This page contains information about submissions to the California Quarterly, Monthly Poetry Contests, Annual Poetry Contest 2021, and the Poetry Letter. Please scroll down to find the information you seek.
The flagship publication of the CSPS is the California Quarterly, which it has published continually since 1972. We accept poems literally from around the world. The California Quarterly is published four times a year and only accepts unpublished poetry. Foreign language poems need an English translation.
One page poems work best, and two-page is the maximum size. There are no theme or style restrictions, though some editors prefer to ask for poems on a theme of their choice. Submit 1 to 5 poems in a single .doc or docx file labeled with Poet Last Name, Poet First Name, Number of poems and Date submitted. Each poetry page in the file should start with a header containing the following poet information: Name (last name first), Mail Address, e-mail, Telephone, Date submitted. Poem Title should appear on each page of poem.
Notification is sent in 3-5 months. Payment is one copy of the CQ and all rights remain with the poet. Poems considered for a given issue are generally collected during the previous calendar quarter. Send only one set of at most five (5) poems per calendar quarter.
Please submit your poems online, using Submittable.com, and the following link:
If you do not have access to Submittable or experience serious computer troubles, you can submit hard-copy of your poems, by mailing a set of poems to our Post Office Box:
- Name, address, telephone number, and email address, on each page of your submission
- One-page poems are best, but an 80-line (two-page) maximum in any case
- Either email address or a SASE with sufficient US postage (whether domestic or foreign) for requested response(s) if you mail your submission and don't provide an email address in your contact information
- No biographies or résumés, as only the poems are judged
- The poems must be the original, unpublished work of the poet
- Foreign language poems must be accompanied by translations into English
- Simultaneous submissions are acceptable, but please notify us at once if your submission is accepted for publication elsewhere
- Poems are not returned, so keep copies if you submit through the Post Office Box!
- Spring 2018, 44:1 - Maja Trochimczyk
- Summer 2018, 44:2 - Pearl Karrer
- Autumn 2018, 44:3 - Terry Ehret
- Winter 2018, 44: 4 - Margaret Saine
- Spring 2019, 45:1 - Maura Harvey
- Summer 2019, 45:2 - Nancy Cavers Dougherty
- Autumn 2019, 45:3 - Maja Trochimczyk
- Winter 2019, 45: 4 - Pearl Karrer
- Spring 2020, 46:1 - Margaret Saine
- Summer 2020, 46:2 - Maura Harvey
- Autumn 2020, 46:3 - Terry Ehret
- Winter 2020, 46:4 - Maja Trochimczyk
- Spring 2021, 47:1 - Bory Thach
- Summer 2021, 47:2 - Maja Trochimczyk
CQ welcomes submissions of unpublished original art for its covers. Submit the art as a JPEG attachment with a resolution of 300 dots/inch or better to print an image 5” high x 3.75” wide, one image at a time. CSPS reserves the right to post selected artwork on its website. Submissions can be made via email to CaliforniaStatePoetrySociety@gmail.com. You can also submit the artwork to individual editors.
Order extra or sample copies of the CQ through the CQs page on the CSPS website (CaliforniaStatePoetrySociety.org) or send $10/copy to:
- Upload your poems and pay reading fees at:
At this time there are two ways to submit, by regular mail (enclosing check) or by email (using PayPal and email CaliforniaStatePoetrySociety@gmail.com) to make a payment - adding $1.00 for PayPal fees if submitting by email.
CSPS Monthly Contest – (Specify Month)
Post Office Box 4288, Sunland, California 91041
Alternatively, poets may submit their work by email to: CSPSMonthlyContests@gmail.com (Specify Month) and simultaneously pay their contest fees by PayPal to: CaliforniaStatePoetrySociety@gmail.com, adding $1 for PayPal fees.
All Monthly Contests are judged by Alice Pero, CSPS Monthly Contest Judge. The 1st place winner receives half of the prize pool for pools less than $100. For pools of $100 or more, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners receive $50, $10 and $5, respectively. If there are insufficient fees submitted, the minimum prize is $10. There are no exceptions to the prize disbursement rules. The monthly contest winners are announced as they are awarded and the winners are notified by mail. All of the winners for the year are listed in the first CSPS Newsbriefs of the following year. In addition, the first prize winners are published in the CSPS Poetry Letter (PDF, email, posted on website) and posted on this blog.
Please note: Do not send SAE’s. We do not return poems. If you win, we will let you know. Otherwise there are no notifications.
CSPS Monthly Contest Themes (Revised)
- January Nature, Seasons, Landscape
- February Love
- March Open, Free Subject
- April Mythology, Dreams, Other Universes
- May Personification, Characters, Portraits
- June The Supernatural
- July Childhood, Memoirs
- August Places, Poems of Location
- Sept Colors, Music, Dance
- October Humor, Satire
- November Family, Friendship, Relationships
- December Best of Your Best (Winning or published poems only. Indicate name of contest or publication and the issue/dates of publication/award.)