General Contest Guidelines:

When submitting through Submittable:

  • Fill in all required categories marked with an asterisk *
  • In the "Title" box, ONLY provide the name of all poems (ex: "House" "Tree" "Car") -- this makes it easier for our Editorial Assistants to track your entries/poems
  • When submitting, please do follow the written guidelines for title, cover letter, and attached files
  • We accept credit card or Paypal payments

When Attaching a File:

  • We read all work as anonymous submissions. No additional cover letter necessary. Please fill in all required categories with: 

  1. Contact Information (Address, Email, Phone Number). Your Full name should only appear in your Submittable account on any required categories.
  2. Titles of all poems 
  3. (Optional) A title for your collection (if applicable)
  • Identifying information (name) should not appear on any headers or footers throughout the document
  • Document page numbers preferred
  • Poem titles preferably in bold within the document
  • We only accept PDF, .doc, or .dox files
  • A submission can contain between 3 to 8 entries/poems uploaded in ONE document. The reading fee is $15 for the first three entries/poems and $3 for any additional entries/poems. 

Additional Information:

  • No scanned handwritten entries 
  • No Illustrations, fancy fonts, or decorative borders--Please make your entry/poem easy to read for our staff (No Comic Sans or similar)
  • No SASE necessary -- We will announce the winners on our website and blog 
  • Simultaneous submission are allowed -- please note whether or not any poems/entries are simultaneous submissions and if/when they are accepted elsewhere
  • Any poems translated from other languages are only eligible as long as you have permission to print or the work is already in the public domain.
  • All manuscripts will be recycled
  • Declined Entries will not receive an email, only a status change
  • All submissions are read in the order in which they are received. We are a University publisher and our staff and Editorial Assistants run by an academic calendar. Please, do NOT query about your submission.

General Information for Poetry International Chapbook Submission:

  • Poetry International Chapbook is not a contest -- selected manuscripts will be published in an upcoming publication of Poetry International and the submitter will receive a contributor's copy
  • Poetry International Chapbooks are known as "Portfolios" within each printed copy
  • A $20 submission fee is required
  • Poetry International has different guidelines for manuscript cover letters --please research on how to write cover letters for manuscripts. 
  • One submission per reading period per person ONLY
  • The Reading Periods are from January 1- February 1 and June 1st to September 1st of each year
  • Manuscript must be previously unpublished as an entirety (individual poem publications are okay)
  • Selected Poetry International Chapbooks are announced on our website and blog
  • Please read our Poetry International Chapbook guidelines for detailed information

A prize of $500 and publication in Poetry International will be given for a single poem written for refugees currently being detained pending their hearings. (A similar prize will be offered to refugee poets in U.S. detention centers.) Our judge for 2019 is Ilya Kaminsky. 

Entry fees will be used to fund the prize, and any money leftover will be delivered directly to the refugees’ canteens for their personal use (for purchase of such essentials as food and phone time). All entries are considered for publication. 

We encourage poets to visit to learn more about the refugees and their living situations. All suitable poems (not just the winners) will be published and/or distributed to detainees at Otay Mesa detention center in Otay Mesa, California, and possibly to other centers nationwide.

  • Only previously unpublished work is eligible for consideration.
  • Provide your contact information & title of your poem submitted on the title page.
  • Author name and information should appear only on the title page. Please make your entry easy to read--no illustrations, fancy fonts or decorative borders.
  • DECLINED ENTRIES will not receive an email, only a status change


Simultaneous Submission Allowed: You may submit your poems simultaneously.  Please note whether or not any poems/entries are simultaneous submissions.

Poems translated from other languages are not eligible unless you wrote both the original poem and the translation.

The winner is announced on our blog and website.


Poetry International prides itself on featuring chapbooks (or “portfolios”) both in English and in translation. We have featured Jane Hirshfield, Caolyn Forché, Jacquelyn Pope, Christian Wiman, Amy Gerstler, Bob Hicok, and new translations of Anna Swir, Osip Mandelstam, Yannis Ritsos, Tomaz Salamun, and René Char. We would be delighted to have the opportunity to include your name in this list!

The Prize: Publication in Poetry International and a contributor copy!
Reading Period: June 1st- Sept. 1st, 2019
Reading Fee: $20


  • Work must be previously unpublished as a whole (individual poem publication is okay). 
  • Simultaneous submissions are okay as long as you inform us immediately if the chapbook has been accepted for publication elsewhere.
  • All individual poems will be considered for publication.
  • Manuscripts can be anywhere from 7 – 24 pages in length.
  • Collaborations and translations are welcome as long as the submitting author has the rights to the work. For translations, please send only the English version.
  • One submission per person per reading period.


Please include: a title sheet with name, phone number, email, title of the manuscript, and mailing address.
*We will only be accepting submissions electronically.

No current or former staff of Poetry International or recent graduates of San Diego State University are eligible to apply.

Contact Information:
Poetry International Staff

(619) 594-1522

Poetry International