2021 Sensations Magazine Best Newcomer Contest:  "COVID-19"


ENTRY FEE: $5 (1 POEM), $8 (2 POEMS), OR $10 (3 POEMS)

Operating for 34 years in New Jersey, Sensations Magazine is a three-time winner in the national American Literary Magazine Awards, with Publisher/Poetry Editor David Messineo awarded a 2009 New Jersey State Jefferson Award for Public Service. Our 2021 Best Newcomer Poetry Contest is open to all United States poets who never have been published in Sensations Magazine, and who submit new and previously unpublished poetry in accordance with our 12-Step Submission Requirement Checklist below. (Poets previously published in our pages must take a $20 total 2-year 2020-2021 subscription to submit to 2021 Supplement 11, and will receive separate submission information by email.)


One “Best Batch” Award: $19 cash prize, publication of all 3 poems in Sensations Magazine Supplement 11, “Decade of Dichotomy: Feb. 2011 to Jan. 2021,” and one subscription, including one copy of Supplement 11, and one copy of Supplement 10, “Global Warming.”

One “Best Duo” Award: $10 cash prize, publication of 2 poems, and one copy of Supplement 11.

One “Best Solo” Award: $9 cash prize, publication of 1 poem, and one copy of Supplement 11.

Poetry Contest Judge David Messineo also may choose additional poems for publication, with no cash prize. In those cases, each poet selected for publication will receive one copy of Supplement 11 at no charge. Afer February 14, 2021, all acceptances will be posted on our website - Be sure to check the website before March 31, 2021 for decisions; website “under reconstruction” afterward.


__ 1. SUBJECT: COVID-19, approached from any angle.

__ 2. LINE LIMITATIONS & WELCOMED STYLES: Each poem should be 14-30 lines in length, counting each line break as one line. We welcome free verse, and poetry in such forms as pantoums, sestinas, sonnets, and villanelles. No concrete poetry.

__ 3. LINE LENGTH LIMITATION ON ALL POEMS: Selected poems will be published in triple-column format, so in each poem, do not exceed 45 characters per line. For each M-dash included on a line, reduce that total by 5 characters.

__ 4. POEM PREPARATION: No self-identifying information on any printed poem. Submit each poem on a separate printed page. Each poem must be titled. Submit only new, previously unpublished poems that you have authored. Sorry, no electronic submissions.

__ 5. COVER SHEET PREPARATION: On a separate page, include (1) your name (as you would like it to appear in print, if selected for publication), regular mailing address, and email address; (2) the titles of your poems; and (3) a bio of no more than 500 characters.

__ 6. ENTRY FEE PREPARATION: Make a personal check payable to “David Messineo” ONLY, and put “2021 Contest” in the MEMO section. If your personal check bounces (you’ll hear from me directly if this happens, and while rare, this has happened before), your poems will not be considered until you pay the roughly $35 bank fee for a bounced check. Sorry, we do not accept PayPal, credit cards, or any online bill/credit paying systems. FEE CHOICES: $5 to submit 1 poem, $8 to submit 2 poems, or $10 to submit 3 poems.

__ 7. MAILING PACKET PREPARATION: Put one copy each of your 1-3 poems; the cover sheet with all details; and your personal check entry fee into an envelope, and mail it all to “David Messineo, Sensations Magazine, P.O. Box 132, Lafayette, NJ 07848.”

__ 8. POSTMARK DEADLINE: Your packet must be postmarked ON OR BEFORE SAT FEB 13, 2021 to be considered.

__ 9. CONFIRMATION OF ENTRY: Each contest entrant will be sent, to the mailing address provided, a “Poetry Sampler” packet of tear sheets of poems on various themes, previously published in past Sensations Magazine issues, as confirmation of receipt of your poems.

__ 10. HOLD OFF ON SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSIONS: We ask that you do not simultaneously submit your submissions elsewhere until after February 21, 2021. We aim to respond the week after the SAT FEB 13, 2021 postmark deadline.

__ 11. NO SASE REQUIRED & NO POEM RETRACTION - Poems will not be returned, and winners/acceptances will be notified by email. Once acceptance has been emailed, no accepted poem may be retracted from publication.

__ 12. ALL DECISIONS BY THE JUDGE ARE FINAL: Publisher/Poetry Editor David Messineo solely will judge all submitted poems, and his 2021 Best Newcomer Poetry Contest decisions will be final.

“Best wishes to all of our contest entrants!”