NFSPS 2018 College Undergraduate Poetry Competition
December 2017—January 2018
MEUDT and KAHN AWARDS
Two winners will be chosen for the College
Undergraduate Poetry (CUP) Competition, one receiving the Edna Meudt
Memorial Award; the
other receiving the Florence Kahn Memorial Award. For each winner,
- $500 cash prize.
- Publication of the manuscript as a perfect-bound
6"x9" chapbook, marketed through Amazon.com.
- 75 free copies of the chapbook.
- Invitation to read from winning work at the 2018
NFSPS Convention in Denver, CO.
- $300 travel stipend, if attending the
- Complimentary registration for the entire
- Complimentary dinner on Friday evening when the
winners read. (Winners are responsible for the balance of their convention
costs, e.g., meals and lodging, and for any guests who accompany them.)
- 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.
While winners are present at the convention, they will be assisted in selling their
stock of books directly and/or in the convention book room and will receive all
proceeds from those sales.
Undergraduates working toward a degree in an
accredited U.S. college or university during the contest submission period are
eligible to enter the CUP Competition.
- Application and Manuscript. Complete the
application form and upload your manuscript file at www.nfsps.submittable.com.
The manuscript must be a single document that contains only your title page
followed by ten poems. Once you have uploaded the file, you cannot make edits.
Acceptable file formats include .doc and .docx (MS Word) and .pdf.
- Fees. There is no contest submission fee
and no charge to open an account at Submittable.com. You may keep your
Submittable account permanently.
- Submission Period. An electronic switch
will open the Submissions function in the first minute December 1, 2017, and
close it automatically at midnight Pacific Standard Time on January 31, 2018.
Make sure to note your local time relative to PST. Students in Hawaii and
Alaska are advised to submit no later than January 30. Indeed, we urge every
entrant to submit early so that our committee can advise if you encounter
problems; we likely cannot help if you wait until the last day of the contest.
- Alternative Submission Request. Approval
by the contest chair's prior to January 15, 2018, is required to enter the
competition by any other means than online submission as described above. She
will decide on a case-by-case basis whether to accept paper manuscripts. Unauthorized
paper manuscripts or e-mailed manuscripts will not be accepted. If the chair
approves an alternative submission, she will provide instructions on how to
proceed. Send your name, address, telephone number and email address
with your request to: Shirley Blackwell, CUP Chair, P.O. Box 1352, Los
Lunas, NM 87031. If she allows a paper submission, it must reach her by
noon, Jan. 31, 2018 (be advised: Los Lunas is rural and mail can be delayed).
MANUSCRIPT GUIDELINES: Not following ALL
guidelines disqualifies a submission.
- No Identification. There must be no
author identification on any page of the manuscript.
- Title Page and Ten Poems. The manuscript
will include only the title page and ten (10) original, unpublished poems. Note
that poems posted on a public website or public social media are considered
published. You will be required to confirm that your poetry is original and
- Titles. Except for haiku and related
Japanese forms, each poem must be titled.
- Poem Line Width. Line width limit is 60
characters, including punctuation marks and spaces between words.
- Erasure poems and others derived from prose.
Contestants may not use any material copyrighted by another author as the basis
for their poems. Please identify any source and verify that it is in the public
- Title Page. The first manuscript page
will include only the manuscript title, centered both vertically and
horizontally on the page and followed by a page break.
- Poem Arrangement. Manuscript page two
will be the first of your ten poems, with the others following in the order
they would appear in a chapbook. Insert a page break after the text for each
- Font and Spacing. Use a 12-point standard
font (e.g., Times New Roman) in black text. Colored text and script, fancy, or
unusual fonts will not be accepted. Single-space your poems and start lines at
the left margin, unless you are clearly using spacing as a poetic
- Pagination. Each page must include a
footer with the title of the manuscript in the lower left corner and the page
number in the lower right corner.
- Auxiliary Pages (dedication, acknowledgments, cover letter, bio, etc.) Do NOT
include auxiliary pages in your initial entry. If you win, you will be asked
for a brief biography and will have opportunity to include other elements
during the editing phase.
Standards. While we honor the First Amendment right of free speech, be
aware that any profanity used must be necessary to the literary integrity of
your poem. Our judge will view the gratuitous use of profanity as a crutch for
shoddy craftsmanship or as cliché that has lost its shock value. The NFSPS
will not give prizes for, nor publish work that perpetuates derogatory
stereotypes. Nor will it accept work that is obscene, prurient or sexually
graphic, hate-mongering, or abusive of any social, racial, ethnic,
religious, or gender group.
JUDGING and NOTIFICATION OF WINNERS
- Judging. Manuscripts will be screened for
compliance with contest rules. Up to 60 entries will be sent to a judge who will remain
anonymous until winners are announced. Manuscripts are judged blind (identified
only by machine-generated number) from those entries complying with all contest
guidelines. Decisions are final.
- Notification of Winners. By email on
Monday, March 12, entrants will be notified of who has won and/or placed in the
competition. Winners will be announced in the April issue of Strophes,
the NFSPS newsletter, available at www.nfsps.com.
- Contact Information. If there is any
change in your contact information before results are announced, please notify
Shirley Blackwell by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to provide a
mailing address that will be valid even after the spring semester ends.