Winners Have Been Announced Here.

“Poetry … is a more philosophical and a higher thing than history: for poetry tends to express the universal, history the particular.”

—Aristotle (384-322 BC), Poetics

First Prize:

$1,000. Publication on the Society’s website and Journal.

Submission Fee:

$10 (The fee comes with a free subscription to our monthly e-Newsletter.)


One to three poems on any topic. All together, the poems should total 108 lines or less. First click here to pay the submission fee, then email as a Word file or in the email body to Put “Poetry Contest Submission” in the subject line of the email. Poems must contain meter (beginners and students may simply count syllables). Rhyme and other traditional techniques are encouraged as well, but not required. (To learn how to write poetry with meter, see a brief beginner’s guide on common iambic meter here or a more elaborate beginner’s guide to many kinds of meter here.) You may alternatively mail a check made out to the Society of Classical Poets to Evan Mantyk, Society of Classical Poets, 11 Heather Ln. Mount Hope, NY 10940.


December 31, 2020, 11:59 p.m. EST. Winners announced February 1, 2021 on our e-Newsletter and on the Society’s homepage.

High School Prize:

$100. See details here.

Translation Prize:

$100. See details here.


Joseph S. Salemi, acclaimed New Formalist poet, essayist for Expansive Poetry Online, professor, New York University, Hunter College
James Sale, poetry critic, award-winning British poet, Arts columnist, The Epoch Times
Evan Mantyk, editor of The Society of Classical Poets Journal and website

Who May Participate?

Anyone from any country of any background. If you are outside the United States, you would need to have a PayPal account to receive the prize money should you win First Place.

Additional Details

The poem should be written in 2020. They may be previously published. Simultaneous submissions are accepted.

Past First Place winners and the Society’s executive staff are prohibited from participating.

You do not have to be a Member of the Society to participate.

You will retain ownership of your submitted poetry. By submitting it to the Society for publication or for inclusion in the contest, should it rank among winners or receive an honorable mention, you give the Society permission to publish it online on this website, in the Society of Classical Poets Journal, and in publications promoting the SCP’s mission or this annual contest, but the SCP would not be able to sell your individual poem on its own or have any further rights over it beyond these purposes. You could publish it anywhere else or sell it to any publication as desired.

Past Winners


Poetry Writing Resources


Poetry Forms

Great Poetry

Ten Greatest Poems
Ten Greatest Love Poems
Ten Greatest Poems about Death

CODEC Stories:

11 Responses

      • william waldorf

        I get an error message that the email is not valid. Please respond

    • Debashis Roy

      Ode to Solitude

      Debashis Roy

      The incessant procession of smiling faces
      Of hundreds and thousands of people
      I do not see anymore
      Since I migrated to a new country.

      As I am growing old
      I feel more alienated,
      Going far away from the madding crowd –
      The halcyon clime of homeland,
      The pangs of separation!
      Could be felt deep down in my heart.

      Sad boyhood memory of mother’s pyre
      Gnaws my inner being sometimes
      Death knell knocks me at the door,
      Don’t know what spreads this gloom
      I can’t grope into the darkness
      So helplessly anymore.

      Almighty give me strength
      That I need to stand up firmly
      And smile away sorrows
      With a vow to embrace rhe world
      With undistilled love.


      Bibliography of Debashis Roy:
      Debashis is a writer from Canberra, the “Bush Capital” of Australia. He mainly writes in Bengali & sometimes writes in English. When not busy with work at IP Australia (Intellectual Property Australia), he writes modern poetry at his leisure.


      • Debashis Roy

        Please change it to embrace the world

  1. Qiu Ping Lim

    Hello! I tried to pay for the 2021 competition via PayPal but encountered this note at the PayPal site:

    “Sorry, we can’t complete your purchase at this time
    To comply with international regulations, this transaction has been declined.”

    There is no other option for me to pay. Though there is a claim that I may pay via my card without a PayPal account, there is no button to click. May I know how else I may make my payment and participate in the competition despite time running out?


    • Talbot

      Sushama, I believe the competition is open to anyone writing in English, but, I believe the deadline has passed. From above:

      “Deadline: December 31, 2020, 11:59 p.m. EST. Winners announced February 1, 2021 on our e-Newsletter and on the Society’s homepage.”

      However, you can always submit poems normally!


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