Colorado International Prize for Poetry 2017

Publish Date: Nov 22, 2016

Deadline: Jan 14, 2017

About the prize

The Colorado Prize for Poetry is an international poetry book manuscript contest established in 1995. Each year’s prizewinner receives a $2,000 honorarium and publication of his or her book by the Center for Literary Publishing.

The Colorado Prize for Poetry adheres to the following Contest Code of Ethics, as adopted by the Council of Literary Presses and Magazines, of which the Center for Literary Publishing is a longtime member: “CLMP’s community of independent literary publishers believes that ethical contests serve our shared goal: to connect writers and readers by publishing exceptional writing. We believe that intent to act ethically, clarity of guidelines, and transparency of process form the foundation of an ethical contest. To that end, we agree to 1) conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical behavior on the part of our readers, judges, or editors; 2) to provide clear and specific contest guidelines — defining conflict of interest for all parties involved; and 3) to make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public. This Code recognizes that different contest models produce different results, but that each model can be run ethically. We have adopted this Code to reinforce our integrity and dedication as a publishing community and to ensure that our contests contribute to a vibrant literary heritage.”

Submission guidelines

Manuscripts will be accepted between October 1, 2016, and the postmark deadline of January 14, 2017. The winner will be announced by May 2017.

The winning book-length collection of poems will be published by the Center for Literary Publishing and distributed by the University Press of Colorado in the fall of 2017. The author receives a $2,000 honorarium.

There is a $28 online entry fee, which includes a one-year subscription to Colorado Review (the extra $3 goes to the good people at Submittable).

Poets with US addresses may opt for either a print or digital subscription. Poets living outside the US will receive digital subscriptions (as long as a valid e-mail address is provided). Please select the appropriate submission portal.

The final judge is Susan Howe.

Friends and students (current & former) of the final judge are not eligible to compete, nor are Colorado State University employees, students, and alumni.

Manuscripts must be at least 48 pages but no more than 100 pages.

Manuscripts may consist of poems that have been published, but the manuscript as a whole must be unpublished (this includes self-publishing).

In your cover letter, please tell us the manuscript title, your name, address, e-mail address, and phone number. You may supply a bio note here, if you wish, but it is not required. Your name should NOT appear anywhere else in the manuscript.

Please do not include acknowledgments/publication credits of individual poems.

Manuscripts may be double- or single-spaced.

You may enter more than one manuscript. Each manuscript requires the $28 entry fee. If you’d like the additional subscriptions sent to someone other than yourself , include that information in your cover letter. Otherwise, your subscription will be extended by one year for each additional entry.

The theme and style are both open.

Authors do NOT need to be residents of Colorado or the United States. (Note, however, that print subscriptions can be sent only to US addresses.)

Poets who submit online will receive contest results via e-mail by May 2017.

On or after October 1, 2016, please submit here: Submit to Colorado Prize for Poetry
Questions? Please call us at (970) 491-5449 or send an e-mail to

Contest procedures

When your manuscript arrives, it is logged into our Colorado Prize database by our office assistant. The top cover sheet (with your name and address) is removed and filed away until the contest is over. Identities of authors submitting their manuscripts online are not visible to any of the judges.

Once all the entries have been received and the authors’ identities removed, they are divided among three outside preliminary judges; the Center does not use interns or students to judge for this contest. Each judge receives approximately two hundred manuscripts from which to select up to ten finalists. If a judge recognizes the work of a colleague, student, or friend, he or she contacts the Center and that manuscript is sent to another judge.

The final judge then receives up to thirty finalists from which to select the winner. If the final judge wishes to see additional manuscripts from the preliminary judges, he or she may request them; the judge is not, however, permitted to request specific manuscripts. Friends, colleagues, and students (current or former) of the judge are not eligible to compete, and the judge agrees to refrain as well from selecting any manuscript that presents a conflict of interest (selecting, for example, a manuscript he or she has helped to develop).

For more information click "Further official informationion" below. 

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