SFPA-Sponsored Poetry Contests
SFPA Poetry Contest
Our contest is intended to raise funds for SFPA, as well as to draw more attention to speculative poetry and reward writers of good speculative poems. An eligibility survey was taken following the 2015 contest.

contest qrThe 2021 SFPA Speculative Poetry Contest opens for entries on June 1. Deadline August 31.
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Contest Rules: The SFPA speculative poetry contest is open to all poets, including non-SFPA-members. Prizes will be awarded for best unpublished poem in 3 categories: Dwarf (poems 1–10 lines [prose poems 0–100 words]); Short (11–49 lines [prose poems 101–499 words]); Long (50 lines and more [prose 500 words and up]). Line count does not include title or stanza breaks. All sub-genres of speculative poetry allowed in any form. Entries are read blind; friends/family/students of the judge may not enter. 2021 winners are posted here.

Prizes: In each category (Dwarf, Short, Long): $150 First Prize, $75 Second Prize, $25 Third Prize. Publication on the SFPA website for first through third places.

2021 Judge: Sheree Renée Thomas
Sheree Renée Thomas is an award-winning fiction writer, poet, and editor. Her work is inspired by myth and folklore, natural science and Mississippi Delta conjure. Nine Bar Blues: Stories from an Ancient Future (Third Man Books) is her first all-prose collection. She is also the author of two multigenre/hybrid collections, Sleeping Under the Tree of LIfe and Shotgun Lullabies (Aqueduct Press) and edited the World Fantasy-winning groundbreaking black speculative fiction Dark Matter anthologies (Hachette/Grand Central). She is the associate editor of the historic Black arts literary journal, Obsidian: Literature & the Arts in the African Diaspora, founded in 1975, and editor of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, founded in 1949. Thomas' work is widely anthologized, appearing in numerous publications including The Big Book of Modern Fantasy (1945–2010), Marvel's Black Panther: Tales of Wakanda, Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology, The Moment of Change: An Anthology of Feminist Speculative Poetry, Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam, The Ringing Ear, Mythic Delirium, and the New York Times. She lives in her hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, near a mighty river and a pyramid. Visit shereereneethomas.com

2021 Contest Chair: Josh Brown
Josh Brown photoJosh Brown is a writer of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. A graduate of the University of Minnesota–Duluth with a degree in English Literature, he has spent the past fifteen years in the publishing industry working for and with award-winning publishers and best-selling authors. An active member of SFPA, his work can be found in numerous anthologies as well as in Star*Line, Scifaikuest, Mithila Review, Fantasy Scroll Magazine, and more. His essay, “Poems and Songs of The Hobbit” was recently featured in Critical Insights: The Hobbit (Salem Press, 2016). He served as editor for issue 20 of Eye to the Telescope, the official online journal of the SFPA. He currently lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two sons.

Submission guidelines:

  • The 2021 contest will open June 1
  • Deadline is August 31
  • Online entry form: http://bit.ly/SFPAContest2021
  • Entries will be read blind. Please do not include any identifying information on the file or filename; enter your name only in the form. The name of the file should be the name of the poem. .rtf preferred. Either submit poems individually via form, or send all in one file, separated by ***, with “SFPA Contest” in the subject line, to 21contest@sfpoetry.com & pay treasurer via PayPal at sfpatreasurer@gmail.com.
  • Unpublished poems only. Author retains rights, except that first through third place winners will be published on our website.
  • Enter as many poems as you like, but an entry fee of $3 per poem must be paid via PayPal at entry (credit card can be used without a PayPal account). Simultaneous submissions are permitted, but must be immediately withdrawn if accepted elsewhere.
  • No PayPal, or problems with form? Send poems via e-mail to 21contest@sfpoetry.com
    Put “SFPA contest” in subject line, .rtf preferred, and send a check payable to SFPA to

    PO Box 1563
    Alameda CA 94501

Confirmation of receipt of your submission should follow within 3 days.
Announcement of winners will be posted on the SFPA website.

Previous SFPA Contests

2020 winning poems

2019 winning poems

2018 winning poems

2017 winning poems

2016 winning poems

2015 winning poems

2014 winning poems

2013 winning poems

2012 winning poems

2010 New Poets Contest: Ekphrasis

2008 Poetry Contest: Energy

2007 Poetry Contest: Sonnets

2006 Poetry Contest

SFPA has published anthologies of past selected contest poems.

2008 SFPA Energy contest anthology

2007 SFPA sonnet contest anthology

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