REGION —The Annual Literacy Volunteers Poetry Contest is free, for all-ages and open from February 14-March 31 to all residents of Franklin and Somerset Counties, and the towns of Livermore, and Livermore Falls. First, second, and third place winners will be selected in each of 5 categories: (Age 0-10, 11-17, 18-25, 26 and older, and students of Literacy Volunteers).

Winners receive gift certificates to area bookstores: $20 value for first place at Devaney Doak & Garrett Booksellers, $15 value for second place at Twice Sold Tales, and $5 value for third place at the Phillips Library store. All winners will be announced on April 12 and invited to a virtual celebration on April 30, open to the public. All winning poems will be published. For more information go to westernmainelitaracy.org.

To enter, submit one poem, with a cover letter, by March 31, to [email protected] (subject line: Poetry) or mail to Literacy Volunteers at 129Seamon Rd., Farmington, 04938. Only submissions which follow the criteria and are submitted by March31 will be considered. The cover letter must list the poet’s name, category entered, contact information, and the title of the poem so that poems can be read anonymously by the judge. Cover letters need not include biographical information.

All poems must be original and previously unpublished. Poems will not be returned, so please do not send originals or a SASE. Simultaneous submissions are accepted; please note on the cover letter and notify Literacy Volunteers immediately of acceptance elsewhere. Literacy Volunteers of Franklin and Somerset Counties will catalog all poems and send them, with any identifying information removed, to an out-of-county judge, Laine Kuehn, of Belfast, Maine, who will select the winners in each category.

Laine graduated from the Denver School of the Arts in 2010, received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from UMF, served as an intern with the Beloit Poetry Journal in 2013-2014, and is on the Belfast Poetry Festival steering committee. Finalists will be notified by April 12. Other confirmation of receipt should not be expected.Literacy Volunteers of Franklin and Somerset Counties is a 501(3C) public charity with a mission to promote family literacy. For more information about the contest guidelines, visit: westernmaineliteracy.org or call 207-500-3131.

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