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Directory of Poetry Contests Helps Poets Celebrate National Poetry Month
In celebration and support of National Poetry Month this April, emerging and seasoned poets can tap into a free online resource of poetry contests and competitions. Launched in 2013 as a “Hub”, the directory Poetry Contests with No Entry Fees , is researched, organized, and updated regularly by freelance writer Brian Scott, whose intention is to present a reputable source of opportunities for advancing a poet’s career or promote a poet’s body of work to a national or international audience.
The directory includes over 60 competitions, organized by deadline, with the option to sort by cash prizes. Scores of these competitions are funded by accredited colleges and universities, philanthropic associations, or state-funded arts organizations, and award prize money varying, on average, from $1,000 to $5,000. Each profile gives an in-depth summary of the contest, the organization or individual who funds it, the type and style of poetry to submit, the submission process, what judges prefer to review, and the prize package.
Besides cash prizes, most competitions offer poets other perks, such as one-on-one mentorship with a nationally-recognized poet, funded public readings and presentations, on- or off campus residences at a college or university to finish a “work-in-progress” project, publication and distribution of a poet’s work, and/or nationwide publicity and acknowledgment of one’s literary talents.
Scott has listed only competitions that are free to enter–meaning poets do not have to pay a reading or submission fee to enter. A few of his top picks are: The Kingsley Tufts Poetry Awards, sponsored Claremont Graduate University, which offers a $100,000 prize; the Griffin Poetry Prize, sponsored by The Griffin Trust For Excellence, which offers a $65,000 prize; and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowships, sponsored by The Poetry Foundation, which awards five fellowships of $15,000.