In cooperation with the Kent State University Press, the Wick Poetry Center sponsors an annual poetry chapbook competition for Ohio writers, a National Teen Writing contest, as well as the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize. The winning manuscripts are published by the Kent State University Press, and the winners give a public reading of their work on campus.

Ends on July 26, 2017$150.00 - 450.00
$150.00 - 450.00

Thank you for your willingness to sponsor a Wick Junior! 

We accept all students regardless of their ability to cover the registration fee, so your contribution is very important. Thank you! 

The Wick Poetry Center is proud to host the annual Wick Juniors Writing Club summer camp for students entering grades 3 through 12. This camp involves two days on Kent State’s campus, and a three-day, two-night stay at the Environmental Education Center at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. For more detailed information about the camp, visit our website

* Important: This is not the page to register for the Wick Juniors Writing Club summer camp. This page is for sponsorship only. To register for the writing camp, visit this link.*

Ends on April 15, 2017

A total of $3,000 in scholarships will be awarded for the best poetry submitted by Kent State University undergraduates.

1st Place - $1,500

2nd Place - $1,000

3rd Place - $500 

  • These awards are nonrenewable. Undergraduates may reapply.
  • The competition is open to any undergraduate currently enrolled at Kent State University.
  • The scholarship awards are to Kent State University only. 
  • All entries must be original and unpublished.
  • Each entrant may submit one poem only.
  • The poem should be no more than 100 lines long.
  • The poet’s name should not appear on the poem. 
  • In the cover letter section, poets must write their name, address, email and telephone number.  
  • Entries must be submitted between December 1, 2015, and April 15, 2016. 
Ends on July 26, 2017$150.00 - 450.00
$150.00 - 450.00

Open for young writers entering grades 3 through 12

Registration fee: $150

Wick Juniors Writing Club began offering a summer camp in 2016. This camp is offered in partnership with the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Students entering grades 3 through 12 will experience two full days with the Wick Poetry Center teachers at Kent State University. Additionally, students will continue their experience with Wick teachers during a two-night, three-day stay at the Environmental Education Center (EEC) in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.  Through guided hikes, pond dips, and more, the young writers will explore how the natural world influences our writing. A culminating reading will follow at the Wick Poetry Center’s Poetry Park. The registration fee of $150.00 covers all expenses, including meals and lodging at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Additionally, the young writers will receive a bag, notebook, and pencils. 

July 26 - 27: 
These two on-campus days will run from 10am – 4pm. Drop off and pickup are at the Wick Poetry Center (126 S. Lincoln Street, Kent, Ohio). Students are placed into three groups according to the grade they are entering: Group A: 3 – 4; Group B: 5 – 7; Group C: 8 – 12. Each group will explore the campus to grow and enrich their creative writing process. Each group will have a Wick Poetry Center instructor, as well as two trained assistants. Lunch will not be provided on these two days. Early drop-off and late pick-up is available between the hours of 9am and 5pm.
July 28 – July 30
These dates include three days and two nights in air-conditioned lodging, guided hikes, pond and river dips, night hikes, readings around the fire, and more to inspire your child’s imagination. The same Wick Poetry Center instructors and teaching assistants will continue to lead writing workshops at the park. Thanks to feedback from our young writers and/or their parents last year, we are providing more time to explore and write. Specific drop-off and pick-up times will be available upon registration. (Parents with a child entering grade 3, or parents of a child with specific needs, are invited to chaperone.)
July 31: 
To celebrate the young writers’ work, we will gather at the Wick Poetry Center’s Poetry Park at 6:30 p.m. to hear each student read a poem or story of their choice. A reception will follow. 

Scholarships are available to those in need. If you are in need of receiving a scholarship please contact Nicole Robinson at If you would like to sponsor a Wick Junior, you can do so online, or mail a check to: Wick Poetry Center, Kent State University, c/o Nicole Robinson, P.O. Box 5190. 

If you have questions or concerns, please e-mail

Ends on May 1, 2017$25.00

This prize is offered annually to a poet who has not previously published a full-length collection of poems. The prize awards the winner with $2,500 and publication of his or her first full-length book of poetry by the Kent State University Press. The winner and the competition's judge will give a reading together on the Kent State campus. The 2016 winner was Even Years by Christine Gosnay, selected by Angie Estes; the 2017 winner will be selected by Khaled Mattawa.


  • The competition is open to poets writing in English who have not yet published a full-length collection of poems (a volume of 50 or more pages published in an edition of 500 or more copies).
  • There is a $30 reading fee. 
  • Submissions must consist of 50 to 70 pages of poetry, with no more than one poem included on a page. 
  • The poet's name or identifying information is not to appear on the manuscript. Include just one title page with the title only. List all other contact information in the "cover letter" box of the submissions manager. Entries are judged anonymously. If any identifying information is found in the manuscript, the manuscript will be disqualified.
  • Do not include an acknowledgements page. If an acknowledgements page is included in the manuscript, the manuscript will be disqualified. 
  • The manuscript may be submitted simultaneously to other publishers, but the poet must notify the Wick Poetry Center immediately if the manuscript is accepted for publication elsewhere.
  • Manuscripts must be postmarked between February 1, 2017, and May 1, 2017.
  • A winner will be announced in late summer, 2017.