Previous Contests & Awards

Find info about previous Palette Poetry contests here.

Please visit this page to find the guidelines for our current contest.


The 2021 Love & Eros Prize

Contest closed on October 18, 2021.

1st — Reading in progress—TBA Dec 2021

2nd — Reading in progress—TBA Dec 2021

3rd —Reading in progress—TBA Dec 2021

Winners to be selected by Kaveh Akbar.


The 2021 Palette Poetry Prize

Contest closed on August 16, 2021.

1st — Katie Hale, "The Gallery of America"

2nd — Claire Wahmanholm, "A"

3rd — Len Lawson, "Hypotenuse"

Winners selected by Jericho Brown.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

  • Submissions are open internationally, to any poet writing in English—other languages are okay to include, as long as the meat of the poem is in English.
  • 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 poems. Please submit all your poems in ONE document.
  • We do accept multiple submissions, but each submission will include the reading fee.
  • Please include a brief cover letter with your publication history.
  • Review our FAQ page for frequently asked questions.
  • Includes a $20 Reading fee.

The 2021 Sappho Prize

Contest closed on June 20, 2021.

1st — Emily Zogbi, "Lost Things" 

2nd —Sophia Anfinn Tonnessen, "Layaway"

3rd — Yi Wei, "Look"

We're honored to be able to create space for women* poets to step forward. Thanks to the efforts of the VIDA project and others, we've made a lot of progress in the past few years, but much work is still to be done. Palette is YOURS as much as it is ours, and we'd love for the magazine be useful in making our community a better, fuller, richer home.

This contest only accepts submissions from women* poets. 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 Maggie Smith will then select the winner and two runner ups. Winners and finalists will be announced toward the end of August 2021.

*all women are welcome to submit (cis, trans, etc)

Submission Guidelines

  • For this Prize, we are only accepting work from poets who identify as women
  • Submissions are open internationally, to any poet writing in English—other languages are okay to include, as long as the meat of the poem is in English.
  • 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 poems. Please submit all your poems in ONE document.
  • We are only accepting unpublished work with this contest.
  • We do accept multiple submissions, but each submission will include the reading fee.
  • Please include a brief cover letter with your publication history.
  • Review our FAQ page for frequently asked questions.
  • Reading fee is $20.

The 2021 Emerging Poet Prize

Contest closed on April 19, 2021.

1st — Crystal Valentine, "Black Madonna"

2nd — Christine Poreba, "Slipped Stitches"

3rd — Serrina Zou, "The Present of Poetry"

For emerging poets, this contest only accepts submissions from authors with fewer than two full-length collections out at the time of submission. 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 Kelli Russell Agodon will then select the winner and two runner-ups.

Kelli Russell Agodon is the author Dialogues with Rising Tidesnow available from Copper Canyon Press. She is also the author of Hourglass Museum, Letters from the Emily Dickinson RoomSmall Knots, and Geography.  She coedited the anthology Fire On Her Tongue and wrote The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts For Your Writing Practice with Martha Silano. She is cofounder of Two Sylvias Press. www.agodon.com / www.twosylviaspress.com

Submission Guidelines

  • For this Prize, we are only accepting work from emerging poets—poets with no more than two full-length collections published at the time of submission.
  • Submissions are open internationally, to any poet writing in English—other languages are okay to include, as long as the meat of the poem is in English.
  • 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 poems. Please submit all your poems in ONE document.
  • We are only accepting unpublished work with this contest.
  • We do accept multiple submissions, but each submission will include the reading fee.
  • Please include a brief cover letter with your publication history.
  • Review our FAQ page for frequently asked questions.
  • Contest closes on Sunday, April 19th, 2021.
  • Reading fee is $20.

The 2021 Previously Published Poem Prize

Contest closed on January 17, 2021.

1st — Diane Kerr, "The Distinguished Thing: A Colloquy"

2nd — Darius Simpson, “If I’m Caught Between a Badge and a Hard Place Three Hours After the Streetlights Turn On"

3rd — Catherine-Esther Cowie, “Aftermath”


The 2020 Palette Poetry Prize

Contest closed on August 16, 2020.

1st — Teresa Dzieglewicz, "There are no police in this poem"

2nd —Matthew Minicucci, "(grapes)"

3rd — Kathleen Winter, "The Sheep and the Lambs" 

The winners were selected by our guest judge, Forrest Gander.


The 2020 Sappho Prize

Contest closed on June 14, 2020.

1st — Faylita Hicks, "I Tried Dating Again–Like the Doctor Said–But I Don’t Think I’m Ready #2020"

2nd — Withdrawn by winner

3rd — Natasha Rao, "Abecedarian on Shame"

The winners were selected by our guest judge, Victoria Chang.


The 2020 Emerging Poet Prize

Contest closed on April 19, 2020.

1st — A.D. Lauren-Abunassar, “The Immigration Pastoral”

2nd — Mikko Harvey, “Let the World Have You” 

3rd — Akosua Zimba Afiriyie-Hwedie, “Provenance” 

The winners were selected by our guest judge, Ilya Kaminsky.


The 2019 Previously Published Poem Prize

Contest closed on October 15, 2019.

1st — Nicole Rollender, "The Luster of Everything I’m Already Forgetting” (originally published in Gigantic Sequins)

2nd — Leila Chatti, “What Will Happen” (originally published in Indiana Review)

3rd — Isabella DeSendi, “America’s First Female Muslim Judge Found Floating in a River” (originally published in Narrative)


The 2019 Emerging Poet Prize

Contest closed on August 15, 2019.

1st — Cassandra Bruner, “After Frida Kahlo’s Sin Esperanza & the Crohn’s Diagnosis”

2nd — Randy James, “Sauce on the Side”

3rd — Jesús I. Valles, “Mexican Standard About a Desert”

The winners were selected by our guest judge, Kim Addonizio.


The 2019 Palette Poetry Prize

Winners:

1st — Shelley Stenhouse, "The Great Cosmic Hum"

2nd — Alycia Pirmohamed, "House of Prayer"

3rd — Madhur Anand, BRAIN HEMORRHAGE, EARLY FALL 

The winners were selected by our guest judge, Edward Hirsch.


The 2019 Spotlight Award

Winners:

1st — Gbenga Adesina, “Surrender”

2nd — Antonio Lopez, “Aullo” 

3rd — Miranda Beeson, “There’s a Rattle, Sometimes” 

Honorable Mention — Francisco Marquez, “I’m not one of those who left my land”


The 2018 Emerging Poet Prize

Winners:

1st — Victoria Flanagan, “In Response to My Mother When She Says Hearing Me Read My Writing’s like Hearing God”

2nd — Benjamin Garcia, “Huitlacoche”

3rd — Nicole Homer, “Feral and Conjoined” 


The 2018 Palette Poetry Prize

Winners:

1st — torrin a. greathouse, “Hapnophobia or the Fear of Being Touched”

2nd — madison eli johnson, “west harlem, july 2017”

3rd — Brittany Leitner, “Liberosis”

The winner was selected by our guest judge, Shane McCrae.