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Student Contests

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WE ARE CURRENTLY ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS for student poets from 3rd grade to university undergraduates attending schools in North Carolina.

All entries must be postmarked by January 22, 2016.

Each winning student poem will be published in the NC Poetry Society’s annual Pinesong anthology, which features all of the contest winners and their poems. 

1st Place winners will receive a trophy, a $30 check, an NCPS award certificate, and a free copy of Pinesong.

2nd Place winners receive $20, an NCPS award certificate, and a free copy of Pinesong.

3rd Place winners receive $10, an NCPS award certificate, and a free copy of Pinesong.

Honorable Mention winners (up to three per contest) are also chosen. These winners receive an NCPS award certificate and a free copy of Pinesong.

What are the contest categories?

The Travis Tuck Jordan Award
Endowed by Dorothy and Oscar Pederson

  • for students in Grades 3 — 5.

The Joan Scott Memorial Award
Endowed by the Board of the NC Poetry Society

  • for poems about the environment
  • for students in Grades 3 — 8.

The Mary Chilton Award
Sponsored by Bob Collins

  • for students in Grades 6 — 8.

The Sherry Pruitt Award
Endowed by Gail Peck

  • for students in Grades 9 — Undergraduate.

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

  • for students in Grades 9 — Undergraduate.

All poems (except those in the Haiku category) may be in any form, but may not exceed 32 lines per poem. No copies will be returned.

Please DO NOT add pictures or images with your poem. Use 12-point size and Times New Roman (or a similar, basic font). Also, student poems do not need to be centered on the page; they can be written flush left.



  • All poem entries for student contests are FREE.
  • All entries need to be typed, 12-point, Times New Roman font (no cursive fonts).
  • Please edit ALL poem entries. Correct any spelling, grammar, or punctuation mistakes. Send us your BEST work.
  • Submit only ONE poem per contest.
  • Please do not include more than one poem per page.
  • Please do not include graphics, images or pictures with your entry.
  • If you choose not to include punctuation in your poem, that’s okay, but do this throughout the poem. If you choose to use punctuation, please use it correctly (for example, a period at the end of complete sentence).
  • You do not need to center the poem on the page. It’s okay for lines to begin flush left. Feel free to indent as you wish and give your poem stanza breaks and space on the page as you wish.
  • Poem lengths (including title and spaces between stanzas) cannot exceed 32 lines.
  • Please include a title with each poem you submit. This is how we are able to identify one poem out of hundreds we receive.
  • For each poem you enter into the contest, submit TWO copies of the same poem — on both copies type the name of the poem contest in the upper left corner.
  1. On the FIRST copy, simply type the poem and its title. That’s it.
  2. On the SECOND copy, include the poem and title and ALSO the following in the upper left corner just below the name of the contest:student’s name
    complete home mailing address
    name of the student’s school
    name of the teacher, instructor or professor
    grade level of the student
    student’s phone number
    student’s email
    teacher’s signature (very important — at the bottom of the paper) that the poem submitted is an authentic, original poem written ONLY by this student and NOT the product of any other students or another poet
  • Entries must be postmarked no later than Friday, Jan. 22, 2015.

Where do I mail my contest entries?

Mail your entries to:

Michael Beadle
NCPS Student Contest Manager
7316 Hihenge Ct. apt. 7
Raleigh, NC 28716

You may alternatively submit your entry in Word document format (.doc, .docx)  by e-mail.

If submitting by mail, a scanned copy of the teacher’s signature must be included to verify student’s work is original and not another student’s or poet’s work.

For teachers with multiple student entries, it’s okay to include all the poems in one single Word document file. Just be sure each student has two copies of the same poem with all the accurate information so we can contact the student in case he or she wins.

When will I know if I have won an award?

Winners will be notified in March 2016. Winners will also be invited to our Awards Day meeting which will be on Saturday, May 28, 2016, at the Weymouth Center in Southern Pines, NC.

What about other poetry opportunities?

Winners and honorable mentions in college, high school, or middle school are invited to apply to become Student Poets in the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet Series.

We look forward to receiving your fabulous poems.  Happy writing and good luck!


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