National Federation Of State Poetry Societies, Inc.

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Awarding $1000 + Publication + 50 Books


  • Except for previous Stevens winners, open to all poets writing in English

  • Original work by a single author

  • Include title page (title only), table of contents, and 48 to 70 pages of poetry, counting any section title pages but not counting front matter

  • May include previously published poems. The winner will be required to provide an acknowledgment page if the manuscript includes previously published poems. Please do NOT include acknowledgements in your manuscript.

  • No author identification anywhere in manuscript; no biographical information that could disclose your identity; do not include your name as part of the name of the file you attach when submitting online.

  • No illustrations

  • Pages numbered, one poem, one column per page. Poems may be continued on a second page, but do not put two poems on the same page

  • Single space your manuscript. Use 12-point type in a conventional font such as Times New Roman. If you write in long lines or complex formats, be aware that the winning book will be published in a 6" x 9" format.

  • Simultaneous and multiple submissions permitted. Notify us immediately if your manuscript is accepted elsewhere


Submissions will be accepted from SEPTEMBER 1 through midnight PT, OCTOBER 1, 2015. The Submittable online system will be accessible only during this time, and hard-copy submissions must be postmarked during this period. No early or late submissions.


The submission fee is $20 for NFSPS members, $25 for nonmembers. Members of state poetry societies affiliated with NFSPS are members.

  • For online submissions, pay at with a credit card or PayPal.

  • For mailed paper submissions, place your check, made out to NFSPS, on top of the manuscript.


Online Submissions. We strongly encourage using the NFSPS link at Submittable, an online submissions manager, at or you may submit by clicking the image below). Using Submittable saves you and us time and money.

  • Simply submit the manuscript in a single document file from your computer into the designated area.

  • If you have an acknowledgements page, it will be submitted separately.

  • You will be notified that your manuscript has been received.

  • The Submittable account is free, simple to set up, and instantly usable. If you currently have a Submittable account, you may use it to enter the competition. If you do not have an account, use the online sign-up. An increasing number of journals and other literary venues accept submission only through Submittable.

Mailed Submissions. If you are unable to make an online submission, mail your manuscript.

  • Manuscript must be typewritten or computer generated.

  • Enclose manuscript in a plain file folder and/or held by a manuscript clip; NO staples or binding.

  • On the top of your manuscript, place a page with the title and your name, address, phone number, and email address, plus the name of the state poetry society where you are a member (if applicable). You will not be eligible for the reduced fee without society membership information.

  • Do NOT send by certified or registered mail. Do NOT send disks.

  • Manuscripts will NOT be returned. Entrants who enclose a business-size, self-addressed, stamped envelope, or provide an email address, will be notified of the results in January 2016.

  • The winner will automatically be notified.

Mail submissions to: Wilda Morris, Chair

NFSPS Stevens Poetry Manuscript Competition

499 Falcon Ridge Way

Bolingbrook IL 60440-2242


All manuscripts will be reviewed for compliance with guidelines and overall quality by the competition chair. Approximately 100 manuscripts will be sent, without identification or acknowledgments, to an independent judge, who will remain anonymous until the results are announced.

The winning manuscript will be published by the NFSPS Press, and the book will be available for sale at the NFSPS annual convention and elsewhere in June 2016.


You may address questions to the contest chair at the above address, or via email at

Past Judges. David Baker, Michael Dennis Browne, Michael Bugeja, Anne Marx, Sue Brannan Walker, Kenneth Brewer, David Sutherland, Donna Salli, Bruce Eastman, Ruth Berman, Peter Meinke, Lawson Inada, Patricia Fargnoli, Jeff Gundy, Carolyne Wright, Ralph Burns, Lola Haskins, Jessica Garratt, Maggie Anderson, Glenna Holloway, John Witte.