6 Prestigious Poetry Contests to Enter for Mega Rewards in 2024

Are you an aspiring poet looking to showcase your talent and potentially win big in 2024? Look no further! In this comprehensive article, we’ll stroll into poetry contests, checking out intriguing facts, the top 6 contests to enter this year, and various categories tailored to poets of all ages and backgrounds.

We’ve covered from free contests to prestigious national competitions, online platforms to international opportunities, and even contests designed for teens and high school students. As of May [2024], this article contains the most up-to-date information on poetry contests so you can confidently plan your submissions and take your poetry career to new heights.

Let’s go on this exciting journey together and discover the art and challenge of poetry writing contests!

Learning About Poetry Contests

Before diving headfirst into the world of poetry contests, it’s essential to understand what they entail and how they can benefit your writing career. Poetry contests provide a platform for poets to showcase their work, gain recognition, and potentially win prizes, ranging from cash awards to publication opportunities. In the United States alone, over 100 poetry contests are held annually, catering to a wide range of styles, themes, and demographics.

By participating in these contests, poets can hone their skills, receive valuable feedback, and connect with a community of like-minded individuals who share their passion for the written word. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a budding newcomer, poetry contests offer an exciting avenue to grow and succeed as a poet.

a poet writing a poem, surrounded by floating, glowing symbols of poetry (quills, ink pots, etc.) on his desk, representing the "Intriguing Facts of Poetry Contests".

Poetry Contests Facts

Did you know that the oldest poetry contest dates back to ancient Greece in the 6th century BC? The Dionysia festival, held in Athens, featured a competition where poets would present their works in front of an audience, with the winner receiving a prize. Fast-forward to modern times, poetry contests have evolved into a global phenomenon, with thousands of competitions held each year, both online and in-person.

In 2024, it’s estimated that the total prize money offered across all poetry contests worldwide will exceed $10 million, a testament to the enduring popularity and value placed on this literary art form. From the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, awarded annually since 1922, to the forward-thinking Brunel International African Poetry Prize, established in 2012 to nurture emerging African poets, the world of poetry contests is as diverse as it is fascinating.

For other creative contests to enter in 2024, check out these 2024 contests to join in 2024.

The Top 6 Poetry Contests of 2024

The top 6 contests that are prestigious and have a significant influence on your writing career this year include the following:

1. The Poetry Society of America’s Annual Awards

The Poetry Society of America offers various annual awards and contests, including the prestigious Frost Medal, the Shelley Memorial Award, and the William Carlos Williams Award. These contests are open to poets of all levels and backgrounds, with prizes ranging from $500 to $5,000. In 2024, the Poetry Society of America will celebrate its 110th anniversary, making it one of the oldest poetry organizations in the United States.

2. The National Poetry Competition

Organized by the Poetry Society UK, the National Poetry Competition is one of the most prestigious poetry contests in the world. Open to poets of all nationalities, the contest offers a first prize of £5,000, a second prize of £2,000, and a third prize of £1,000. In 2024, the National Poetry Competition will be celebrating its 45th year, launching in 1978.

3. The Bridport Prize

The Bridport Prize is one of the most respected poetry contests in the UK, offering a first prize of £5,000, a second prize of £1,000, and a third prize of £500. The contest also provides a category for short stories and flash fiction. In 2024, the Bridport Prize will celebrate its 50th anniversary, which was founded in 1973.

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4. The Rattle Poetry Prize

The Rattle Poetry Prize is an annual contest organized by Rattle Magazine, offering a first prize of $15,000 and ten honorable mentions of $500 each. The competition is open to poets worldwide and has no entry fee. In 2024, the Rattle Poetry Prize will be in its 19th year.

5. The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award

The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award is a contest for young poets aged 11-17. Organized by the Poetry Society UK, the contest offers a range of prizes, including mentorship opportunities and publication in an anthology. In 2024, the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award will celebrate its 25th anniversary, founded in 1998.

6. The Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award

The Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award is one of the most lucrative poetry contests in the world, offering a prize of $100,000 for a single book of poetry. The award is open to poets who have published at least one book of poetry and are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Free Contests

While many poetry contests require an entry fee, plenty of free poetry contests are available for poets looking to submit their work. Some of the most notable free poetry contests include the Rattle Poetry Prize, the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award, and the Poetry Society of America’s Student Poetry Award. These contests offer a range of prizes, including cash awards, publication opportunities, and mentorship from established poets.

One of the benefits of free contests is that they are often more accessible to emerging poets who may not have the financial means to enter multiple fee-based contests. However, it’s important to note that free contests frequently receive more submissions, making the competition more fierce. Nonetheless, submitting to free contests can be an excellent way for poets to gain exposure and recognition for their work.

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Contests Specifically for Teens

Contest NameAge RangePrizeEntry FeeDeadline
Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award11-17Mentorship, publicationFreeJuly 31, 2024
The Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young WritersHigh school students$100, $200, $500FreeNovember 1, 2024
The Bennington College Young Writers Awards10th-12th grade$250, $500, $1,000FreeNovember 1, 2024

Poetry contests specifically for teens allow young writers to showcase their work and gain recognition for their talents. These contests often have smaller applicant pools than adult contests, increasing the chances of winning for talented young poets. Additionally, many teen contests offer mentorship opportunities and writing workshops as part of the prize package, providing valuable guidance and support for emerging writers.

One of the most prestigious teen contests is the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award, which receives over 6,000 entries from young poets worldwide annually. Winners of the contest have become successful poets and writers, with many citing the contest as a pivotal moment in their writing careers.

Other notable teen contests include the Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers and the Bennington College Young Writers Awards, which offer high school students cash prizes and publication opportunities.

The Art and Challenge of Poetry Writing Contests

Poetry writing contests are a fantastic way to showcase their talent, gain recognition, and win prizes. They provide a platform for poets to express their creativity and skill in a competitive environment.

One of the most prestigious contests is the National Amateur Poetry Competition, which offers a grand prize of $2,000. Another notable contest is the Tadpole Press 100 Word Writing Contest, which also offers a grand prize of $2,000. These contests offer substantial cash prizes and the opportunity for poets to have their work published and read by a wider audience.

However, entering these contests is not without its challenges. Poets must adhere to specific guidelines such as word limits and themes. For instance, the EACWP Flash Fiction Contest requires a poem of precisely 100 words. Moreover, some contests have geographical restrictions, requiring poets to review the submission guidelines carefully.

Contests for Kids

Encouraging children to participate in poetry contests can be a great way to foster their creativity and improve their writing skills. There are numerous contests specifically designed for young poets.

For instance, Young Writers USA hosts several contests for children, including the Big Green Poetry Machine and Crazy Creatures, which aim to inspire children to write about nature and create imaginative creatures, respectively. Another notable contest is the “I Matter” Contest, which encourages young poets to express their thoughts on critical social issues.

These contests provide a fun and engaging platform for children to express their creativity and the opportunity to win prizes and gain recognition for their work.

a person, comfortably seated in a cozy room, submitting a poem through a tablet, illustrating "The Convenience of Online Poetry Contests".

The Convenience of Online Contests

Online poetry contests offer a convenient and accessible platform for poets to showcase their work. They eliminate geographical barriers, allowing poets from all over the world to participate.

Contest NameEntry FeePrizeDeadline
National Amateur Poetry CompetitionFree$2,000Ongoing
Tadpole Press 100 Word Writing Contest$10$2,000November 30, 2024
EACWP Flash Fiction ContestFree€600April 1, 2024
“I Matter” ContestFree$500July 23, 2024
Young Writers USA ContestsFreeVariesVaries
These contests provide poets a platform to showcase their work and offer substantial prizes. However, poets must carefully review each contest’s submission guidelines and deadlines.

The Prestige of National Poetry Contests

National poetry contests offer a unique opportunity for poets to gain recognition and prestige in the literary world. These competitions, such as the National Poetry Competition organized by The Poetry Society, attract thousands of entries from across the country and beyond.

In the 2023 edition of the National Poetry Competition, the first-prize winner received £5,000, while the second and third-prize winners were awarded £2,000 and £1,000, respectively. The competition also offers commendations of £500 for the following ten best poems.

Winning a national contest can significantly boost a poet’s career, providing exposure and validation from established figures in the poetry community. Many renowned poets like Carol Ann Duffy and Tony Harrison have launched their careers after winning prestigious national competitions. The prestige of these contests extends beyond the monetary prizes, as winners often receive invitations to read at notable literary events and festivals.

Contests Tailored for High School Students

High school students passionate about poetry have various contests designed for their age group. These competitions provide a platform for young poets to showcase their talents and gain valuable experience in the world of literary arts.

The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award, organized by The Poetry Society, is one such contest that has been nurturing young poetic talent since 1998. In 2023, the competition received over 14,000 entries from over 6,000 young poets worldwide.

Other notable contests for high school students include the National Student Poets Program, the Princeton University Poetry Contest for High School Students, and the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. These competitions often offer a range of prizes, including cash awards, publication opportunities, and even scholarships.

By participating in these contests, high school students can hone their writing skills, gain confidence in their poetic abilities, and potentially open doors to future academic and professional opportunities in the literary world.

a person reciting a poem depicting "The Pull of American Poetry Contests".

The Pull of American Contests

American poetry contests have a strong pull for poets seeking to make their mark in the literary landscape. These competitions, organized by various literary organizations and publications, offer a chance for poets to have their work recognized and celebrated nationally.

For example, the American Library of Poetry hosts an annual contest that attracts submissions from all 50 states and beyond. In 2023, the contest received over 50,000 entries, with the top 25 winners having their poems published in a unique anthology.

Another notable American poetry contest is the Foley Contest, organized by America Magazine. This contest, which has been running since 1998, offers a $1,000 prize for the winning poem and publication in both the print and online editions of the magazine. The contest attracts diverse voices and styles, showcasing the richness and depth of contemporary American poetry.

Contest NameOrganizationPrize
Foley Poetry ContestAmerica Magazine$1,000
Annual Poetry ContestAmerica Library of PoetryPublication in anthology
National Poetry CompetitionThe Poetry Society£5,000 (1st prize), £2,000 (2nd prize), £1,000 (3rd prize)

The table above highlights data points for three prominent American poetry contests, demonstrating the significant prize money, publication opportunities, and the sheer volume of entries they attract. These contests testify to poetry’s enduring appeal and importance in American literary culture.

Broadening Horizons with International Poetry Contests

Poetry contests are a fantastic way to showcase their talent, gain recognition, and win prizes. In 2024, poets can enter numerous international poetry contests, each offering unique opportunities.

One of the most prestigious contests is the Montreal International Poetry Prize. This contest awards a whopping CAD 20,000 to a poet for a single poem of 40 or fewer lines. It’s open to entries from all over the world, making it a truly international competition.

Another notable contest is the National Amateur Poetry Competition hosted by Poetry Nation. This contest awards many prizes to deserving poets and is free to enter. Your poem can be on any topic and in whatever style you prefer.

The Tadpole Press 100 Word Writing Contest is another exciting opportunity. With a word limit of 100 words, this contest challenges poets to create a powerful impact with brevity. The first-place prize is a substantial $2,000.

Embracing the Contests Journey

Entering poetry contests can be exciting and rewarding. In 2024, there are numerous contests to choose from, each offering unique opportunities for poets to showcase their talent.

This article covered topics such as the top 6 Poetry Contests of 2024; the last content update was in May 2024. Participating in these contests provides a platform for poets to share their work and helps them grow as writers. It exposes them to different styles, themes, and poetry forms, broadening their horizons.

Remember, every contest is a new opportunity to learn and grow. So, don’t be discouraged if you don’t win. Keep writing, keep improving, and keep entering. Your poem could be the one that wows the judges!

Follow our website, [GiveawayListing.com], to stay informed about new giveaways, exclusive contests, and guides to maximize your chances of winning!

a person holding a piece of paper with a  list of questions about Poetry Contests

Poetry Contests FAQs

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about poetry contests in 2024.

What are Poetry Contests?

These are competitive platforms where poets submit their work to be judged by experienced writers, poets, or literary figures. They provide a platform for poets to showcase their talent and gain recognition. These contests offer a platform for poets to share their creative expressions with a broader audience and gain feedback from experts in the field.

How Can I Participate in Poetry Contests?

Participation is pretty simple. You must find the correct poetry contest, read the contest guidelines, write and revise your poem, and submit it. It’s essential to understand the theme, style, format, and length of a piece the organizers expect. You can find poetry contests by following websites that list reputable contests, subscribing to literary magazines, and joining poetry communities online.

What are the Benefits of Participating in Poetry Contests?

Participating in these contests can enhance your skills and provide valuable opportunities for recognition and growth in the writing community. They let writers show off their skills, get recognition, and get feedback. Contests can give you exposure and provide deadlines (great for procrastination), feedback, and even prizes like cash or publication.

Are There Any Free Poetry Contests to Enter?

Yes, there are several free online contests that you can enter. PoetrySoup Premium Members manage them. Poetry contests are held every day, and anyone can join. All competitions are free; you can enter as many contests as you want.

What are Some of the Most Prestigious Poetry Contests?

Some of the most prestigious contests include the Yale Younger Poets Series, the National Poetry Series, the Walt Whitman Award, the Discovery/ The Nation Award, the Boston Review Prize, and the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Award Series in Poetry. Other noteworthy contests include the Griffin Poetry Prize, the International Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine, and the Montreal International Poetry Prize.

How Can I Increase My Chances of Winning a Poetry Contest?

To increase your chances of winning, you need to strategize. Develop a unique style that resonates with readers and judges. Use writing prompts and exercises to spark creativity. Consider form and structure to enhance your poem’s impact. Choose a contest that fits you and your writing. Also, consider what you’re up against. The most significant difference between submitting to contests and submitting to journals or magazines is that you’re directly up against other entrants.

What are the Rules and Regulations of Most Poetry Contests?

Most poetry contests have rules and regulations that participants must adhere to. These typically include guidelines on the poem’s length, subject matter, and format. For instance, some contests may limit entries to 20 lines, while others may allow up to 40.

The poem’s content should be original, individual work of the entrant. Some contests prohibit certain poems, such as concrete (shape) or blackout poems. It’s also common for contests to disqualify entries that contain profanity, vulgarity, or offensive material. Each contest may have its rules, so reading the guidelines carefully before submitting is essential.

Are There Any Poetry Contests for High School Students?

Yes, there are numerous contests open to high school students. These contests provide a platform for young poets to express themselves, hone their writing skills, and gain recognition for their creativity. Some notable contests include the Poetry Out Loud, a national contest in the United States, and the Ocean Awareness Competition, open to students aged 11-18 worldwide.

Participating in these contests can be a transformative experience, allowing young poets to explore their imagination and convey their thoughts and feelings through the power of words.

What are Some International Poetry Contests I Can Enter?

There are many international poetry contests that you can enter. Some of these include the Fiction Factory Poetry Competition, which is based in the UK but welcomes international entries, the Jane Martin Poetry Prize, a national poetry competition in the UK, and the Montreal International Poetry Prize, which awards one prize of CAD 20,000 to a poet for a single poem of 40 or fewer lines.

These contests provide a platform for poets worldwide to showcase their work and compete for prestigious awards.

How are Entries Judged in Poetry Contests?

Entries in these contests are typically judged based on various criteria, including originality, creativity, and artistic quality. Judges often assess the overall structure and flow of the poem, the use of language and imagery, and the poem’s originality. They may also consider how the poem connects to the competition’s mission and how it stands out from the rest.

Some contests use a rubric to ensure a fair and accurate assessment of each entry. This rubric may include questions about the poem’s ability to evoke an emotional response, its effective use of language and imagery, and its uniqueness.

Can I Submit the Same Poem to Multiple Poetry Contests?

The rules regarding simultaneous submissions vary by contest. Some contests allow you to submit the same poem to multiple contests simultaneously unless their guidelines specifically state otherwise. However, if your poem wins in one contest, you may be required to withdraw it from other contests. To avoid complications, it’s recommended to check the specific rules of each contest before submitting the same poem to multiple contests.

Are There Any Poetry Contests that Offer Cash Prizes?

Yes, many poetry contests offer cash prizes to the winners. For example, the Writerwerx University Annual Poetry Contest provides a cash prize of $100 to the first-place winner. The BOMB’s 2024 Poetry Contest awards a top prize of $1,000.

The Far Horizons Award for Poetry and the River Heron Poetry Prize also offer cash prizes. The Montreal International Poetry Prize also awards a grand prize of $20,000 CAD. These contests provide an excellent opportunity for poets to earn recognition and financial rewards for their work.

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