Very Small Verse Contest

Announcing the League’s Very Small Verse Contest: small poems, big ideas. After the incredible success of our Haiku Contest earlier this year, we wanted to open up the page to even more forms of very small verse! As the saying goes, poetry is everywhere and what easier way to fill our everyday moments with poetry than with micropoems? Micropoems are poems that are spare in size but not in impact, whose ambitions and effects are bigger than the form. The Very Small Verse Contest invites and challenges poets to submit 4 micropoems – at least six (6) words in length but no more than two hundred (200) characters – for a chance to win $150 plus social media promotion and publication opportunities!  

The first place Very Small Verse Contest winner will receive: 

    • $150 cash
    • Publication in Poetry Pause – the League’s daily digital poetry dispatch  
    • Publication in the 2019 Poem in Your Pocket booklet, distributed and promoted internationally in partnership with
    • Publication in full on all League social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) 
    • A custom-made graphic rendering of the winning poem for the poet’s use on social media and printed on a t-shirt & tote bag 

Three honourable mentions will receive:

  • Publication in Poetry Pause

Submission Guidelines 

        • Eligible works are previously unpublished micropoems at least 6 words in length with a maximum of 200 characters  (any and all poetic forms that fit these restrictions are welcome, such as Haiku, Tanka, erasure poems, or limericks—or, of course, very small free verse). The 200 character limit includes spaces, titles, and all.
        • You may submit up to 4 micropoems per entry fee. 1 submission = up to 4 micropoems.
        • You are welcome to submit several times, as long as each submission (of up to 4 micropoems) is accompanied by the appropriate fee. 
        • Eligible to poets residing in Canada.

Entry fees support the League in our mission to nurture a professional poetic community in Canada. 

The deadline to submit is January 11, 2019. The winner will be announced in February 2019!

 To Submit: 

          1. Purchase your entry fee(s) but selecting the appropriate fee. 
          2. Send your poem(s) .doc attachment(s) only (please no PDF) to, subject line Very Small Verse. If you are submitting multiple poems, please include each poem as its own attachment. Please note that submissions are blind, and poem documents should not contain any identifying information. Please make your filename either the title of the poem, or the first word or line of your poem. 
          3. In the body of your email, please include a short bio (100 words or under). If your payment will be coming from a different name than your submission, please let us know in your email or your submission will not be processed. 

We will confirm receipt of your submission within five business days.

Souvankham Thammavongsa is the author of three poetry books, Light (2013), winner of the Trillium Book Award for Poetry; Found (2007); and Small Arguments (2003), winner of the ReLit Award. Her newest collection of poems is Cluster (M&S, April 2019).