Annual Poetry Contest

The 2021 Poetry contest Opens for entries on November 1st. Each year Third Wednesday awards 3 $100 Prizes in its annual poetry contest. For this year’s contest, entries were accepted from November 1, 2020 through February 15, 2021.

Winning Poems for 2021

The Sower – Zoe Robles / Los Alamos, New Mexico
Reading Brodsky – Shuta Crum / St. Augustine, Florida
Driving Test – Ken Hines / Richmond, Virginia

Honorable Mentions

American Topography With Insurrection – Naomi Ling / Columbia Maryland
Peanuts – Pete Mackey / Amherst Massachusetts
Torrential – Jayne Marek / Port Townsend, Washington
Notes for Wedding Vows – Peter Schireson / Stanford, California

JoyGFOur judge for this year’s contest was Joy Gaines-Friedler. Joy has taught as a guest instructor at Wayne State University, Michigan State, Frostburg State University, and at the Lapeer Correctional Facility for the Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP) through the University of Michigan where she worked with male “lifers.”

Twenty years a professional photographer Joy sees poetry as a natural extension of the photographic art form: both use images, contrast, tensions, a kind of rhythm and tone to convey what language alone, cannot. You can find Joy’s complete bio and links to her books and individual work at

Winning poets and honorable mentions will receive a print copy of the contest issue. Non-prize poems will be considered for inclusion in the same or later issue of 3rd Wednesday as a regular submission unless the poet chooses not to have them considered (to preserve eligibility for other contests).

We will accept contest entries of up to 3 previously unpublished poems of any style and subject matter. There is no limit on length. Poems should be uploaded as a single .doc or .docx file with no identifying information within the text of the file. For poems with unusual spacing, do not use tabs. All entries must come through our submissions management portal at Submittable.  If you are not already a Submittable user, registration is free. We will not accept entries by mail or email.

You may enter as many times as you like, but only three poems per entry.

To see previous winners and honorable mentions, you can download 2019 & 2020’s Spring issues. Just click the “Free Issues” menu item above.