Rhyme On Adult Poetry Writing Contest

Rhyme On Adult Poetry Writing Contest

The 2023 submission deadline has passed

Loudoun County Public Library will award cash prizes to the winners and runners up in four categories: Best Love Poem, Best Poem About Loudoun, Funniest Poem and Free Verse. 

All Loudoun residents and our friends from the cities of Falls Church, Alexandria and Winchester; the District of Columbia; Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier, Prince William, Clarke and Frederick counties in Virginia; Jefferson County, West Virginia; and Montgomery, Washington, Prince George's, Frederick and Charles counties in Maryland are eligible to enter. All contestants must be 18 or older.

Contest rules

Submissions will be accepted April 1 through May 17. Prizes will be awarded in each of the following four categories:

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

Eligibility

  • Poems may or may not rhyme.
  • Poets entering this contest must be 18 or older.
  • 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  • Your work must be in English, original and previously unpublished (including on the Internet) and not scheduled for publication anywhere before May 17, 2023.
  • ‚ÄčUnpublished poems that have won a monetary award in any other contest are ineligible.

Submissions

  • 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 17 (11:59 p.m. ET) to: rhymeon@library.loudoun.gov  

Winners will be announced in-person and online Thursday, June  15 at the Sterling library and will be published on the Rhyme On! page Friday, June 16. Winners will be mailed their prizes if they are unable to attend in-person.

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.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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 cardholder 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 17, 2023. We can accept new works and works that have never been published. This is due to copyright restrictions.


What’s the prize?

Winning prizes ($75) 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.

2022 CONTEST WINNERS

Download the 2022 Rhyme On anthology

Free Verse

Winner: Adam Stevenson, Have They Seen the Roads?
Runner-up: Elena Capofari, Mother’s Day
Honorable Mention: Robert Hungate, Honeysuckle Gift
Honorable Mention: Colleen Callahan Fitzgerald, Before Her, After Her

Funniest Poem

Winner: Christine Grande, I’m Not a Restaurant
Runner-up: Cara Eisenberg & Evalynn Bogusz, Ode to Gas
Honorable Mention: Janice H. Walker, Covid-19
Honorable Mention: Noel J. Doyle Jr., Special Delivery

Poems About Loudoun County

Winner: Kara L. Laughlin, The Best Time to Shop at Target
Runner-up: Susan Reese, Gray Heron
Honorable Mention: Michael Berman, Walking on Destiny
Honorable Mention: Kieran Paulsen, Summer Evening on Telegraph Springs

Love Poem

Winner: Natasha Stith, Augustina
Runner-up: Megan McMurrin, In Love with a Sound on the Stairs
Honorable Mention: Shruti Sekar, A Proof of Prime Passion
Honorable Mention: MB Gayle, Mr. Fix-It