The Knoxville Writers’ Guild is accepting submissions during February for a poetry contest.
Submissions must be received electronically by 11:59 PM on February 28, 2023.
Please direct questions regarding the contest to and choose
Contest Questions.

General Contest Guidelines

Please read the guidelines carefully.

Who can submit?

Anyone above the age of 18 EXCEPT KWG Board members and Contest Committee
members. 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 a total of 100 lines or fewer but 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?

Member Submission (Free)
Member Submission (Paid)

All submissions must be posted by11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time on
February 28, 2023 through the online submission process. Entries received via email or
through the postal service will not be processed.

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

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

c. Each submission is a single document (either a single poem or a collection of two

d. 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.

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

f. 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.

g. Unpublished works only, please.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.

4. First Place Prize, $300. Second Place Prize, $100. Prizes may not be awarded if
an insufficient number of eligible entries are received.

5. Winners will be notified by phone and/or email.

6. The First Place winner will be invited to read the winning submission at the April 6,
2023 Meeting of the Knoxville Writers’ Guild, when the winners will be announced.
Prize checks will be mailed to the address connected to your submission unless otherwise

7. The Knoxville Writers’ Guild will publish the winning poems on its website for two
months unless the prize winner requests otherwise.

Judge—Dr. Erin Elizabeth Smith

We are honored to have Dr. Erin Elizabeth Smith as our judge. She is the Creative Director at the
Sundress Academy for the Arts and the Managing Editor of Sundress Publications and The
Wardrobe. She is the author of two full-length collections and the editor of two
anthologies, Political Punch: Contemporary Poems on the Politics of Identity and Not
Somewhere Else But Here: Contemporary Poems on Women and Place. Her poems have
appeared in numerous journals, including Mid-American, Crab Orchard Review, Cimarron
Review, and Willow Springs, among other. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the Center
for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi and teaches in the English Department at
the University of Tennessee, where she is also the Jack E. Reese Writer in the Library. In Spring
2022 the City of Oak Ridge named Erin Elizabeth Smith as its first honorary poet laureate for a
two-year period.

Thanks to our sponsor, the Jonathan Taylor Memorial Fund created by his colleagues at the
Education Networks of America.

Equal Opportunity: The Knoxville Writers Guild does not discriminate against any person
because of race, age, gender, handicap or country of national origin