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GREENSBORO—The 2019 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition is now open for submissions.

The competition recognizes a single previously unpublished poem up to forty (40) lines and is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. 

The winner receives $200 and publication in a Special Feature of storySouth. The postmark deadline is March 1.

To submit, click here.

This year's final judge is Jim Whiteside.

Jim Whiteside’s debut chapbook, Writing Your Name on the Glass, is forthcoming from Bull City Press in 2019. His poems have received support from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he earned his MFA. Jim’s recent poems have appeared or will soon appear in journals such as Ploughshares, The Southern Review, Pleiades, Crazyhorse, and Washington Square Review. Originally from Cookeville, Tennessee, he has recently relocated to Madison, Wisconsin.

The Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition honors poet and critic Randall Jarrell, who taught at what is now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro for nearly eighteen years. He was a 1996 inductee of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame who left behind nine books of poetry, four books of literary criticism, four children’s books, five anthologies, a bestselling academic novel, a translation of Goethe’s Faust, Part I, and a translation of Chekhov’s The Three Sisters, produced on Broadway by The Actors’ Studio.

The competition is administered by Terry L. Kennedy, Associate Director of the MFA in Creative Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

StorySouth is an online literary journal dedicated to showcasing the best poetry (and fiction and creative nonfiction) that writers from the "new south" have to offer. Facilitated by the Graduate Program in Creative Writing at UNCG, storySouth aims to prove that "the internet is not just a medium of flash and style; that excellent writing can attract attention without programming gimmicks and hard-to-read fonts." storySouth believes the American South today is a "mix of traditional and new, regional and international."

Sylvia Freeman of Durham won the 2018 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition for her poem "Burnt Offerings," which juxtaposed Christian and pagan imagery in a "rushed voice" that never felt forced.

The winning poem and the finalists can be read for free on www.storysouth.com.

Here are the complete guidelines:

Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition
Postmark deadline: March 1 (annual)
Submissions accepted: January 15 – March 1

The Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition accepts one-poem submissions. The contest awards the winner $200 and publication in storySouth. Questions may be directed to Terry L. Kennedy, Associate Director, MFA Writing Program, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Eligibility and Guidelines

  • The competition is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
  • The postmark deadline is March 1
  • Entries can be submitted one of two ways:
    1. Send one printed copy through the U.S. Postal Service (see guidelines and address below), along with a check for the appropriate fee, made payable to the North Carolina Writers' Network.
    2. Submit an electronic copy online at http://ncwriters.submittable.com, and pay by VISA or MasterCard.
  • Simultaneous submissions ok, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • Poem will not be returned. If submitting by mail, include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a list of winner and finalists. The winner and finalists will be announced in May.
  • An entry fee must accompany the poem. Multiple submissions are accepted, one poem per entry fee: $10 for NCWN members, $15 for nonmembers.
  • You may pay member entry fee if you join the NCWN with your submission. Checks should be made payable to the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
  • Submissions should be one poem only (40-line limit), original, and previously unpublished.
  • Poem must be typed (single-spaced) and stapled in the left-hand corner.
  • Author's name should not appear on manuscripts. Instead, include a separate cover sheet with name, address, phone number, e-mail address, word count, and manuscript title. (If submitting online, do not include a cover sheet with your document; Submittable will collect and record your name and contact information.)
  • If submitting by mail, send submissions to:

Terry L. Kennedy
MFA Writing Program
3302 MHRA Building
UNC Greensboro
Greensboro, NC 27402-6170

Questions may be directed to Terry L. Kennedy, Associate Director, MFA Writing Program, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to writers at all stages of development. For additional information, visit www.ncwriters.org.

 

 
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