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Poetry and Short Story Competition: Leap Year

Reading & Winners Announced: Monday, April 20, 2020 @ 4PM


Two Contests — Two Winners — One Theme

Through poetry or short story form, create a piece on the Impact of Time on Life

Each contest winner receives an $150 gift card


Poetry Contest

Each poem will be evaluated in two ways: content and presentation.  The judging panel will be using the rubrics listed below. 

The poetry contest winner will be named the Masland Library's 2020 Poet Laureate with a second poem to be unveiled during the fall 2020 semester.

Deadline:  Tuesday, March 23, 2020

Submission: (PDF preferred to preserve format)

Presentation & Reception: Poets must be prepared to participate in a poetry reading on Monday, April 20, 2020.  Each poet will have a maximum of 4 minutes to read his or her poem to a panel of judges.  Please keep this in mind when determining poem length.

Content:  Please consider the audience to whom the poem is addressed.  While strong language may have a place in poetry, please keep in mind the platform and purpose of the poem that is being written.  The panel of judges reserve the right to disqualify poems considered inappropriate.

Rubrics used:
Rubrics for content of the poem

Rubrics for performance (reading) of the poem

Short Story Contest

Submitted short stories should be 2500 to 3000 words and demonstrate:

  • Good use of the space to accomplish its goals (doesn’t feel too short, too long, purposeful pacing, timely and appropriate building of action, climax, denouement, etc.)
  • Creativity/originality
  • Moving and vivid plot
  • Use of language, dialogue, and human emotion
  • Clarity and precision in word choice
  • Engaging, active voice; powerful, purposeful syntax

Deadline: Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Submission: (PDF preferred to preserve format)

Winners announced at a reception on Monday, April 20, 2020

Contest Rules

  • Submit your poem and/or short story to
  • Deadline: Tuesday, March 17, 2020
  • Winners announced at a reception on Monday, April 20, 2020
  • Send your questions to

Short Story contests are jointly sponsored by the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences &  Masland Library.  Winning poet and short story author will each receive a gift card in the amount of $150.  The winning poem and an excerpt of the winning short story, along with a short bio of the winner, will be on display in the Library.  The poem and full short story will be published in Milestone.