20 Free Poetry Contests to enter in 2023

Poetry Contests

Looking for online publishers, poetry contests or magazines for submissions is quite a monotonous and tiresome process in itself, let alone the chances of finding relevant info. But not anymore!

Here you’ll find monthly updated contests and submission portals that’ll help you grow as beginners and support your writing career at the same time. Every contest is provided with all the information you need to know before submitting to it. Poets from all nationalities can take part in the poetry contests without worrying about submission fee. So, go writers!

Poetry Contests

Note: Some sites might be area/language restricted , VPN is recommended.

Poetry Contests:


Deadline for the Next Volume: 31st March 2023

Submission requirement : This year’s theme is memory. The contest is available to young people aged between 5 and 18 years old who live in the UK.

Prize: Judged by David Devanny and a panel of judges with prizes awarded for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and highly commended places in each category. This year they’ll also have an honourable mention for a young poet based in Cornwall.


Deadline: No deadline

Submission requirement: They consider only previously unpublished work with single submission of maximum 4 poems (up to 10 pages total) per category at one time for their contests.
Open to simultaneous submissions.

Payment: Text poems are paid $10/line with a minimum honorarium of $300 per poem. For visual poems, audio poems, and video poems, it’s $300 per poem. For prose, it’s $150 per published page.

3. Erbacce-prize Submissions 2023

Deadline: 30th April 2023

Submission requirements: 5 pages of poetry are accepted along with previously published ones. Only one submission per poet is entertained.

Prize: Winner will be given a publishing contract with erbacce-press. 1-2 runners-up will be considered & will win either a perfect bound book or a high quality chap-book. 4 other poets will be chosen to be the ‘Featured Poet’ in each of the quarterly copies.


Deadline: Sunday 14 May 2023 at 11:59 pm.

Submission requirements: One piece of writing (50 line max) is acceptable. This year’s theme is ‘X’. Entrants must be 18 years of age or over. The competition is only open to Uk residents.

Prize: wide range awards.


  • £75 cash prize
  • Chapter & Verse mentorship and manuscript assessment via The literary consultancy, plus the chance to attend a TLC Industry Day
  • Online masterclass course from The Poetry school
  • One year’s membership from The poetry Society
  • One year’s membership from the society of authors


  • £50 cash prize
  • Manuscript assessment via The Literary Consultancy
  • Online course with Writing Magazine
  • One year’s membership from The Poetry Societ
  • One year’s membership from the Society of Authors


  • £25 cash prize
  • Manuscript assessment & coaching from The Writing Coach
  • A copy of the The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook or writing guide
  • One year’s membership from The Poetry Society


  • Six months’ Writers Online digital membership
  • One year’s digital subscription to Mslexia magazine
  • A copy of a The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook writing guide
  • One year’s membership to The Poetry Society

5.Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest

Deadline: April 1, 2023 ( starts from August 15, 2022)

Submission requirements: Held by WINNING WRITERS, this poetry contest seeks today’s best humor poems. Submission should be of maximum of 250 lines. There’s no age restriction to the contest. Published as well as unpublished works are accepted as well as simultaneous submissions.

Prize : First Prize: $2,000 plus a two-year gift certificate from our co-sponsor, Duotrope (a $100 value)
Second Prize: $500
Honorable Mentions: 10 awards of $100 each.Top 12 entries published online

6. The Nervous Ghost Press

Book Prizes

Deadline: open right now

Submission requirements: Only writers living in the US can apply. All work must be unpublished, original. They are looking for a full & complete manuscript of 48 to 128 pages.

Prize: $1000, Publication, author copies, and a California Reading Tour.

7. The Emerging Writer’s Contest

Deadline: from March 1 at noon EST to May 15 at noon EST.

Submission requirements: 3-5 poems are accepted in the poetry contest. It must be original and in English. Simultaneous submissions are accepted.

(Contest is only free for people with subscriptions)

Prize: Publication, $2,000, review from Aevitas Creative Management, and a 1-year subscription for one winner in each of the three genres.

8. Contemporary Verse 2 

Deadline: accepts from October 1 through May 31.

(No submissions will be accepted during the summer months of September, June, July and August.)

Submission requirements: They only accept one submission per submitter at a time. No more than 6 pages are accepted by the magazine. They have a review time of 2 to 6 months.

Payment : $30 per poem


Deadline: open from September 15th to June 15th

Submission requirements: They accept typed, unpublished material only.

Individual poems, sequences, or suites up to a maximum of six pages are allowed.

Payment: $50 per page to a maximum of $250, plus two copies of the issue in which their work appears.

10. The Malahat Review

Deadline: Submissions by international writers are accepted during the following six months: January and February, May through July, and November.

Submission requirements: They do not publish any kinds of already published work whether offline or online. Simultaneous submission accepted. They accept 3 to 5 poems (up to 10 pages max).

Payment: CAD$70 per published page plus a one-year print subscription and two copies of the issue in which your work appears. 

11. The Christopher Salmon Foundation Poetry Competition 2023

Deadline: Friday, 31st March 2023

Submission requirements: Entrants must live or attend school or college in the Wirral area and should be 19 or below years of age. The theme set for the competition is “sunshine”.

Entry should not be more than 30 lines and only one entry per person is permitted.

Prize: . £100 per person per category

12. Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award

Deadline: March 1, 2023

Submission requirements: The poetry contest is open to residents of Iowa. Poets and fiction writers who have published no more than one full-length book in the genre in which they are applying are eligible. 7 to 10 pages of poetry are accepted.

Payment: Two prizes of $500 each are awarded annually to a poet and a fiction writer from a select state. Each winner will also receive a monthlong residency at the Jentel Artist Residency Program in Wyoming and will meet with writers, editors, publishers, and agents virtually or in person in New York City

13. Split Lip Magazine

Deadline: open on in selected months i.e. January, March, May, August, September, November.

Submission requirements: They are looking for ‘First-time electronic publication rights’ meaning fresh work that’s not published anywhere. They accept simultaneous submissions with one submission per writer at a time.

Payment: $75 per author for poems along with payment for print is $ 5 per page, minimum of $20, plus 2contributor copies.

14. Copper Nickel Magazine

Deadline: Open from September 1 to December 15, January 15 to March 1. (Expired)

Submission requirements: They accept four to six poems at a time. Simultaneous submissions are accepted.

Payment:$30 per printed page + two copies of the issue in which the author’s work appears + a one-year subscription. They also award two $500 prizes per issue—the Editors’ Prizes in Poetry and prose.

15. Harpur Palate

Deadline: runs September 15-November 15 and February 15-April 15.

Submission requirements: They accept 1-5 poems per reading period( 10 pages) for the contest. Poems with a strong lyric voice and sense of urgency are preferred. Simultaneous submissions are accepted.

Payment: NIL

16. The Alpine Fellowship Poetry Prizes 2023

Deadline: 1st January 2023 to 1st March 2023 at 23:59 (UK time) (Expired)

Submission requirements: Applicants must be aged 18 or above with all entries in English. A single poem or a collection of poems are accepted at a time with maximum of 500 words per entry for the poetry contest.

Prize: First place: £3,000 cash grant , Second place: £1,000 travel expense, Third place: £1,000 with travel expense and the runners up will receive travel expense support that must be used to attend our 2023 symposium

17. Waxwing Literary Journal

Deadline: August 1 through April 30

Submission requirements: one to five poems are accepted in a single document in this poetry contest. Simultaneous submissions are allowed.

Payment: Not mentioned

18. VQR

Deadline: Not mentioned (Expired)

Submission requirements: They only consider unpublished work with four poems per reading period. Simultaneous submissions are permitted.

Payment: They pay $200 per poem, up to 4 poems; for a suite of 5 or more poems, they pay $1,000.

19. Annual BSFS Poetry Contest

Deadline: March 1, 2023. (Expired)

Submission requirements: Entries should address the themes of science fiction/fantasy/horror/science. 3 poems/person, maximum 60 lines each is accepted for this poetry contest.

Prize: 1st prize: $100; 2nd prize: $75; 3rd prize: $50.

20. James Laughlin Award

Deadline: May 15, 2023

Submission requirements: Entries must be at least 48 pages from poets that have U. S citizenship or similar.

Payments: $5,000, an all-expenses-paid weeklong residency at The Betsy Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, and distribution of winning the book to approximately one thousand Academy of American Poets members.

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15 thoughts on “20 Free Poetry Contests to enter in 2023”

    1. Hey Susan Mack

      Writing contests have deadlines, so if any deadline has been met, an ‘expired ‘ tag comes along so you would know before clicking!

      Our list has been updated, so there are no more expired ones!
      Go writer!

    1. Hey Ana-am Timothy Atanga

      If you are eager to submit your poetry for contests, click on any provided links above and you’ll be able to find the required procedure for that specific contest.

      Do remember, every contest has different requirements.

      Hope Poetrymama was of help.
      Thanks for contacting.

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  2. I have been writing poetry for years now and never published any of my poems nor submitted them into any contests for fear that I could somehow lose all my rights because I don’t have a patent what do you suggest

    1. Hey Grover!

      Before submitting to any contest, we suggest you go through their guidelines first. Most of the contests provide all rights of the publication to its writer. Only publishing rights and distribution rights lie with the contest holder.

      But, in case you don’t feel secure in doing so, we suggest you to submit your work to well known magazines. In that way, you’ll have all rights to yourself with additional payment from the magazine.

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