Annual Contest Rules

(Read carefully. Any violation will disqualify entry.) 

1. Any poem submitted must: 
a. Be the original work of the contestant, unpublished in any form, including digitally or placed on exhibition, and not under 
consideration or accepted for publication elsewhere. (Award will be 
recalled if a winning poem is found to be in violation of rules before 

publication in the NFSPS anthology of prize poems, and lower 

prizes and honorable mentions will move up in classification.) 

b. Be written in English, be titled, unless the poem is a form that is 

supposed to be untitled (e.g. haiku, lune, etc.). 

c. Have a 40 line limit for all contests not stating line limit.  Line 

count includes every line, both printed and blank. A one line title 

and its following space is not counted in the line limit.  Specific 

forms (e.g. rondeau, sonnet, villanelle, etc.) should follow required 

format spacing and line limits. 

d. Be typed, photocopied or computer generated (not handwritten 

or hand printed) and without illustrations. 

2. Poets give NFSPS exclusive first printing rights to all poems entered 

in the NFSPS annual contests.  Poems winning a cash prize of $15 

or more will be printed in the NFSPS prize poems anthology, Encore, 

at the discretion of the Editor.  The Editor reserves the right to alter 

line breaks in poems having more than 50 characters per line, including 

punctuation marks and spaces.  Printing rights revert to the poet after 

the anthology is published (approx. August of 2023). All prize winners 

will be notified, and others may obtain a list of winners in August 2023 

by sending $1 and a #10 SASE to: 

Julie Cummings Strophes Editor 

9428 Fallen Rock Road, Conifer, CO 80433-4007 

Submitted poems will not be returned, poets should retain copies. 

3. An eligible poem may not be withdrawn after submission. 
No simultaneous submissions. 

4. Except as indicated in Contest 1 – NFSPS Founders Award, 

contestants may submit only one entry in any contest, and may not 

submit the same poem in any other contest. 

5. Enclosed check or money order must be made payable to NFSPS, Inc. 

(initials are sufficient) rather than to any individual. 

a. Non-members may enter most contests at $1 each (except $10 for 

each entry in Contest 1 – NFSPS Founders Award).  Non-members 

may not enter contests marked with an asterisk (*) and which are 

designated members only. 

b. Members may enter up to 10 contests for $1 per poem or $10 total 

for entry in more than 10 contests (except for Contest 1 – NFSPS 

Founders Award which is $5 per poem). 

c. Entrants from outside the U.S. must send checks drawn on U.S. 

banks or branches, payable in U.S. Funds, or send U.S. Currency. 

6. First Prize winner in Contest 1 – NFSPS Founders Award is not 

eligible to enter that contest the following year (NFSPS Founders 

Award only). 

7. Judges will be selected by NFSPS, Inc.  No ties will be awarded, 

and the decisions of the judges will be final. 

8. When to submit: 

a. Start date: entries must not be postmarked before January 1, 2023. 

b. Deadline: entries must be postmarked by March 15, 2023. 

9. Individuals are “Members Only” eligible if a paid-up member of an 

NFSPS state society and listed in that society’s membership roll. State 

societies must remit their annual dues by January 15, 2023, and update 

their membership information as required by March 15, 2023. Dues 

and membership list must be sent to: 

Linda Harris, NFSPS Treasurer 

49512 SE Weber Road, Sandy, OR 97055-7425 

Update info may be sent via e-mail: 

10. How to submit poems via USPS: 

      a. Send two copies of the poem on 8.5” X 11” white paper (no onion 

          skin or tissue), in black ink, single-spaced.  If the poem requires 

          more than one page, staple together at the top left corner all pages 

          of each copy. 

      b. On both copies, place number and name of contest in upper 

          left corner. 

      c. On second copy only, put name, address, phone number, and 

          e-mail address of the poet, state poetry society membership or 

          “Non-member of NFSPS” in upper right corner.  If a poem 

          requires more than one page, number pages also on upper right 

          corner (both copies). 

      d. Separate originals from duplicates and stack in numerical order 

          (1 – 50) with originals on top.  Count them. 

      e. Include an 8.5 X 11 cover sheet with poet's name, address, phone 

          number, e-mail address (if available), and state society membership 

          (or “Non-member of NFSPS”).  List on the cover sheet the 

          category number(s) and the poem title(s) of each contest you are 

          entering.  List the total number of poems sent.  Do NOT staple 

          the cover sheet to entries or to entry fee. 

      f.  Mail all entries at one time, unfolded, in a large envelope, including 

          the cover sheet and entry fee.  Mail to the Contest Chair by First 

          Class, Priority Mail, or any form of delivery that does NOT require 

          a signature upon receipt. 

                Mail contest entries to: 

                      2023 Contest Chair 

                      5858 Pintail Way, Frederick, CO. 80504-9668 

          NFSPS, Inc. will not assume mailing costs and will not be 

          responsible for any entries lost or delayed in the mail. 

11. You may also enter via  Please read and follow 

      the rules on Submittable as they are slightly different. Through 

      Submittable there are two separate entry fee transactions: one for 

      Category #1 and one for Categories #2 through #50.  If entering 

      Category #1 plus any other Category, there will be two payment 

      forms, pay attention to your payment details. Failure to remit entry 

      fees timely (by March 15, 2023) will result in a disqualified submission. 



NOTE: Amazon does not permit the publication of material that contains vulgar language because it is not suitable to minors.  The printed edition 

of Encore will include the poetry of school-aged individuals and published via Amazon. Entries which violate this standard will be disqualified. 

NFSPS, Inc. is a non-profit organization, exclusively educational and literary.  Its purpose is to recognize the importance of poetry with respect 

to national cultural heritage.  It is dedicated solely to the furtherance of poetry on the national level and serves to unite poets in the bonds of fellowship and understanding.