Poetry Contest Rules

Contest applicants must be enrolled as full-time students (at least 12 credits for undergrad and 6 credits for graduate students) at Brigham Young University in either semester of the 2023-2024 school year.

– This contest provides a total award this year of $1,850 for winners and any outside judges. Generally the judges will divide this among four winners. However, depending on the quality of the poems, the judges may divide the money among more or fewer than four winners, even giving the entire amount to the first place entry. Or, if the judges feel that the poetry submissions are not good enough, they may withhold some or all of the awards.

– The poems may treat any theme and be of any type within the general limits of what is defined as poetry as long as they conform to the standards of good taste. The judges will select the winning entries primarily on the basis of their literary merit.

– An entry should be from 50 to 300 lines and may be one long poem or any combination of shorter poems. Only one PDF document can be submitted. It should be typed on regular white type paper. Please include a cover sheet in the PDF which contains title(s) of your work(s) and your student ID number. The student’s name should not appear anywhere on the PDF submission.

All entries are to be submitted between January 8th and March 2nd, 2024 before 11:59 p.m., and the winning poems will be announced at an awards ceremony later in the semester. Entries should be uploaded to the Mayhew website. No hard copies will be accepted in the College of Humanities office.

– The Mayhew Awards Committee will appoint a judging committee of two or more members. Judges will be drawn from experienced creative writing teachers and critics of the BYU English faculty and other experienced poets and critics.

– Each student submitting an entry will upload a PDF file of their entry and fill out the appropriate information in the online form giving name, address, and telephone number and certifying (a) that he or she is eligible by proper enrollment at BYU to enter the contest, and (b) that the entry submitted is the student’s own creative work. The student’s real name will appear only to the Mayhew contest organizers. The entry will be known to judges only by a number assigned by the Mayhew contest staff.


Important note: In addition to the specific rules above for the Poetry Contest, see the “General Regulations” giving information on all Mayhew Student Creative Contests. Both the general regulations and the specific rules for each contest should be followed by every student who enters one or more of the contests.

All submissions require the above mentioned cover sheet, must fill out the online form (see below and Log-In to access), and must be submitted online. Online submissions will open on January 8th, 2024.

Contest Contact Information

Michael Lavers
Poetry Contest Chairman
4162 JFSB, Telephone 801-422-9783


WHEN LOGGING IN: Please note that you will be redirected to a WordPress dashboard. Once you are redirected, simply return to the respective Mayhew Contest page you were on and you should be logged in. If you have any issues logging in you can call 801-422-2775 or email humanities@byu.edu.