General Rules:

Open to any and all poets living in the United States and its Territories, or American citizens living overseas.

Any style, any content.

Three letter-size pages max per poem, with 12 pt. font size minimum.

Follow the rules. Incomplete submissions will be ruled ineligible if not remedied by the contest deadline, and fees will be forfeited.

Notifications of winners will be posted on the Talking Gourds website in October.

An additional $500 will be presented as the Cantor Award to the highest scoring poem from a Colorado poet, over and above the prizes for the winning and finalist poems among the Fischer Prize submissions.

The judge for 2020 is Marin County (CA) performance poet Claire Blotter.


Base Fee is $10 per poem. Payment may be made ONLINE or via snailmail by writing to Galaxy at There is a ten-poem maximum for submission.

Multiples of Three Discount for ONLINE submissions:
1 poem = $10, 2 poems = $20, 3 poems = $25, 4 = $35, 5 = $45, 6 = $50, 7 poems = $60, 8 poems = $70, 9 poems = $75, 10 poems = $85.

Multiples of Three Discount for SNAILMAIL:
If you snailmail a check to Galaxy in lieu of an on-line credit card transaction, the fees remain the same, but there is a $1 Service Charge per poem. Thus:

1 poem = $11,  2 poems = $22,  3 poems = $28,  4 = $39,  5 = $50,  6 = $56,  7 poems = $67,  8 poems = $78,  9 poems = $84,  10 poems = $95.

All fees are non-refundable.

Submission Rules

Regardless of how payment is made, each poet must complete and submit the Online Submission Form. Fees may be paid either online with a credit card or by check via snailmail by writing to Galaxy for the address at <>.

In filling out submission form, each poem should be a separate .doc, .docx, or .pdf file and have the poet’s name and email on each page of the text. Previously published poems are acceptable, so long as the author retains the copyrights. If the poem has been previously published, then each page must also have the appropriate attribution. Name, email and any attributions will be removed when sent for judging.

Photos must be .jpg files.

Deadline for complete submissions (completed submission form, poems, bio, photo and payment) is Sunday, August 30th, 2020 by 5 p.m. MST.

Submission to the contest grants present and future use rights of publication to the Telluride Institute of all winning and finalist poems — on this website, in press releases, and in any future anthology of Fischer Prize work. All other copyrights are retained by the author.

Each poem file should be named using:
–the the poet’s last name
–plus the first two words of the poem’s title
–plus the year submitted.
By way of example, “WaldorNightWalks20

Each poem must be a separate file with name and email address included on poem — names, emails and any attributions will be removed before judging. The only acceptable formats to upload poem files are .doc, .docx or .pdf. No multiple poem files are allowed.

Collaborative entries are not acceptable.

Upon receipt of a completed submission, Galaxy will send an email confirmation to the email address you provide on the submission form. If you want to inquire on the state of your submission, you can contact her at <>.


Winning poets will be announced on our Talking Gourds website by late October. Fischer and Cantor winners and Fischer finalists will be sent an email notifying them by September 20th.

In Brief:  Fill out the online submission form, including uploading poem files, bio and photo. Pay fees by credit card online or send a check by snailmail to Galaxy (email her for the address <>). Make check payable to “Telluride Institute” and in the subject line of your check write “Fischer Prize 2020.”

Failure to complete all required fields of the registration form and follow all submission rules will invalidate your entry. Invalidated entries must be remedied by the deadline in order to be reconsidered, plus a $5 handling fee by check via snailmail to Galaxy must be paid before the August 30th deadline.​ (You will be notified of any problems by email within a few days of your submission.)

Snail-Mail Payment Rules:

Those who prefer to pay by check must still submit poems, bio and photo in the online submission form:

Send check with a cover letter naming the poems submitted. Make check payable to “Telluride Institute” and in the subject line of your check write “Fischer Prize 2020.” Acknowledgement of your completed submission will be sent via email, however, if you need a snailmail confirmation, please include a stamped envelope addressed to yourself when you send your check. Send by emailing Galaxy with a request for the mailing address.


Submission Checklist:

Please fill out and submit the online FISCHER PRIZE SUBMISSION FORM. Be sure to click the Submit button when you are finished.

Include a 100-word bio (or less) and a headshot photo (jpg format) in the entry form.

You may submit up to 10 poems total (each in a separate file), being sure to follow submission rules carefully.
Pay by credit card online. If you prefer to pay by check, first fill out the submission form online, including poem file(s), bio and photo. With your snailmail check payment, include a cover letter naming the poems uploaded to the online form. Include a stamped, self-addressed envelope if you need snailmail notification of completeness of submission.