BlackBerry Peach Prize for Poetry: Spoken & Heard Contest

To reach beyond the written page and to encourage the performance of poetry, the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (NFSPS) initiated the annual BlackBerry Peach Prize for Poetry: Spoken & Heard contest. The contest began in 2018 and continues to be a successful, annual contest.



Winners receive a cash prize, publication in a chapbook, and a video of their poems uploaded to YouTube. Winners are also invited to attend the NFSPS Annual Convention to share their winning poem.

  • Cash prizes. First place: $1,000, Second place: $500, Third place: $250.
  • Publication by NFSPS of a perfect-bound 6"x9" book containing, at the editor's discretion, the four poems from each of the prize winners, to be marketed through
  • Videos of the winning performances will be posted on YouTube. The NFSPS website will post links to the YouTube presentations and to for chapbook purchase.
  • 25 free copies of the chapbook for each winner to sell at the 2024 NFSPS Convention or to keep for personal use.
  • Invitation to perform winning work during the 2024 NFSPS Annual Convention. Contestants may opt to film their performance at the Convention or submit their own video for showing at the Convention and posting on YouTube.
  • First Place also receives:
    • $300 travel stipend, if attending the Convention.
    • Complimentary registration for the entire convention.
    • Complimentary dinner on the day of performance. (Winners are responsible for the balance of their convention costs, e.g., meals and lodging, and for any guests they bring.)
    • Complimentary one-year membership in an NFSPS-affiliated state poetry society of the winner's choosing and in NFSPS. 
  • Book release at the NFSPS annual convention. When a winner is present at the convention, he/she may sell books directly and/or in the convention book room and will receive all proceeds from those sales. 
  • Up to seven Honorable Mentions will have their poems published in the book.

Past Winners

Watch previous winners’ poems on our YouTube by searching “BlackBerry Peach Prizes for Poetry.”

Full list of past winners to come.

How to Submit

Poets submit up to four spoken word poems as audio files along with the written version as a document. The submissions are judged with equal weights given to the performance of the poems in the audio file as well as the quality of the poems on the pages.


View and download printable guidelines here