Awards and Competitions
for
First-Time Authors

 

The following websites provide guidelines for poetry competitions in which the submitting poets must have no published book-length work.  Most of these competitions guarantee publication of the manuscript and an honorarium.  In some cases, there are other requirements of the winners, such as readings at the institution sponsoring the prize.

 
Competition Dates for Submission Prize Entry
Fee
Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize Mar 1 to Apr 30 $5,000 $20
Kenyon Review Prize By Apr 15 $3,500 $25
APR/Honickman Aug 1 to Oct 31 $3,000 $25
Walt Whitman Award:  AAP Sep 15 to Nov 15 $5,000 $25
Crab Orchard Award Series May 15 to Jul 1 $2,500 $25
Transcontinental Poetry Award Jun 1 to Aug 15 $1,000 $15
Contemporary Poetry Series Sep 1 to Sep 30 Contract $20
Juniper Prize May 1 to Sep 30 $1,000 $15
Tupelo Press Contest Jan 1 to Apr 15 $3,000 $25
Prairie Schooner Prize Jan 1 to Mar 30 $3,000 $25
Gerald Cable Book Award. Oct 15 $1,000 $20
Winnow Press Award Aug 1 to Oct 25 $1,500 $20
Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize Oct 31 $1,000 $20
Bakeless Prize Oct 1 to Nov 15 Contract $10
Yale Younger Poets Prize Oct 1 to Nov 15 Contract $15
A. Poulin Jr. Poetry Prize Aug 1 to Nov 30 $1,500 $22
New Issues Poetry Prize Nov 30 $1,000 $15

Also see the extensive list at Zoo Press's Poetry Book and Chapbook Contests.

For a really complete list of poetry competitions, including rankings and summaries, I'd suggest subscribing to Winning Writers, a very good service and quite inexpensive.