Vox Poetry Contest
A Free Competition for Formal Verse

2024 Contest Winners

Rhyme & Reason

Formal poetry is the ultimate creative writing challenge. I write it obsessively by moonlight, and I suspect everyone else does too. During spring 2024, I’m putting up $200 of my own money for the best three formal poems submitted in English. First prize is $100, and second/third are both $50.

Poems must have a recognizable meter and rhyme scheme. I’ll vet all submissions and throw out any free verse, blank verse, or sloppy verse. However, poems don’t have to conform to any particular genre or pattern. Poems should be 30 lines or fewer. Each author can only submit one poem, so send your best.


Vox Populi

Why should only one person say which poems are best? Unlike nearly every other poetry contest on the planet, the winners of this contest will triumph by general acclaim. Each submitter will get three votes. Submitters can spend one vote on themselves, but they must choose two other poems to be eligible to win. I’ll anonymize all submissions, publish a private compilation for all submitters to browse, and send a unique SurveyMonkey ballot to each author. The poem with the most overall votes will win 1st place, and the two with the next most votes will win 2nd and 3rd. All winning poems will be published on this website, though the authors will keep copyright and all publishing rights.

The Fine Print

The voting method in this contest is called “approval voting.” It’s similar to ranked choice voting, except that the choices aren’t ranked. Instead, a voter chooses three options weighted equally.

Authors who do not use all three votes will be automatically disqualified. It takes a village to choose a poet.

Poets younger than 18 are welcome to submit poems. Please have a parent or guardian submit your poem on your behalf.

Authors, keep in mind that young poets may participate. All poems should be family-friendly.

On submission, each author can choose categories to describe the poem. Though these won’t have an effect on voting, I’ll use them for honorable mentions within each category.





The 2024 contest is now closed.
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