Submissions for the 10th annual Narrative Poetry Contest will open July 1, 2018 and will close September 1st, 2018. Our judge this year is Allison Joseph. First prize is $1000 for one poem, second prize is $250 and third prize is $100. The submission fee of $20 goes towards the publication of the journal, contributor mailings, publicity, and the prizes. All winners, finalists and semi-finalists will be published in the winter/spring 2019 issue of NRR.  A link to our Submittable page will be posted by July 1st.

Allison Joseph lives in Carbondale, Illinois, where she is Professor of English and  Director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Southern Illinois University.  She serves as poetry editor of Crab Orchard Review.  Her books and chapbooks include What Keeps Us Here (Ampersand Press), Soul Train (Carnegie Mellon University Press), In Every Seam (University of Pittsburgh Press), Worldly Pleasures (Word Tech Communications), Imitation of Life (Carnegie Mellon UP), Voice: Poems (Mayapple Press), My Father’s Kites(Steel Toe Books), Trace Particles (Backbone Press), Little Epiphanies (NightBallet Press), Mercurial (Mayapple Press), Mortal Rewards (White Violet Press), Multitudes (Word Poetry), The Purpose of Hands (Glass Lyre Press), Double Identity (Singing Bone Press) Corporal Muse (Sibling Rivalry Press, forthcoming) and What Once You Loved (Barefoot Muse Press). Her most recent full-length collection, Confessions of a Barefaced Woman was published by Red Hen Press in June 2018. She is the literary partner and wife of poet and editor Jon Tribble.



We accept ELECTRONIC SUBMISSIONS ONLY through Submittable during the summer submission period, July 1 – Sept. 1. The contest fee of $20 (per 3 poem submission) will be accepted. Unpaid submissions will be disqualified. Emailed submissions and mailed submissions will not be considered.

Please submit no more than 3 unpublished NARRATIVE poems of no more than 50 lines per poem in ONE MSWord file (.doc or .docx or .rtf only, no .pdf please). Please remove your name from your file, as the poetry is read blind by our editorial staff and contest judge. Questions ONLY: Feel free to email us at

All poems will be considered for publication. Winners (3) will receive prize money and all finalists and semi-finalists will be rewarded with a copy of the journal.

Multiple submissions are discouraged, but simultaneous submissions are fine as long as you inform us in a timely manner if your work is published elsewhere. We claim first North American publication rights, so rights revert to the author after the initial publication period, just please give us credit.  We will only consider work that has not been previously published. All poems will be blind-read. Member CLMP


Submissions for the 9th annual Narrative Poetry Contest are now closed. The next contest submissions will be from July 1 – September 1, 2018. Contest winners and all finalists/semi-finalists are listed below.

Naugatuck River Review 9th Annual Narrative Poetry Contest Results!

Naugatuck River Review 9th Annual Narrative Poetry Contest Results:
Our judge this year was Kaveh Akbar. Congratulations to all the poets!
1st prize won $1000, 2nd prize won $250, 3rd prize won $100

All winners, finalists and semi-finalists will be published in the Winter/Spring 2018 contest issue of Naugatuck River Review, issue 19.

First Prize – Gail Thomas for “Wisteria” 
Second Prize – Scott Beal for “Dedicated to Neda and All Who Died”
Third Prize – Aaron Fischer for “Lives of the Saints”


Christine Beck  – “Two Characters in Search of a Story”
Terry Blackhawk – “A Springfield Ghazal”
Jeff Buddle – “Music in the Ashes”
Kathleen Corcoran “Family Fevers”
Anthony Dipietro – Wedding at Desert Princess Country Club, Cathedral City, CA”
Robbie Gamble – “Memo to the Border Patrol agent who poured out the water we left in the desert”
Susan Glassmeyer – “Biology 101”
Judy Kaber – “Where I Live”
Ashton Kamburoff – “Revising the Hexes”
David Meischen – “After a season without”
Sarah Merrow – “Bicycling Sharpsburg in July 2016”
Terri Muuss – “Chopping Wood”
Matt Pasca – “For Harriet, on the Eve of Surgery”
Joan Roberta Ryan – “Get your Licks on Rte 66”
Ellen McGrath Smith “Pink Afternoon”
David Sullivan – “Oracle Shells”
Gerald Yelle – “Morning Song for Robert J”


Janet Bowdan – “My cousin and the Kama Sutra Chocolates”
Lisa Marie Brodsky – “The Clear-Headed Lobotomy” 
Zoe Canner – “A Verdict”
Beth Copeland – “Second Sight”
Robert Eastwood – “Elbeth”
Nancy Fowler – “Tet Eve Wandering”
M.G. DeNike Gannon – “Deicing the Plane”
D.G. Geis – “Psalm 152”
Constance Hanstedt – “The Bath”
Gloria Heffernan – “Reading a Life”
Dianna Henning – “Where Have all the Fishermen Gone?”
Christine Higgins – “Imagine” 
Jeanne Julian – “The Painter”
Moira MacDougal – “Descent”
Sharon Fagan McDermott – “And After we Failed One Another, I Attempted 
to Find Love Again”
Sarah Merrow – “Mountain Leadership School”
Gail Newman – “Homecoming”
Mary Winegarden – “John and Maggie Find their Way”