Sappho Prize for Women Poets

closes June 19, 2022

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We are honored to create this space for women poets to step forward. Thanks to the efforts of the Vida Project and other initiatives, the poetry landscape has made a lot of progress in recent years, but much work is still to be done. Palette is YOURS as much as it is ours, and we want our journal to be an inclusive, welcoming space where women's voices are amplified and offered tangible support.

This contest only accepts submissions from women poets. ALL women are welcome to submit (cis and trans). The winning poet will be awarded $3000 and publication on Palette Poetry. Second and third place will win $300 & $200 respectively, as well as publication. The top ten finalists will be selected by the editors, and guest judge Jos Charles will then select the winner and two runners-up.

about our judge

Jos Charles is the author of the poetry collections a Year & other poems (Milkweed Editions, 2022), feeld, a Pulitzer-finalist and winner of the 2017 National Poetry Series selected by Fady Joudah (Milkweed Editions, 2018), and Safe Space (Ahsahta Press, 2016). She currently teaches as a part of Randolph College's low-residency MFA program. Charles has an MFA from the University of Arizona and is currently a PhD student at UC Irvine. She resides in Long Beach, CA.

submission guidelines

please read carefully to ensure your submission will be considered!
  • for this prize, we are only accepting submissions from women (cis and trans) poets.
  • submissions are open internationally, to any poet writing in English—inclusion of other languages is more than welcome, as long as the meat of the poem is in English.
  • DO NOT INCLUDE your name or identifying information in the document OR submission title. If your name is on the submission, it will be declined unread.
  • we are only accepting unpublished work. If your poem has been published on a blog or on social media, it is not eligible. 
  • we accept simultaneous submissions—just please send us a note if your work is picked up elsewhere. (We want to say congrats!)
  • there is no page requirement, but submission must be no more than 3 poemsPlease submit all your poems in ONE document.
  • we do accept multiple submissions, but each submission will include the $20 reading fee.
  • please include a brief cover letter with your publication history, if any.
  • Contest closes on June 19, 2022.

included unique opportunities & discounts

As a thank you for your support for Palette, we've partnered with The Poetry School and Frontier Poetry to offer every submitter a 20% off discount code (average of $28 value) to one of their online courses! Head to their platform, find a course you're interested in, and use the code included in the confirmation message at checkout.

editorial feedback option

This option costs $59 and will provide you with two pages of detailed and actionable feedback on a poem of your choice from the submission, including suggestions for future submissions. Our guest editors are paid a significant portion of the fee (at EFA rates) and are all incredibly astute and professional poets. There's also an editorial letter plus option where you can receive feedback from 3 different editors—so 6 pages of feedback altogether!


Share Your Poetry

Always free. Always open. $50 per poem selected.