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Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition

Postmark deadline: March 1 (annual)
Submissions accepted: January 15 – March 1

The Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition, sponsored by the North Carolina Writers’ Network, 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 tlkenned@uncg.edu.

Eligibility & 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 non-members.
  • 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  • Submissions should be one poem only (40-line limit), original, and previously unpublished*.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.)
  • When you submit online at https://ncwriters.submittable.com/submit, Submittable will collect your entry fee 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

*“Published” means the work has appeared for public consumption in any form: print, online, digital, etc. Has it appeared in a magazine or journal, of any size or circulation? Then it’s been published. Has it appeared on a blog, even one hardly anybody reads? Then it’s published. Audio book? E-book? Free download? ‘Zine, mimeographed and stapled in 1995? Published.

For our contests, we’re looking for new work, fresh work, work unseen by anyone outside your immediate family and/or critique group. Shine a light on your published work in your portfolio, and submit your new work for one (or more) of our annual prizes. Good luck.


Past Winners

2022
First Place: John Waugh, Greensboro, NC
Runner-Up: Aruna Gurumurthy, Chapel Hill, NC
Honorable Mention: Jeff Miles, Greensboro, NC
Honorable Mention: Vivian Bikulege, Brevard, NC

2021
First Place: S.L. Cockerille, New Bern, NC
Runner-Up: Catherine Carter, Culllowhee, NC
Honorable Mention: Lucinda Trew, Weddington, NC

2020
First Place: Dannye Romine Powell, Charlotte, NC
Runner-Up: Tina Barr, Black Mountain, NC
Honorable Mention: Michael Boccardo, High Point, NC
Honorable Mention: Mark Caskie, Greensboro, NC

2019
First Place: Alan Michael Parker, Davidson, NC
Runner-Up: Annie Woodford, Wilkesboro, NC
Honorable Mention: Sandra Ann Winters, Winston-Salem, NC
Honorable Mention: Kathryn Kirkpatrick, Boone, NC

2018
First Place: Sylvia Freeman, Durham, NC
First Runner-Up: Luke Hankins, Asheville, NC

2017
First Place: Lisa Zerkle, Charlotte, NC
First Runner-Up: Eric Smith, Carrboro, NC

2016
First Place: Sarah Huener, Durham, NC
First Runner-Up: Ruth Moose, Pittsboro, NC
Honorable Mention: Maria Rouphail, Raleigh, NC

2015
First Place: Gabrielle Brant Freeman, Greenville, NC
First Runner-Up: Ann Deagon, Greensboro, NC
Second Runner-Up: Ralph Earle, Chapel Hill, NC
Honorable Mention: Malaika King Albrecht, Ayden, NC
Honorable Mention: Luke Hankins, Asheville, NC
Honorable Mention: Michael White, Wilmington, NC

2014
First Place: Alan Michael Parker, Davidson, NC
First Runner-Up: Maureen A. Sherbondy, Raleigh, NC
Honorable Mention: Melissa Hassard, Triad, NC
Honorable Mention: Kathryn Kirkpatrick, Vilas, NC

2013
First Place: Alan Michael Parker, Davidson, NC
Runner-Up: Joseph Mills, Winston-Salem, NC
Honorable Mention: Katherine Soniat, Asheville, NC
Honorable Mention: Ross White, Durham, NC

2012
First Place: Michael Gaspeny, Greensboro, NC
Runner-Up: Sandra Ann Winters, Winston-Salem, NC
Runner-Up: Dannye Romine Powell, Charlotte, NC

2011
First Place: Dannye Romine Powell, Charlotte, NC
Runner-Up:Mary Jo Amani, Swannanoa, NC
Honorable Mention: Terri Kirby Erickson, Lewisville, NC
Honorable Mention: Maureen A. Sherbondy, Raleigh, NC
Honorable Mention: Nancy Martin Young

2010
First Place: Rebecca Warren, Greensboro, NC
Honorable Mention: Jeff Miles, Greensboro, NC
Honorable Mention: Dannye Romine Powell, Charlotte, NC
Honorable Mention: Lynn Veach Sadler, Sanford, NC

2009
First Place: Catherine Carter, Cullowhee, NC
Honorable Mention: Marjorie Hudson, Pittsboro, NC
Honorable Mention: Jeff Miles, Greensboro, NC
Honorable Mention: Mary Elizabeth Parker, Greensboro, NC
Honorable Mention: Rebecca Warren, Greensboro, NC

2008
First Place: Joanna Catherine Scott, Chapel Hill, NC
Honorable Mention: Allison Elrod, Davidson, NC
Honorable Mention: Marjorie Hudson, Pittsboro, NC