The purpose of the writing contests at Adventure Bound Books is to encourage creative writing in our local community and beyond by supporting the efforts of aspiring writers.  The contests aims to challenge writers and present them with opportunities to practice skills that could be an integral part in taking their writing pursuits to the next level.  Our inaugural year was 2019 when we offered our adult contest - Adventure Bound Writing Contest - and our youth contest - Creative Kids Writing Contests.  As we move into our second year, we aim to grow with purpose, expanding our pool of participants each year as well as our prizes and opportunities for entrants and winners as the contest continues.  We're thrilled to add to our writing contest calendar our inaugural poetry contest with support from City of Morganton Main Street!

1st Place - Kristen Richardson, NC
2nd Place - Kyra Freeman, NC
3rd Place - Linea Jantz, WA
Writers of all ages are invited to submit poetry for our Inaugural Celebrating Poetry Writing Contest along the theme of Nature’s Playground.  In partnership with the City of Morganton Main Street, the Poetry Contest seeks to celebrate the undeniable magic of words and the beauty of poetry.  Cash prizes are available to 1st Place, 2nd Place, and 3rd Place winners.  The entry fee is $5 and poets of all ages are invited to submit their work.  

Registration and Entry Period - March 1-March 31, 2020

    * All submissions must be made by 11:59pm EST on March 31, 2020.

Judging Period - April 5 - 25, 2020

Public Announcement of Winners - April 30, 2020

Based on judges’ scoring, three poems will be selected and designated as 1st place, 2nd place, and 3rd place poems.  All poems, regardless of participants’ age, will be judged in the same category with only three winning poems selected.  

1st Place Winner - $500

2nd Place Winner - $250

3rd Place Winner - $125

The Celebrating Poetry Writing Contest is an online poetry contest.  Registration and all submissions for judging must be submitted online.  In-person registrations and submissions are not accepted.  Participants must create a free account with Submittable, the online contest submission platform.  

Poems can take any form (examples include, but are not limited to, couplets, free verse, rhymed poetry, sonnets, haiku, narrative) and should address the contest theme.  The 2020 Inaugural contest theme is Nature’s Playground.  

Individuals wishing to participate will register for the contest, pay the entry fee, and submit their poem at the same time.  The deadline to do so is March 31, but may be done as soon as the writer has completed his/her/their poem and is ready to submit it for judging.  Judging will take place after April 1st, so early submission does not grant favor by reviewers.  Therefore, be sure to take your time and submit your best work.

Judges will be individuals from the community who are published poets, writing and English literature educators, librarians, scholars, and community leaders.  Judges will review all submissions for (1) connection to contest theme, (2) technical content (grammar, spelling, punctuation), and (3) overall message conveyed.


The contest is open to individuals of all ages.  Using the stated contest theme, writers will write an original poem for judging.  The 2020 theme is Nature’s Playground.

Q: Do I have to live in the United States?

A: Yes.  At this time, the contest is currently only open to US residents.

Q: Do I have to live in Morganton, NC?
A: No.  This is an online contest and thus, you can register and participate from anywhere in the United States.

Q: Can I submit a poem I’ve written previously?

A: Poems submitted for the Contest should be original works and should be written in response to the contest theme.  If you have a poem that connects with the contest theme that you have written before, you may submit it to the contest.

Q: Who has the rights to the poems written as part of/during the contest?

A: The writer/author of the poem always maintains rights to the work as it is his/her/their work/intellectual property.  Adventure Bound Books and/or City of Morganton Main Street reserve the right to publish poetry submissions and the name of any writer that enters the competition for publicity and/or award and recognition purposes.  In some cases Adventure Bound Books may reach out to writers to publish their poetry on our website or in our newsletter, but a separate agreement is made for the poem published in this manner.

Q: Is there a specific format requirement for my submission?

A: There are no margin or spacing requirements but poems must be typed in 12 point Courier or Times New Roman typeface.  Submissions should be written in standard American English.

Q: What are the file requirements for my submission?

A: Files must be submitted as .pdf or .doc (or .docx) files.  

Q: Can I submit more than one poem?

A: Each entrant may submit only one poem for judging.  

Q: Can I enter under a pen name?

A: Yes, but you must also provide your legal name for the purposes of any prizes won.

Q: I notice the deadline for the contest is Eastern Time/Eastern Standard Time.  What if I’m writing from a different timezone?

A: You will need to be aware of the time difference (ahead or behind) the stated ET/EST deadlines based on the timezone you are writing from in order to submit by the stated ET/EST time.  

Q: I live near the bookstore; can I stop by the bookstore and register?

A: No.  All registrations must be completed and fees paid online through Submittable.

Q: I live near the bookstore; can I stop by the bookstore and submit my poem?

A: No.  All submissions must be made online through Submittable.
Q: I don't do online purchases.  Can I mail in my entry fee as a check and also mail in my short story submission?
A: No.  All aspects of the contest take place online.

Q: I registered, and paid my entry fee, but I’ve decided I don’t want to participate.  Can I get a refund?

A: There are no refunds (unless the contestant minimum is not reached).  

Q: Can I get help with my writing from a friend, family member, or teammate?

A: Sure, but only the registered individual is eligible for prizes.

Q: I accidentally missed submitting my poem by the deadline; can I get an extension?

A: No.  There are no extensions past the stated deadlines for registration or each writing round


The Adventure Bound Books Poetry Contest is currently only open to residents of the United States.   Registration and entry fee payment, as well as submissions are managed through Submittable.  Individuals interested in participating in the Contest will need to set up a free account with Submittable in order to be able to submit their stories for judging.  There are no refunds (unless the contest does not reach the required minimum number of participants).  Writers maintain full rights to their stories.


If you have questions about the contest that are not answered herein, please feel free to email us at adventureboundbookstore@gmail.com with the subject line 2020 Celebrating Poetry Contest Question.


© 2018 by Adventure Bound Books, LLC