one contest closes…

March 31, 2021

Today is the last day for Whatcom County residents to submit poems to the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest. But fear not, there’s another contest hot on its heels (no matter where you live).

The Skagit County Historical Museum invites writers of all ages to submit work to its first Essay and Poetry Writing Contest. The theme is “The Great Hunt for Magic Skagit Stories” and the contest is open through the month of April 2021.

Find a link to the complete guidelines (PDF) on the Skagit County Historical Museum page and send in your essays or poems about the Skagit past or present.

countdown…

March 23, 2021

A quick reminder to Whatcom County poets:

Submissions to the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest close on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, and in-person submissions (delivered to Film is Truth) end a day earlier because the venue is closed on Wednesdays. Read (and follow!) the guidelines and send in your poem!

call for poems

March 1, 2021

The 2021 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest is now open for submissions from Whatcom County, Washington, poets of all ages and experience. You can learn more about this year’s judges here and see the complete guidelines and submission details on the 2021 Contest page.

Also, a reminder for student poets: John S Green will offer a free Children’s Poetry Workshop, this Wednesday, March 3, 2021, 11:00am-12:15pm. Participation does not guarantee that your poem will be selected as a winner, but it’s sure to be fun. Advance registration is required.

meet the judges: 2021

January 4, 2021

While the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest won’t open for submissions until March 2021 and the guidelines have not yet been updated, the judges have been selected and we are pleased to introduce them here.

A 2016 Jack Straw Fellow, Artist Trust Fellow, and nominee for a Stranger Genius Award, Robert Lashley has had work published in The Seattle Review of Books, NAILED, Poetry Northwest, McSweeney’s, and The Cascadia Review. His poetry was also featured in such anthologies as Many Trails to The Summit, Foot Bridge Above The Falls, Get Lit, Make It True, and It Was Written. His previous books include THE HOMEBOY SONGS (Small Doggies Press, 2014), and UP SOUTH (Small Doggies Press, 2017). His next book, THE GREEN RIVER VALLEY, will be published by Blue Cactus Press in 2021.
 
 
Elizabeth Vignali is the author of three chapbooks, the most recent of which is Endangered [Animal] (Floating Bridge Press 2019), and the poetry collection House of the Silverfish (Unsolicited Press 2021). Her work has appeared in Willow Springs, Cincinnati Review, Mid-American Review, Tinderbox, The Literary Review, and others. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she works as an optician, produces the Bellingham Kitchen Session reading series, and serves as poetry editor of Sweet Tree Review.

The 2021 Contest guidelines will be posted on the 2021 Contest page as soon as they are available. Meanwhile, please enjoy the Sunday postings of the 2020 winning poems…and, if you happen to live in Whatcom County, Washington, start planning your submission.

mark your calendar!

October 6, 2020

The winners of the 2020 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest were selected and notified back in April. When, by necessity, the awards ceremony was rescheduled from May to October, it seemed like surely an in-person celebration would be possible. Alas.

But there will be a celebration, online, on Thursday, October 22, 2020, at 7:00pm. We will hear from this year’s judges, Roger Gilman and Kami Westhoff, and from the poets who have waited so patiently to share their words.

Request a Zoom link and password for this year’s virtual Awards Ceremony by emailing BoyntonPoetryContest@hotmail.com.

Please mark your calendar and stay tuned!

six days and counting

March 26, 2020

If it feels like everything around you has been cancelled, think again: the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest is still happening and still wants your poems!

Tuesday, March 31, 2020, is the last day to submit, and because the drop-off venues are closed, submissions must come by mail or, preferably, email.

The awards ceremony, originally scheduled for May 14, will be rescheduled for a fall date to be announced. But the judges will read submissions, make their selections, and notify the winners by the end of April.

This is an all-ages, Whatcom County, Washington, contest, and a great thing to do if you happen to be staying at home quite a lot. Six days and counting. One poem per person. Read the guidelines and submit!

Send us your poems!

March 2, 2020

It’s March, so that means it’s time for Whatcom County poets of all ages and experience to submit their poems to the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest. See (and follow!) the guidelines on the 2020 Contest page. One poem per poet, so send your best!

meet the judges: 2020

January 4, 2020

Each year, the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest selects two distinguished poets to serve as judges. With hundreds of poems to read by poets of all ages and skill levels, it’s a challenging job. The judges each read every poem and then discuss their choices before coming up with the year’s contest winners.

The contest committee is very pleased to introduce this year’s judges: Roger Gilman and Kami Westhoff.

Roger Gilman is poetry editor for Adventures Northwest, winner of a National Endowment of the Humanities Fellowship, and of several Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest prizes. He teaches classes at the Hugo House Literary Center in Seattle. His latest poems are in Poetry Northwest. He is former Dean of Fairhaven College and Professor of the Arts and Humanities at Western Washington University.

Kami Westhoff is the author of Sleepwalker, which won Minerva Rising’s Dare to Be Contest, and Your Body a Bullet, co-written with Elizabeth Vignali. Her poetry and prose have appeared in journals including Booth, Carve, Hippocampus, Meridian, Passages North, The Pinch, Phoebe, Redivider, Waxwing, and West Branch. She teaches creative writing at Western Washington University where she serves as faculty adviser for Jeopardy Magazine.

The guidelines are now posted on the 2020 Contest page. Submissions don’t open until March 1, 2020, but it’s never too early to study the guidelines and start drafting your poem.

If your poetry passion is the current state of our environment, you might want to consider submitting your work for The Treehouse Climate Action Poem Prize. Offered by the Academy of American Poets with generous support from Treehouse Investments, the prize will honor three poets who submit “exceptional poems that help make real for readers the gravity of the vulnerable state of our environment at present.”

Find out more about the Treehouse Climate Action Poem Prize and the complete guidelines.

In a related note… if you are engaged with the topic, the literary journal apt is accepting submissions that address climate change for issue 10 through August 31, 2019. Note that apt publishes long-form work, but for this issue will consider “shorter” work, defined as 1,000 words/100 lines/7 pages minimum for poetry. See the apt submission guidelines here.

call for bouncers

July 2, 2019

poetrynight

Have you submitted a poem to the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest only to be disappointed by rejection? Well, if so, here’s your chance to show your stuff. The contest committee is teaming up with poetrynight to present Boynton Bouncers.

Boynton Bouncers will be held at the Bellingham Alternative Library on Monday, August 12, 2019, at 7:00pm.

  • Rejected-by-Boynton poems from any contest year, 2006-2019, are eligible.
  • Poets must read their own poems; if their work has been turned away in multiple years, they may read more than one poem.
  • Poets can just show up and read, or, to assure a spot in the lineup, send an email with your name, phone, and poem title(s) to boyntonpoetrycontest@hotmail.com.
  • The event is free and the public is invited.

If this is successful, it could become an annual event.

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