National Federation of State Poetry Societies

2015 College/University-Level Poetry Competition

Shirley Blackwell, Chair
P. O. Box 1352
Los Lunas, NM 87031




Electronic Submissions at

OR Mailed Hard Copy via U.S. Postal Service



All freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors of an accredited U.S. university or college are eligible to enter the NFSPS College/University-Level Poetry Competition. 



Two winners will be chosen:  one will receive the Edna Meudt Memorial Award and the other the Florence Kahn Memorial Award. Each winner receives:

*        Publication of the manuscript as a chapbook.

*        75 free copies of the chapbook.

*        Preference in selling the author's allotment at the book release at the NFSPS annual convention. (Not required)

*        Invitation to read from winning work at the 2015 NFSPS Convention, to be held June 25 to 28 in St. Petersburg, Florida.

*        $300 travel stipend to each winner who attends the convention. Winners are responsible for the balance of their costs at the convention.

*        Complimentary one-year state poetry society membership.



Make submissions from January 1 to midnight February 14.  The Submittable electronic system will be accessible only during that time, and hard-copy submissions must be postmarked during that period. No early submissions.


Online Submission. We strongly encourage using the NFSPS link at Submittable, the online submissions manager at Using Submittable saves time and money.

*        Ensures you have provided all required information. Submittable will alert you to mistakes that could disqualify your manuscript. 

*        Provides a template; you copy or attach documents from your computer into the designated areas and fill in prompted blanks.

*        Is provided to you free of charge. Account. If you currently have a Submittable account, you may use it to enter the competition. If you do not have an account, use the online sign-up. It is free, simple, and instantly usable. You may keep the account permanently; we hope you will use it in future for a wide variety of literary venues, a growing number of which accept only electronic submissions.


Mailed Submissions. To submit your manuscript by hard copy via the U.S. Postal Service rather than electronic submission, send four (4) copies of the manuscript along with the notarized application/affidavit to the Competition Chair. Details follow.



Whether you use online Submittable or mail hard copies, you must send to the Competition Chair via first-class U.S. mail a signed and notarized paper copy of the official NFSPS 2015 Application/Affidavit. The form contains your contact information and an affidavit (a sworn statement) that the work you are submitting is your original work.

*        Be sure all information on the application is complete and accurate.

*       If using Submittable, the application/affidavit form will be included in the template. Fill it out online, then print it.

*       Have your signature notarized (witnessed by a notary public, as explained on the form).

*        Send the notarized copy via the U.S. Postal Service, postmarked by the midnight February 14 deadline.

*        Send the signed, notarized form as First Class Mail only, via the U.S. Postal Service. Do not send special delivery, certified mail, or anything requiring signature. Do not email or fax the form; it will not be accepted. Mail the application/affidavit form to:


Shirley Blackwell, Chair

C/U-Level Poetry Competition
      P.O. Box 1352
      Los Lunas, NM  87031



1.      Ten Poems. Submit a manuscript of ten (10) original, unpublished poems. Note that poems posted on a public website are considered published.

2.      Single-Space. Poems should be single-spaced, each poem beginning on a new page.

3.      Titles. Except for haiku and related Japanese forms, each poem must be titled.

4.      Poem Length. Each poem must be no more than a total of 46 lines, including the title, any epigraph, and the spaces between stanzas.

5.      Poem Width. Each line must have no more than 50 characters, including punctuation marks and spaces between words.

6.      Document. We strongly suggest that you type your documents in MS Word, if possible. Word documents can easily be pasted into Submittable and can expedite editing and publishing of the winning manuscripts.

7.     Format. If you are submitting hard copy, type or computer print the manuscript on 8.5"x11" white paper, using a 12-point standard font (Times New Roman, e.g.) and black ink. Do not use fancy or script fonts.

8.      Pagination. The manuscript should be paginated. Each page should have a footer with the title (or abbreviated title) of the manuscript in the lower left corner and the page number in the lower right corner.

9.      Title Page. If you are submitting hard copy, each of the four (4) required copies of the manuscript should include a title page with the title centered on the page. Submittable will do this for you automatically.

10..  Cover Page. If you are submitting hard copy, send one (1) cover page with name, address, phone number, and email address in the upper left corner and the title of the manuscript in the center of the page. Submittable will provide this automatically.

11.  No Identification. There must be no author identification on any page except the application and the cover page.

12.  No Staples. If you are mailing hard copy, do not staple the manuscript.

Candidates will be disqualified if any of the above requirements are not followed.



Recipients of the two awards will be selected by a panel of three judges from entries that comply with the contest guidelines. Decisions of the judges are final. Award recipients will be chosen by March 31, 2015, and announced by April 19, 2015.


If there is any change in your contact information before results are announced in mid-April 2015, please notify Shirley Blackwell, Competition Chair, by email at



NFSPS College/University Level Poetry Awards 

Edna Meudt Memorial Award Winner

Carlina Duan: Is a poet and journalist from Ann Arbor, Michigan. She has just completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Creative Writing at the University of Michigan, where she has won multiple Hopwood awards
and writing prizes; worked as an editor for her college newspaper, The Michigan Daily;and spent many sunrises on her purple bike. Carlina is one of the founding editors of Ann Arbor's Red Beard Press, a youth-driven publishing company.
She is also the co-author of the poetry collection Electric Bite Women (2013) with poet Haley Patail. In 2016, she will move to Malaysia to teach English as a U.S. Fulbright scholar.

Florence Kahn Memorial Award Winner

Max Seifert: Is a creative writing student at the University of Iowa where he edits poetry for earthwords: the undergraduate review and interns with the International Writing Program. His work has previously appeared in Ink Lit Mag and plain china: national anthology of undergraduate writing. His improv troupe, Skinny Horses, and punk band, Riot Fire, are regulars in the Iowa City basement-show scene. This chapbook is the product of tireless support from his friends and family and the University of Iowa creative writing staff.