Institute for Writers presents



Click Here to Enter

Find the good!  

Poetry has a way of helping us express ourselves when other forms of communication just don't cut it. Times may be tough, but good is still all around us. As the saying goes "every cloud has a silver lining."

We want to hear about your silver linings in the form of a poem.

Your poem can be any type of poem. Remember, not all poems rhyme, but if yours does, it better be top notch. (Check out this post on rhyme mistakes to avoid. It was originally written about picture books, but the principles apply here too.) Poems must be previously unpublished and no more than 500 words. 

Deadline: June 30, 2020

Why Enter?

 $1,300 Cash Prizes 

  • 1st prize = $1,000
  • 2nd prize = $200 
  • 3rd prize = $100 

Online Workshop 

All entrants are invited to a FREE instructional online workshop with our esteemed judge and the Director of Institute for Writers.

Free Critique

Winning entries will be workshopped in our live webinar by our judge to help writers understand what worked and what could be improved to make it submission-ready.

Here's what else you need to know...

  • Poems can be no longer than 500 words. (Entries can have a lot less than 500 words.)
  • Entries must be a poem. Please include the type of poem in the header with your name and word count. (Find types of poems here.)
  • Entries must be previously unpublished and not currently under contract with a publisher.
  • Target readers are adults.
  • Entries must follow manuscript submission guidelines as stated on our Contest Rules page HERE.
  • No sexually explicit, pornographic, or gratuitously violent entries will be accepted.
  • Entries must be submitted via our online form by midnight Pacific Time on June 30, 2020.
  • There is a $19 reading fee per manuscript to enter the contest.
  • You may enter more than one manuscript but each entry requires a $19 reading fee.
  • Every writer who enters will be invited to the online workshop (it's free!) where the winning entries are critiqued. (Non-entrants pay $7.)

Submissions will be judged on clarity, originality, potential in the market, how well your poem matches the style of poem you selected, and your ability to match standard manuscript format (double spacing, one inch margins, no creative use of fonts).

The winning entries in this Silver Lining Poetry writing contest will be announced at a live online workshop within 90 days after the contest closes. All contest entrants will be invited free of charge. (Non-entrants may attend for a nominal fee of $7.)

Second Story members of the Writers' Block get to enter IFW and ICL contests for free. Click here to find out more about the Writers' Block.

This is a great opportunity to build your writing and submitting skills!

I'm In, Let's Do This >>

Copyright © 2020 Institute for Writers