Literary Contests & Awards
The Poetry Center annually sponsors three literary contests and awards prizes for each.
For information on the winners of these contests and awards, see our NEWS page.
* NOTE: The Paterson Fiction Prize has been discontinued as of 2018.
Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards
Deadline: February 1, 2018
Honoring Allen Ginsberg’s contribution to American literature and his Paterson upbringing, this annual poetry competition awards a first prize of $1000, second prize of $200 and a third prize of $100. Winning poems are featured in the Paterson Literary Review (PLR), and the poets are invited to read at The Poetry Center in historic downtown Paterson.
Up to five poems per person will be accepted for consideration. Submit four copies of each poem for distribution to the judges. No poem should be more than two manuscript pages. Since the poems will be judged anonymously, sheets which contain the poems should not have the poet’s name on them. Include a separate cover sheet with the poet’s name, mailing address, phone number, email address and the titles of the poems. Poems cannot be returned. Please do not submit poems that imitate Allen Ginsberg’s work. This competition does not accept electronic submissions.
Poems by the Winners, Honorable Mentions and Editor's Choice recipients are included in the Paterson Literary Review. * Regular submissions of poetry, fiction and prose for PLR issue #46 (2017-2018) will be accepted from June 1 through September 30, 2017.
Paterson Poetry Prize
The Paterson Poetry Prize is sponsored by The Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College. It is a $1,000 award for a book of poems, 48 pages or more in length, selected by our judges as the strongest collection of poems published in 2017. The winning poet will be eligible for the monetary prize only if he/she participates in a reading at Poetry Center on the date specified.
1. Minimum press run: 500 copies.
2. Each book submitted must be accompanied by an application form.
3. Publisher may submit more than one book for consideration.
4. Two copies of each book should be sent to The Poetry Center.
5. Books entered in the competition will be donated.
6. Books must be postmarked or received in The Poetry Center by February 1, 2018 to be considered for the prize.
7. Books cannot be returned.
8. Winners will also be announced in Poets & Writers magazine and posted on this site.
The Paterson Prize for Books for Young People
In each category one book will be selected, which in the opinion of our judges, is the most outstanding book for young people published in 2017.
There is a $500 award in each category: Pre-K - Grade 3; Grades 4 - 6; Grades 7 - 12.
1. Each book submitted must be accompanied by an application form.
2. Publisher may submit more than one book for prize consideration.
3. Three copies of each book should be sent to The Poetry Center.
4. Books entered in the competition will be donated to The Poetry Center Library at Passaic County Community College.
5. Books must be received in The Poetry Center by February 1, 2018 to be considered for the prize.
6. Books cannot be returned.
7. Announcements of winners will be placed on our website, and in Poets & Writers magazine.