The Knoxville Writers Guild is accepting submissions during February for its annual poetry contest. There are two categories: Adult (19 and  older), and Young Adult (14-18).
Submissions must be received electronically by 11:59 PM on February 29, 2024.
Please direct questions regarding the contest to and choose Contest Questions.

General Contest Guidelines

Please read the guidelines below carefully.

Who can submit?
Anyone age 19 and over for the Adult category and 14-18 for the Young Adult category.
KWG Board members and Contest Committee members are ineligible to submit. A first-prize winner may not enter for the following one-year period. Previous winners who have won five or more times in a single category are not eligible to enter that category but will be considered Writer Emeritus and may be invited to serve as a judge.

Is there a limit on submissions?
No. For members, the first submission is free, and each submission thereafter is $15. For nonmembers, each submission is $15.

What is a submission?
Each submission must be up to 100 lines and may be either one or two poems. If two poems are entered as one submission, they will be judged as a collection.
There are no restrictions in poetry style, content or spacing.

How do I submit my entry?

This contest is closed! Thank you for your submissions!
All submissions must be posted by11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time on
February 29, 2024 through the online submission process. Entries received via email or
through the postal service will not be processed.

1. The title of your attachment should match the title of your submission.

2. Each submission must be entered separately as an individual submission with the applicable fee.

3. Each submission is a single document (either a single poem or a collection of two poems).

4. You will receive an automated email confirmation that the committee has received your entry. Please send a follow-up inquiry if you do not receive an email confirmation for receipt of your submission.

5. Specifications: Black text, white background, 12-point Times New Roman or Courier.

6. Do not include your name, pen name, or any other identifying information on the entries themselves. If you do, your entry will be rejected, and you will forfeit your entry fee.

7. Unpublished works only, please. Submission of previously published works will result in
disqualification from the contest and forfeiting your entry fee.

What are the entry fees?
1. For members, the first submission is free, but thereafter the fee is $15 per submission.
2. For nonmembers, $15 per submission. If you’d like to become a KWG member, you may join at for only $30/year ($15 for students).
3. Submit your electronic payment via the online submission process.

1. First Place Prize, $300. Second Place Prize, $100. Prizes are awarded in each category. However, prizes may not be awarded if an insufficient number of eligible entries are received.
2. Winners will be notified by phone and/or email.
3. The First Place winners will be invited to read the winning submission at the April 11, 2024 Meeting of the Knoxville Writers Guild, when the winners are announced. Prize checks will be mailed to the address connected to your submission unless otherwise notified.
4. The Knoxville Writers Guild will publish the winning poems on its website for two months unless the prize winner requests otherwise.

Judge— Anna Laura Reeve
Our thanks to Anna Laura Reeve, the author of Reaching the Shore of the Sea of Fertility (Belle Point Press, 2023) and winner of the 2022 Adrienne Rich Award for Poetry. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Beloit Poetry Journal, Salamander,, and others. She was a finalist in the 2023 Greg Grummer Poetry Contest and the 2022 Ron Rash Award.

This contest is supported in part by the Arts & Culture Alliance, the City of Knoxville, and the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Equal Opportunity: The Knoxville Writers Guild does not discriminate against any person because of race, age, gender, handicap or country of national origin.