Wednesday, May 1, 2024

June 30, 2024 Deadline for CSPS Annual Poetry Contest Judged by Marlene Hitt

The California State Poetry Society is pleased to announce its 37th Annual Poetry Contest. Submissions are accepted from May 1st – June 30th, 2024. The Judge is Marlene Hitt. 

SUBMISSIONS: Up to 10 poems per one poet may be submitted with a limit of 80 lines per poem. All poem should be previously unpublished, including print books or journal publication, posts on social media, websites, blogs, and online journals. Poems must be written in English, with translation provided in notes if words or phrases from other languages are used. Submissions are only by mail, with clearly printed poems on unmarked pages, with one-sided printing, and no identifying information about the poet (no name, address, email, etc.)

PRIZES:  $100, $50, $25 Cash for 1st, 2nd and 3rd Prizes, plus publication in the California Quarterly, Vol. 50, No. 4 (2024 Winter). 

READING FEES: CSPS Members, $3.00/poem; Non-members, $6.00/poem. Submit the reading fees only BY CHECK payable to CSPS or California State Poetry Society with a note "Annual Contest 2024."

WINNERS: Winners will be announced in September 2022. Submissions are now welcome of original poems with 80-line (two-page) limit per poem. Submissions are only accepted by mail. 

HOW TO SUBMIT: Send a cover letter with all poet information (mailing address, email address, name, phone) and a list of the submitted poems, as well as one copy of each poem with NO poet identification, and a check for the appropriate amount of reading fees to: 

           CSPS Annual Contest Chair

           P.O. Box 4288 Sunland, CA 91041-4288 


Marlene Hitt was the first Poet Laureate of Sunland Tujunga (1999- 2001). She has been a member of the Chupa Rosa Writers of Sunland- Tujunga and the Foothills since its inception in 1985. Her critically-acclaimed first poetry collection Clocks and Water Drops was published by Moonrise Press in 2015. Her second collection, Yellow Tree Alone appeared in 2022. In addition to publishing numerous poetry chapbooks, she has authored a non- fiction book Sunland-Tujunga, from Village to City and two books of stories for children: Grandma's Stories for All People Large and Small and The Discontent of Brother Turnip and Grandfather Tree. Her poems appeared in Psychopoetica (UK), Chupa Rosa Diaries of the Chupa Rosa Writers, Sunland (2001-2003), Glendale College’s Eclipse anthologies, CSPS California Quarterly and Poetry Letter; and poetry anthologies (Chopin with Cherries, 2010; Meditations on Divine Names, 2012; and We Are Here: Village Poets Anthology that she co-edited in 2020 with Maja Trochimczyk).

Recently, Hitt was one of 12 poets invited to contribute to Crystal Fire. Poems of Joy and Wisdom (2022). Her work also appears in Sometimes in the Open, a collection of verse by California Poets Laureate, and The Coiled Serpent, anthology of Los Angeles poets, edited by Luis Rodriguez (2016).

Marlene Hitt served at the Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga as Museum Director and docent for many years. Ms. Hitt was the history writer for the Foothill Leader, Glendale News Press, North Valley Reporter, and Voice of the Village newspapers. She has been honored as the Woman of Achievement by the Business and Professional Women's Club, Woman of the Year by the U.S. Congress, and many congratulatory scrolls by the City and County of Los Angeles, and the State of California. In 2019, Village Poets of Sunland-Tujunga presented to Marlene and her husband Lloyd, a Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing their support of poetry in the Foothills.