Important dates for the 2020 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest:
Submissions open: Sunday, March 1, 2020
Submission deadline: 6:00pm, Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Winners notified by phone or e-mail: by April 30, 2020
Awards ceremony: 7:00pm, Thursday, October 22, 2020

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!

2020 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest

  • 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  • Contestant may submit only one previously unpublished poem.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 not be accepted.
  • 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 name, name of their school, 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 Sunday, March 1, 2020, through 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 31, 2020. Submissions postmarked before March 1 or after March 31 will be disqualified.
  • Entries may be emailed (email is preferred) to: (Word document preferred; please title document with the title of the poem) OR mailed to: Boynton Poetry Contest, PO Box 1192, Bellingham, WA 98227. DROP-OFF venues are currently closed; we apologize for any inconvenience.
  • Winning poets will be notified by phone or e-mail before the last day of April 2020, and will be invited to read their winning poem at a free public Awards Ceremony on Thursday, May 14, 2020 a future date to be announced.
  • Winning poems will be published in a chapbook collection, as well as displayed on the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Walk outside the Bellingham Public Library and/or inside Whatcom Transportation Authority buses. Winning poems will be presented on
  • Contestant grants permission to the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest for the poem, the poet’s name, and the poet’s photograph to be displayed or reproduced for publication or fundraising purposes.

Questions? E-mail:

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