Colorado State University Center for Literary Publishing

Submission Guidelines – Mail

If you prefer dealing with a physical manuscript, please follow these guidelines

Manuscripts will be accepted between October 1, 2020, and the postmark deadline of January 14, 2021 (note that we observe a five-day grace period for both paper and online submissions).

The winner will be announced by May 2021.

The winning book-length collection of poems will be published by the Center for Literary Publishing and distributed by the University Press of Colorado in the fall of 2021. The author receives a $2,000 honorarium.

There is a $25 entry fee, which includes a one-year subscription to Colorado Review. Make checks payable to Colorado Review.

Poets with US addresses may opt for either a print or digital subscription; please indicate which you’d prefer, otherwise we’ll send a print version. Poets living outside the US will receive digital subscriptions (as long as a valid e-mail address is provided).

The final judge is Sherwin Bitsui.

Friends and students (current & former) of the final judge are not eligible to compete, nor are Colorado State University employees, students, and alumni.

Manuscripts should be at least 48 pages but no more than 100 pages.

Manuscripts may consist of poems that have been published, but the manuscript as a whole must be unpublished.

Please do not include acknowledgments/publication credits; the judges do not see these.

Include two title pages: top page with manuscript title and your name, address, e-mail address, and phone number; second page with manuscript title only. Your name should NOT appear anywhere else in the manuscript.

Manuscripts may be double- or single-spaced. You may print front and back if you wish.

Manuscripts will NOT be returned. Please do not enclose extra postage for the return of your manuscript.

You may enter more than one manuscript. Each manuscript requires the $25 entry fee. You may send multiple manuscripts in one package with one combined check, or you may send each entry separately—whichever method is more convenient for you. If you’d like the additional subscriptions sent to someone other than yourself, include that information. Otherwise, your subscription will be extended by one year for each additional entry.

The theme and style are both open.

Translations are not eligible for the Colorado Prize for Poetry.

Authors do NOT need to be residents of Colorado or the United States. If you are, however, a foreign national working in the United States, please check the conditions of your visa status with regard to receiving payment from entities other than your sponsor. Colorado State University cannot issue honoraria to foreign nationals with B1/WB, B2/WT, H-1B, or F-1 visas. A J-1 visa holder with a sponsor other than CSU must have written authorization from the Responsible Officer (RO) at their sponsoring institution prior to the activity.

Writers should enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope for contest results and a self-addressed stamped postcard for notification of the manuscript’s safe arrival.

Send your entry to:
Colorado Prize for Poetry
Center for Literary Publishing
9105 Campus Delivery
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523-9105

Questions? Please call us at (970) 491-5449 or send an e-mail to