Spring Short 2024

Our annual Spring Short competition is open for submissions from 1 April to 15 May 2024.  We are looking for prose poems of up to 150 words on any theme.  (Shorter poems are warmly welcome.) We will announce the winners by 30 June 2024.

Competition Details

Prizes:

  • First place: £50 plus publication
  • Second place: £25 plus publication
  • Third place: £15 plus publication
  • Honorable mention: £10 plus publication

Suggested Donations:

To make this competition easily accessible to all, we are experimenting with a pay-if-you-can format for this competition.  If you are able to afford submission fees, we ask that you donate toward the cost of running the competition.  Here are some recommended amounts:

  • 1 poem £2
  • 2 poems £3
  • 3 poems £4

If you cannot afford to donate at this time, we warmly welcome your submission.  You do not need to give a reason for not donating and your poetry will not be at any disadvantage if you use the free entry.

Submission Manager Link

Please enter via Duosuma, our submission manager:

https://duotrope.com/duosuma/submit/the-prose-poem-aH49j

 

Submission Call

  • For this competition, we are reading prose poems of up to 150 words on any subject.  We welcome micropoetry and other very short forms, as well as hybrid forms and ‘hermit crab’ poems that adopt the structure of other forms of writing (such as lists, forms, recipes, etc.).
  • We only publish prose poetry.  We appreciate that there is a lot of crossover between the prose poem and forms such as narrative poetry, free verse, microfiction, flash fiction, etc.  We are happy to read work that lives in (or perhaps a little past) the fuzzy boundaries of these various forms, but we are unlikely to publish anything that looks like formal poetry or poetry consciously formatted in lines and stanzas without some nod to sentences, paragraphs, and/or other indicators of a prose-like sensibility.
  • We publish all poems that receive a cash prize (first, second and third place, plus honourable mentions).
  • We consider all submitted pieces for general publication and automatically offer publication to all shortlisted pieces, but when you submit, you may opt not to publish with us if you do not win a cash prize.

Timeline

  • The competition is open for submissions from 1 April – 15 May 2024 (BST)
  • The longlist will be announced by 30 May 2024
  • The shortlist will be announced by 15 June 2024
  • Winners will be announced by 30 June 2024

We will be reading throughout the submission period, so you may receive a notification that you are on the shortlist or that your poem is no longer being considered before the submission window is over.  We will not announce prize winners and honourable mentions until after the competition closing date.

Submission Guidelines

  • You may submit as many times as you like, with a maximum of three poems per submission.
  • We prefer .doc, .docx, .odt, .rtf, and .txt documents. If your piece relies heavily on formatting, please send us a pdf.  (We will request another format if the poem is accepted for publication.)
  • We cannot publish poems with song lyrics unless they are in the public domain or you have secured the rights to use them.  Please send details in your cover letter if this is the case.  We do not have the resources to purchase rights.  (Song titles are fine.)
  • Please submit your work via our submission engine, Duosuma:
    https://duotrope.com/duosuma/submit/the-prose-poem-aH49j
  • You do not need a paid subscription to Duosuma/Duotrope to enter, but you will need to make a free account if you don’t have one already.
  • You can find an online guide to using Duosuma here, and their customer support webform can be found here.
  • If you unable to use Duosuma, you may make a payment via PayPal at https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/theprosepoem as an alternative.  Please contact us for instructions.
  • Please do not include your name or personal details in the title or text of your document.
  • We welcome simultaneous submissions but we only accept unpublished work.  Please withdraw your piece via Duosuma asap if it is picked up elsewhere.
  • We define previously published work as work that has appeared in other journals or on personal websites that are freely available.  You are welcome to submit work that has appeared in private, password-protected writers’ forums and crtitique groups.  If you have any questions, feel free to email us.
  • No refunds can be given for submission fees, donations or tips.

Formatting Note

  • We publish on our website which is designed to be readable on many sizes of screens and which may not support unusual formatting decisions.  For poems with intentional formatting, we do our best to present the poem as the author intended, but the poem might not render correctly on phones and narrow screens.  In these cases, we accompany the poem with a link to an image of the poem that readers can click to view the poem as intended.  We are happy to work with authors to come up with solutions to presentation challenges, within the limitations of our platform.  Please keep this in mind when submitting.

Terms of publication

  • All winning and highly commended pieces will be published on our website and will remain online for the lifetime of this project.
  • We request first publication rights and a period of exclusivity for six months after publication.  Copyright remains with the author at all times.  We are happy to waive the period of exclusivity if you are preparing a collection, having your work translated, or your story is selected for an award or prize anthology like Best of the Net.  Please get in touch if you have any questions.
  • Payment for prize-winning poetry can be made via PayPal or UK bank transfer.

Adjudicator

  • Shortform writer and editor Ingrid Jendrzejewski is temporarily serving as managing editor and will be adjudicating this competition.  She and the reading team will produce the longlist, then Ingrid will select the shortlist and winners.  You can read more about Ingrid here.