the time commitment: yes, you will need to expend time and effort in order to submit a quality piece of writing to competitions. That being said, having a hard deadline to meet is a great motivator for developing a solid writing routine.

Think of entering contests as a training session to become a writer who will need to meet deadlines in order to have a successful career. If there’s a contest you have your eye on, and the deadline is in one month, sit down and realistically plan how many words you’ll need to write per day in order to meet that due date — and don’t forget to also factor in the time you’ll need to edit your story!

For tips on setting up a realistic writing plan, check out this free, ten-day course: How to Build a Rock-Solid Writing Routine.

In regards to the fear of rejection, the truth is that any writer aspiring to become a published author needs to develop relatively thick skin. If one of your goals is to have a book traditionally published, you will absolutely need to learn how to deal with rejection, as traditional book deals are notoriously hard to score. If you’re an indie author, you will need to adopt the hardy determination required to slowly build up a readership.

The good news is that there’s a fairly simple trick for learning to deal with rejection: use it as a chance to explore how you might be able to improve your writing.

In an ideal world, each rejection from a publisher or contest would come with a detailed letter, offering construction feedback and pointing out specific tips for improvement. And while this is sometimes the case, it’s the exception and not the rule.

Still, you can use the writing contests you don’t win as a chance to provide yourself with this feedback. Take a look at the winning and shortlisted stories and highlight their strong suits: do they have fully realized characters, a knack for showing instead of telling, a well-developed but subtly conveyed theme, a particularly satisfying denouement?

The idea isn’t to replicate what makes those stories tick in your own writing. But most examples of excellent writing share a number of basic craft principles. Try and see if there are ways for you to translate those stories’ strong points into your own unique writing.

Finally, there are the more obvious benefits of entering writing contests: prize and publication. Not to mention the potential to build up your readership, connect with editors, and gain exposure.

Resources to help you win writing competitions in 2024

Every writing contest has its own set of submission rules. Whether those rules are dense or sparing, ensure that you follow them to a T. Disregarding the guidelines will not sway the judges’ opinion in your favor — and might disqualify you from the contest altogether. 

Aside from ensuring you follow the rules, here are a few resources that will help you perfect your submissions.

Free online courses

On Writing:

On Editing:

Blog posts

Bonus resources

After you submit to a writing competition in 2024

It’s exciting to send a piece of writing off to a contest. However, once the initial excitement wears off, you may be left waiting for a while. Some writing contests will contact all entrants after the judging period — whether or not they’ve won. Other writing competitions will only contact the winners. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind after you submit:

  • Many writing competitions don’t have time to respond to each entrant with feedback on their story. However, it never hurts to ask! Feel free to politely reach out requesting feedback — but wait until after the selection period is over.

  • If you’ve submitted the same work to more than one writing competition or literary magazine, remember to withdraw your submission if it ends up winning elsewhere.

  • After you send a submission, don’t follow it up with a rewritten or revised version. Instead, ensure that your first version is thoroughly proofread and edited. If not, wait until the next edition of the contest or submit the revised version to other writing contests.

Prompts | Prompts 3 Copy test | 2024-02

Join our weekly contest

Get 5 new writing prompts every Friday. Write and submit a story for a chance to win $250.

Reedsy Marketplace UI

1 million authors trust the professionals on Reedsy. Come meet them.

Enter your email or get started with a social account: