California Prison Poetry Contest

2022-2023 Contest

The California Prison Poetry Contest is a state-wide poetry contest for individuals incarcerated in California. We are accepting unpublished works of poetry for publication. The winners will be selected by a guest judge for their creativity and originality and published in the Red Wheelbarrow.

Submission Guidelines

Poems must be no more than 40 lines

Submitters must be housed in a California Prison

Two poems submission per inmate

Poems can be mailed to P.O. Box 27781 Fresno, CA 93729 or email to

Only unpublished manuscripts will be considered

Participants should send copies of work, not originals, as we are unable to return originals

Our submission window opened June 1st, 2022 and closes June 1st 2023. All submissions received after the deadline will be submitted for the following year's contest.


We will publishing the top five poems in the Red Wheelbarrow magazine.