Sidney Lanier Poetry Competition

12th Annual Sidney Lanier Poetry Competition 

The Sidney Lanier Poetry Competition is open to any poets nationwide, except for members of the Lanier Library Staff, its Board of Directors, or competition judges.

Previously published poems are not eligible for the competition.

There is an entry fee of $20 for 1 to 3 poems. Multiple submissions are acceptable; competitors may submit up to 6 poems, accompanied by the $20 per 3 poems fee. Printed submissions can be mailed to: Sidney Lanier Poetry Competition; Lanier Library; 72 Chestnut St.; Tryon, NC 28782 or submitted online via Submittable. Poems are to be typed in 12-point font (single spaced) and may not exceed 40 lines.

If submitting by mail, please include two copies of each poem with the poet’s name on only one copy. Please also include the application form along with a check made out to the Lanier Library with your application fee.

Prizes will be awarded as follows: 

1st place: $500

2nd place: $250

3rd place: $100

In addition, qualified poems may be awarded a certificate of Honorable Mention.

The deadline for entries is February 28, 2021. Cathy Smith Bowers, former North Carolina Poet Laureate, will serve as the judge.

Competition finalists will be notified by phone or email at least two weeks prior to the Award Ceremony.

The Award Ceremony for the competition will be held virtually on April 25 at 4 pm as part of a weekend celebrating poetry with a variety of readings.