The Jane Underwood Poetry Prize was established to celebrate and memorialize Jane Underwood, the founder and long-time director of The Writing Salon. Jane was a gifted poet and photographer who made The Writing Salon a prominent and respected creative writing school in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Open to all poets, the prize is awarded for a single poem. The prizewinner will receive $250, publication of the winning poem at The Writing Salon's website, and an invitation to do a public reading at The Writing Salon. The winner and finalists will be announced at the website in February 2020. 

We believe that blind judging offers contestants a fair and unbiased reading of their work. We assure all contestants that their identity will not be revealed to our readers and ask that they refrain from including identifying information on their submissions. A selection of Writing Salon teachers will screen the entries, and Rick Barot will be the final judge. All readers have a distinguished publication record and have won major poetry prizes. Each entry will pass through at least two readers.

  • The contest is open to all poets.
  • The entry fee is $15. This fee is non-refundable.
  • Contestants may submit one entry of up to 3 poems. Poems must be sent in a single pdf, doc, docx, or txt file. 
  • Each of the 3 poems may not exceed 80 lines in length.
  • We do not consider previously published work, which includes online publications.
  • Poems should not include any information that reveals the identity of the author. Any entries that reveal the author’s identity will be discounted.
  • Simultaneous submissions are allowed. Notify us immediately if a poem is placed elsewhere by adding a note to your submission at Submittable.
  • Email and mail submissions will not be read.
  • All rights revert to the author upon publication of the poem.
  • The winner and finalists will be announced at our website.


The Writing Salon