Pennsylvania Poetry Society Contests
For 2018, joining with more than a dozen sponsors, the Pennsylvania Poetry Society will be proudly supporting 18 poetry competitions. This will mark the 66th year that PPS has offered annual contests. PPS seeks and utilizes judges outside of the organization.

PPS has dedicated staff that help with securing contest sponsors, receiving contest entries, publishing the PRIZE POEMS anthology, and preparing Award Certificates. Each Spring, PPS hosts an awards luncheon where poets are invited to come receive their accolades and share their winning poem with its membership.

Members are able to enter one poem in each of the 18 contests for $12, while non-members must pay $45 to submit one poem in 15 of the contests open to all. That is a savings of $33 for members, and well worth the membership fee.

Vicky Fake-Weldon,
PPS Contest Chair
108 North 26th Street
Camp Hill, PA 17011


Vicky Weldon, PPS Contest Chair, offers the following suggestions for anyone planning to enter poetry competitions.

  1. Carefully read and follow all of the contest rules and requirements. I've had judges tell me they sadly had to disqualify an excellent poem because the poet sent a sonnet in a free verse category.
  2. Some other things we have to watch in our poems are line width and line limits. And don't forget to count the lines of title, epigrams, footnotes, quotes, poem, and spaces between all. I have had submissions disqualified because I had a line width of 61 characters. The 61st character was the period at the end of the line.
  3. It needs to be stressed that line and width requirements set by PPS are based on page layout limitations.
2018 - Pennsylvania Poetry Society - 66th Annual Contest
Deadline to Enter: January 15, 2018 (postmarked)
Category #1: The Grand Prize Award
Sponsor: PPS Endowments Fund

Awards: $100, $50, $25
Subject: Any significant subject
Form: Any
Line Limit: 50

2018 PPS Contest Brochure (.pdf)
See Contest Brochure for complete competition rules.
Category #2: Wilbur Lee Fake, Sr. Memorial Award
Sponsor: Vicky Fake-Weldon

Awards: $75, $50, $25
Subject: Pennsylvania People, Places, History. The title or poem must indicate the Pennsylvania connection.
Form: Ode (must praise, honor, and/or celebrate the subject).

Category #9: Gwen Darling Glassberg Memorial Award
Sponsor: Glassberg Fund

Awards: $25, $15, $10
Subject: Travel
Form: Free Verse

Category #3: Margaret Meagher Memorial Award
Sponsor: Michael Bourgo

Awards: $50, $25, $15
Subject: Ancestors
Form: Free Verse (40 line limit)

Category #10: E. Jean Kishbaugh Memorial Award
Sponsor: Cadence Crafters

Awards: $25, $15, $10
Subject: Environment
Form: Rhymed and Metered

Category #4: Robert K. Stern / Robert C. Heydenberk Memorial Award
Sponsor: The Heydenberk Family

Awards: $25, $15, $10
Subject: Sea and Sand (any theme about lakes, rivers, oceans and/or the beach)
Form: Any

Category #11: Akiko Yosano Tanka Award
Sponsor: Anonymous

Awards: $25, $15, $10
Subject: Related to Nature (non-religious)
Form: Tanka

Category #5: Koser / Lohr Honorary Award
Sponsor: M. Koser & J. Lohr

Awards: $25, $15, $10
Subject: Gratitude
Form: Any with 12 line limit

Category #12: Dorman John Grace Memorial Award
Sponsor: Wallace Stevens Chapter funds

Awards: $25, $15, $10
Subject: Memories
Form: Any

Category #6: Carlisle Poets Workshop Award
Sponsor: Carlisle Poets

Awards: $25, $15, $10
Subject: Any Humorous
Form: Sestina

Category #13: William A. Hildebrandt Memorial Award
Sponsor: Mad Poets

Awards: $25, $15, $10
Subject: Art, Artists, Artistry
Form: Any

Category #7: Marjorie Thompson Cheyney Award
Sponsor: Cadence Crafters

Awards: $25, $15, $10
Subject: Any
Form: Traditional Sonnet - must be well-known & generally recognized sonnet. You must name the sonnet pattern & follow the pattern requirements precisely.

Category #14: DeAnna Spurlock Honorary Award
Sponsor: Anonymous

Awards: $25, $15, $10
Subject: Any
Form: Dramatic Monologue (Speaker addresses other or others)

Category #8: Dorothy Ana Barton Memorial Award
Sponsor: Keysner Poets

Awards: $25, $15, $10
Subject: Nature
Form: Free Verse

Category #15: Christopher Polvinale Memorial Award
Sponsor: Sandra Polvinale

Awards: $25, $15, $10
Subject: International Affairs
Form: Any

Categories #16, #17, and #18
Open to PPS Members ONLY

Category #16: Andy Fetterolf Memorial Award
Sponsor: Lynn Fetterolf

Awards: $25, $15, $10
Subject: Spirituality - in broad perspective
Form: Any

Category #18: Carol Roberts Honorary Award
Sponsor: A PPS Friend

Awards: $25, $15, $10
Subject: Any serious subject
Form: Rhymed with 16 line limit

Category #17: Blanche Whiting Keysner Memorial Award
Sponsor: Keysner Poets

Awards: $25, $15, $10
Subject: Love poem with a fresh perspective - no tired cliches, not overly sentimental or trite
Form: Any

2017 PPS Contest Winners (.pdf)