Important dates for the 2023 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest:
Submissions open: March 1, 2023
Submission deadline: March 31, 2023
In-person submission deadline: 4:00pm, Friday, March 31, 2023
Winners notified by phone or e-mail: by April 30, 2023
Awards ceremony: mid-May

For general information about the contest, please see the About and FAQs pages…and please subscribe to The Poetry Department to stay current on the contest, regional poetry happenings, and much more!

2023 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest
click to download as PDF
  • Contestant must be a Whatcom County resident.
  • Contestant may submit only one previously unpublished poem.
  • The poet must be the exclusive author of the submitted original poem.
  • Please limit poems to 27 lines including title and blank lines, with 55 (or fewer) characters per line, including letters, spaces, and punctuation marks. Poems beyond these limits will be disqualified.
  • Poets must submit two (2) copies of the poem. Place your name, street address, phone number, and e-mail address in the upper right-hand corner of one copy only. The second copy of the poem should not be identified in any way other than the title.
  • Students in K-12 must also provide their parent/guardian’s name, school name, grade level, and teacher’s name (on the one copy with name & address information).
  • Be sure to keep a copy of your poem; poems will not be returned.
  • Entries will be accepted from Wednesday, March 1, 2023, through Friday, March 31, 2023.
  • Note: In-person drop-offs must be made by 4:00pm, Friday, March 31, 2023.
  • Submissions submitted before March 1 or after March 31 will be disqualified.
  • Entries may be
    MAILED to: Boynton Poetry Contest, PO Box 621, Bellingham, WA 98227;
    DELIVERED to: Allied Arts, 1418 Cornwall Ave, Bellingham, during open hours, 11:00am-4:00pm, Tuesday through Saturday;
    EMAILED to: (Word document preferred, or pasted in body of email).
  • Winning poets will be notified by phone or e-mail before the last day of April 2023, and will be invited to read their winning poem at an Awards Ceremony in May.
  • Winning poems will be displayed on the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Walk outside the Bellingham Public Library and/or inside Whatcom Transportation Authority buses. Placards may also be displayed in other locations in Whatcom County and will be presented on The Poetry Department…aka The Boynton Blog.
  • By entering the contest, poets agree to these uses of their name, photograph, and poem, if it is selected as a winner.

Questions? E-mail:

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