National Federation Of State Poetry Societies, Inc 




Awarding $1000 + Publication + 50 Books 

2022 Stevens Poetry Manuscript Competition Winner 

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Manuscripts not following these guidelines may be disqualified. 

The judge for the 2023 Stevens Poetry Book Manuscript Competition is Edward Hirsch. 

Edward Hirsch, a MacArthur Fellow, has published ten books of poems, including The Living Fire: New and Selected Poems (2010), Gabriel: A Poem (2014), and Stranger by Night (2020). He has also published six prose books about poetry, most recently 100 Poems to Break Your Heart (2021) and The Heart of American Poetry (2022). He has received many awards and fellowships, including the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pablo Neruda Presidential Medal of Honor. He taught at Wayne State University and the University of Houston and now serves as President of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. 


General Guidelines 

Open to all poets writing in English, except for previous Stevens Competition winners. Friends, colleagues, and students of Edward Hirsch are asked to postpone entering until a future year.

Original work by a single author.

Include title page, table of contents, and 48 to 80 pages of poetry, counting any section title pages but not counting front matter. Notes on poems, if any, should be included in the count. 

May include previously published poems. Do not include acknowledgments in your submission. (The winner will be required to provide an acknowledgments page before the manuscript is published.) 

No author identification anywhere in manuscript; no information that could disclose your identity. Do not include a bio note, acknowledgments, or blurbs. 

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, which may not allow them to be preserved. 

No illustrations, color type, or fancy fonts. 

Pages numbered. Begin each poem on a new page. Poems may continue over two or more pages, but do not put more than one poem on a page. 

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

No revisions after submission. 

Do not contact the judge. Entries from any persons found to have contacted the judge will be ineligible for the award. 


The submissions window opens September 1, 2023, and closes at midnight PST November 15, 2023. The Submittable online system will be accessible only during this time. No early or late submissions will be considered. If you are unable to use Submittable, please email no later than November 8, 2023, to ask about alternative means of submission. 

Entry Categories & Fees 

The submission fee is $20 for NFSPS members and $25 for non-members. Members of a state poetry society affiliated with NFSPS are automatically members. To verify that your state society is affiliated, go to Not all “state poetry societies” are NFSPS affiliates, so please check to determine whether to submit as a member or a non-member. 
The submission fee is not refundable. There will be no refunds for manuscripts found to be ineligible or withdrawn because of acceptance elsewhere or for any other reason. 

How to Submit 

Click on the “submit” button on the NFSPS website. Log in to your Submittable account or follow the prompts to set up a free account. 

Select the appropriate option, member or non-member. 

Upload your manuscript, including title page with title only (no identification), in a single word processor document file (not a PDF file) from your computer into the designated area. Make sure that your name is not part of the filename. 

Pay at with a credit card or PayPal. 

You will be notified that your manuscript has been received. 


All manuscripts will be reviewed for compliance with guidelines and overall quality by the competition co-chairs. Both are experienced, award-winning poets with several book and chapbook publications. 

Up to 100 manuscripts will be sent, without identification or acknowledgments, to the judge. A different judge is used each year. Past judges include Maggie Anderson, David Baker, Tony Barnstone, Ellen Bass, Erin Belieu, Jeff Gundy, Lola Haskins, Peter Meinke, and Carolyne Wright. 

The winner will be contacted, and all entrants will be notified of the competition results by mid-February 2024. 

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 by June 2024. The winner will be invited to read from the book at the convention and receive a travel stipend to attend. The reading will be recorded and posted on YouTube. 


You may address questions to the competition co-chairs via email at 

The National Federation of State Poetry Societies adheres to the CLMP Code of Ethics CLMP Code Of Ethics