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2021 Open Poetry Contest

Updated: Dec 2, 2021

Submission Deadline: Jan 15, 2022

1st Place: $500

2nd Place: $250

3rd Place: $100

Honorable Mentions: Up to 20 poems will be selected as honorable mentions.

All winners and honorable mentions will be published on the Nebraska Poetry Society’s digital publication, "Prize Poetry".

Guest Judge: Matt Mason

Matt Mason is the Nebraska State Poet and Executive Director of the Nebraska Writers Collective. He runs poetry programming for the State Department, working in Nepal, Romania, Botswana and Belarus. Mason is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and the author of "Things We Don’t Know We Don’t Know,” "The Baby That Ate Cincinnati," and "I Have A Poem The Size of the Moon."

Submission Guidelines:

Submissions are open from November 1st, 2021 to January 15th, 2022.


● Submissions are open to anyone. You do not need a connection to Nebraska nor a membership to the Nebraska Poetry Society.

● Only unpublished work is accepted – this includes self-published works (print or digital) as well as personal blogs, social media, and other online platforms.

● Simultaneous Submissions are accepted provided you notify us immediately if the work has been accepted or received recognition in another contest.

● We accept all forms of poetry. No images please, text only.

Nonrefundable Submission fee is $20. This includes up to five (5) poems.

The submission fee is a tax-deductible donation to the Nebraska Poetry Society, a non-profit organization whose mission is to make poetry accessible to all. The submission fee includes a subscription to our quarterly newsletter.

Formatting: Please format your poem the way you want us to read it. We appreciate the use of a 12-point, Times New Roman font. We also appreciate poems that are under three pages long. All entries must be in English. Please put each poem on a separate page with the title and upload as a separate file. Do not include your name on the poem as all entries will be judged blind.

Winners will be announced in Spring 2022.

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