Rhyme On Adult Poetry Writing Contest

Rhyme On Adult Poetry Writing Contest 2021

Thanks for entering the 2021 contest

We are excited to share the results of Loudoun County Public Library's annual Rhyme On poetry contest! Watch the awards ceremony on YouTube. The top finishers will receive their prizes in the mail.

Download the 2021 Rhyme On anthology.

2021 contest winners


Free Verse

Winner: Morning Light, by Sarah Entsminger
Runner-Up: Windows, by Mary Mitchell

Funniest Poem

Winner: Sonnet XVII: To the French Fry, by Mary Clare Young
Runner-Up: To My Garden Pests, by Janice H. Walker

Loudoun Poem

Winner: Silent Sentry, by Martin P. Bromser-Kloeden
Runner-Up: Loudoun Living History, by Gregory Lalire

Love Poem

Winner: Evening Song, by Conrad Geller
Runner-Up: Resuscitated Heart, by Linda J. Nantz

Contest rules


Submissions will be accepted April 1, 2021 through May 15, 2021. 
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.
  • 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  • Your work must be in English, original and previously unpublished (including on the Internet) and not scheduled for publication anywhere before May 15, 2021.  
  • ‚ÄčA poem that is unpublished but has won a monetary award in any other contest is ineligible.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, 2021 (11:59 p.m. ET) to: rhymeon@library.loudoun.gov  

Winners will be announced online June 15, 2021 on Loudoun County Public Library's website and winners will be mailed their prizes.

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.



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 length 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. 

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 May 15, 2021. We can accept new works and works that have never been published. This is due to copyright restrictions.

What’s the prize?  
Winning prizes ($65) and runner-up prizes ($25) will be awarded in each of the following four categories: Best Love Poem, Best "Loudoun” Poem, Funniest Poem, and Free-Verse.  The poems of the winners as well as runner-ups will be available as a free eBook on the Rhyme On! webpage.