The Worcester Review

There are presently no open calls for submissions.

The Worcester County Poetry Association’s annual poetry contest, the Frank O'Hara Prize, is now open for submissions.

Please read complete contest guidelines before entering. Entries not meeting the guidelines will be disqualified, and we cannot refund the submission fee for entries that do not meet the guidelines. 

Who Is Eligible:

Only current members of the Worcester County Poetry Association (WCPA), residents of Worcester County, or those who work or attend school in Worcester County are eligible to enter. Entries from people who do not meet these criteria will be disqualified. Previous first place winners are not eligible.


Poems must be the original work of the entrant, in English, and not previously published.

PLEASE DO NOT put your name anywhere on your manuscript. If your name appears anywhere on the manuscript, your entry will be disqualified.

Entry Fee:

WCPA Members: There is no entry fee for active WCPA Members. Submit up to 3 poems. If you enter as a member but our records indicate that you are not a member, your work will be disqualified.

Non-WCPA Members: Submit up to 3 poems for a fee of $8.00. Note that if you are not a WCPA member, you are only eligible if you reside, work, or attend school in Worcester County.

You may also join WCPA now to be eligible to enter without a fee. To become a member of the WCPA, visit our website and follow the instructions:

As long as your membership form and check arrive by April 1, your work will be eligible. 

Judging and Awards:

The 2019 judge is Rachel McKibbens. WCPA does not pre-screen poems. All entries are seen by the judge.

First Place: $100 / Second Place: $50 / Third Place $25

Winning poems are published in The Worcester Review, after which all rights revert to the poet.

Winners will be notified by phone. All other entrants will be notified of the results electronically. Contest winners will be announced to the public in June 2019.

All winners are invited to the Winners' Reading and Award Reception in their honor, which will take place in September 2019.

How to Enter:

WCPA Members: Enter in the "WCPA Member Contest Entry" genre. In the "Cover Letter" field, enter your name, complete street address, and phone number so that we may verify your membership status. Be sure your name does not appear anywhere on your manuscript.

Non-WCPA Members: Enter in the "Non-Member Contest Entry" genre. In the "submitter’s comments" field, enter your name, complete street address, and phone number. If you work or study in Worcester County but do not live in Worcester County, please indicate that as well, so we can verify your eligibility. Be sure your name does not appear anywhere on your manuscript.

********** Read on for regular submissions guidelines! **************

What do editors of The Worcester Review want to read?

In poetry, we seek arresting and original imagery, sound-play, and meaningful line breaks. We want poetry that is not only personal, but also touches something bigger than the individual life of the poet; in other words, poetry that speaks to the human condition. 

In prose, we seek stories that elicit an emotional response. We receive many stories that are  well-written, but if they do not also have resonance, they are not yet ready for publication.

Regular Submissions Periods:

Poetry - October 1, 2018 to January 31, 2019

Fiction - September 2018 and January 2019

 What you can submit:


 POETRY: 3-5 poems. Please submit only once per reading period.


FICTION: Short stories up to 5,000 words. Submit only one story per reading period.

LITERARY ARTICLES: Submit scholarly and critical articles with a New England connection (up to 10 typed, double-spaced pages using MLA guidelines)

 For advice about formatting and preferred styles, please read this page. While some of the advice here is specific to use at TWR, there is also good information about typical typesetting rules and grammar. You can improve your chances of acceptance by carefully following our suggestions.

The Worcester Review reserves First Publication Rights for all submissions chosen for publication. Payment will be two copies upon publication and (when budget allows) a small honorarium. Because we are slow to respond, we encourage simultaneous submissions. Please promptly withdraw any submissions that find homes elsewhere.


The Worcester Review