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MWA 2019 Poetry Contest Now Open

The Maryland Writers' Association's 2019 Contest is devoted to Poetry. We challenge the poets to help us get a sense of this great state and its people with a poem (or three) about Maryland. 

MWA members, or non-MWA members who reside in Maryland, may submit up to three previously unpublished poems about or set in Maryland. The work may encompass a famous person, event, or location. Full contest details are posted on the Rules and Submissions page. Submission deadline is December 30, 2019.

Complete Rules and Submission Form


Contest Judges

Grace Cavalieri

Grace Cavalieri is Maryland’s tenth Poet Laureate.  She is founder/producer of "The Poet and the Poem" for public radio, now celebrating 43 years on-air. She’s the author of 26 books and chapbooks of poetry and 20 short-form and full-length plays. Among honors Grace holds: 2013 George Garrett Award, the Pen-Fiction Award, the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award, Bordighera Poetry Award, Paterson Poetry Award, the “Annie” Award, the inaugural Columbia Award, and The CPB Silver Medal. Her new book is Showboat, about 25 years as a Navy wife. Her latest play “Quilting The Sun” was in NYC in 2019.


Steven Leyva

Steven Leyva was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and raised in Houston, Texas. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in 2 Bridges Review, Scalawag, Nashville Review, jubilat, Vinyl, and Prairie Schooner. He is a Cave Canem fellow and author of the chapbook Low Parish.  Steven holds a MFA from the University of Baltimore, where he is an assistant professor in the Klein Family School of Communications Design.


Sue Ellen Thompson

Sue Ellen Thompson’s fifth book of poems, They, was published in 2014. An instructor at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda since 2007, she has previously taught at Middlebury College, Binghamton University, the University of Delaware, and Central CT State University. She received the 2010 Maryland Author Award from the Maryland Library Association and was recently nominated for Maryland Poet Laureate.



Submission deadline is December 30, 2019


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