National Federation Of State Poetry Societies, Inc



Awarding $1000 + Publication + 50 Books



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Manuscripts not following these guidelines may be disqualified.

Award—The winning entrant will receive one thousand dollars ($1,000), publication of the winning manuscript, and fifty (50) copies of the resulting book.

Who May Enter—The competition is open to all poets writing in English, except for previous Stevens Competition winners. Manuscripts should be original work by a single author.

Deadline—Manuscripts must be submitted through the NFSPS Submittable page or postmarked between August 1 and September 15, 2018. 

Previous Publication—Manuscripts may include previously published poems, but manuscripts in their entirety must be unpublished at the time of entry. The winner of the contest will be required to provide acknowledgements of previously published poems. Do not include an acknowledgements page with your submission.

Multiple/Simultaneous Submissions—Multiple or Simultaneous submissions are allowed. Please withdraw your submission via Submittable or contact the contest chair immediately if your manuscript is accepted elsewhere.

Entry Fee—The submission fee is $20 for NFSPS members and $25 for nonmembers. Members of state poetry societies affiliated with NFSPS are members. You can find a list of affiliate societies on our website. Fees will not be returned.

Length—The manuscript should be 48-70 pages in length, not including the front matter.

Format—The manuscript should be formatted as follows:

  Manuscripts should be submitted as a single document.

Manuscripts should contain a title page (with manuscript title only) and table of contents.

  Pages should contain margins of at least one inch.

Poems should be single spaced using 12-point font in a conventional typeface such as Times New Roman.

  Pages should be numbered at the bottom center of each page.

One poem per page (poems may continue across multiple pages). Exception: Haiku or Tanka sequences.

Pages should contain a single column of text unless the poem requires special formatting (please keep in mind that the winning manuscript will be published in a 6”x9” format).

The manuscript should contain no illustrations or colors.

The manuscript should not include your name, address, email, or any other information through which you could be identified.

There are further formatting requirements depending on whether the manuscript is submitted electronically or via US post.

Submitting Electronically—NFSPS strongly encourages entrants to submit via our online submissions portal. Electronic submissions should be completed via our Submittable page ( Using Submittable saves both entrants and NFSPS time and money. It is free to create and use a Submittable account, and an increasing number of journals and contests only accept entries through Submittable.

Entries should be in .doc, .rtf, or .pdf format.

The file name should be the title of the manuscript (or a shorter version of it). Do not include your name, address, email, or any other information through which you could be identified in the file name. Submittable will track the identification information separately to protect the process of judging blindly.

Please note that there are two submission portals: one for NFSPS members and one for non-members. Please select the appropriate portal.

The entry fee can be paid through the Submittable portal with a credit card or PayPal.

You will be notified when your manuscript has been received.

Mailed Submissions—Mailed entries are accepted if an entrant is unable to submit electronically.

Manuscript must be typed on plain white paper (no discs).

Manuscript should be enclosed in a plain file folder and/or held by a manuscript/binder clip. Do not staple or bind manuscript.

Mailed submissions should include a cover sheet with the manuscript title, author’s name, address, phone number, email address, and (if applicable) the name of the state poetry society of which the entrant is a member. Entrants will not be eligible for the reduced entry fee without society membership information.

A check in the amount of the submission fee ($20 for NFSPS members, $25 for nonmembers) should be included with the mailed manuscript.

Do not send by certified or registered mail.

Manuscripts will not be returned. Entrants who enclose a SASE or provide an email address will be notified of the results (the winner will automatically be notified).

Mail submissions to:

Amanda Partridge, Chair
NFSPS Stevens Poetry Manuscript Competition
4 Bowie Pt.
Sherwood, AR 72120

Judging—All manuscripts will be reviewed for compliance with guidelines and overall qualification by the competition chair. Approximately one hundred (100) manuscripts will be sent, without identification, to an independent judge.

Publication—The winning manuscript will be published by the NFSPS Press, and the book will be available for sale at the NFSPS annual convention and elsewhere in June 2019.


David Baker, Michael Dennis Browne, Michael Bugeja, Anne Marx, Sue Brannan Walker, Kenneth Brewer, David Sutherland, Donna Salli, Bruce Eastman, Ruth Berman, Peter Meinke, Lawson Inada, Patricia Fargnoli,
Jeff Gundy, Carolyne Wright, Lola Haskins, Jessica Garratt, Maggie Anderson, Glenna Holloway, John Witte, Bruce Dethlefsen, and Tony Barnstone.