General Guidelines for Single Poem Contests

  • 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.  Feel free to use key words if your titles are long.
  • We accept credit card or Paypal payments
  • We read all work as anonymous submissions. Make certain your attached file has no identifying information.
  • Please include a cover letter with the following information: a brief bio, titles of all poems, your address, and email where we can reach you without going through Submittable messaging system.
  • Document page numbers preferred
  • Please put poem titles bold within the document
  • We only accept PDF, .doc, or .docx 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. 
  • Translations are not eligible for the single poem contests, only for the Chapbooks. (See below)

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
  • Please include a cover letter with the following: a brief bio, your name, address, and email address where we can contact you outside of the Submittable messaging system.  
  • 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  • Manuscript must be previously unpublished as an entirety (individual poem publications are okay) Please note publications on an acknowledgments page on your manuscript.  
  • Please also inform us when any other of the poems in the manuscript are published. All of the previously unpublished poems in the manuscript are considered for individual publication. 
  • Selected Poetry International Chapbooks are announced on our website and PI Online. 
  • We read all work as anonymous submissions. Make certain your attached file has no identifying information.
  • Translations are eligible, but only so long as you have permission from the original author OR the work is in the public domain.

Additional Information:

  • No Illustrations, fancy fonts, or decorative borders--Please make your entry/poem easy to read for our staff (No Comic Sans or similar)
  • Simultaneous submission are allowed -- please note whether or not any poems/entries are simultaneous submissions and if/when they are accepted elsewhere
  • 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.

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: January 15-February 15 2021
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