The Wabash Watershed Indiana Poetry Awards Contest


Photo by Shari Wagner

Photo by Shari Wagner

The Wabash Watershed Indiana Poetry Awards

Contest Guidelines

Poems will be split into two categories, “urban” and “rural.” One winner will be chosen from each. Additionally, there will also be two finalists chosen from each category. All six poems—each winner and the finalists—will be published on The Wabash Watershed, the official website/web magazine of current Indiana Poet Laureate, George Kalamaras.

First Prize winners in each category will receive an award of $100. Second and third place in each category will receive $50 each. In the unlikely event that quality of submissions is lower than expected, fewer than these six prizes may be awarded.

There is NO entry fee. Because of the need to continue promoting poetry in our state, Indiana Poet Laureate, George Kalamaras, is offering up a portion of his honorarium to fund these prizes and honor winning Indiana poets with recognition both through publication and monetary awards.

The submission period for this year’s prize competitions is May 1, 2014 through June 1, 2014. Entries must be previously unpublished* and must be original work written in English by a current resident of Indiana. (Current students and employees at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne are not eligible, nor are former students of George Kalamaras.)

George Kalamaras will serve as an initial screener. In order to ensure his objectivity, please do not submit a poem you have cause to believe he might be able to identify. If he identifies a poem as belonging to someone he knows, the submission will be withdrawn from consideration.

Finalists will be sent to an outside judge for final decisions.

*What is eligible as unpublished work? We at The Wabash Watershed define “unpublished” as work that has not been published by an online or print publication and is not currently accepted for such publication.


Two Submission Categories: Urban and Rural Poetry

This year, we are offering prizes in the categories of Urban and Rural Poetry. What do we mean when we say urban and rural? We do not necessarily mean poems should focus literally on either urban or rural landscapes and imagery (though we certainly welcome poems that do this). Language itself can also be broken into urban and rural. Think of the conversations you hear and have at your local coffee shop, diner, or out in the field harvesting soybeans. The specific words we use, as well as how we use them, can be as clear as what we see outside our kitchen windows in regards to what represents our urban or rural identities. Additionally, values themselves often can be identified as being either urban or rural. What do these words mean to you? What do their values represent? How do urban and rural interface with your notions of community? These are only a few examples, but we hope you see that there are many and varying definitions of urban and rural. While we love equally images of tall buildings, sidewalks, freshly tilled fields, and plow horses, we also encourage you to explore for yourselves what it means either to be urban or rural and what that means for you as a resident of Indiana.


Submission Guidelines—PLEASE READ THOROUGHLY

Contestants may submit both to the “urban” and “rural” categories, but may submit only one time to each.

Please submit 1-3 poems (or a total of 100 lines of poetry for the entire submission) in any one category to

Submissions must be in one document and must either be in PDF or Microsoft Word .doc or .docx format, with only one poem per page. Do not send each poem as its own individual document.

Please put your name and poem category—”urban” or “rural”—as the subject heading of the email.

In the body of the email, please include the following information in this format:

———Full Name
———Phone Number
———Email Address
———Website (if applicable)

———Title of Poem 1
———Title of Poem 2
———Title of Poem 3

DO NOT include your name or any identifying information anywhere on the attached document with your poems.

Simultaneous submissions are okay. Entries may be under consideration with another publisher, but we ask that you please contact The Wabash Watershed immediately if a submission is accepted for publication elsewhere, so we can withdraw it from consideration.

Entries will be accepted from May 1, 2014 until 11:59:59 PM EST on June 1, 2014.

All entrants should receive notification of the results via email by June 30, 2014.

Send all general questions to  Submissions, though, MUST be sent to

Please understand that we cannot accept submissions that do not adhere completely to these guidelines.

Comments are closed.