Awarding $1000 + Publication + 50 Books


 • Except for previous Stevens winners, open to all poets writing in English.

• The manuscript must be the original work by a single author.

• Include title page (title only), table of contents, and 48 to 70 pages of poetry, counting any section title pages but not counting front matter. The page count includes “Notes on Poems,” if any.

• Margins must be at least 1” on all sides.

• You may include previously published poems. The winner will be required to provide an acknowledgment page if the manuscript includes previously published poems. Do NOT include acknowledgments in your manuscript. Do not send blurbs.

• No author identification anywhere in manuscript; no biographical information that could disclose your identity; do not include your name as part of the name of the file you attach when submitting online.

• No illustrations.

• Number the pages in your manuscript, but do not embed headers or footers. Use simple numbering, nothing fancy

• Format with one poem, one column per page. Poems may be continued on a second page, but do not put two poems on the same page.

• Single space your manuscript. Use black print only (no colors). Use 12-point type in a conventional font such as Times New Roman. If you write in long lines or complex formats, be aware that the winning book will be published in a 6″ x 9″ format.

• Simultaneous and multiple submissions permitted. Notify us immediately if your manuscript is accepted elsewhere.


DEADLINE: Submissions will be accepted only between AUGUST 1 and midnight PT, SEPTEMBER 15, 2017. The Submittable online system will be accessible only during this time, and hard-copy submissions must be postmarked during this period. No early or late submissions.


ENTRY FEE & PAYMENTS: The submission fee is $20 for NFSPS members, $25 for nonmembers. Members of state poetry societies affiliated with NFSPS are members. •

For online submissions, pay at Submittable.com with a credit card or PayPal.• For mailed paper submissions, place your check, made out to NFSPS, on top of the manuscript.

• Manuscripts which do not follow the rules may be disqualified, but fees will not be returned.



NOTE that rules for online submissions differ somewhat from those for hardcopies. Be sure you follow the correct set of rules, or your manuscript may be disqualified.

Online Submissions. We strongly encourage using the NFSPS link at Submittable, an online submissions manager, at nfsps.submittable.com/submit . Using Submittable saves you and us time and money.

• Note that there are two submission windows. If you are not a member of a state society listed on the bottom of the page at http://nfsps.com/links.htm, you must submit as a non-member. Be sure your state society dues are paid up before submitting.

• Simply submit the manuscript in a single document file from your computer into the designated area.

• Submit as a Word or rich text document.

• Give your file the same name as your manuscript (or a shorter version of it). Do not include your name, address, or any other information through which you might be identified in the document or file name.

• Do not submit an acknowledgements page. If your manuscript wins, you will be asked to submit it later.

• Do not include an information sheet as requested for hard-copies as part of your manuscript. Submittable will track the information needed separately, to protect the process of judging blindly.

• You will be notified that your manuscript has been received.

• The Submittable account is free, simple to set up, and instantly usable. 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. An increasing number of journals and other literary venues accept submission only through Submittable.

Mailed Submissions. If you are unable to make an online submission, mail your manuscript.

• Manuscript must be typewritten or computer generated.

• Enclose manuscript in a plain file folder and/or held by a manuscript clip; NO staples or binding.

• On the top of your manuscript, place a page with the title and your name, address, phone number, and email address, plus the name of the state poetry society where you are a member (if applicable). You will not be eligible for the reduced fee without society membership information.

• Do NOT send by certified or registered mail. Do NOT send disks.

• Manuscripts will NOT be returned. Entrants who enclose a business-size, self-addressed, stamped envelope, or provide an email address, will be notified of the results before April 30, 2018. • The winner will automatically be notified.

Mail submissions to: Wilda Morris, Chair

NFSPS Stevens Poetry Manuscript Competition

499 Falcon Ridge Way

Bolingbrook IL 60440-2242


JUDGING: All manuscripts will be reviewed for compliance with guidelines and overall quality by the competition chair. Approximately 100 manuscripts will be sent, without identification or acknowledgments, to an independent judge, who will remain anonymous until the results are announced.

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 2018.


  1. Eileen Wiggins

    Hello I am a non member but would like to enter the competition. I am not clear as to who the copyright would belong to, of the work submitted. If you print and sell copies of the work who benefits from the sale and would the number of copies printed and sold be limited?

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