FRANKLIN COUNTY — The Annual Literacy Volunteers Poetry Contest is free for all ages and open from February 14 to March 31 to residents of Franklin and Somerset Counties and the towns of Livermore, and Livermore Falls. First, second, and third place winners will be selected in 4 categories: Youth age 11 and under, Youth age 12-17, Adults 18+, and Students of Maine Literacy Volunteers Affiliates. (Maine Literacy Volunteers Students category is open to Maine residents who are students of Literacy Volunteers in Maine.)
Winners will receive gift certificates to stores in Farmington. First place, $25 value at Devaney Doak & Garrett Booksellers, Second place, $15 value at Twice Sold Tales bookstore, and Third place, $10 value at Java Joe’s. All winners will be announced on April 19.
An event to celebrate poetry with light refreshments will be held on May 2 at the Forum on the Mt. Blue Campus from 6:00-7:00 p.m., followed by a community poetry reading from 7:00-7:30 p.m.
All entrants retain intellectual rights to their poems. Winning poems will be published in an anthology, on the Literacy Volunteers website, and in the press. All winners will receive one copy. Additional copies are available by request.
To enter the contest, submit one poem by 5:00 p.m. on March 31 (only one entry per person will be accepted). All poems must be original. The poem and the title of the poem must be typed on a page with no identifying information. Poems should be typed using a 9 point Times New Roman font (recommended, not required).
All entries must include contact information on a page separate from the poem. Contact information includes the poet’s name, title of poem, age, category entered, phone number, mailing address, and email address. Contact information is used only for processing contest submissions and results and will be deleted after the final event.
Please submit entries in PDF format attached to email to firstname.lastname@example.org (subject line: Poem). The contact information page may be typed into the body of the email. Entries may also be sent by mail to Literacy Volunteers at 129 Seamon Rd., Farmington, 04938. Poems will not be returned.
Only submissions which follow the criteria will be considered. Simultaneous submissions are accepted; please note on the title page and notify Literacy Volunteers immediately of acceptance elsewhere. Winners will be announced April 19. Other confirmation of receipt should not be expected.
Literacy Volunteers of Franklin and Somerset Counties (LVFSC) retains the right to use (or not use) any winning poem on its website, in social media, and in the press, as well as the poet’s full name, age, and town where they live.
All poets or their guardians are encouraged to review the information, rules, and contest terms on the Poetry Contest page of the Literacy Volunteers website at westernmaineliteracy.org.
Literacy Volunteers of Franklin and Somerset Counties will catalog all poems and send them, with any identifying information removed, to an out-of-county judge, Laine Kuehn, of Brooks, Maine, who will select the winners in each category.
Kuehn, a graduate of the Denver School of the Arts and the University of Maine at Farmington, was an intern editor at the Beloit Poetry Journal and co-creator of an online literature and arts magazine. Creating poetic spaces wherever they go, Kuehn currently serves on the steering committee for the Belfast Poetry Festival and as a convener for an annual conference on the mythopoetic. Kuehn also spends time workshopping poems in a weekly writing group and looks forward every spring to getting hands dirty in the garden, and marveling at worms.
“One of the most beautiful aspects of this contest is the ability to see what is moving through a collective mind and moving through the community—after all, it is a community project,” Kuehn said.
Literacy Volunteers of Franklin and Somerset Counties is a 501(3C) public nonprofit with a mission to empower adults through learner centered tutoring in reading, writing, math, technology, and to promote literacy in our communities.
For more information about the contest guidelines, visit westernmaineliteracy.org or call 207-500-3131.