Houston Poetry Fest

There are presently no open calls for submissions.


Submissions Guidelines

Houston Poetry Fest main events will be held at the Welcome Center of the University of Houston – Downtown, scheduled for October 11, 12 and 13, 2019.

Deadline: May 31, 2019

Submit up to three original poems that total no more than five 8½ x 11 pages, single column, in Times New Roman, 11 point font. Each poem must begin at the top of a new page.

  • Poems submitted should be combined into a single Word file (doc or docx). 
  • Please include in your submission an English translation of any poem in a language other than English. If selected for the Anthology, both the original language, and the English translation, would be included.
  • All poems submitted must be your original work. No translations of poems in another language, except for translations of your own original work. 
  • One of the poems that you submit may have been previously published, but only if the rights have reverted to you, and if you tell us (in your cover letter) where it was previously published.
  • Simultaneous submissions are permitted, so long as you identify those poems (in your cover letter). If any of those poems is accepted elsewhere, immediately notify us by adding a Submittable note to your submission.
  • Do not submit poems that are pending publication elsewhere.
  • Each poem must have a title. If a poem does not have a title, use its first line as the title.
  • The pages in the anthology will have a maximum line width of 3.83 inches. Format your poem so that your lines, including indented lines, will fit within that width. For your convenience, a form with the correct margins is on our website (here).
  • Judging will be anonymous. Do not put your name, or any identifying information, in the title of your submission, as the title of your file, or on any of the poem pages. Remove all personal or hidden data in the file.

In the space for personal information, which is separate, supply your 

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone numbers
  • Email address
  • A list of the titles of your poems
  • Publication info on any poem that has been previously published
  • A bio of no more than 100 words, written in the third person
  • An indication whether you are a woman and/or a K-12 classroom teacher, in order to be considered for the Lorene Pouncey and/or Lucille Johnson Clark Memorial awards (see below).

There is an $18 submission fee (paid via Submittable).


Poets selected to read as Juried Poets at Houston Poetry Fest will be considered for two awards, donated by friends of poetry (one for women, and one for K-12 classroom teachers): 

  • THE LORENE POUNCEY MEMORIAL AWARD All women selected as Juried Poets will automatically be considered for a $250 cash prize established by Sandi Glorfield in honor of the late Lorene Pouncey, one of the founders of Houston Poetry Fest, who passed away December 4, 2011.
  • THE LUCILLE JOHNSON CLARK MEMORIAL AWARD All Juried Poets who are K-12 classroom teachers are eligible for the Lucille Johnson Clark Memorial Award. A $100 cash prize is provided to the winner. The award was established by Robert Clark in honor of his late mother, who was a classroom teacher.

The Juried Poet Selection Process

The judges see only the poems in each poet's submission, without the name, or any identifying information about the poet. They score each set of poems as a whole. The highest-scoring poets will be selected as Houston Poetry Fest 2019 Juried Poets. Approximately 20 to 25 poets will be selected as Juried Poets.

Each Juried Poet will have

  • One of the submitted poems included in the Houston Poetry Fest 2019 Anthology,
  • One complimentary copy of the Anthology, and
  • Their name listed on the Houston Poetry Fest website, www.HoustonPoetryFest.info

Juried Poets who indicate that they are able to attend Houston Poetry Fest 2019 will also have

  • Five minutes each onstage, to read their own original poetry, and to make any incidental remarks, and
  • Their names listed in the official printed program. 

Additional copies of the Anthology may be purchased at the event for $15 each. Copies may also be purchased by mail for $17 each ($15, plus $2 shipping and handling), by writing Houston Poetry Fest Anthology Sales, P. O. Box 22595, Houston, TX 77227-2595.

Houston Poetry Fest, an annual celebration of the art of poetry and those who create it, is sponsored by Houston Poetry Fest, a 501c(3) non-profit arts organization, 100% staffed by unpaid volunteers, and is co-sponsored by the Department of English and the Cultural Enrichment Center of the University of Houston – Downtown. The entire event is free and open to the public. 

Houston Poetry Fest