Submit three to five poems, each of which does not exceed 50 lines. Email as a word file or in the email body to Put “Poetry Competition Submission” in the subject line of the email. There is no submission fee, no age requirement, and no country restriction. For the high school prize, only one poem in any theme is required and indicate what high school you are enrolled in to qualify. Translations should not exceed 50 lines.

The poems must be within the four themes used by the Society, and at least one poem must be in the Issues of Our Age theme:

(1) The Issues of Our Age:

A. Human Rights in China. In a globalized world, the human rights violations in China are essentially in our own backyard. Particularly heinous is the persecution of the peaceful meditation practice Falun Gong.
B. Terrorism and Communism. Terrorists, communists, and their ideologies plague the world like hate-filled cancers that do not seem to go away. How can the world defeat such insidious foes?
C. The Environment. Though debate remains over climate change and GMOs, environmental pollution undeniably compromises our water and air. Nature’s beauty and purity is victimized by technology and industrialization.

(2) Beautiful & Sublime: Beauty in human nature, culture, the natural world, classical art forms, and the divine.

(3) Humor & Riddles: Clean humor only please.

(4) Great Culture: Good figures, stories, and other elements from classical (pre-1900) history and literature.

Submission deadline for competition: December 31, 2017

Winners announced: February 1, 2018


First Prize: $500
Second Prize
Third Prize
Fourth Prize

High School Prize: $100

Essay Prize (Topic must demonstrate the value of classical poetry)

Translation Prize: $100

Hudson Valley, New York Poetry Prize: $100
(Orange, Sullivan, Ulster, Rockland, Duchess, and Putnam counties of New York State)


Additional Details

Metered and rhymed poetry is preferred but not required. We usually do not publish love poems, free verse, or overly dark poems that don’t teach a positive lesson. Poems are judged based on both form and character. The poem should ideally be written in 2017, but does not have to be. It is okay if you have submitted it to other contests or posted it on your blog, or if it’s been selected for publication in another journal. Feedback on poetry is not provided, but common feedback can be found here. Learn how to write classical style poetry here.

We note that you will retain ownership of your poetry. By submitting it to the Society for publication or for inclusion in the contest, you give the Society the rights to possibly publish it online on this website, in a Society of Classical Poets journal, or in the Epoch Times newspaper (online and in print), but we would not be able to sell your individual poem on its own or have any further rights over it beyond these forums. You could publish it anywhere else or sell it to any publication as desired. The first step in publishing is to have it published on the Society’s homepage and we will check with you first to confirm if we have your permission to do so. At that time you may indicate that we do or do not. Alternatively, when submitting you may add a note stating “do not publish if not a winner.”

Translations should be of Romantic period or earlier poetry. The topic does not matter. Translations are in addition to regular poetry submissions. You may submit up to three translations in addition to five original poems.

The competition is judged by Evan Mantyk, President of the Society, and other participating Executive Staff.

You do not have to be a member of the Society to participate.

Any submissions for the Hudson Valley Prize automatically compete for the general prize as well. If you want to qualify for the Hudson Valley prize, please indicate so in your submission and include your address.

Advisory Board members may participate.


Past Winners



NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets.

The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments.


46 Responses

  1. Morgan Downs

    Can we submit poems which have been published here if we consider it our best?

      • Mary


        Though all the gold you give my heart
        With my soul I shall never part.
        A dress of stars I rather wear.
        And moon light shining in my hair.

        And dreams of rainbow spun and spun.
        Nothing is equal under the sun.
        To finding the pearl of great price.
        If you miss it -you have blinked twice.

        Divers can dive under the sea.
        They will all fade in memory.
        They can bring me castle and keys.
        I found the key I need for me.

        World keep your pomp and pompous pride
        I with the canopy of starlight ride.
        I dance with the moonlight romance.
        I play in fields where butterflies prance.

        From star to star, I hang my head.
        The clouds for my mind are my bed.
        I found a place where sorrows shed.
        You can’t sell me what to me is dead.

        Money is cold and lies grow old.
        I have the lamp and she I hold.
        Above my head , she is unfurled.
        She isn’t just another girl.

        I don’t compete and I don’t fight.
        In my own class and my own right.
        There is no prize but living in light.
        The Statue of liberty another height.

        I swapped all of the world, the world.
        For one great and mysterious pearl.
        She fears not even at world’s end.
        On her I can always depend.
        -Anastacia Fearless

  2. Satyananda Sarangi


    If we can send poems already published on the Society’s website, then do we have to mention which ones are those and which ones are fresh? ( For instance, one may send two previously published poems along with two other unpublished ones. In that case, do we need to mention?)


    • The Society

      Dear J. Simon Harris,
      The guidelines have been updated to include a Translation prize. Translations should not exceed 50 lines. Excerpts of longer works, such as those by Dante or Homer, may of course be submitted.

    • The Society

      You should receive an email confirming that your poems were received. Other than that, you should check this website on February 1, 2018 for the results.

  3. judith

    should the poems be submitted anonymously or information like name, country of residence, etc be attached?

  4. Lenore

    Please I send my poems via email attachments just the poems ? (I’m tech challenged so sending them just typed into a regular email is preferable). Thanks.

  5. Lenore

    Is it permissible to add the my name and the words ‘copyright 2017’ after each poem?

    • Lenore

      Please advise regarding if it’s ok to add my name and ‘copyright 2017’ following each poem? Also is there a preferable or required font type/size? Thank you.

      • The Society

        You may put the copyright. Poets retain copyright over their poems. Times New Roman, 12 point font is good, but not required.

  6. Lenore

    I would like to submit in several categories ..should I identify the categories before each poem submitted?

  7. Lenore

    My apologies for asking so many questions…I appreciate your patience, time, and responses ..submitting online is new for me. One last question…Is email the only way we will be contacted in any case” Thank you again.

  8. Janice Canerdy

    I clicked on “terrorism” (above in instructions) and found information about Islamic
    terrorists. Must poems about terrorism be about Islam? Thank you.


  9. Lenore

    I submitted yesterday. Is it possible to get confirmation that our submissions are received? Thank you.

  10. Sara

    Hello, I already submitted my 3 poems but I just noticed that one poem shouldn’t be longer than 50 lines. However, some of the “lines” in my poem are only 1-5 words so they are not at all the length an actual line. Is this still acceptable? Thank you!

    • The Society

      In theory it should be okay in that case, since a standard line of classical poetry is usually at least 8 – 10 syllables.

    • The Society

      The confirmation email can take two to three weeks. If you don’t receive within two weeks, please contact us. Then, if it turns out that we didn’t get, you may still forward us the email from your sent box (to prove you sent on Dec. 31 or before) and you will still qualify.

  11. Michelle Palmer

    Water is a source of strength a vital role in our society now it this vital strength was stripped of all its good intentions the position filled the sea from leaking cargos are core treatment was stolen in a vast storm now what lay in are reach was anxiety and disease are normal society dead like bird flu a vaccine was a distant ray of hope and reality was mute but simple a glimpse of care was a permanent. Remedy to remember.

  12. Nel

    Unfortunately, i just saw this competition and I have missed the deadline I wanted to know when this competition will take place again

  13. Sr. fatimanayaki.A.C

    As eighteen year old Meena was gazing at the Coffin of her Mother,
    That was placed in the hearse; she stood still like a pillar not moving further
    The hearse was moving, the procession of the sympathizers
    Too were moving, empathetically following the hearse.

    Meena just 28 a Tamil girl, the elder daughter of the two,
    Was loved by Mr. & Mrs Rohan too,
    Traumatized with the sudden death of her Mother;
    When she bade farewell leaving her with her Sister and ailing Father.

    She needed befriending with the Touch of the Human and the Divine,
    While the Funeral procession continued to move in line;
    She was still standing as a rock
    It was a sight for all and real shock.

    Sr. Shanthi put her hand around Meena and led her gently
    To the Cemetery to bid farewell to her Mother gently
    She responded generously and poured out her grief to weep
    In sighs and tears till her mother was laid in the grave to sleep.

    Years sped and time healed the sorrowing Meena
    As Sr. Shanthi got a Wedding Invitation and she went in haste
    “In His Time He makes all things beautiful, it was her belief
    As Meena wedded Malik and brought her great relief.

    Yes! Malik was a Sinhalese boy in whose house,
    Mr. Rohan – a Tamil, heart patient, rented an annex with his spouse,
    While Meena‘s mother, taking to the hotel cooked meals, for sale,
    A container collided with the Auto and she died – a horrifying tale.

    It was also a time of Ethnic war in a swing
    Revenge and violence at rampant on a wing
    Malik turning twenty was sympathetically moved
    When he decided to take Meena as his life partner.

    There is no barrier, caste, Nationality and creed
    When your heart opens up to compassionate need
    We need to break the fetters of all darkened areas
    As the world needs you and me to make a difference.

    By :Sr. Fatimanayaki.A.C Contact Mobile: Whatsapp: 0771090772
    Carmel Hill Convent,
    Sri Lanka

  14. Gangadhar Sivaswamy

    I have gone through the questions and answers and interested in participating in the next i.e. forthcoming competition. Will you inform me when it will start in 2018,last date for submission etc.

  15. Ayodeji

    If I submit my peom, those that means am automatically into the contest, or they is still a step I have to follow?


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