Moving Words Poetry Competition

Moving Words Poetry Competition

The 2016 MOVING WORDS Competition will be juried by Francisco Aragón, poet, editor, and literary curator, and offers area poets the chance to have their work publicly displayed on Arlington Transit (ART) buses, where it will be seen by thousands of riders over a three month period.

The 2016 Competition is now open.


DEADLINE:  JANUARY 11, 2016. Winners will be notified by March.

All entries must be received on or before the deadline.  Entries may be submitted to:


PRIZES: Six winners will have their poem displayed inside Arlington’s ART Buses for three months between April and September 2016 where it will be seen by thousands of riders, will receive a $250 honorarium, and will be invited to give a public reading of their work in April 2016. Winning poems will be also posted on this site and will be archived on the Arlington County website.


Poets who live within the DC Metro transit area (the Northern Virginia counties Arlington, Fairfax, and Loudoun and the cities Alexandria, Fairfax, and Falls Church; the District of Columbia; and the Maryland counties Montgomery and Prince George's) and who are over 18 years old are eligible to enter (those under the age of 18 may be eligible to enter the Moving Words Student Competition). Poets who have previously been selected for Moving Words must wait two years before submitting entries again. There is no fee to enter.


1.  Poems must be 10 lines or less, including stanza breaks (but not including the title). 
2.  All poems must be typed; each poem must be submitted on a separate sheet. 
3.  DO NOT put your name on poems.  Include one separate sheet with your name, address, phone, e-mail address, and the poem titles in the order in which they appear. 
4. Submit only Word docs or PDF files. Poems submitted in the body of an email will not be accepted. Poems must be submitted via e-mail to; paper copies will not be accepted.
5.  Poets may submit up to 3 poems for consideration.  There is no reading fee.
6.  Excerpts from longer poems are eligible, but the poet must provide only ten or fewer excerpted lines.  Do not send the full poem.
7.  Previously published poems are eligible, but the copyright must have reverted to the author; author must own copyright for poems that have been previously published.  
8. Poems are intended for a general audience; we cannot consider poems with content that some readers might find objectionable or offensive. 

MOVING WORDS is a program of the Cultural Affairs Division of the Arlington County Department Economic Development and is sponsored in part by Arlington Transit. For more information please email