Announcing Our Third Annual Poetry Contest

August 2, 2021

Do joy and sorrow stir your heart into creative flame, and then an empty page calls your name? Are you courageous and clever, willing to try writing the best poem ever?


If so, you’re in for a treat, because you now have a chance to compete. We’re offering rewards for poetic prowess to anyone who does not fail to wow us.


Both poetry and prose have merit, and at Story Embers we love to share it. So please read on, but do take care, for sparks will soon be flying everywhere!



First Place Winner will receive:

  • $100 cash
  • Publication on the Story Embers blog

Second Place Winner will receive:

  • $50 cash
  • Publication on the Story Embers blog

Official Rules

Please read these guidelines carefully and refer back to the list before entering. We reserve the right to disqualify entrants for not following our criteria, and the judges’ decisions are final.


  • Word count must be no shorter than 100 and no longer than 500. You may choose any style of poetry you wish (free verse, rhyming, sonnet, etc.) provided that it fits within those perimeters.
  • The poem must be original and unpublished. If it has previously been posted online (on a personal blog or elsewhere), that classifies as published. You may acquire the help of critique partners to refine your poem, but coauthored pieces are not permitted.
  • Entries must be submitted as Microsoft Word documents. If you don’t have access to that program, you can prepare your text in Google Docs and export to Word.
  • Type your poem’s title at the top of the page, but do not include your name anywhere in the document (that information will be collected on the entry form). Use 12 pt. Times New Roman. Center and left alignment are both acceptable.
  • Entries must be text only. Images, graphics, or illustrations (whether enclosed in the file or submitted separately) will be rejected.
  • A $10 submission fee must be tendered at the time of entry. This fee is nonrefundable. After you fill out the form and click Proceed to Payment, you’ll be redirected to PayPal to pay the fee.
  • Patrons who pledged at the $8 tier or above may enter for FREE. Type your name/pseudonym in an email, attach your poem, and send it directly to me at brianna@storyembers.org. All other participants must submit their poems via the entry form.
  • Only one entry is allowed per person. Once a poem has been submitted, we will not accept edits or exchanges, so be sure to polish your work thoroughly and upload the correct document.
  • Entrants must be subscribers to our newsletter. If you haven’t signed up yet, you may do so by visiting our Resource Library.
  • The following individuals are ineligible to enter the contest: Story Embers board and staff members, writers, and interns, as well as the previous year’s first place winner.
  • Entries that contradict our Statement of Faith or contain objectionable content (such as gratuitous violence, profanity, or sex) will be disqualified.
  • The finalists are subject to our Editorial Policy, and Story Embers retains exclusive use of the winning poems for 3 months after publication. Once that time span has elapsed, authors are free to reprint their pieces elsewhere.
  • Only the first and second place poems will be published on the Story Embers blog. If you do not win one of those spots, you can assume we aren’t interested in acquiring your poem. Any contest entries that come through our regular submission channel, whether immediately following the contest or much later, will be rejected.

Judging Process

Poems will be evaluated on the basis of rhythm/meter, theme, imagery, word choice, and originality. Daeus Lamb and Cindy Green will be acting as judges. You’ve probably met Daeus on our forum, which he directs, but he reviews poetry submissions as well. Cindy is a founding member of our writing team who delights us with soul-stirring poems each month. They’re both eager to be captivated by your words!


Daeus has the twin ambitions of reaching thousands of readers with his fiction and helping other Christian artists do the same. In pursuit of these visions, he’s the author of God of Manna, serves as a board member here at Story Embers, runs Excelsior Writing School, and hosts a YouTube channel dedicated to analyzing the fantasy genre. He loves juggling words. He also loves people, fictional or real (but he doesn’t juggle them).



Cindy is a forest-wandering, poetry-scribbling stargazer with messy notebooks and messy thoughts. Despite her love for all of God’s creation, sunflowers and stars have a way of sneaking into both her writing and her heart. As a self-professing ambivert (or a living contradiction), she deeply feels both the beauty and fallen state of the world. Through her words, she hopes to describe the indescribable and form personal connections with people while reflecting adoration for her Savior and a passion for everything she touches.


How to Enter

This year’s contest closed at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Aug. 31, 2021. Thanks for your interest! Winners will be announced on October 28, 2021. If you place in the contest, we’ll contact you a few weeks prior to that. Otherwise, due to the volume of submissions we receive, we won’t be able to follow up with you on the status of your entry.


Have a question about the contest? Email brianna@storyembers.org or drop a comment below.


  1. Dawn McDonnell

    Hi Brianna,
    Dawn here reaching out. Yasss! I missed entrance for the last story contest as I was in the middle of actually finishing a spiritual poem.
    This is awesome. I would live to enter this poem for August 31 st.
    Quick question ?
    I was practicing illustrator & photoshop. ( complete neophyte)
    I put my poem successfully on a beautiful sunset siesta key photo I took on my iPhone . ( no I’m note a. Photographer either just love and admire nature and beauty.
    I surprisingly came out good.
    Can I summit this poem on a photo?

    • Brianna Storm Hilvety

      As the rules state, all entries must be Microsoft Word documents. Poems with graphics, illustrations, etc. will be disqualified.

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