Important dates for the 2021 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest:
Submissions open: Monday, March 1, 2021
Submission deadline: 6:00pm, Wednesday, March 31, 2021*
Winners notified by phone or e-mail: by April 30, 2021
Awards ceremony: Thursday, May 20, 2021 (online)
*in-person submissions by March 30 (see below)

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!

2021 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  • Contestant may submit only one previously unpublished poem.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 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 Monday, March 1, 2021, through Wednesday, March 31, 2021.
  • Note: In-person drop offs must be made by Tuesday, March 30, 2021.
  • 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, OR delivered to Film Is Truth, 1418 Cornwall Ave, Bellingham, during open hours, Noon-8:00pm Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
  • Winning poets will be notified by phone or e-mail before the last day of April 2021, and will be invited to read their winning poem at an online Awards Ceremony on Thursday, May 20, 2021.
  • Winning poems will be published in a chapbook collection and displayed on the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Walk outside the Bellingham Public Library and/or inside Whatcom Transportation Authority buses. Winning poems and placards may also be displayed in other locations in Whatcom County and will be presented on The Poetry Department…aka The Boynton Blog as well as on Facebook.
  • By entering the contest, poets agree to these uses of their name, photograph, and poem, if it is selected as a winner.

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