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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 2020. 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 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will be published in periodicals or anthologies may be submitted; however, at least two of the submitted poems must be unpublished as of May 2020.
  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 10, 2020. (We encourage all emerging poets to apply. If entry fees pose a barrier, please reach out to us directly (email).
  2. We prefer that you submit online! However we do accept entries by mail. Send your snail-mail submissions to:

    2020 Discovery Poetry Contest
    Unterberg Poetry Center
    92nd Street Y
    1395 Lexington Avenue
    New York, NY 10128

    We do not accept submissions over email.
  3. When submitting 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.
  4. If submitting by mail, include your manuscript (following guidelines above), a cover letter and a check or money order payable to 92nd Street Y.
    a) Include your name, address, email, day and evening numbers and a list of the poems in order of appearance (with copyright attributions if applicable) in your cover letter.
    b) Do not staple the cover letter to the manuscript.
    c) If you wish to receive confirmation of receipt, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard and allow several weeks for its return.
    d) Due to the large number of submissions received, manuscripts cannot be returned.

    Winners will be contacted by telephone in April 2020; all contest entrants will be emailed the names of the winners shortly thereafter.

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Please note that all 92Y regularly scheduled in-person programs are suspended.