Note: For Undergraduates Only.

Friends of Ina Coolbrith, former Poet Laureate of California, established the Ina Coolbrith Poetry Prizes in 1933. Five hundred dollars is available annually for prizes that are apportioned by the judging campus (UC Berkeley). First, second, and third place awards are given to undergraduate students who submitted their best unpublished poem or group of poems. Entrants must be currently-enrolled students from any of the University of California campuses, University of the Pacific, Mills College, Stanford University, the University of Santa Clara, or St. Mary’s College.

Submission Guidelines

To determine the UCSB representatives, an anonymous panel selects at most three entries, with each consisting of a single poem or group of poems written by an UCSB undergraduate from any of the campus colleges. The manuscripts of these finalists are then forwarded to UC Berkeley for the final round of judging.

All UCSB entries must be turned in to Department of English office, South Hall room 3432 with a completed entry form attached. Entry forms are made available in the English office when the current year’s contest is announced. The submission deadline is customarily in December. Please see the calendar for the exact date.

Manuscripts should be typewritten or clearly printed. Do not submit hand-written manuscripts. Each page of the manuscript submitted must include the following information in the upper right-hand corner:

  • The last four digits of the entrant’s social security number
  • The name of the contest. (i.e., Ina Coolbrith Memorial Prize)
  • The number of pages of your submission
  •  DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME ON ANY OF THE MANUSCRIPT PAGES. DOING SO WILL NEGATE YOUR ENTRY!  Your name only goes onto the supplied entry form.

As manuscripts will not be returned to students, a copy should be submitted. Manuscripts selected to represent UCSB will be filed in the UCSB English Department archives. Manuscripts winning a Coolbrith Prize are filed in the University Archives at the Bancroft Library on the Berkeley campus.

Please note: the final judging of the Coolbrith Prize is rotated from campus to campus. Judges remain anonymous.

More information on the contest can be found on the UC Berkeley website.

Entry Forms

No contest 2021-2022. The 2022-2023 forms will be posted soon.