Barbara Stevens Poetry Book Manuscript Competition

The judge for the 2024 Stevens Poetry Book Manuscript Competition is Diane Seuss.

[Seuss bio]

General Guidelines

  • Open to all poets writing in English, except for previous Stevens Competition winners. Friends, colleagues, and students of Diane Seuss are asked to postpone entering until a future year.
  • Original work by a single author. May contain previously published poems, but should not be a compilation of entire previously published chapbooks.
  • No author identification anywhere in manuscript; no information that could disclose your identity. Do not include a bio note, acknowledgments, or blurbs. (The winner will be required to provide an acknowledgments page before the manuscript is published.)
  • No content that is hate-mongering or abusive of any social, racial, ethnic, religious, or gender group. No gratuitous use of obscene or profane language.
  • 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.
  • Single-space your manuscript. Use a readable-size, conventional font such as 12-point Times New Roman. No illustrations, color type, or fancy fonts. 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.
  • Number the pages of the manuscript. Begin each poem on a new page. Poems may be two or more pages in length, 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. (The winner will work with the NFSPS book editor to correct any typographical errors and to make any mutually acceptable minor changes.)
  • 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 August 15, 2024, and closes at midnight PST October 15, 2024. 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 October 8, 2024, 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. However, not all “state poetry societies” are NFSPS affiliates, so if you belong to a state poetry society, please check whether or not it appears on the pull-down list of NFSPS-affiliated societies 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 file (doc, docx, or pdf) into the designated area. Note that if your manuscript is selected for publication, you will need to supply an editable doc or docx file. 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 experienced, award-winning poets with book and chapbook publications.
  • 50-100 manuscripts will be sent, without identification, 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, Edward Hirsch, Peter Meinke, and Carolyne Wright.
  • The winner will be contacted, and all entrants will be notified of the competition results by January 31, 2025.
  • 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 2025. 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 chair via email at

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