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Clark State to Host Annual Voices of the Valley Poetry Contest

Clark State to Host Annual Voices of the Valley Poetry Contest

March 31, 2021

The Clark State College Creative Writers Club will host its annual Voices of the Valley Poetry Contest this spring. Submissions are due no later than April 23, 2021.

The Clark State Creative Writers Club organized and is sponsoring the contest, which is open to students enrolled in area high schools, colleges, and universities within Champaign, Clark, Logan, and Greene Counties.

The judges’ decisions, structured around a blind reading, will be announced in fall of 2021.

“The Voices of the Valley Poetry Contest has become a tradition at Clark State College,” said Christopher Bays, professor of English at Clark State. “This year’s theme is ‘hope in a time of crisis; recovery from the stressors of life.’ In addition to prize money, winning entries will be published in Voices of the Valley, a Clark State College student journal.”

The Voices of the Valley Poetry Contest began in 2019. Winners from 2019 and 2020 were from Clark Shawnee High School and Cedarville University.

Past themes for the contest focused on “Sense of Place” and “Addiction.” Winning entries were selected based on originality, adherence to theme, and consistency of voice and imagery.

This year’s contest will be judged by Tabitha Parker, Assistant Professor of English, Clark State College; Arvilla Fee, adjunct faculty and student editor of Voices of the Valley; and D. Scot Hinson, Associate Professor of English, Wittenberg University.

Winning entries will be announced in fall of 2021, followed by an award’s banquet and public readings. Prizes include $100: First Place, $50: Second Place, $25: Third Place, and Honorable Mentions.

Submission Process:

  1. The submission must be made by email. Send no more than one poem on the topic of “Hope in the Time of Crises; Recovery from the Stressors of Life” in one Microsoft word file (.doc or docx) to Chris Bays, Professor of English, Clark State College, at baysc@clarkstate.edu. In the email message, list 1) your full name, 2) e-mail address, 3) phone #, 4) home address, 5) school you are attending. Do not place contact information in attached file because your poem will be judged blind (Judges will not know who wrote it and which school it came from)
  2. Type in the email SUBJECT LINE: Voices of the Valley, your full name and date sent.
  3. Submit no more than one poem in attached file. Contact info must be placed into email message and not in attached file. The poem cannot exceed 250 words and must be based on the topic of “Hope in the Time of Crises; Recovery from the Stressors of Life.” Not following submission guidelines will make you ineligible for a prize.

For details and requirements for the contest, please contact Chris Bays, Faculty Adviser, at baysc@clarkstate.edu.

Media Contact

Crystal Jones Vice President of Marketing, Diversity and Community Impact

937.328.6145 jonesc@clarkstate.edu