Poetry Society of Colorado - Contests

We believe that contests help foster artistic growth.
The Poetry Society of Colorado hosts a variety of member-only and open poetry contests throughout the year. 
See contest rules and guidelines below.

For a full list of monthly contest themes and deadlines for entry, please see our calendar page

Member-Only contests

Only members of PSC may submit to Member-Only Contests, which are held in September, November, January and March. Best of all First, Second, and Third Place winners of the Members-Only Contests of the year are eligible for the Daisie E. Robinson Sweepstakes which is announced each June.

Mail submissions to the Member-Only Contest Director:
Jean Sidinger, 11973 E. Lake Circle, Greenwood Village, CO, 80111

Upcoming Contest Calendar

Don't forget to refer to the contest rules and submission information.

Open contests

Any adult poet may submit poems. 
Mail submissions to the Open Contest Director:
Cheryl Wilkie, 8930 West 57th Avenue, Arvada, CO  80002

Upcoming contest calendar

Don't forget to refer to the contest rules and submission information!

NOTE: Some months have additional guidelines
Be sure to check them out!

Youth contests

Open to youth poets at participating schools in Colorado. For more information, please contact us.

Contest Rules

Contest Rules:

  • Contest themes are not to be used as poem titles.
  • Poets must be a member of PSC to submit to Member-Only contests.
  • Poets must be at least 18 years of age to submit to the Open Contests.
  • Entry fee: $5/poem. Each poet may enter up to three original poems. No previously published work will be accepted.
  • All submissions must arrive by published submissions dates. Plan accordingly.
  • If a pen name or pseudonym is used, the author must also submit his/her legal or alternative name or the entry will be disqualified.
  • A single poet can win no more than two cash prizes for each contest.
  • A contest may be cancelled if fewer than ten poems are entered.
  • Submission of entries presumes permission for the name of the winner to be posted on the PSC website AND for winning entries to be anthologized in the yearly Poets' Showcase unless the contest director is notified otherwise in writing.
  • Poem submission line limit: 40 lines (unless otherwise stated)

Submission Information

Submission Requirements:

  • Proper submission form must be followed to qualify for contests.
  • Refer to the Contest Guides, as necessary, for each Open contest
  • Submit two typed copies of each poem on 8½ x 11-inch paper.
  • Use a 1-inch margin on all sides for each submission, including artwork.
  • In upper left-hand corner of first copy put "Poetry Society of Colorado" on first line; put name of contest and date on second line; put theme and form on third line. No name or address should appear on this copy.
  • In upper left-hand corner of second copy put the same information as on the first copy. In the upper right-hand corner of the second copy put your name on the first line, and address on the second and third lines. If a pen name/pseudonym is used, include legal name.
  • Enclose a check for the entry fee of $5.00 for each poem entered made payable to: Poetry Society of Colorado.
  • Send two copies of all entries to the appropriate contest director. 
  • Entries must be postmarked or submitted at a Poetry Society meeting by the deadline date.
  • Winning entries, including honorable mentions, will be returned at a meeting or mailed to the winners. Winning and non-winning entries will be returned if accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) with sufficient first-class postage.

Prize Structure

Contest Prize Structure: (Unless otherwise stated)

  • 1st Place:  $25
  • 2nd Place: $15
  • 3rd Place:  $10

Past Contest Winners


Congratulations Contest Winners!

March 2020 - Members Only Contest "Detours"

1st Place - Channeling Old Mother Hubbard, Jean E. Sidinger

2nd Place - At the Assisted Living Home (life’s last detour), Gay Williford

3rd Place - After Reading Donald Hall’s Affirmation, Marcel Duclos

1st HM - Meandering, Marcel Duclos

2nd HM - Before Springtime - thanks to November by Billy Collins, Marcel Duclos

3rdHM - Rough Road Ahead, Jean E. Sidinger

February 2020 - Open Contest " Legendary Colorado Women"

1st Place - Painted Lady of the Old West, Mary Holland

2nd Place - Footnote, Sandi Rae Rhynard

3rd Place - Goodby, Little Girl, Goodbye,  Vaughn Neeld

1st HM - Everybody Welcome, Nancy Bierman

2nd HM - The Women of Black Forest, Marcel A. Doclos

3rd HM - Betty Laverne Mekelberg, 1936-2011, Sandi Rae Rhynard

January 2020 - Members Only Contest "Serendipity"

1st Place  - No Umbrella, Jean E. Sidinger
2nd Place - Tilde, Cheryl Miller       ( T I L D E)
3rd Place - Elegy for Mrs. H, Marcel Duclos
1st HM - Five Bucks, Jean E. Sidinger
2nd HM - Come Talk to Me Says My Old Aunt on the Phone from Her Farmhouse Kitchen,

by Marcel Duclos

3rd HM - taking his hand, Marcel Duclos

December 2019 - OpenContest: "Santa is For Real"

1st Place – Jean Sidinger, The Red Box  

2nd Place – Ann Klaiman, What More Could We Want?

3rd Place – Marcel Duclos, That Christmas Eve with Papa

1st HM – Daniel Martinez, A Gift to Carrie

2nd HM – Alana Story, Innocence

3rd HM – John Turek, They Saw What Santa Said


November 2019 - Members-Only Contest "Red Shoes"

1st Place: Marcel Duclos, I Sing the Blues for my Widowed Grandmother

2nd Place: Nancy Bierman, Red Kids

3rd Place:  Sandi Rhynard, Mac-n-Cheese

1st Honorable Mention:  Von Neeld, Old Mr. Pierce Has the Last Word

2nd Honorable Mention: Cheryl Miller, La Zapata Roja

3rd Honorable Mention:  Ann Klaiman, What Now

October 2019 - Open Contest: "A Poem in Response to ___"

1st Place: Tracy Mitchell, Looking Into the Face of Robert Bligh

2nd Place: Melanie Eulberg, Apology Not Accepted

3rd Place: Maura Schroeder, For WS Merwin

Honorable Mention: Marcel Duclos, Who Could Do That?

Honorable Mention: Sandi Rhynard, Burning Calories

Honorable Mention: Melanie Eulberg, To An Unnamed Poetry Contest Judge

September 2019 - 1st Member-Only: "Invisibility"

1st Place: Vaughn Neeld, A Soul Unseen

2nd Place: Tracy Mitchell, Pulled Invisible

3rd Place: Sandi Rhynard, He Waits

1st Honorable Mention: Sandi Rhynard, Tanka She Gathers Her Fears

2nd Honorable Mention: Maura Schroeder, Presence

3rd Honorable Mention: Tracy Mitchell, Stay

June 2019 Open Contest: Ubi Sunt

1st Place:  Marcel Duclos, A Question and Response Song for Francis Villon

2ndPlace:  Cheryl Miller, Sun, Stand Still 

3rdPlace:  Ann Klaiman, Still 

1st Honorable Mention:  Vaughn Neeld, The Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe  

2nd Honorable Mention:  Alana Story, Left Behind     

3rd Honorable Mention:  Vaughn Neeld, A Name Familiar      

May 2019 Open Contest: "Moral of the Story"

First Place: Melanie C. B. Eulberg, "King Leopard and the Frogs"

Second Place: Marylin C. Blinn, "Anti-Bodies"

Third Place: Cheryl Miller, "The Centipede and the Shoe"

1st Honorable Mention: Marcel Duclos, "A Black Bear Comes of Age"

2nd Honorable Mention: Marcel Duclos, "A Silly Mouse and the Outsmarted Frog"

3rd Honorable Mention: Jean E. Sidinger, "This Lesson's A Breeze"

April 2019 Open Contest: "Persona Poem"
First Place: Pandora Wilson, "Wildflower"
Second Place: Nancy Bierman, "Johnny's Bear"
Third Place: Gay Williford, "Voice of Our Flag"
​1st Honorable Mention: Ann Klaiman, "Philadelphia: June 1752"
2nd Honorable Mention: Nancy Bierman, "Ash in Autumn"
3rd Honorable Mention: Jean E. Sidinger, "Willow Tree"

March 2019 Members-Only Contest: "Prejudice"
First Place: Marilyn C. Blinn, "You, Me, We?"
Second Place: Daniel A. Martinez, "Color Me Proud"
Third Place: Alana Story, "The Dark Side"
​1st Honorable Mention: Laurel J. Becker, "My Hidden Self"
2nd Honorable Mention: Gay Williford, "Invisible Limits"
3rd Honorable Mention: Jean Sidinger, "Less Than"

February 2019 Open Contest: "My Colorado"
First Place: Jean Sidinger, "Sounds Like the Great Sand Dunes"
Second Place: Jean E. Sidinger, "Umbrellas Get Dusty"
Third Place: Susan Harman, "Traveling Highway 285"
​1st Honorable Mention: Marcel Duclos, "Lost in the Scene Outside My Window"
2nd Honorable Mention: Michael Escoubas, "Of Heaven and Other Things"
3rd Honorable Mention: Cheryl L. Wilkie, "Colorado Legacy"

January 2019 Members-Only Contest: "Fences"

First Place: John Turek, "The Gate"
Second Place: Melanie Eulberg, "Claim-Staking"
Third Place: Von Neeld, "Possum Grapes"
​1st Honorable Mention: Ann Klaiman, "Wrangler"
2nd Honorable Mention: Marylin C. Blinn, "Which Shall it Be?"
3rd Honorable Mention: Gay Williford, "The Fence Around My Yard"