Annual Contest Rules
(Read carefully. Any violation will disqualify entry.)
1. Any poem submitted must:
publication in the NFSPS anthology of prize poems, and lower
prizes and honorable mentions will move up in classification.)
b. Be written in English, be titled, unless the poem is a form that is
supposed to be untitled (e.g. haiku, lune, etc.).
c. Have a 40 line limit for all contests not stating line limit. Line
count includes every line, both printed and blank. A one line title
and its following space is not counted in the line limit. Specific
forms (e.g. rondeau, sonnet, villanelle, etc.) should follow required
format spacing and line limits.
d. Be typed, photocopied or computer generated (not handwritten
or hand printed) and without illustrations.
2. Poets give NFSPS exclusive first printing rights to all poems entered
in the NFSPS annual contests. Poems winning a cash prize of $15
or more will be printed in the NFSPS prize poems anthology, Encore,
at the discretion of the Editor. The Editor reserves the right to alter
line breaks in poems having more than 50 characters per line, including
punctuation marks and spaces. Printing rights revert to the poet after
the anthology is published (approx. August of 2023). All prize winners
will be notified, and others may obtain a list of winners in August 2023
by sending $1 and a #10 SASE to:
Julie Cummings Strophes Editor
9428 Fallen Rock Road, Conifer, CO 80433-4007
Submitted poems will not be returned, poets should retain copies.
3. An eligible poem may not be withdrawn after submission.
4. Except as indicated in Contest 1 – NFSPS Founders Award,
contestants may submit only one entry in any contest, and may not
submit the same poem in any other contest.
5. Enclosed check or money order must be made payable to NFSPS, Inc.
(initials are sufficient) rather than to any individual.
a. Non-members may enter most contests at $1 each (except $10 for
each entry in Contest 1 – NFSPS Founders Award). Non-members
may not enter contests marked with an asterisk (*) and which are
designated members only.
b. Members may enter up to 10 contests for $1 per poem or $10 total
for entry in more than 10 contests (except for Contest 1 – NFSPS
Founders Award which is $5 per poem).
c. Entrants from outside the U.S. must send checks drawn on U.S.
banks or branches, payable in U.S. Funds, or send U.S. Currency.
6. First Prize winner in Contest 1 – NFSPS Founders Award is not
eligible to enter that contest the following year (NFSPS Founders
7. Judges will be selected by NFSPS, Inc. No ties will be awarded,
and the decisions of the judges will be final.
8. When to submit:
a. Start date: entries must not be postmarked before January 1, 2023.
b. Deadline: entries must be postmarked by March 15, 2023.
9. Individuals are “Members Only” eligible if a paid-up member of an
NFSPS state society and listed in that society’s membership roll. State
societies must remit their annual dues by January 15, 2023, and update
their membership information as required by March 15, 2023. Dues
and membership list must be sent to:
Linda Harris, NFSPS Treasurer
49512 SE Weber Road, Sandy, OR 97055-7425
Update info may be sent via e-mail: Treasurer@NFSPS.com
10. How to submit poems via USPS:
a. Send two copies of the poem on 8.5” X 11” white paper (no onion
skin or tissue), in black ink, single-spaced. If the poem requires
more than one page, staple together at the top left corner all pages
of each copy.
b. On both copies, place number and name of contest in upper
c. On second copy only, put name, address, phone number, and
e-mail address of the poet, state poetry society membership or
“Non-member of NFSPS” in upper right corner. If a poem
requires more than one page, number pages also on upper right
corner (both copies).
d. Separate originals from duplicates and stack in numerical order
(1 – 50) with originals on top. Count them.
e. Include an 8.5 X 11 cover sheet with poet's name, address, phone
number, e-mail address (if available), and state society membership
(or “Non-member of NFSPS”). List on the cover sheet the
category number(s) and the poem title(s) of each contest you are
entering. List the total number of poems sent. Do NOT staple
the cover sheet to entries or to entry fee.
f. Mail all entries at one time, unfolded, in a large envelope, including
the cover sheet and entry fee. Mail to the Contest Chair by First
Class, Priority Mail, or any form of delivery that does NOT require
a signature upon receipt.
Mail contest entries to:
2023 Contest Chair
5858 Pintail Way, Frederick, CO. 80504-9668
NFSPS, Inc. will not assume mailing costs and will not be
responsible for any entries lost or delayed in the mail.
11. You may also enter via Submittable.com. Please read and follow
the rules on Submittable as they are slightly different. Through
Submittable there are two separate entry fee transactions: one for
Category #1 and one for Categories #2 through #50. If entering
Category #1 plus any other Category, there will be two payment
forms, pay attention to your payment details. Failure to remit entry
fees timely (by March 15, 2023) will result in a disqualified submission.
NOTE: Amazon does not permit the publication of material that contains vulgar language because it is not suitable to minors. The printed edition
of Encore will include the poetry of school-aged individuals and published via Amazon. Entries which violate this standard will be disqualified.
NFSPS, Inc. is a non-profit organization, exclusively educational and literary. Its purpose is to recognize the importance of poetry with respect
to national cultural heritage. It is dedicated solely to the furtherance of poetry on the national level and serves to unite poets in the bonds of fellowship and understanding.