menu Arc Poetry Magazine

Win the Canadian Magazine Scene’s Biggest Poetry Prize!


Early Bird Deadline:
December 31, 2021
Final Deadline: February 1, 2022

Arc’s annual poetry contest is among the richest in the country, offering $5,000 for the winning poem, a $500 award for the poem selected as Honourable Mention, and a $250 prize for the Readers’ Choice selection. In addition, all 10 to 12 shortlisted poems receive paid publication in Arc and online.

Arc’s Poem of the Year contest started in 1995 and attracts submissions from around the world. Previous winners have included Kayla Czaga, Patricia Young, Shane Neilson, Jacob MacArthur Mooney, Doyali Islam and many others.

Arc encourages online entries through Submittable, but will continue to accept mailed submissions for the current year.


a stable frame reads "an early bird in the hand can't win $5,000. Send Arc your poems by Dec 31st--3 for the price of 1!" Inside the frame, images of hands holding birds, where the birds have been pasted over with snippets of poetry, flash by.
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Contest Guidelines:

The entry fee is $35 CDN, and includes a one-year Canadian subscription of Arc**.

Contest entry fees may be paid online or by cheque or money order mailed with your hard copy contest submissions.

If the submission fee is prohibitive to your entry in this contest, we are offering a select number of free entries. These free entries are meant to open the contest up to those who need financial assistance, but we will not be giving free entries a one-year subscription to the magazine. For more information please send queries to

**or two issues to US entrants, or one issue to overseas entrants. Entrants who are currently subscribers may pass along their contest subscription or complimentary issues to a friend. Please include the name and address to which the contest subscription is destined.


Shortlist: A shortlist of 10 to 12 poems, selected by Arc’s editorial board, will be eligible for the Readers’ Choice Award. The winner receives $250. Visit us in April to read our shortlist selections and cast your vote! Shortlisted poets will be contacted prior to the shortlist going live.


Publication: Shortlisted entries for the Poem of the Year will be published online and in a print issue of Arc, and will receive page-rate payment for online and print publication. Arc secures First Canadian Serial Rights, meaning the poems should not appear in any print or digital publication before the release of the issue in which the work appears. All rights will revert to the author upon publication.



  • Ac welcomes Poem of the Year entries from Canada, the United States, and around the world. Entrants outside Canada must submit entry fees in Canadian funds. Please use the online payment option or mail a cheque or money order in Canadian funds.
  • Entrants may submit up to two unpublished poems with each $35 fee (extra poems: $5 per poem).
  • The length of each poem must not exceed 100 lines.
  • Entrant’s name, address, e-mail and phone number must not appear on the poems, but instead on a separate sheet or in the body of the submission email, which should also list the titles of all poems entered.
  • Entrants’ information is concealed during deliberations.
  • No entrants (including winners, honourable mentions, or authors of shortlisted poems) may substitute, before, during, or after judging, a revision of any poem already submitted to the contest.
  • No poems will be returned.


Early Bird Deadline: Entries emailed or postmarked no later than 11:59 pm, December 31, 2021 may consist of 3 poems for a single entry fee. For entries emailed or postmarked after this date, only the first two poems will be considered.


Privacy Notice: Unless you indicate otherwise, Arc may share addresses of entrants to the 2020 Poem of the Year Contest with similar literary magazines or related organizations for promotional purposes.


Eligibility: Poems published elsewhere (including excerpts and revised versions) are not eligible for consideration. Should the Arc editorial board discover grounds for disqualification at any point during the judging process (including shortlisting and final judging), the poem will immediately be considered ineligible for the contest. The entry fee will not be refunded, and the poet will receive the subscription to Arc.

(adapted from the Malahat Review).


Submit Entries: Please email entries to

or mail your entry to:

Poem of the Year Contest
Arc Poetry Magazine
PO Box 81060
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada, K1P 1B1

Poem of the Year Contest Entry Fees

Each entry also entitles the entrant to a 1 year (3 issue) Canadian subscription to Arc. If the entrant is in the USA, they will get 2 issues of Arc; if they are outside of the USA and Canada, they will receive 1 issue of Arc.

Number of Poems Entry Fee
Early Bird: 3 poems
(+1 year of Arc*)
$35.00 CAD
1 or 2 poems
(+1 year of Arc*)
$35.00 CAD
3 poems
(+1 year of Arc*)
$40.00 CAD
4 poems
(+1 year of Arc*)
$45.00 CAD
5 poems
(+1 year of Arc*)
$50.00 CAD
6 poems
(+1 year of Arc*)
$55.00 CAD
7 poems
(+1 year of Arc*)
$60.00 CAD
8 poems
(+1 year of Arc*)
$65.00 CAD
9 poems
(+1 year of Arc*)
$70.00 CAD
10 poems
(+1 year of Arc*)
$75.00 CAD


*If the entrant is in the USA, they will get 2 issues of Arc; if they are outside of the USA and Canada, they will receive 1 issue of Arc.



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