We regret to announce that due to the pandemic, the 2021 Student Poetry Contest has been cancelled. When schools reopen the Student Contest will resume. Questions or concerns can still be addressed to the Student Contest Chair and will be answered by the OPA web master.
Limit: one entry per category.
1) Poet’s Choice: Limit 80 lines, any subject, any form.
Judge: Pepper Trail.
2) Members Only: Limit 20 lines, any subject, any form. Entrant must be a current OPA member. Judge: Amy Miller.
3) New Poets: Limit 30 lines, any subject, any form. A new poet is someone with no more than two poems published in online or print journals. Self-published work is not considered published in this context. Judge: Eleanor Berry.
4) Traditional Form—Pantoum: Limit 40 lines, any subject.
Judge: Erica Goss.
5) Theme—Community: Limit 40 lines, any form, on the subject of “Community” – What does it engender? (physical, philosophical, past, present, future?) Judge: Emmett Wheatfall.
6) Under 30: Limit 29 lines, open to anyone under the age of 30, any form, any subject. Judge: Marilyn Johnston.
7) Spanish Language: Limit 40 lines, original poem, plus poet’s translation in English of his/her own poem, any subject, any form. Judge: Jose Angel Araguz.
Poet’s Choice: 1st $100; 2nd $50; 3rd $30; 3 Honorable Mentions.
All other categories: 1st $50; 2nd $30; 3rd $20; 3 Honorable Mentions.
All 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place poems will be published on the OPA website and in the annual anthology of prizewinners, Verseweavers.
OPA Members—Flat rate of $8 for up to seven poems (limit of one poem per category).
Non-members— Flat rate of $15 for up to six poems (limit of one poem per category).
Submitted electronically or postmarked by September 1, 2020, midnight PDT. Electronic submissions preferred, see guidelines below.
Fall 2020 Poetry Contest Guidelines
1. Poems must be your original work, unpublished in print or online, and cannot have been a prior cash winner in any contest. Appearance on personal websites, blogs, Facebook pages, or critique groups does not constitute publication.
2. You may enter one poem in each category (a different poem in each category).
3. Simultaneous submissions are encouraged, but entry fees are non-refundable. If your poem is accepted elsewhere, notify OPA immediately via Submittable, or contact contest chair at WHO WE ARE > Contact OPA > Adult Contest Chair or by mail (address below) to withdraw your poem.
4. Format poems in 10- to 12-point font size, Times New Roman or another standard typeface.
5. Online submissions at http://OPA.submittable.com are preferred. (You can also find this link on the membership page.) The submission title is optional. In the comments field, please include your bio (third person, 75 words or less). In the upper-right corner of every page in your submission, indicate category and your poem’s line count. (Title and spaces between stanzas do not count as lines.) Your name or contact information should not appear on the poems. If entering in multiple categories, all poems must be submitted in a single document. Please use .doc or .docx format and put your last name at the start of the file name (e.g., “Smith-ContestEntry.docx”).
6. If unable to submit online, please submit two copies of each poem, one with your name and contact information and one without. On both copies, indicate category and your poem’s line count in the upper-right corner. Mail your entries by September 1, 2020 (postmark deadline) to:
OPA, Contest Entries
P.O. Box 14582
Portland, OR 97293
Entries will not be returned. Mailed entries must include a cover sheet with the poet’s name, bio (third person, 75 words or less), contact information, a list of poem titles, and a check to cover your entry fee payable to Oregon Poetry Association. An email address is required for all entries. No registered or certified mail, please.
7. If you join OPA at the time you enter, you are eligible for the Member rate, and for the Members Only category. (Please use the Become a Member option in Submittable prior to making your contest submission or mail your dues to OPA, P.O. Box 14582, Portland, OR 97293). Include a note in your contest entry stating that you have joined OPA.
8. Poems may not be edited and re-submitted; your submission is final.
9. Members Only category: OPA sends out notifications in February, notifying you whether your membership is current or needs to be renewed. Watch for emails or postcards. For questions regarding membership, contact Membership Chair at WHO WE ARE > Contact OPA > Membership Chair.
10. You may submit up to seven poems, limited to one poem per category (up to six poems for non-members). OPA members pay a flat rate entry fee of $8 for up to seven poems. Non-members pay a flat rate of $15 for up to six poems.
11. Winners will be notified in October 2020. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place poems will be posted on the OPA website and published in Verseweavers, OPA’s annual anthology. All rights revert to author after publication. OPA reserves the right to use prizewinning poems on the OPA website, on membership forms, etc.
12. Submissions not conforming to these rules will be disqualified.