National Federation of State Poetry Societies
Annual Poetry Contest Rules
(Read carefully. Any violation will disqualify entry.)
1. Any poem
a. be the original work of the contestant, unpublished in any form,
including electronically and placed on exhibition, not under
consideration or accepted for publication.
(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 a haiku;
c. have a 40 line limit (printed lines) for all contests not stating
d. be typed or computer generated (not handwritten or hand
printed) 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
(June 15, 2018). Printing rights to poems winning less than $15 (or no
prize) revert to the poet after the list of winners is published in the
August, 2017 NFSPS newsletter,
Strophes. All prize winners will be notified, and others may obtain a
list of winners in August, 2017 by sending $1 and a #10 SASE to:
Paul Ford, Strophes Editor,
10239 Hickory Point Dr.
Sandy, UT 84092
No poems will be returned, so poets should retain copies.
3. An eligible poem may not be withdrawn after submission.
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. Check or money order enclosed must be made payable to NFSPS, Inc.
(initials sufficient) rather than to any individual.
a. Non-members may enter most contests at $1 each (except $5 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 poems:
a. Contest starting date: entries must not be postmarked before January
b. Contest deadline: entries must be postmarked by March 15, 2017.
9. "Members Only" eligible if a paid-up member of a state society,
listed in alphabetical membership roll mailed by a state society along
with NFSPS dues to:
Lucille Morgan Wilson, NFSPS Treasurer
2325 61st Street
Des Moines, IA 50322
by January 15, 2017 and updated as required by the Contest deadline. (E-mail:
10. How to submit poems:
a. Send two copies of the poem, typed, photocopied, or
computer-generated, 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
c. On second copy only, put name, address, phone number, and E-mail
address of poet, state society membership or"NON-MEMBER NFSPS" in upper
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. Prepare a 3" x 5" lined file card (leave first line blank) and list
poet's name, address, phone number, E-mail address (if available), state
(or "NON-MEMBER"). List on the card the number, but not the title of
each contest you are entering. List the total number of poems sent. Do
NOT staple the card
to entries or to entry fee.
f. Mail all
entries at one time, unfolded, in a large envelope, including the file
card 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 Entries to:
Emory D. Jones
608 N. Pearl St.
Iuka, MS 38852
The NFSPS, Inc. will not assume mailing costs and will not be
responsible for any entries lost or delayed in the mail.
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