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Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition Now Open

GREENSBORO—The Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition, which honors a single poem, is now open for submissions.

The contest, sponsored by NCWN and administered by the MFA in Creative Writing at UNC-Greensboro, is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. Submissions should be one poem only (40-line limit), original, and previously unpublished (including on any website, blog, or social media).

The deadline is March 1, 2024. The winner will receive $200 and publication of their winning entry in storySouth.

The final judge of the 2024 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition will be Logen Cure.

Cure is a queer poet and educator. She curates Inner Moonlight, the monthly reading series and podcast for The Wild Detectives in Dallas. She’s an editor for Voicemail Poems. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her debut full-length poetry collection, Welcome to Midland (Deep Vellum Publishing 2021), was shortlisted for the Reading the West Book Awards. She lives in Texas.

The Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition accepts one-poem submissions and honors poet and critic Randall Jarrell, who taught at what is now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro for nearly 18 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, 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.”

Joshua Martin of Asheville won the 2023 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition for his poem “Ode to the Man Playing ‘Amazing Grace’ Badly on the Trumpet in the Strip Mall Parking Lot.”

The full competition guidelines are listed below and can be found here.

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 our Submittable page, 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 the 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.)
  • When you submit online at Submittable, your entry fee will be collected via credit card ($15 NCWN members / $25 non-members). (If submitting online, do not include a cover sheet with your document; Submittable will collect and record your name and contact information. For more information about Submittable, click here.)
  • To submit as a Member of NCWN ($10), click here.
  • To submit as a Non-Member of NCWN ($15), click here.

If submitting by mail, send submissions to:

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