Thursday, October 8, 2020

Submit Poems to Poetry Contests, Apply to Become Poet Laureate of El Cerrito, CA

 Submit Poems to CSPS Monthly Poetry Contests

This contest is open to all poets, whether or not they are members of the CSPS. Reading fees are $1.50 per poem with a $3.00 minimum for members and $3.00 per poem with a $6.00 minimum for non-members. Entries must be postmarked during the month of the contest in which they are entered. They must consist of a first page with all contact information (name, address, telephone number, and email address) and the titles of the poems being submitted. The pages of the poems you submit must have no identifying information on them at all. Submit entries and pay reading fees by mail to:

CSPS Monthly Contest – (Specify Month) 

CSPS P.O. BOX 4288 SUNLAND CA 91041-4288

Poems can also be submitted electronically to

All contests are blind judged by Alice Pero, Monthly Contest Chair. The 1st place winner receives half of the prize pool for pools less than $100. For pools of $100 or more, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners receive $50, $10 and $5, respectively. There are no exceptions to the prize disbursement rules. The monthly contest winners are announced on the website ( and published on the CSPS Blog ( as they are awarded. The winners for the year are listed in the CSPS Newsbriefs.

The current monthly contest topics are the following:

Month           Topic(s)

January         Nature, Seasons, Landscape, Ecology

February       Romance, Love, Emotions

March           Open Topic

April             Travel, History, Mythology, Other Cultures (other times, other places, alternate worlds)

May              Portraits, Persons, Characters (portraits of animals, objects, places with character)

June              Open Topic

July              Childhood, Memoir, Lessons of the Past

August         Humor, Satire, Joy of Life

September   Open Topic

October        War & Peace, Activism & Politics

November    Family, Friendship, Human Condition

December    Best of Your Best (winning or published poems only; indicate complete name of contest or publication and award/issue date and year)

All poems must be the original work of the poet, in English and, except for the December contest, previously unpublished. There is no limit to the number of poems one can submit, but each poem must be less than 80 lines (two pages). The monthly contest topics are published for each year in December of the previous year.

Apply to Poet Laureate Program of El Cerrito 


The City of El Cerrito announces the release of a Call for Artists for poets to serve as the City's poet laureate. Deadline to apply is Thursday, November 19, 2020 by 4 p.m.

The laureate will encourage the poetic energy of our community by creating and leading activities that inspire writing and performances of poetry among all age groups while initiating a dialogue between local poets, cultural organizations, and community institutions. In an effort to promote literature and the arts in the City, the laureate will bring attention to poetry in less-traditional settings and encourage residents in their writing and personal expression.


The poet laureate must:

  *   Be a resident or work full-time in the City of El Cerrito, CA

  *   Demonstrate a commitment to poetry writing, spoken word performance, and community involvement and outreach

  *   Be at least 21 years of age at time of application

  *   Be able to serve the full two-year term as laureate and maintain residency/work status in El Cerrito throughout the term

Honorarium: The laureate will receive a stipend of $4,000 for the two-year term.

Please visit: This is a program of the El Cerrito Arts & Culture Commission

Illinois State Poetry Society Invites Submissions to Its 27th Annual Contests

The Illinois State Poetry Society organizes a number of poetry contests with cash prizes. 

1. Eligibility. Contest is open to anyone.
2. Original work and unpublished. Not in print or published electronically.
3. Previous Awards. Poems which have  won monetary awards are ineligible.
4. Poem format
  • • In English, typed or computer-generated, 12 or 14 point; no fancy fonts or illustrations.
  • • 40-line limit, unless specified.
  • • One single-spaced poem per  page, 8.5” x 11” white paper.
  • 5. Titles. Except haiku, title all poems.
6. Awards. No poet can win two awards in the same category.
7. Submit two copies of each poem: 
  • Originals. In the upper left-hand corner include: Number and name of contest; your name, address, e-mail, and phone number; the word “MEMBER” if you have current membership in ISPS. 
  • Duplicates. In the upper left-hand corner include ONLY number and name of contest.  
  • Two Stacks. Separate originals from duplicates and stack in numerical order with originals on top. 
Entry Fees • ISPS Members: $8 for up to 8 poems, $1 each additional poem. • NON-ISPS MEMBERS, $10, up to 8 poems, $1 each additional poem. 

Submissions must be postmarked: September 1 to October 31, 2020. Mail submissions with check payable to Illinois State Poetry Society to: 
ISPS Contest % Jim Lambert
300 Twin Lakes Road
Carterville, IL 62918

For the winners’ list by mail, include a stamped, self-addressed envelope with your submission.

For information on how to join ISPS or to see this year’s list of 1st, 2nd, 3rd and three honorable mention awards in each category, visit the website:

1. Free Verse Award, Sponsored by ISPS
• SUBJECT: Any • FORM: Free Verse • PRIZES: $50, $30, $15

2. Formal Verse Award, Sponsored by ISPS
• SUBJECT: Any • FORM: Any set form: (Identify the form at the top of the page)
• PRIZES: $50, $30, $15

3. Traditional Haiku (5-7-5) Award, Sponsored by ISPS 
• SUBJECT: Any • FORM: Traditional 5-7-5 haiku • PRIZES: $50, $30, $15

4. Modern Haiku Award, Sponsored by ISPS 
• SUBJECT: Any • FORM: Modern haiku • PRIZES: $50, $30, $15

5. ISPS Board Award, Sponsored by ISPS Board of Directors
• SUBJECT: Home, • FORM: Any, • PRIZES: $50, $30, $15

6. Fire & Police First Responders, Sponsored by Judith Tullis in honor of Chief Arthur A. Tullis & Lieutenant Steven A. Tullis
• SUBJECT: Fire & Police First  Responders, • FORM: Any, • PRIZES: $50, $30, $20

7. Wilda Morris Appreciation Award
Sponsored by Jim Lambert in honor of Wilda Morris for her work in ISPS and NFSPS
• SUBJECT: Humor, • FORM: Rhyming, • PRIZES: $50, $30, $20 • LINE LIMIT: 24

8. Swords and Ploughshares Award
Sponsored by Jo Balistreri, Wilda Morris and Michael Escoubas in honor of first responders in our COVID-19 crisis
• SUBJECT: Peace and justice, FORM: Any, • PRIZES: $50, $25, $15

9. Love and Marriage Award, Sponsored by Idella Edwards in honor of the 60th wedding anniversary of Jack and Idella Edwards, 1960-2020
• SUBJECT: Love and Marriage • FORM: Rhyming • PRIZES: $30, $20, $10

10. Nature Award, Sponsored by Donna Pucciani & Beth Staas in memory of Glenna Holloway
• SUBJECT: Nature • FORM: Free Verse • PRIZES: $25, $20, $10

11. Southern Chapter Award, Sponsored by ISPS Southern Chapter, Carbondale
• SUBJECT: Any • FORM: Any • PRIZES: $25, $20, $10

12. Highland Park Poetry Award, Sponsored by Highland Park Poetry 
• SUBJECT: Any • FORM: Huitain, 8 lines, ababbcbc  rhyme, 8 to 10 syllables per line
• PRIZES: $25, $20, $10

13. Down Home Cinquain Award, Sponsored by Gail Denham in memory of her mother, Thelma Huovinen Bottemiller
• SUBJECT: Home Life • FORM: Cinquain (2, 4, 6, 8, 2  syllables; rhyme optional)
• LINE LIMIT: 5 lines • PRIZES: $25, $15, $10

Pensylvania Poetry Society - 69th Annual Contest 
(postmark) Deadline January 15, 2021

~ Contest Rules ~

Deadline/Mailing: Entries must be postmarked between October 15, 2020, and January 15, 2021.

Send by first class mail to:
Pennsylvania Poetry Society
 Annual Contest c/o Ann Copeland,
 330 Powell Drive, Lancaster, PA 17601

Qualifications: All poems entered:
* Must be the contestant's original work.
* Must not be published in any form, nor under consideration for publication.
* Must not be reproduced and distributed in any form, except in workshops.
* Must not be entered in any other contest. 
* May be submitted in only one contest.

Entry Limits:
* Up to 5 poems may be submitted in Grand Prize Award – but only one prize per entrant.
* Only one poem may be submitted in each contest (see Grand Prize Award exception).
Entry Fees: Make checks payable, in U.S. Funds, to Pennsylvania Poetry Society, Inc or PPS, Inc -
– insufficient fees disqualifies entry.

For PPS Members:
* Grand Prize Award: $2 per poem.
* All contests except the Grand Prize Award: $1  per poem, $10 max. if entering more than 10.

For Non-Members of PPS:
* $3 per poem.
* non-members who join before 11/30/20 may  pay the PPS member entry fees.
* for information about membership, see the  PPS web pages at

Entry Format: All poems must be:
* Titled – for non-titled forms, use the form in  quotes as your title, example “haiku.”
* Typed in English.
* On one side of 8 1/2” x 11” plain white paper.
*  Submit one original and one copy – photocopy is ok:
* Type name of contest at upper left on both copies
* On one copy only, at the upper right, type your  name, address, email address, and whether you
 are a PPS member or non-member 
* Any comments or writing on the unidentified  copy (judge's copy) will disqualify the poem

Enclose a separate cover sheet stating:
* Your name, address, email address, and whether  you are a PPS member or non-member.
* The name of each contest entered.
* The title of the poem entered in each contest.
* This signed statement: “This is my original  unpublished work. It is not under
 consideration in another contest nor for  publication.” A missing statement will
 disqualify the entries.
Poem length/line width – poems with more lines or longer lines will be disqualified:

* Grand Prize Award:
 Line limit: Poems have a 50 line limit which  includes title, epigrams, quotes, footnotes, and
 all lines and spaces between stanzas and text.  Line width: 60 characters per line including
 spaces between words and characters at the end  of the line. 

* All contests except the Grand Prize Award:
 Line limit: Poems have a 36 line limit unless  specified by Form. The 36 line limit includes
 title, epigrams, quotes, footnotes, and all lines  land spaces between stanzas and text.
 Line width: 60 characters per line including  spaces between words and characters at the end
 of the line. 

You may enclose:
 * A #10 SASE for a winners' list.
 * A SAS post-card for verification your entries  were received.
After entry, no poems may be withdrawn, and none will be returned – keep your own copies. Submitted
poems will be properly discarded after the PPS Spring Meeting.
PPS Responsibility: PPS is not responsible for any entries arriving late, lost in the mail, sent to a wrong
address, insufficient entry fees, or disqualified for failure to follow the rules. Entry fees for disqualified
entries will not be refunded. 

First Rights and Releases: PPS retains the first rights for publication of prize-winning poems in the PPS
Prize Poems book. Only poems that win First, Second, and Third Prizes will be published in the
book. Honorable Mention winners will be listed by name of poet, their poem or title will not be printed.

Winners: A winners' list will be e-mailed to contestants providing an e-mail address, mailed to
contestants providing a SASE, posted on the PPS website, around March 31, 2021, and mailed with the
April 2021 edition of Strophes (NFSPS newsletter). Only the top three (3) winners will receive award
checks and award certificates. Award checks and certificates will not be distributed before the PPS
Spring Meeting, and all winners who attend may read their winning poems. Details of the PPS Spring
Meeting are announced in the Spring edition of The Sylvan (PPS newsletter) and on the PPS website.
Prize Poems Books: The PPS Prize Poems book will be mailed to PPS members, non-member money
winners, and judges. Others may purchase copies of the book by contacting:

Pennsylvania Poetry Society, Inc. was founded October 21, 1949

Grand Prize Award, Sponsor: PPS Endowments Fund
Prizes: $200, $100, $50; Form: Any – 50 line limit; Subject: Any significant subject

Wilbur Lee Fake, Sr. Memorial Award, Sponsor: Vicky Fake Weldon
Prizes: $75, $50, $25, Form: Any praise poem, rhymed (some slant rhyme is OK; no forms with
 refraining lines; no found poems); Subject: PA Wildlife, Nature, People,  Places – poem title must indicate the  Pennsylvania connection

Margaret Meagher Memorial Award, Sponsor: Michael Bourgo
Prizes: $50, $25, $15, Form: Free Verse, Subject: Ancestors, 

E. Jean Kishbaugh Memorial Award, Sponsor: Cadence Crafters
Prizes: $25, $15, $10, Form: Rhymed & Metered, Subject: Environment

Leon Geoffrey Memorial Award, Sponsor: Carlisle Poets Workshop
Prizes: $25, $15, $10, Form: Any – 28 line limit, Subject: Humorous

Dorothy Ana Barton Memorial Award, Sponsor: Mark Barton
Prizes: $25, $15, $10, Form: Free Verse, Subject: Nature

William A. Hildebrandt Memorial Award, Sponsor: Mad Poets
Prizes: $25, $15, $10, Form: Any, Subject: Art, Artists, Artistry

Christopher Polvinale Memorial Award, Sponsor: Sandra Polvinale
Prizes: $25, $15, $10, Subject: Our World, Form: Any

Winifred G. McDowell Memorial Award, Sponsor: Linda Darkes
Prizes: $25, $15, $10, Subject: Memories, Form: Any

Eleanor B. Lapham Memorial Award, Sponsor: Betsey Cullen
Prizes: $25, $15, $10, Subject: Mothers, Form: Any

The Raven's Calling Award, Sponsor: Becky D. Alexander
Prizes: $25, $15, $10, Form: Any, Subject: To Honor Trees - nothing about  their destruction e.g.: clear cutting

Robert K. Stern / Robert C. Heydenberk  Memorial Award, Sponsor: The Heydenberk Family
Prizes: $25, $15, $10, Form: Any, Subject: Sea and Sand – any theme about  lakes, rivers, oceans, and/or the beach

Marjorie Thompson Cheyney Memorial Award, Sponsor: Cadence Crafters
Prizes: $25, $15, $10, Form: A Traditional Sonnet – must be a  well-known and generally recognized
 traditional sonnet. Poet must name the  sonnet pattern and follow the pattern  requirements precisely.
Subject: Any

DeAnna Spurlock Honorary Award, Sponsor: Carlisle Poets Workshop
Prizes: $25, $15, $10, Form: Dramatic Monologue – Speaker  addresses Other or Others
Subject: Any

Photos from the garden of Maja Trochimczyk, 2020

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