The Hudson Valley Writers Guild hosts an annual contest that rotates among the genres of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Cash prizes are awarded. Winners and honorable mentions read their work during a Community of Writers program.


The Hudson Valley Writers Guild is pleased to announce this year’s poetry contest. Cash prizes will be awarded to first ($100), second ($75), and third place ($50) poems. The winning poets will be invited to read their winning submissions at a program in the fall.

All contestants must be residents of New York State. The entry fee is $10 for HVWG members and $15 for non-members. Checks made payable to HVWG must accompany submissions. If $30 membership fee is paid with submission, please enclose a separate check. HVWG Board of Directors and their families and/or current or past students and family of judges are ineligible.

Entries must be postmarked between June 15-August 15, 2015. One to three previously unpublished poems may be submitted. Poems must not exceed 40 lines. Contact information must not appear anywhere on the submission. A cover letter must include: name, address, phone number, email, title, and line count. Submissions must be typed using 12pt Times New Roman or Cambria font.  Send three hard copies by mail. No email submissions. Please no pornography or erotica.

This year’s judges are Howard Kogan and Cheryl A.Rice.

Howard Kogan is an award winning poet whose work has appeared in many literary journals including Still Crazy, Occupoetry, Poetry Ark, Naugatuck River Review, Jewish Currents Anthology (2014), Jewish Currents Calendar (2015) Writer’s Haven, Farming Magazine, Literary Gazette, Pathways, Up the River, Point Mass Anthology, Misfit Magazine. He has also published a book of poems, Indian Summer, and a chapbook, General Store Poems.

In 2011 he was the Poet Laureate of Smith’s Tavern, Voorheesville, NY.  He was a finalist in the second Annual Jewish Currents Dora and Alexander Raynes Poetry Competition, a semi-finalist in the Naugatuck River Review Annual Contest (2014) and one of three first place winners of the Rensselaerville Festival of Writers Poetry Contest (2014).

Cheryl A. Rice’s work has appeared in Baltimore Review, Chronogram, Florida Review, Home Planet News, Mangrove, The Temple, and Woodstock Times, and in the anthologies, Wildflowers, Vol. II (2002: Shivastan Publishing), For Enid With Love (2010: NY Quarterly Books), and A Slant of Light  (2013:Codhill Press), among others. She is the author of Moses Parts the Tulips (2013: APD Press), My Minnesota Boyhood (2012: Post Traumatic Press), and Auction (2004, Flying Monkey Press; 2nd edition 2010). Her CDs are: Nobody Slept Last Night (2003, Another Poor Bastard Productions), and Girl Poet (2007, Flying Monkey Productions).

She is also founder and host of the Sylvia Plath Bake-Off. Her poetry blog, Flying Monkey Productions, may be found at:

All entrants will be notified of winners by email unless a SASE is provided. Results will be posted on our website:

Contact Jan Tramontano at for more information.

Mail submissions and entry fee to:
HVWG CONTEST c/o Jan Tramontano, 14 Brookwood Avenue, Albany, NY  12203


2012 Submission Guidelines
This year’s contest is in poetry. Winners will be awarded cash prizes ($100 first prize, $75 second prize and $50 third prize) and invited to read their winning poem at a special Guild program in the fall of 2012.

Eligibility: All contestants must be residents of New York State. Current members of the HVWG Board of Directors and their families are not eligible. Current or past students, as well as family, of the judges are also not eligible. Judges this year are: Cecele Kraus, Dawn Marar, Thom Francis and Phillip Levine.

Submission: Entries must be postmarked between April 2 and August 31, 2012. Identification/contact information must not appear anywhere on the submission. Cover letter should include the following: name, address, phone number, email address, title of poems. 3-5 poems per submission.

All submissions must be typed, 12-pt. type, 50-line limit. Please include title and stanza breaks in your line count. Send three hard copies by mail, no e-mail submissions. Poems must be previously unpublished. Quality of the poem is the most important consideration. We are looking for poems that are well-crafted, have an excellent lyric quality and contain a strong emotional core. Any style is considered, including prose poems.

Entry Fee: $15 for non-members of HVWG, $10 for members. Make checks payable to HVWG and send with submission. Mail submissions and entry fee to The HVWG Non-Fiction Contest, c/o Mimi Moriarty, 3180 New Scotland Road, Voorheesville, NY 12186. For more information, please contact Mimi Moriarty at

Results: Submissions will not be returned, but if you would like hard copy results of the contest, please send SASE. All entrants will be notified of winners by email and/or SASE. Results will also be posted here on our website.

The 2011 contest, in non-fiction, recognized the following winners:

Personal Essay

Winner ($100)
Fran Yardley, Tupper Lake / “Roots”

Kathleen Anne Smith, Loudonville / “Why I Can’t Write”
Pamela Clements, Albany / “Tuna in Truro”
Faye Silton, Albany / “Muse, Mystery and Music”


Winner ($100)
Judy Staber, Old Chatham / “My Baby Docs”

Chloe Caldwell, Hudson / “Who the Others Were”
Francine Dempsey, Albany / “Confessional”
Jean Venable, Poughkeepsie / “Sounds Remembered”
Jean Van Dyk, Delmar / “Black Tight Pants”


Winner ($100)
Sandra Powley, Loudonville / “Friday Night at the ‘Vent”

Christina Pultzer, Phoenicia / “Safe!!”
Rodney L. Aldrich, Troy / “Mozart’s Rest”
Christa Holder Ocker, Newburgh / “Sister Bernadette”

Honorable Mention for HVWG Member
Mary Murphy, Albany / “Beauty Secrets”

The 2010 contest, in short fiction, recognized the following winners:

First place ($150) to Ken Holland, Fishkill, NY, for “Hubcaps”
Second place ($75) to Jo Salas, New Paltz, NY, for “The Very Large Array”
Third place ($50) to Carol Derfner, Kinderhook, NY, for “Birds of a Feather”

Honorable Mentions ($10) to John Velie, Albany, NY, for “Whitey,” David Sylvester, Watervliet, NY, for “Cat People” and Susan Clements, Buffalo, NY, for “Manatee Mornings.”

The 2009 contest, in poetry, recognized the following winners:

First place ($150): Cecele Allen Kraus
Second place ($75): Will Nixon
Third place ($50): Kathleen C. Elken

Honorable mentions ($10): Marie-Elizabeth Mali, Kathleen A. O’Brien & Susan E. Oringel.

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