Must be postmarked between January 31 and March 30, 2021.

The Maine Poets Society is proud to present our fourth annual $100 prize poem contest. This year we are again also offering an additional $50 prize to Maine poets whose poetry has not been previously published. Publication in a newsletter or an online workshop does not count for this purpose.

The contests are open to all Maine residents, including seasonal. If your entry will be postmarked out of state, please enclose a letter verifying your address when resident in Maine. Entries must be postmarked between January 31 and March 30, 2021.

There is a $5 entry fee for the $100 prize poem contest, and a $2.50 entry fee for the $50 contest for previously unpublished poets. You can enter up to 4 poems, but you must cover each poem with an entry fee. You may not enter a poem that has been previously published. Topic and form are left open, but there is a 50-line limit. Entries exceeding this will be disqualified.

Our distinguished judge for the $100 prize poem contest in 2021 is Cate Marvin, professor of creative writing at the College of Staten Island, CUNY, and at the Stonecoast MFA program in Maine. She holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Houston, a PhD in English and comparative literature from the University of Cincinnati and is about to publish her fourth collection of poetry. Her honors include the Kate Tufts Discovery Prize (2002), a Whiting Award (2007) and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2015). Board members of the Maine Poets Society will judge the contest for previously unpublished poets.

Our prizes will be presented at the 2021 Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance awards evening. The shortlists will be announced beforehand by email and on the MPS Facebook page.

Please send two copies of your poem, one of them identified with your name, contact details (mailing address, email address and telephone number) and which contest you are entering, and one with no identifying information on it, to MPS President Jenny Doughty, at 31 Rustic Lane, Portland, ME 04103. Mark your envelope CONTEST.

Enclose a check payable to Maine Poets Society, with ‘Contest entry’ on the memo line. Entries will not be returned, so please retain a copy.

2021 Prize Poem Contest PDF


Members Only Contests

Contests are held for members in conjunction with each gathering to give opportunity and encouragement to keep writing and to receive constructive feedback, recognition, and deserved praise from knowledgeable judges. Subject, form, and line limit for contests are announced in the preceding newsletter. Contest deadlines must always be postmarked by at least one full month before the next meeting. Submit only poems not previously published, and be aware that submission to a contest constitutes permission to publish.

Poems are sent anonymously to judges who make written decisions and comments on each entry, to be presented orally at the meeting. Judges' choices of the top three entries in each contest are recognized with certificates, cash awards, and publication in the newsletter. Honorable mentions are awarded certificates and published in the Stanza if space allows.


Members Only September 2020 Contest

Contest—Subject: What America Means Now – Judge, Adrian Blevins


First Prize – “Horizons” – Jenny Doughty
Second Prize – “Approaching the Season of New Cranberries” – Sharon Bray
Third Prize – “Home” – Pat Karpen

Honorable Mentions:

First Honorable Mention – “America” – Nancy Orr
Second Honorable Mention – “Flags” – Ruth Guillard
Third Honorable Mention – “Common Dreams” – John R. Seksay


 © Maine Poets Society.