Info & Requirements

Participation Rules, Info & Requirements

The contest is organized by the non-profit cultural organization "Progetto Alfa" and aims to promote the full artistic and expressive potential of anyone interested in participating, without any cultural or economic distinctions. Therefore, participation is free and open to everybody, including schools of all types and levels. To facilitate this, the organizing and executive board has involved the Regional School Office (USR) of Sondrio, as well as a committee of Italian and international experts and professors in fields such as Poetry and Literary criticism, song- and lyric-writing, Philology, Publishing, Journalism, translation, Art and Archaeology, encyclopedia-writing, Philosophy, as well as members from cultural institutions.

The International section of the contest consists of one category: Free-poetry category. There is no specific writing theme assigned, and no participation fee is required. The allowed foreign languages are: French, English, German, Spanish, Russian, Polish, Romanian, Dutch, Mandarin, Turkish, and Arabic. The poems must be accompanied by an English, French, or Italian translation. Each poem must be original and unpublished until the day of submission, with no previous publication or recognition in any contests or competitions. Failure to comply with these rules will result in the author being permanently disqualified from the contest. Each participant may submit only one text, whether in meter or free-verse, not exceeding 30 computer-typed lines. The accepted file formats are .pdf, .doc, or .docx, with the font being Times New Roman. The text cannot exceed one page in length.

All works will be evaluated by the committee, which is divided into three parts: the international-section committee, chaired by Marina Mattei; the scientific board, chaired by Antonio Muraca; and the national committee. The other members of the committee, including the committee-secretary, will be designated by the organizing and executive board of "Progetto Alfa" and will consist of experts, professors, and culturally active individuals whose names will be published on the website in the specific section of the contest. For the International section, the specific committee will contribute 60% of the vote, while the scientific board will contribute 40%. The winners of the national and international sections will compete for the Grand Prize, with the final voting influenced by the national committee (20%), the international committee (20%), and the scientific board (60%). The scientific board will consist of the presidents of the National and International committees, as well as well-known personalities in the contemporary literary scene.

Via e-mail applications. All applications must be sent to the email address: , and contain the following files:

— 1 copy of the poem & its translation if needed, plus another file containing all the following info:

Name; Date and place of birth; Nationality; e-mail address; a signature vouching for the authorship and unpublished-ness of the poem, and authorizing the organization to publish text and personal info (according to the Italian Data-protection Law) wherever and whenever deemed necessary. A short resume of the author may be attached.

The email subject line must be:


All applications must be sent no later than September 4, 2023, 12:00 AM UTC+1. The organizers decline responsibility for any possible email delay, misdelivery or other problems. Under no circumstances will applications arriving past the deadline for submission be considered. This application must be completely filled out, signed by the applicant or, if a minor, by a parent or guardian. Entering the contest implies the unconditional acceptance of its clauses. The organizers (singularly and as part of any branch of the organization) disclaim any liability and decline all responsibility concerning possible contested authorship and/or content of the text, and any other controversy whatsoever. Through the present subscription, the organizers acquire the implicit and unconditional right to freely publish all noteworthy poems, with no need to notify the authors, in newspaper and internet articles, and all publications whatsoever—their names being always specified. Participants may use a pen name / pseudonym on condition that the participation form contain data duly corresponding to their real identity—or else they would be banned from the contest.

The awards ceremonies will take place according to the following schedule: 

  • 14 October 2021, in Sondrio: National section awards; 
  • November 2021 (date and venue to be determined), in Rome: International section awards.

For the International section, 20 finalists will be selected, including 6 winners and 14 recipients of an honorable mention. The names of the finalists will be announced three weeks before the awards ceremony, while the names of the winners will be announced during the ceremony. Participants are expected to stay updated on any changes or updates regarding the contest and the results through the website ("Hall of Fame" section). The organizers are not responsible for participants failing to do so, and personal communication regarding the contest should not be expected. The organization staff or any member of "Progetto Alfa" cannot be held accountable for not personally notifying participants about contest-related news. All finalists are required to collect their awards in person. While it is possible to appoint a delegate, that person cannot be a member of the staff or any other winner or accompanying individual. All finalists will receive a diploma, and a final Grand Prize will be awarded from among the national and international winners.

According to the Italian law D.Lgs. 30.06.2003 n. 196 "Codice in materia di protezione dei dati personali" (data protection code), the treatment and processing of personal data are exclusively for the organization and management of the contest, including possible publications. By entering the competition, participants unconditionally accept all the aforementioned clauses, implicitly authorizing the publication of their name, photograph, received prize, and winning poem in newspaper and internet articles, social networks, television programs, and other web pages. The disclosure of participants' names is mandatory according to Art. 20 of DPR n.19/1979. The competitors are responsible for all entered poems, ensuring that they are unpublished, original works for which they hold the copyright. "Progetto Alfa" disclaims any responsibility for possible plagiarism or illegal acts on the part of the participants, as such offenses are punishable by the Italian special law 22 April 1941, n° 633 "Diritto d'autore" (intellectual property and copyright). With the authorization to process personal data (in the case of underage participants provided by a parent or legal guardian), it is ensured that all information will only be used within the contest's scope according to Italian laws (statute 675/96 and D.L. 196/03). The data controller/holder is "Associazione Culturale progetto Alfa, via Maurizio Quadrio n.27, Sondrio". According to Italian law, Art. 7 of D. Lgs. 196/2003, every participant has the right to access personal data and/or have it deleted, or deny the treatment by contacting the organizational secretariat.