OPA Spring 2021 Poetry Contest

OPA Spring 2021 Poetry Contest

Contest dates: February 1, 2021 to March 31, 2021


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 entry per category (no duplicates).

1) Poet’s Choice: Limit 80 lines, any subject, any form. Judge: John Morrison.

2) Members Only: Limit 20 lines, any subject, any form. Entrant must be a current OPA member. Judge: Colette Tennant.

3) New Poets: Limit 30 lines, any subject, any form. A new poet is someone with no more than two poems published in online or print journals. Self-published chapbooks and collections count as previous publication. Judge: Clemens Starck.

4) Traditional Form—Dizain: A dizain is a form of poetry consisting of ten lines rhymed in the a b a b b c c d c d format and in iambic pentameter, any subject. 
Judge: John Sibley Williams.

5) Theme—Emergence: Limit 40 lines, any form. Judge: Rachel Barton.

6) Age 30 and Under: Limit 29 lines, open to anyone under the age of 30, any form, any subject. Judge: Tiel Aisha Ansari.

7) Spanish Language: Limit 40 lines, original poem, plus poet’s translation in English of his/her own poem, any subject, any form. Concurso de poesía de primavera del 2021 via Submittable contact contest chair at WHO WE ARE > Contact OPA > Adult Contest Chair.
Judge: Efrain Diaz Horna.


Poet’s Choice: 1st $100; 2nd $50; 3rd $30; 3 Honorable Mentions.

All other categories: 1st $50; 2nd $30; 3rd $20; 3 Honorable Mentions.

All 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place poems will be published on the OPA website and in the annual anthology of prizewinners, Verseweavers.

Entry Fee:

OPA Members—Flat rate of $8 for up to seven poems (limit of one poem per category).

Non-members— Flat rate of $15 for up to six poems (limit of one poem per category).

Deadline: Submitted electronically or postmarked by March 15, 2021, midnight PDT. Electronic submissions preferred, see guidelines below.

Fall 2021 Poetry Contest Guidelines

1. Poems must be your original work, unpublished in print (including self-published books) or online, and cannot have been a prior cash winner in any contest. Appearance on personal websites, blogs, Facebook pages, or critique groups does not constitute publication.

2. You may enter one poem in each category without duplication.

3. Simultaneous submissions are encouraged, but entry fees are non-refundable. If your poem is accepted elsewhere, notify OPA immediately via Submittable, or contact contest chair at WHO WE ARE > Contact OPA > Adult Contest Chair or by mail (address below) to withdraw your poem.

4. Format poems in 10- to 12-point font size, Times New Roman or another standard typeface, formatted as .doc or .docx (no PDF).

5. Online submissions at https://opa.submittable.com/submit are preferred. (You can also find this link on the membership page.) The submission title is optional. In the comments field, please include your bio (third person, 75 words or less). In the upper-right corner of every page in your submission, indicate category and your poem’s line count. (Title and spaces between stanzas do not count as lines.) Your name or contact information should not appear on the poems. If entering in multiple categories, all poems must be submitted in a single document. Please use .doc or .docx format (not a PDF file) and put your last name at the start of the file name (e.g., “Smith-ContestEntry.docx”).

6. If unable to submit online, please submit two copies of each poem, one with your name and contact information and one without. On both copies, indicate category and your poem’s line count in the upper-right corner. Mail your entries by March 15, 2021 (postmark deadline) to:

OPA, Contest Entries
P.O. Box 14582
Portland, OR 97293

Entries will not be returned. Mailed entries must include a cover sheet with the poet’s name, bio (third person, 75 words or less), contact information, a list of poem titles, and a check to cover your entry fee payable to Oregon Poetry Association. An email address is required for all entries. No registered or certified mail, please.

7. If you join OPA at the time you enter, you are eligible for the Member rate, and for the Members Only category. (Please use the Become a Member option in Submittable prior to making your contest submission or mail your dues to OPA, P.O. Box 14582, Portland, OR 97293). Include a note in your contest entry stating that you have recently joined OPA.

8. Poems may not be edited and re-submitted; your submission is final.

9. Members Only category: OPA sends out notifications in February, notifying you whether your membership is current or needs to be renewed. Watch for emails or postcards. For questions regarding membership, contact Membership Chair at WHO WE ARE > Contact OPA > Membership Chair.

10. Members may submit up to seven poems, limited to one poem per category. OPA members pay a flat rate entry fee of $8 for up to seven poems. Non-members pay a flat rate of $15 for up to six poems.

11. Winners will be notified in April 2021. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place poems will be posted on the OPA website and published in Verseweavers, OPA’s annual anthology. All rights revert to author after publication. OPA reserves the right to use prizewinning poems on the OPA website, on membership forms, etc.

12. Submissions not conforming to these rules will be disqualified.

1 thought on “OPA Spring 2021 Poetry Contest”

  1. Dear Editor,

    I am writing to inform you that I would love to make a poetry submissions to your International Poetry contest but due to some financial constraints on my part I wouldn’t be able to pay for reading fee. I humbly ask for a waiver.

    With Love,
    Ojo Taiye

    Ojo Taiye is a young Nigerian who uses poetry as a handy tool to write his frustration with society.

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