Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest
Welcome to the 21st annual Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest. Submit published or unpublished work. $9,000 in prizes.
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Please submit during April 15-September 30, 2023.
- TOM HOWARD PRIZE: $3,000 for a poem in any style or genre
- MARGARET REID PRIZE: $3,000 for a poem that rhymes or has a traditional style
- The top two winners will also receive two-year gift certificates from our co-sponsor, Duotrope (a $100 value)
- Honorable Mentions: 10 awards of $300 each (any style)
- Top 12 entries published online
- Enter via Submittable
Length limit: 250 lines maximum per poem. No restriction on age of author. Authors from all countries eligible except Syria, Iran, North Korea, Crimea, Russia, and Belarus (due to US government restrictions). Final judge: Michal 'MJ' Jones, assisted by Briana Grogan and Dare Williams.
First time entering? We prepared this brief video to guide you. See also our short entry checklist, then click the button below to submit. Read the winning entries from the 20th contest. The results of the 21st contest will be announced on April 15, 2024. Fee: $22 per submission (one submission may contain up to 3 poems). Enter as many submissions as you wish.
What to Submit
Poetry in any style or theme. Your entry should be your own original work. You may submit the same poem simultaneously to this contest and to others, and you may submit poems that have been published or won prizes elsewhere. (However, please do not submit work that has previously received recognition at Winning Writers.)
Poems written with the aid of a text-generating AI such as ChatGPT are not eligible.
For the purpose of the Margaret Reid Prize, a poem in a traditional style employs regular meter and/or rhyme, or is written in a recognized poetic form. This includes traditional Western forms such as ballads, sonnets, and blank verse, and Asian forms such as tanka and haiku.
For your reference, this Glossary of Poetic Terms describes many forms. You may also enjoy sites for traditional and exotic forms of poetry found on our resource pages.
Prizes and Publication
The $3,000 Tom Howard Prize will be awarded for a poem in any style or genre.
The $3,000 Margaret Reid Prize will be awarded for a poem that rhymes or has a traditional style.
Ten Honorable Mention awards of $300 each will also be made (any style).
All entries that win cash prizes will be published on the Winning Writers website and announced in the Winning Writers Newsletter (circulation 50,000+).
You do not have to specify which categories your poems should be considered for when you enter. Our judges will automatically consider your poems in the categories that best favor them.
Each poem should not exceed 250 lines in length. Exclude the title and blank lines from your count.
Most Countries Eligible; English Language
Due to US government restrictions, we regret we are unable to accept entries from authors in Syria, Iran, North Korea, Crimea, Russia, and Belarus. Authors from all other countries are eligible. The poems you submit should be in English. If you have written a poem in another language, you may translate your poem into English and submit the translation.
Entries are judged anonymously. Please omit your name and all identifying information from your entry. Do not include a cover letter. Please also omit any publishing credits from your entry. All the information we need is collected on our online entry form. Here is a brief video describing how we judge entries anonymously.
No Age Restriction
Poets of all ages may enter.
Your privacy is assured. We will not rent your information to third parties.
If your entry wins any cash prize, you agree to give Winning Writers a nonexclusive license to publish your work online. This includes possible publication in one or more ebooks, with attribution. From time to time, selected winning entries may also be published in printed collections. If you win a prize and we wish to publish your work in print, we will ask you for permission to include your entry in one of these books. You may accept or decline this invitation as you choose. Your entry will not be published in print without your consent, and you retain all other rights. You are free, for example, to publish your work in print or online elsewhere, and to enter it into other contests, whether or not you win a prize in this contest.
Generally, entry fees are not refundable. However, if you believe you have an exceptional circumstance, please contact us within one year of your entry.
Contest founder John Howard Reid (d. 2018) won first prizes and other awards in prestigious literary events. A journalist and magazine editor, he published several historical novels, a collection of poetry, a guide to winning literary contests, and over fifty books of film criticism and movie history. For several years, Mr. Reid was assisted by Dee C. Konrad, a former Associate Professor in the English faculty of Barat College of DePaul University and Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
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