Guidelines for the TQ3 Poetry Contest

Tupelo Quarterly 3 Poetry Contest Guidelines

Deadline: February 19, 2014

Judge: Alicia Ostriker

First prize: $1,000


[Scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page or the link to enter and attach your file.]


Contest Guidelines

Please send us up to five poems of any style or sensibility, in .doc or .rtf format.

Multiple TQ editors will consider each entry and select 20 finalists. Please make sure your name is not on the poem itself. You can enter your name and a short bio in the Submittable cover form.

From the 20 finalists, contest judge Alicia Ostriker will select a winning poem and three Runners-Up. At no time will our judge have any identifying information about the authors.

Simultaneous submissions are welcome as long as you notify us immediately at contactTQ (at) tupelopress (dot) org if the poem is placed elsewhere. 

Submissions may not be changed after entry, so send it as you wish to see it published. We do not accept revisions of contest entries.

  • The author of the winning poem will receive $1,000 and publication in the third issue of Tupelo Quarterly.
  • The three Runners-Up will have their selected poems published in the third issue of Tupelo Quarterly.
  • All 20 finalists’ names and the titles of their nominated poems will be listed in the third issue of Tupelo Quarterly. All finalists will also be considered for publication.
  • All poems submitted to the contest will be considered for publication either in the third or later issues of Tupelo Quarterly.


Who May Submit

The Tupelo Quarterly Poetry Contest is open to anyone writing in the English language, whether living in the United States or abroad. Translations are not eligible for this contest. Poets submitting work for consideration may be published authors or writers without prior book or journal publications.

Employees of Tupelo Press are not eligible to submit to Tupelo Quarterly contests.

TQ welcomes open or solicited submissions from authors already published with Tupelo Press, but we ask that you refrain from submitting work to the TQ contests.

If there is any reason at all that your integrity or ours could be called into question should you win the contest, please do not submit.



All entries must be certified by Submittable by midnight Eastern Standard Time of February 19, 2014.



Results will be posted online in the third issue of Tupelo Quarterly, on April 15, 2014.

Submittable sends automated confirmations. Beyond these notifications, kindly refrain from requesting an individual response to confirm receipt of your entry and/or payment.

Contest results will be posted in each issue. We will change the Submittable status of entries we must regretfully decline after the results are published online.

Thank you for your understanding.


Contest Entry Fee

contest entry fee of $20 (U.S.) must accompany each submission. Multiple submissions are accepted, as long as each submission is accompanied by a separate $20 contest entry fee.

Why a fee? Tupelo is an independent, nonprofit literary press. Tupelo Quarterly’s contest fees will help defray, but not entirely cover, the cost of reviewing entries, the infrastructure supporting the journal, and help to enable Tupelo Press’s continued publishing of the beautiful books you love.


Submit Your Entry Now

We are an online journal, and as such, will only accept electronic submissions via Submittable. This saves paper, postage, time, and makes possible the work of editors and judges who live all over the world.

Please upload a brief bio (no more than 50 words) in the cover letter form on the Submittable entry page. Attach your contest entry as a single document in .doc or .rtf form. No PDFs, please.

Please title your submission with the genre preceding your name and/or the submission title. For example, for the contest:

POETRY  Your Name “This is the Title of My Poem”

Be sure that your document is complete and formatted correctly before uploading.

Click here to submit your entry. 

Thank you for your participation and your support of Tupelo Press.

We look forward to reading your work!