Moving Words Poetry Competition

Moving Words Poetry Competition

The Moving Words Competition for adults returned in 2016 after a hiatus. Six winning poems and six honorable mentions were selected from more than 400 poems by judge and local poet, editor, and literary curator Francisco Aragón. View the six winning poems on Arlington’s ART buses from April through September 2016.

The 2016 winners were:

* Susan Bucci Mockler

* D. Gilson

* Steve Herring

* J. Howard

* Camisha L. Jones

* Ellen Sazzman

Honorable mentions went to Elizabeth Acevedo, Teri Ellen Cross Davis, Patricia Davis, Ann Rayburn, Nancy Tyler and Joyce Winslow.

DEADLINE: The next Moving Words Poetry Competition for adults will open in late fall of 2016 with a January 2017 deadline. Please check back here for updates and do not submit entries until the competition is opened.

General Competition Information:

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 2017 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 2017. Winning poems will be also posted on this site and will be archived on the Arlington County website.

ELIGIBILITY 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.

GUIDELINES 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 page of your Microsoft Word of PDF document. 3. DO NOT put your name on poems. Prepare one separate page 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.

ABOUT 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