The Chicagoland Poetry Contest
is one of the longest-running literary traditions in Chicago.


Rules for the Poets & Patrons 62nd Annual Chicagoland Poetry Contest

Deadline: Sept. 1, 2018 (Postmark)


PRIZES:  $45, $20, $10 and three Honorable Mentions in each category.  Members and persons living within 100 miles of Chicago may enter all categories. Other poets may enter only categories 1-12. Entry fee (which covers 1 poem per category) is $12 for members and $15 for non-members. If you wish to enter more than one poem in a category, the fee for additional poems is $1 each poem for members, $2 each for non-members.  Poets cannot win more than one award per category.  Once submitted, no revisions allowed.  Underpayments result in disqualification, and overpayments will not be returned.

  1. Free Verse (open to all)

  2. Formal Verse (open to all)

  3. Spiritual or Religious Poem (open to all)

  4. Humorous Poem (open to all)

  5. Social Conscience (open to all)

  6. Miniature Poem (open to all)

  7. Nature (open to all)

  8. Midwest Theme (open to all)

  9. Shakespeare, any aspect (open to all)

  10. Speculative Poetry, science fiction, fantasy, horror, surrealism, mythology (open to all)

  11. Love, any aspect (open to all)

  12. Poem inspired by Frederick Douglass, his life, his work, etc.  (open to all)

  13. Chicago, The Arts (open to P&P members and persons living within 100 miles of Chicago)

  14. Diversity in Chicago (open to P&P members and persons living within 100 miles of Chicago)

  15. Chicago, any aspect (open to P&P members and persons living within 100 miles of Chicago)


Send 2 copies of each poem on standard 8 ½ x 11” paper.  Please indicate the category number and title of the poem at top right of both copies.  Type ID (name, address, email address, and phone number) at top left of first copy.  No ID on second copy.  Please organize your entries in order of categories listed here, 1-15.

Poems must be in English, unpublished, and may not have won previous cash awards from Poets & Patrons.  Please, no unusual fonts or graphics.  You may not enter the same poem in more than one category.  Line limit:  60 lines.  Miniature poem: 14 lines.

Please remember to enclose your check, made payable to Poets & Patrons.  Include SASE for Winner’s List if you wish to receive one.  Winners will also be posted at

Send entries to Barbara L. Eaton, Contest Chair, Poets & Patrons, P.O. Box 936, Downers Grove, IL 60515-0936, USA.  Winning poems will be read at the annual awards ceremony in October.

Poet retains all rights.  Poems will not be returned.  The decisions of judges are final. 

Past winners’ lists ⟶