Categories, Guidelines, Judges 

Begins:  February 1, 2023             

Ends: March 1, 2023                                                                                            

Winners will be announced mid-to-late April, 2023


Please remember that if you are not a current member of OPA you must submit your entries through the Non-Member Submittable portal in order for them to be accepted.

Limit: one poem per category (no duplicates).

  1. Poet’s Choice: Limit 80 lines, any subject, any form. Judge: Brian Sneeden
  2. Members Only: Limit 20 lines, any subject, any form. Entrant must be a current OPA member. Judge: Kim Stafford
  3. New Poets: Limit 30 lines, any subject, any form. (A new poet is someone with no more than two poems published online or in print journals. Social media and self-published collections/chapbooks/books count as previous publication.) Judge: Willa Schneberg
  4. Traditional Form-Epistolary: Limit 30 lines, any subject. Judge: Danielle Cadena Deulen
  5. Themed-Wildlife (any interpretation): Limit 40 lines,any form on the subject. Judge: Kelli Russell Agodon


Poets Choice: 1st place $150; 2nd place $100; 3rd place $70; 3 Honorable Mentions

All other categories: 1st place $100; 2nd place $70; 3rd place $50; 3 Honorable Mentions

All 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners will be published on OPA’s website and in OPA’s annual print anthology, Verseweavers.


OPA members: Flat rate of $8 for up to five poems (limit one poem per category).                  Non-members: Flat rate of $15 for up to four poems (limit one poem per category).


Submitted electronically via Submittable by March 1, 2023, 11:59pm PST.

CONTEST GUIDELINES – PLEASE READ CAREFULLY.       (Entries not in compliance will be disqualified; entry fees are non-refundable.)

  1. Poems must be entrant’s own original work, unpublished in print or online (including self-published books/chapbooks, social media, etc.), and may not have been a prior winner in any contest.
  2. Poets may enter one poem in each category, without duplication.
  3. Simultaneous submissions are encouraged, but entry fees are non-refundable. If a poem is accepted elsewhere, entrant must notify OPA immediately via Submittable and withdraw the poem. No exceptions.
  4. Format poems in 12-point font size, Times New Roman. Format as .doc or .docx. PDF files will not be accepted.
  5. Online submissions only at Submission title can be anything (contest title, poem title/s, poet name, etc). In upper-right corner of every page (one poem per page), indicate category and poem line count (title and spaces between stanzas do not count as lines). Poet’s name or contact information must not appear anywhere on the poems. Poems are read blind.
  6. In the Cover Letter field, please enter a cover letter which includes poem title/s, contact information (name, address, phone, email), and bio (third person, 75 words or less). If entering multiple categories, all poems must be submitted in a single document.   
  7. If you join OPA at the time you enter, you are eligible for the Member rate and the Members Only category. Include in your contest entry a statement that you have recently joined or are now joining OPA. Membership will be verified.
  8. Poems may not be edited and re-submitted; submission is final. No exceptions.
  9. Members may submit up to five poems, limited to one poem per category. Non-members may submit up to four poems, limited to one poem per category.
  10. Winners will be notified by mid to late April 2023. All 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winning poems will be published on OPA’s website and in Verseweavers, OPA’s annual print anthology. OPA claims first North American Rights to winning poems. All rights revert to author upon print publication in Verseweavers. OPA reserves the right to use prizewinning poems on the OPA website, membership forms, etc.



Brian Sneeden is a poet, literary translator, and editor. He is the author of Last City (Carnegie Mellon, 2018) and his poetry has received the Iowa Review Award in Poetry, the Indiana Review 1/2K Prize, and other recognitions, and has appeared in journals such as Harvard Review, Poetry Daily, and Virginia Quarterly Review. His poetry translations have received an NEA Literature Translation Fellowship, the World Literature Today Translation Award for Poetry, the Constantinides Memorial Translation Prize, a PEN/Heim Translation Grant, and other recognitions. He is a lecturer in creative writing and publishing at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Brian Sneeden


Kim Stafford, founding director of the Northwest Writing Institute at Lewis & Clark College, teaches and travels to raise the human spirit. He is the author of a dozen books of poetry and prose, including The Muses Among Us: Eloquent Listening and Other Pleasures of the Writer’s Craft and 100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do: How My Brother Disappeared. His most recent book is the poetry collection Singer Come from Afar (Red Hen, 2021). He has taught writing in dozens of schools and community centers, and in Scotland, Italy, Mexico, and Bhutan. In 2018 he was named Oregon’s 9th Poet Laureate by Governor Kate Brown for a two-year term.

[email protected]

Kim Stafford


Willa Schneberg is a poet, ceramic sculptor, interdisciplinary artist, essayist, curator and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, in private practice. Her new poetry collection, entitled The Naked Room, illuminates issues pertaining to mental health. She is the author of five prior collections, including In the Margins of the WorldStorytelling in Cambodia and The Books of Esther. Among the honors she has received are the Oregon Book Award in Poetry, the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund Award, inclusion in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror Nineteenth Collection, two fellowships in Poetry from Literary Arts, Inc., residencies at Yaddo, MacDowell and Kathmandu, Nepal, and poems on the Writer’s Almanac.

Willa Schneberg


Danielle Cadena Deulen is an author, professor, and podcast host who was born and raised in Oregon. Her latest poetry collection, Desire Museum, will be published with BOA Editions next fall (2023). Her previous books include a memoir, The Riots, two poetry collections, Lovely Asunder and Our Emotions Get Carried Away Beyond Usand a poetry chapbook, American Libretto. She is co-creator and host of “Lit from the Basement,” a poetry podcast and radio show (KMUZ 100.7 FM in Salem, OR). She is an assistant professor in the graduate creative writing program at Georgia State University in Atlanta.  

Author Website:

Podcast Website:

Social Media: @dcdeulen (Instagram), @danielledeulen (Twitter)


Dr. Danielle Cadena Deulen

Assistant Professor at Georgia State University

Author at

Podcast Host at Lit from the Basement

Danielle Cadena Deulen


Kelli Russell Agodon’s newest book is Dialogues with Rising Tides (Copper Canyon Press) was recently named a Finalist in the Washington State Book Awards and shortlisted for the Eric Hoffer Book Award Grand Prize in Poetry. She is the cofounder of Two Sylvias Press where she works as an editor and book cover designer. She lives in a sleepy seaside town in Washington State on traditional lands of the Chimacum, Coast Salish, S’Klallam, and Suquamish people. She teaches at Pacific Lutheran University’s low-res MFA program, the Rainier Writing Workshop. Kelli is currently part of a project between local land trusts and artists to help raise awareness for the preservation of land, ecosystems, and biodiversity called Writing the Land. /

Kelli Russell Agodon


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