Poetry Contests

IMG_4878Poetry contests–or any writing contest, for that matter–have pissed me off for years. While I love the idea of winning a prize, I don’t love the idea of paying an entry fee in order to qualify.

My loathing of paying for someone to publish my work goes back decades (I’m even worse when it comes to freelance writing careers). If I have talent, that should speak for itself and, frankly, pay for itself. That said, not everyone shares my view of contests or entry fees. So I’ve decided to present what I think are the more legitimate contest announcements. Correct me if I’m wrong, please — help me keep the list free of deadbeat offers.

Here are a few contests now open or opening soon:

Spark–A Creative Anthology Contest #8: The theme this time is “Bridges.” No entry fee, though they do ask for donations to keep the contest free. Contest opens December 15, 2014. Deadline for entries is January 4, 2015.

Writer’s Digest Poetry Awards: Yes, they require an entry fee ($20 for the first poem, $10 for additional poems). Still, it’s a legitimate contest from a reputable publication. Deadline for entries is November 21, 2014.

WB Yeats Society of New York 2014 Poetry Competition: Their website sucks as it’s confusing what contest happened when, but in essence, they are accepting submissions for the annual award now. There’s an $8 entry fee for the first poem, $7 for each additional poem. Deadline for submissions is February 1, 2015.

Poets, do you enter contests? If so, which ones appeal and why?

Do you think contests are a good way to break in? Why or why not?

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