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2017 Adult Contests and Awards

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The following information is for the 2017 NCPS Contests.  Submissions will be accepted beginning November 1, 2016, and end January 20, 2017.

Judges will be distinguished poets residing outside North Carolina. The judge of the Griffin-Farlow contest will be selected by the North Carolina Haiku Society.

Winning poems (including honorable mentions, but excluding finalists in the Poet Laureate contest) will be published in the NCPS poetry contest anthology Pinesong.

Winning poets will be invited to read their winning poems at Awards Day in May 2017.

General Rules and Policies

  • Submit one poem per category. The same poem may not be entered into more than one category.
  • Each entry must be original, unpublished, in English, and not currently submitted for publication or to another contest.
  • Author’s name (or other identifying information) must NOT appear on poems submitted online.  Judges will be instructed not to consider for a prize or publication any poem on which the author’s information appears.
  • For poems submitted by mail, author’s name and contact information must appear on ONE copy of the poem submitted; a duplicate copy must be submitted WITHOUT author name or identification.  No poem containing the author’s identifying information will be forwarded to the judges.
  • A contestant may not enter a category (1) in which he or she won first place last year or (2) the contestant is a member of the NCPS Board or an NCPS committee and is involved in selecting or working with the category judge or otherwise becomes aware of the identity of the judge before the results are announced. This exclusion does not apply to the Poet Laureate Award when the final judge is the Poet Laureate.
  • No poem will be considered for a prize or publication if the author’s dues are not current or the required fee is not paid, whichever is applicable.
  • Membership dues may be submitted with contest entries submitted by mail. Dues may also be paid on-line (http://www.ncpoetrysociety.org/membership-online).  Anyone who has paid membership dues after May 1, 2016 is an active member of the Society.
  • The North Carolina Poetry Society retains first publication rights for winning poems published in Pinesong, after which publication rights will return to the authors.
  • A judge can reserve the right not to give awards.
  • NCPS reserves the right to cancel a contest if there are too few submissions.
  • To conform to the format of Pinesong, we reserve the right to work with the poet to reformat prose poems or poems with long lines.
  • With the exception of the final judge of the Poet Laureate Award, all judges will be distinguished poets residing outside North Carolina. The judge of the Griffin-Farlow Haiku contest will be selected by the North Carolina Haiku Society. 
  • All offers of prizes, including the Poet Laureate Contest’s one and only monetary prize, are conditioned on the author’s agreement to grant first publication rights to NCPS for the poem’s publication in Pinesong.  If the author is unable or unwilling to grant such rights, the offer will be withdrawn.  The only exception winning to this rule is that the finalists in the Poet Laureate Contest are not offered publication and are therefore not required to grant publication rights to NCPS.
  • Winning poets and finalists will be invited to read their winning poems at Awards Day in May 2017.
  • See below for requirements specific to each contest. The contests will be open for submissions beginning November 1, 2016 and ending January 20, 2017.

Poet Laureate Award

  • Description: A single prize of $100 for a serious poem, any subject, any style, maximum of 110 lines (including poem title, any epigraph, blank lines, and lines of text).
  • Eligibility: Open to poets currently residing in North Carolina.
  • Entry fee (on-line and mail submissions): $10 for current NCPS members, $15 for non-members. The fee is waived for lifetime members who submit their poems for this contest by mail.
  • The winning poem will be selected by North Carolina’s current poet laureate; if that person is unavailable, the NCPS will seek the most highly qualified out-of-state judge available.
  • The finalists will be invited to read at Awards Day, but their poems will not be published in Pinesong.

Other Adult Contests

Entry Guidelines:

  • No fee if NCPS membership is active.
  • Otherwise, the entry fee is $8 for each poem entered.
  • Entrants do not have to be residents of North Carolina.

Prizes

  • First place: $50 for first place; second place: $25; third place: $15.
  • Up to three honorable mentions in each category.

Contest Categories

Caldwell Nixon Jr. Award
Sponsored by the family of Sallie Nixon

  • Poems written by adults for children 2 to 12 years of age.
  • Any form, any style, maximum of 36 lines (including poem title, any epigraph, blank lines, and lines of text).

Carol Bessent Hayman Poetry of Love Award
Sponsored by Dave Manning

  • Any form, any style, on the theme of love.
  • Maximum of 36 lines (including poem title, any epigraph, blank lines, and lines of text).

Griffin-Farlow Haiku Award
Sponsored by Sue Farlow and Bill Griffin

  • One haiku per entrant

Joanna Catherine Scott Award
Sponsored by Joanna C. Scott

  • Sonnet or other traditional form (with the exception of sestinas).
  • Maximum of 36 lines (including poem title, any epigraph, blank lines, and lines of text).

Katherine Kennedy McIntyre Light Verse Award
Sponsored by Diana Pinckney

  • Any form, any style, including limericks.
  • Maximum of 36 lines (including poem title, any epigraph, blank lines, and lines of text).

Mary Ruffin Poole American Heritage Award
Endowed by Pepper Worthington

  • Any form, any style, on the theme of American heritage, brotherhood/sisterhood, or nature.
  • Maximum of 36 lines (including poem title, any epigraph, blank lines, and lines of text).

Poetry of Courage Award
Endowed by Ann Campanella

  • Any form, any style, on the theme of courage or crisis.
  • Maximum of 36 lines (including poem title, any epigraph, blank lines, and lines of text).

Poetry of Witness Award
Sponsored by David Radavich

  • Any form, any style, addressing contemporary events or  issues.
  • Maximum of 36 lines (including poem title, any epigraph, blank lines, and lines of text).

Ruth Morris Moose Sestina Award
Endowed by Ruth Moose

  • Any poem in the sestina form.

Thomas H. McDill Award
Sponsored by the Board of the NC Poetry Society

  • Any form, any style, maximum of 70 lines (including poem title, any epigraph, blank lines, and lines of text).

How to Submit

On-line Submissions

Submissions by Mail

  • For each poem submitted, send two legible copies printed on one side only of 8½-by-11 paper.
  • Do not include graphics, images, or pictures with your entry.
  • On both copies type the name of the category in the upper left corner. On the duplicate copy only, type the author’s name, address, phone number, and e-mail address (if applicable) in the upper right corner. Nonmembers should add “nonmember”; lifetime members entering the Poet Laureate contest should add “lifetime member.”
  • Entries must be postmarked by January 20, 2017. Mail entries to:
    Richard Taylor, 4057 North Course Drive, Charlotte, NC 28277.
  • Submit questions about the contest guidelines to Richard Taylor.
  • All checks should be written payable to NCPS.
  • Entries should be sent in one package with one check for the correct amount. Winners who provide an email address will be notified by email.
  • Winners should be prepared to send an electronic copy of poems on request.
  • Mail delays are not the responsibility of the NCPS. Entries arriving more than 7 calendar days after the deadline will not be considered and checks will be returned. Do not send anything that must be signed for (signature receipt or express mail).
  • While you can send your membership dues in with your contest entry, all NCPS membership questions should be sent to Nancy Young.

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