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Unterberg Poetry Center

Please read the following carefully. Failure to comply with any contest guidelines may result in your submission being disqualified.


The contest is open to poets who have not published a full-length poetry collection.

  • Poets who have published chapbooks of less than 42 pages and in prints of less than 500 are eligible.
  • Poets who have self-published, have a book contract or who are awarded a book contract after submission are not eligible if the book is scheduled for publication before fall 2021. If you receive a book contract following submission, please withdraw your manuscript over Submittable or email.
  • Manuscripts by more than one author are not eligible.
  • Translations of another poet’s work are not eligible. All poems must be original and primarily in English.

Manuscript Guidelines:

  1. Submissions must be no longer than ten pages, typed.
    a) At least two of the poems must be a page or shorter. (You cannot submit five two page poems, two five page poems, etc.)
    b) Do not submit multiple poems per page.
  2. Poems that have been or will be published in periodicals or anthologies may be submitted; however, at least two of the submitted poems must be unpublished as of May 2021.
  3. Personal identification cannot appear in the manuscript document in any form.
    Personal information includes:
    a) Your name anywhere in the manuscript document, including the text, headers, footers, file name or submission name.
    b) Copyright attributions for published poems included anywhere in the manuscript document such as in footnotes, footers, headers, etc. For information on how to send us this information, please see “How to Submit” below.
  4. No contestant may submit more than one entry.
  5. We cannot accept corrections after submission.

How to Submit:

  1. Entries, consisting of manuscript, cover letter and $15 entry fee, must be received by 5 pm on Friday, January 8, 2021. (We encourage all emerging poets to apply. If entry fees pose a barrier, please reach out to us directly (email).
  2. We accept submissions only through Submittable. Include contact information and a list of submitted poems in the order of appearance (with publication attribution, if applicable) in the COVER LETTER field. DO NOT include a cover letter in the manuscript document.
  3. This year, we cannot accept submissions by post, as our offices are currently closed and we can’t guarantee someone will pick up your submission. In addition, we do not accept email submissions. Thank you for your understanding!

    Winners will be contacted by telephone in April 2021; all contest entrants will be emailed the names of the winners shortly thereafter.

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