Nightboat Books, a nonprofit organization, seeks to develop audiences for writers whose work resists convention and transcends boundaries, by publishing books rich with poignancy, intelligence and risk.

ELIGIBILITY: Any poet writing in English, including international Anglophone writers. Previous book publication is not a consideration for eligibility. Poems published in print or on-line periodicals, anthologies, or chapbooks may be included, but the manuscript itself must be unpublished. Original work only; translations are not eligible for the prize.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST: Family members and former students of Nightboat editors may not submit to the contest. Students do not include interactions at short-term residencies or fellowships. Former employees of Nightboat Books, including interns, may not submit to the contest.

FORMAT: Minimum of 48 pages, paginated, no more than one poem per page. Please include a title page (we do not read submissions blind, so it's fine to include your name), a table of contents, and an acknowledgments page if applicable. You're welcome to include images in your manuscript, but please note that we are not able to print in full-color.

SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSIONS: Simultaneous submissions are acceptable. Please notify Nightboat Books immediately if your manuscript is accepted elsewhere.

MULTIPLE SUBMISSIONS: Submission of more than one manuscript is acceptable. Each manuscript must be submitted separately, each with a separate entry fee.

INTERNATIONAL SUBMISSIONS: We accept International Submissions.

REVISIONS: The winner will have the opportunity to revise the manuscript before publication. No revisions will be considered during the reading period.

ENTRY FEE: A $28 entry fee. In the event that the judges do not select a manuscript for publication, reading fees will be returned to all entrants.

DEADLINE: November 15, 2023 at 11:59pm EST.

Winner(s) will be announced by April 2024. Winning collection(s) to be published Fall 2025-Spring 2026.

(We're no longer accepting hardcopy submissions to the Nightboat Poetry Prize.)

MORE INFO: Email questions/comments to info AT, but please do not send your manuscript to this email address.

Thanks and Good Luck! We look very forward to reading your work.




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.

Nightboat Books