Summer can be a time for your writing to heat up—and these contests can help by giving you a deadline to work toward, motivation to organize a manuscript, or encouragement to edit and revise. Here are five of the best to put on your writing calendar.
Housatonic Book Awards
Deadline: June 13
The Housatonic Book Awards honor titles in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, with past winners including Victoria Chang, Matthea Harvey, and Sean Thomas Dougherty. Sponsored by Western Connecticut State University’s MFA program, the award is granted to poetry collections published in 2021 and totaling at least 40 pages. Winners receive $1,000 and an additional $500 travel stipend in exchange for giving a reading and workshop at the program’s in-person writing residency.
42 Miles Press Poetry Award
Deadline: June 15
The 42 Miles Press Poetry Award—which welcomes unpublished manuscripts between 40 and 120 pages—aims to reflect the contemporary “voice” of American poetry. A wide array of poets have won the contest previously, with chosen collections ranging from traditional form to free verse, as well as covering nearly every subject. The winning poet earns $1,000, as well as receives 50 complimentary author copies.
The Los Angeles Review Literary Awards
Deadline: June 30
Joshua Rivkin, a former Fulbright and Bread Loaf fellow, will judge the poetry category of this contest, which takes up to three poems of 50 lines or less. One poet will be awarded a $1,000 honorarium, as well as see their work published in the online edition of The Los Angeles Review.
The Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Awards
Deadline: July 1
Do you have a vision for how the world could be more peaceful? Submit up to three unpublished poems on the topic—each under 30 lines—and you could have your words published on the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s website. The contest is open internationally.
Robert and Adele Schiff Awards
Deadline: July 15
Only one poem will be chosen for this award, which is sponsored by The Cincinnati Review, but entrants can submit up to 8 pages of poetry for consideration. Though there are no rules regarding form or style, submitted poems must be previously unpublished. The winning poem will appear in the summer 2023 issue of the journal, and the writer will also receive $1,000. Rebecca Lindenberg, author of The Logan Notebooks, serves as a judge.
Happy submitting! Check back in the fall for more upcoming poetry contests.