Poetry Contest

Poetry Contest

Topic: Open

Poems cannot be more than 21 lines of text. Do not double space your entry. Only one entry per person. Your poem must be your original work and must be currently unpublished. Any poems containing material that is obscene or objectionable will be disqualified.

Residents of Washington, D.C., and select counties of Maryland (Montgomery, Prince George's, Howard and Frederick) and Virginia (Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William) are eligible.Current and former employees, contractors, directors, and officers of the Bethesda Urban Partnership (BUP) and their immediate family members are ineligible. Current students, relatives, or close personal friends of the judge(s) are also ineligible. Young Poets must be between 14-17 years of age.


E. Ethelbert Miller
E. Ethelbert Miller is a literary activist, editor of Poet Lore, and author of several collections of poetry and two memoirs. He currently hosts the weekly morning radio show On the Margin which airs on WPFW-FM 89.3.  In April 2015, Miller was inducted into the Washington, D.C. Hall of Fame, and in 2016, he received the AWP George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature and the D.C. Mayor's Arts Award for Distinguished Honor. The Collected Poems of E. Ethelbert Miller, published in 2016 by Willow Books, is a comprehensive collection that represents over 40 years of his career as a poet. Miller’s most recent book is If God Invented Baseball, forthcoming by City Point Press in February 2018.


All entrants retain the copyright rights that they have in the poems they submit, but by participating in this contest and submitting poems, all entrants grant Bethesda Urban Partnership (BUP) the right, license, and ability to use and publish all submitted poems (in complete form or in excerpted form) on the BUP Web site, on other Web sites, and in other media.

  submitDeadline for application:
Friday, February 9, 2018

First Place: 
$350, published on The Writer's Center's "First Person Plural" blog, and a free class and membership to The Writer's Center.
Second Place: $250
Third Place: $150

Honorable Mention: $75
Up for three Honorable Mentions will be selected
Young Poet: $75
Up to three Young Poets will be selected

All winners will be published on the Bethesda Urban Partnership Web site and honored at a special event during the Local Writer's Showcase, held April 19-20, 2018.

Questions? Please email poetry@bethesda.org 
or call 301-215-6660 ext. 117