Rhyme On Adult Poetry Writing Contest

Thanks for entering the 2020 contest

Winners were announced at a virtual awards ceremony Saturday, June 20, 1 p.m. The ceremony is available to watch on YouTube.

Download the eBook of the winning entries for this year.

2020 contest winners


Free Verse

Winner: Discussion Topic, by Katherine Gotthardt
Runner-Up: We Run, by Sidney Wollmuth
Honorable Mention: The Month of May, by Charles Maranto
Honorable Mention: Can You Feel That? by Kurrinn Abrams


Funniest Poem

Winner: Ode to the Mobile Lounge, by Amy E. Wilson
Runner-Up: Good Walk Spoiled, by Janice H. Walker
Honorable Mention: Grendel and Beowulf, by Joan Kennedy
Honorable Mention: Cheep Lodging, by Noel J. Doyle


Loudoun Poem

Winner: Me And Her Majesty Up On The Ridge, by John Rowley
Runner-Up: The Veins of Loudoun, by Margaret Peppiatt
Honorable Mention: Loudoun: Defined, by Adrienne Elko
Honorable Mention: Loudoun County, Virginia (2020), by Eva Weitzel


Love Poem

Winner: In My Pocket, by Kimberly Ray
Runner-Up: Love for a Novel Spring, by Martin P. Bromser-Kloeden
Honorable Mention: The Generous Tide, by Francoise Nelles
Honorable Mention: Awakening, by Toby K. Davis

Contest rules


Submissions will be accepted April 1, 2020 through May 15, 2020. 
Prizes will be awarded in each of the following four categories:

  • Best Love Poem
  • Best “Loudoun” Poem
  • Funniest Poem
  • Free Verse 


  • Poems may or may not rhyme.
  • Poets entering this contest must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Only one poem per poet may be submitted.
  • Your work must be in English, original and previously unpublished (including on the Internet) and not scheduled for publication anywhere before June 1, 2020.  
  • A poem that is unpublished but has won a monetary award in any other contest is ineligible.


  • Create a title page with the poem title and the category. Your poem may not exceed two 8.5-by-11-inch pages of paper when printed. 
  • Font: Arial 
  • Font size: 12
  • The first and second page of the poem should have a header with the poem’s title and page number.
  • Add a final page with the title of the poem and your contact information: 
    • Name
    • Home address
    • Phone number
    • Email
  • The document name should be the poem’s title. Please do not include your name in the document name.
  • Attach your Microsoft Word readable document (please do not send a PDF) to an email and make the subject line the title of your poem.
  • Send your final draft by May 15, 2020 (11:59 p.m. ET) to: rhymeon@library.loudoun.gov  

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, prize winners will be announced at a date to be determined. Thank you for your patience.

Participants of this program grant Loudoun County Public Library the right to publish their names and work in part or full and use their names and work in print and electronic publications. Participants also waive any copyright protection with respect to the right of Loudoun County Public Library to reproduce their work.

Please note that entries not in compliance with the above will be disqualified.


Where and when is the awards ceremony?
Winners will be announced following our virtual awards ceremony Saturday, June 20, 1 p.m. The prerecorded ceremony will be available to watch right here on the Rhyme On website as well as on YouTube.

What should I write about? Is there a theme?
We have four themes! Please send us your poem in one of the following categories: 
  • Best Love Poem
  • Best “Loudoun” Poem
  • Funniest Poem
  • Free Verse 

This is your chance to get creative! Poems can be inspired by real life, fantasies, nature, adventures or even horror. 

Does it have to rhyme?
No!  You are free to create a rhyming or non-rhyming poem.  

Why do you have a word limit?
We receive a lot of submissions. We want to make sure everyone gets a fair chance. We don’t want external factors such as font size to influence our judgment. We also want to make sure there is enough time for us to read all submissions. This is why we impose a word limit.

Do I have to be a Loudoun County resident or hold a Loudoun County Library card to take part in the contest?
You do not need to be a Loudoun County Public Library card-holder to enter. You must live in either Loudoun or in the cities Falls Church, Alexandria, Winchester or the District of Columbia; Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier, Prince William, Clarke or Frederick counties in Virginia; Jefferson County, West Virginia; or Montgomery, Washington, Prince George's, Frederick or Charles counties in Maryland to enter.

Can I submit works that have been previously published?
Your work must be previously unpublished and not scheduled for publication anywhere before June 1, 2020. We can accept new works and works that have never been published. This is due to copyright restrictions.