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


Poets & Patrons 61st Annual
Chicagoland Poetry Contest


This competition allows both members, and non-members to compete in various categories. First, second, and third place contest winners will receive their awards by mail this year. A $12.00 entry fee is required of all entrants who are members ($15 for non-members). Poetry editors and teachers from across the nation are selected each year to judge all entrants anonymously.

Deadline:  September 1, 2017 (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. Religious Poem (open to all)
2. Humorous Poem (open to all)
3. Formal Verse (open to all)
4. Free Verse (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, Magic, Legends, Fairy Tales (open to all)
11. Love, any aspect (open to all)
12. Chicago, The Arts (open to P&P members and persons living within 100 miles of Chicago)
13. Chicago, any aspect (open to P&P members and persons living within 100 miles of Chicago)
14. Poem inspired by Gwendolyn Brooks—any aspect--her life, her work, or her poetry (open to P&P members and persons living within 100 miles of Chicago) 

Contest Rules:
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, 1-14.

Poems must be in English, unpublished, and must not have won previous cash awards from Poets & Patrons.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 (counting epigraph, section numbers and blank lines between stanzas, if any). 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 on the Contest Winners page of

Send entries to Barbara L. Eaton, Contest Chair, 416 Gierz Street, Downers Grove, IL 60515-3838, USA. Winners will be notified in mid-October 2017. 

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

Past winners’ lists ⟶