Monthly Contests

The Austin Poetry Society (APS) is dedicated to promoting poetry through its monthly and annual contests. To be eligible to enter the contests, you must be an APS member. Click here to join the APS today.

Monthly Contests

APS sponsors Monthly Meeting Contests four times a the year, with submissions in September, November, January, and March. The judge will select five finalist poems in each contest. Announcement of the judge’s decisions and popular votes occur at the meetings of the following months—October, December, February, and April.

For each contest month, two contests are held, one for General Verse, and the other for Light Verse. Cash prizes for the first two places in each category are awarded to winners selected by a judge appointed by the Monthly Meeting Contest Committee. The judge’s first place winners receive a $20 prize and the judge’s second place winners receive a $10 prize. First place poems are published in Best Austin Poetry as a reward, too.

The Meeting Contest Committee will appoint judges, giving preference to well-published, qualified, objective judges with demonstrated competence. Judges’ decisions are final. Their identities are concealed until announcement of the winners.

Monthly Meeting Contest Submission Guidelines

  1. Entry in a meeting contest constitutes submission of the poem for publication in the chapbook, Best Austin Poetry, to be published after the May Awards Ceremony. The judge’s first place winners will be included in the chapbook. The Austin Poetry Society acquires only the right to one-time use of first place poems and nonexclusive use in any subsequent anthology selected from Best Austin Poetry chapbooks. All other rights return to the author after publication of the chapbook. Rights to all other submitted poems revert to the poet after judging. In lieu of any payment for use of the winning poems, we will provide one copy of the chapbook to the poets included.
  1. Poems entered must be the original work of the member-poet.
  1. Only one poem—not to exceed 36 lines— may be submitted per category. The line count includes all text and stanza breaks below the title (except the space between the title and first line of text).
  1. All dues-paid, Lifetime, and Honorary APS members may enter any of the meeting contests. No entry fee is charged.

Eligibility exceptions: A poem which has won a judge’s first place award in a meeting contest, whether General or Humorous, may never be entered in the Annual Awards Contests. A poem which has, in whole or in part, been published in print (including chapbooks) and/or presented to the public through radio, television, online media, or other electronic venues is not eligible. Nor may poems simultaneously submitted for publication elsewhere be entered for the meeting contests.

  1. Poems shall be typed, printed from a computer, or clearly handwritten in black ink. Only plain white 8-1/2″ x 11″ paper should be used. The font should be 12-point Times New Roman.
  1. Authors should retain originals of all entries. Only copies should be entered for the contests. Poems submitted will not be returned.
  1. Deadline: Entries must be received by the end of the monthly meeting in September, November, January or March.
  1. Entries can be delivered by hand or by postal mail to the Monthly Contest Chair, or submitted online through Submittable by the deadline. (The Submittable form will open one week before the meeting at which submissions will be collected, and will close at 11:59 p.m. the night after the meeting takes place.)

To enter through Submittable, go to:

The postal delivery address is:
Austin Poetry Society – Monthly contests
P.O. Box 41346
Austin TX 78704

Most entries are brought to the monthly meeting.

  1. Two copies of each entry must be submitted. The name of the Contest, General or Humorous, must be designated in the upper right corner of each copy. The author’s name should appear in the upper left corner on one copy only. Judges will see only the copies without the authors’ names, and authors’ identities will be concealed until after the popular vote.
  1. For the popular vote on the finalist poems chosen by the judge, each member present at a contest announcement meeting may cast one vote in each of the two contests, choosing only the best poem from each of the two contests. In each of the two contests, first place winners of the popular vote will be the poems which receive the most votes; second place winners will be those which receive the second most votes, and so forth.
  1. Entries which fail to follow these criteria may be disqualified by the Meeting Contest Committee. A contest which does not attract a minimum of five entries will be cancelled. With the poet’s permission, poems submitted to such contests may be held over till the next monthly meeting contest.

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