Oregon Poetry Association 
Spring 2017 Poetry Contest

Deadline: March 1, 2017

Submissions open: February 1, 2017

Limit: one entry per category.
Spaces between stanzas do not count as lines.
1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners will be published in OPA’s annual anthology, Verseweavers


1) Poet’s Choice, limit 80 lines, any subject, any form. Judge: Carolyne Wright (Screener) Ellen Bass (Final Judge)

2) Members Only, 6-12 lines, any subject, any form. Must be member in good standing, see below. Judge: Barbara La Morticella

3) Open Form, limit 40 lines. Allows poets to do nearly anything that can be done with language — the poet has more options with this kind of poetry. Open forms have rhythm, music, and even some rhyme, but the poet keeps those aspects changing and changeable throughout the poem.  Judge: Mike Maggio

4) Traditional Form, Literary Ballad, limit 40 lines. Write a literary ballad incorporating some traditional elements. Some modern examples: “The Burglar Of Babylon,” by Elizabeth Bishops;”As I Walked Out One Evening” W.H. Auden;”Ballad Of Birmingham” by Dudley Randall. Judge: Barbara Drake

5) New Poets, any form, any subject, limit 30 lines. New poets are individuals who have never received any kind of award (first, second or third place, or a cash prize) for a poem.  Judge: Sheila Black

6) Themed Narrative, limit 40 lines. Tell a story, true or imagined. Judge: Robert Hill Long

7) Oregon/Pacific Northwest, limit 40 lines. What turns you on about writing about our region? Judge: Charles Goodrich


Poet’s Choice: 1st $100; 2nd $50; 3rd $30; 3 HMs.

All other categories: 1st $50; 2nd $30; 3rd $20; 3 HMs.

Entry Fee

OPA Members—Flat rate of $7 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 per category).

Deadline: Submitted electronically or postmarked before or on March 1, 2017


Spring 2017 Poetry Contest Rules

  1. Poems must be your original work, unpublished in print or online, and cannot have been a prior winner in any contest. Appearance on personal websites, blogs, Facebook pages, or critique groups does not constitute publication. OPA has first publication rights for prizewinning poems.
  2. You may enter one poem in each category, a different poem in each, without duplication.
  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 http://oregonpoets.org/contacts/contests-adult-contest-chair or by mail (address below) to withdraw your poem.
  4. Format poems in 10- to 12-point font size, New Times Roman or another standard typeface, black ink only, with no photos or decorations.
  5. Online submissions at http://OPA.submittable.com are preferred. The submission title is optional. In the comments field, please include your bio (third person, 100 words or less). In the upper-right corner of every page in your submission, indicate category and your poem’s line count. Your name or contact information should not appear on the page. If entering in multiple categories, all poems must be submitted in a single document. Please use doc or docx format.
  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. Please submit your unfolded poems in a 9×12 envelope. Mail your entries by March 1, 2017 (postmark) 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, contact information, a list of 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: Watch for a postcard from OPA in February. It will notify you whether your membership is current, or needs to be renewed. For questions regarding membership, contact Membership Chair at http://oregonpoets.org/contacts/contact-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 $7. Non-members pay a flat rate of $15.
  11.  Winners will be notified in April 2017. 1st, 2nd, and 3d place poems will be published in Verseweavers, OPA’s annual anthology. All rights revert to author after publication. OPA reserves the right to use prize-winning poems on the OPA website, on membership forms, etc.
  12.   Submissions not conforming to these rules will be disqualified.

The price includes shipping and handling.
The price includes shipping and handling.
The price includes shipping and handling.
The price includes shipping and handling.
The price includes shipping and handling.
The price includes shipping and handling.