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Poetry Contest Celebrates 20 Years at Dayton Metro Library

Each fall since 1997, the Dayton Metro Library has hosted a writing contest. To celebrate 20 years, the Poetry Contest this year has some new elements.

“The Library is happy to partner with the editors of Mock Turtle Zine, who will not only serve as our esteemed panel of judges this year, but they will also publish the first place winners, giving these poets valuable new exposure,” said Gwen Owen, Dayton Metro Library Content Writer and contest coordinator.

Mock Turtle Zine is an independent, nonprofit collaborative that promotes Dayton area writers and artists in both a print publication and online.

Poems are accepted September 1-30, 2017 at all Dayton Metro Library locations, or via email. Teens (age 13-18), adults (age 19-59) and seniors (age 60 and over) who are residents of Montgomery and surrounding counties are eligible to enter.

The Friends of the Dayton Metro Library award $100 to the first place winners in each age category, $75 for second place and $50 for third place. An awards ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, November 5, in the Bassani Theater Off Third in the newly expanded, extensively remodeled Main Library. Finalists will be notified in advance.

“Our awards ceremony is called the Poetry Party because it really is a celebration of poetry and creativity,” said Owen. “We’ve got an exciting new venue at the beautiful Main Library, and some surprises planned for the Poetry Party too.”

Poems are judged anonymously on originality, creativity, impact and adherence to contest rules. Mock Turtle Managing Editor Matt Birdsall and associate editors T.J. McGuire and Fred Kirchner will serve as judges.

"Mock Turtle Zine is honored to be working with the Dayton Metro Library to showcase the talent of Dayton's poetry scene this year,” said Birdsall. “For the past 20 years, Dayton Metro Library has worked to shine the light on talented writers. Here's hoping that the Mock Turtle team can illuminate a few more local creatives."

Poetry entries must be received at any Dayton Metro Library location no later than 6:00 p.m. Saturday, September 30, to be eligible. Complete contest rules and information are online at, and entry forms with contest rules are available at all Dayton Metro Library locations.

For more information, visit the Library’s website at or call (937) 463-BOOK.

© Dayton Metro Library - 2018