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15 Contests and Awards for Poetry in India

In this post, we have curated a list of contests and awards for poetry in India.

With the world in lockdown for a major part of 2020, a lot of people explored the art of writing poems as a medium of expression. Poetry has the power to heal. It helps you stay sane and most importantly, it encourages you to bring out your innermost feelings in words.

While writing poems can be therapeutic, what better than winning contests and awards for poetry as well?

Breathe inexperience. Breathe out poetry!  – Muriel Ruykeser

You can also send your poems to literary magazines by checking our list of 36 literary magazines to submit your short stories and poems in India.


A few caveats before we share the list of contests and awards:

  • Please note, that this list of contests and awards for poetry is dynamic and will be updated regularly.
  • All the contests and awards for poetry have a deadline which has been mentioned clearly along with submission guidelines.
  • The list includes contests and awards for poetry that accept submissions from Indian residents. They may be based in India or elsewhere. We might make another list in the future which will include international contests and awards for poetry.
  • If there are any other contests and awards for poetry you think we have missed, let us know and we will add them to this list.

Disclaimer: Himalayan Writing Retreat has no affiliation with any of these contests and awards for poetry. We have solely collated this list as a reference for poets. In case of any queries, please write to the concerned organizers of these contests and awards for poetry on the email ids provided on their sites directly. Team HWR will be unable to respond to any queries regarding your submissions to any of these contests and awards for poetry.

Click on the image given above to check out our Poetry Workshop!

Contests and Awards for Poetry (As of 16th November 2020)

Half and One Spring Poetry Contest

Bombay Verse

This is a special anthology of poetry to celebrate JashneDastaaneMumbai of the Asiatic Society of Mumbai.

  • Submission Guidelines: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIQDoVMgXoQ/?igshid=na3d6up5583z
  • Submission Fees: NIL
  • Genres/Themes accepted: The poem has to be on Mumbai. It can be Haibun, Prose poetry, or any other form of poetry. Entries can be sent in Marathi, English, Hindi, Urdu, Konkani, Gujarati, and Tamil.
  • Prize: Winners will be published in an anthology
  • Literary Quotient: Excellent

The Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition

The Munster Literature Centre is a not-for-profit organization; all moneys raised from the competition benefits writers and writing.

  • Submission Guidelines: http://munsterlit.ie/Gregory%20ODonoghue%20International%20Poetry%20Competition.html
  • Submission Fees: €7 per poem or €30 for a batch of five.
  • Genres/Themes accepted: The poem can be on any subject, in any style, by a writer of any nationality, living anywhere in the world.
  • Closing Deadline: 30th November, 2020
  • Prize: 1st Prize— €2,000, Featured reading at the Cork International Poetry Festival (March 2021),  Publication in Southword. 2nd Prize— €500— Publication in Southword. 3rd Prize -— €250— Publication in Southword. Ten runners-up— €50— Publication in Southword
  • Literary Quotient: Excellent

8th Ó Bhéal Five Words International Poetry Competition

Ó Bhéal (pr. Oh Vale / O Veil, etc. Irish for ‘by word of mouth’, or ‘from the mouth’) creates an original platform for established & non-established poets and provides the public with consistent access to contemporary poetry.

  • Submission Guidelines: https://www.obheal.ie/blog/five-words-poetry-competition/
  • Submission Fees: 5 Euros
  • Genres/Themes accepted: The 2020/2021 (8th) competition runs for 41 weeks. Every Tuesday at midday (UTC) from 14th April 2020 – 26th January 2021, five words are posted on this competition page. Entrants will have one week to compose and submit one or more poems which include all five words given for that week.
  • Closing Deadline: 26th January 2021
  • Prize: A prize of 750 euros will be awarded to the winner, plus 500 euros for second place and 250 euros for third place. These three, if available will be invited to read at Ó Bhéal’s fourteenth anniversary event, on Monday the 12th of April 2021. An additional travel fee of 100 euro plus B&B accommodation will be provided for this. The overall winner also receives a physical award, hand-crafted by acclaimed glass artist (and poet) Michael Ray. The shortlisted poems and winning entry will also be published in Five Words Vol XIV – the next annual anthology of five word poems, to be launched at the same event. A shortlist of twelve poems including the overall winner will be announced by the first week of March 2021.
  • Literary Quotient: Excellent

Moth Poetry Prize 2020

The Moth Poetry Prize is one of the biggest prizes in the world for a single unpublished poem. The prize is open to anyone, as long as the poem is previously unpublished, and each year it attracts thousands of entries from new and established poets from over 50 countries worldwide.

  • Submission Guidelines: https://www.themothmagazine.com/a1-page.asp?ID=8466&page=23
  • Submission Fees: 15 Euros
  • Genres/Themes accepted: All
  • Closing Deadline: 31 December 2020
  • Prize: The shortlist will be announced in March 2021 and the four shortlisted poems will appear in the spring 2021 issue of The Moth.
    The overall winner of €6,000 will be announced at a special award ceremony at Poetry Ireland in Dublin in the spring of 2021.
  • Literary Quotient: Excellent

The Wattpad India Awards – 2020

Wattpad is an online publishing platform for writers across the globe.

Not a poet, but a short story writer? You might want to check our list of 30 contests and awards to submit your short stories in India.

“वन Voice” : The Poetry Writing Competition

Organised by Think India Tribal Rights Forum, you can participate in this through this form.

Penpenny 2.0 Competition

Penpenny is a network of writers and readers of inquisitive minds who think, write and share similar ideas and thoughts.

  • Submission Guidelines: Diwali Bonanza – Writing Contest (penpenny.com)
  • Submission Fees: NIL
  • Genres/Themes accepted: Entries can be on any subject in any style and form, they can be a post or story. We recommend entries from Topics listed on the site but not limited to anything.
  • Closing Deadline: 2nd December, 2020
  • Prize: 1st prize: INR 3000/-. 2nd prize: INR 2000/-. 3rd prize: INR 1000/-
  • Literary Quotient: Medium

Wingword Poetry Prize

This is sponsored by Delhi Poetry Slam.

  • Submission Guidelines
  • Submission Fees: Entry Fee is ₹ 1000 for one poem, ₹ 2000 for three poems, ₹ 3000 to submit five poems and ₹ 5000 to submit ten poems.
  • Genres/Themes accepted: Any topic and style of poetry is accepted. Poem should be no longer than 2000 words. Previously published poems are allowed.
  • Closing Deadline: January 17th 2021 at 11.59 PM IST.
  • Prize: Wingword Poetry Competition distributes a cumulative sum of ₹ 5,00,000 to winners. Adults: Persons who are 16 years old and above, and write in English. First prize is ₹ 1,00,000 and a book publication contract, second prize ₹ 50,000 and third prize ₹ 25,000. The top 20 prizes receive ₹ 10,000 each. 100 Commendable Mentions will also be published in Wingword’s annual anthology. Children & Teens: Persons who are between the age group of 7-15 years of age, and write in English. First prize is ₹ 25,000, second prize ₹ 15,000 and third prize ₹ 10,000. The top 20 prizes receive ₹ 5,000 each. In addition to receiving cash prizes, winners will be invited to attend Wingword’s prize giving event in August 2021 (subject to government travel restrictions). The winning and commended entries will also be published in the anthology.
  • Literary Quotient: Medium

The 2021 Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize

Beginning December 1, 2020, Marsh Hawk Press is accepting submissions of poetry manuscripts to the annual Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prizes.

  • Submission Guidelines: https://marshhawkpress.org/marsh-hawk-press-poetry-prize-awards/
  • Submission Fees: $25 for each submission.
  • Genres/Themes accepted: Translations and self-published books are not eligible.
  • Closing Deadline: 11:59 PM EST on April 30, 2021
  • Prize: The winner of the Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize receives $1,000.00, book publication and promotion. Winners of the Robert Creeley and Rochelle Ratner prizes, selected from finalists, receive $250.00 each.
  • Literary Quotient: Excellent

Culmination 500

Sunspot Lit is launching Culmination: $500 for a Prose, Poem, or Art Ending.

Deepankar Khiwani Memorial Prize 2021 by TQT

Contests and Awards for Poetry closed for 2020

Architectural Poetry Competition Series

  • Submission Guidelines: https://worldarchitecture.org/architecture-news/efeng/call-for-entries-architectural-poetry-competition-series-2nd-cycle.html
  • Submission Fees: Rs. 500
  • Themes/Genres accepted: Theme for the Series 1.0 in this cycle is Responsive Poems We respond to the world and weather. We respond to ourselves. We respond. We.
  • Closing Deadline: June 30th, 2020
  • Prize: Two winning entries, that is a citation and a special mention award shall be announced for all three categories – school-going, collegians, and Open. Besides this, all the entrants shall be sent E-Certificate attested by all the jurors and the winning entries shall be featured on several web architectural portals and will receive a goodie bag. Also, the best entries shall be complied in the form of a book with ISBN No. after the successful run of all the Series under this cycle.
  • Literary Quotient: Medium

The Wordweaver’s 2020 Contest

The Wordweaver’s is an online magazine for short stories and poetry.

  • Submission Guidelines: https://www.wordweavers.in/
  • Submission Fees: The Contest is FREE is free for residents of South Asian countries (including India, Pakistan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Burma, Bhutan and Myanmar) and the African continent. Residents of all other countries can participate upon paying the entry fee of $3 for one entry and $ 1 for every extra entries, for each category.
  • Themes/Genres accepted: Short stories and poems
  • Closing Deadline: June 30th, 2020
  • Prize: Getting Published in Anthology.
  • Literary Quotient: Medium

Toto Funds The Arts

Toto Funds the Arts (TFA) invites applications from persons between the ages of 18 and 29 for the 2021 TOTO Awards for Creative Writing in English in three genres: short plays, short stories and poetry.

Wait no more! Submit your work to these contests and awards for poetry and let your poetry heal the world.

Please note: If there are any other contests and awards for poetry you think we have missed upon, let us know and we will add them to this list.

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15 Responses

    1. Thanks for the suggestion, Shambhavi! We will definitely try to work on this and share a list of Hindi poetry contests too.

  1. Please inform me about Bengali poetry competition or submission for publication. Regards, Dipak Dikshit, Kolkata.

    1. Hi Dipak. We are unable to send individualized updates. If you sign up for our newsletter (email list) on our website, you will get all updates. Thanks.

  2. My name is Ritu yadav
    Or mera andar kuch Krna ka junun ha
    ma apni family ka sahare bnna chati hu
    Or kuch krka dikhana chahti hu
    Mujha hindi kavitao ka shauk hai
    isliye ma poetry competition ma participate
    Krna chati hu.
    Thank you

  3. My name is Ritu yadav
    Mera andr kuch kr dikhana ka junun hai
    ma apni family ka sahara bnna chati hu
    Or poetry Krna mujhe bhaut pasand ha
    is liya ma is poetry competition ma participate Krna chahti hu
    Thank you

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