English Department • Upcoming Events • Hilda Simmons Levitt Poetry Contest

Announcing the 2015 edition of the Hilda Simmons Levitt Poetry Contest!

quillThe Hilda Simmons Levitt Poetry Contest — with more than $1,000 in prize money going to the winning poets — has been called one of the most prestigious in the state. It was established in 1988 by the late Stanley Levitt to honor his wife’s memory, and her love of poetry and Midland College. Hilda Simmons Levitt graduated with honors in journalism from Louisiana State University where she also studied under poet Robert Penn Warren. In 1979, at the age of 62, Mrs. Levitt decided to pursue writing again. For the next seven years, until her death in 1986, she studied creative writing at Midland College. The contest is now underwritten by Mrs. Levitt’s daughter Carol Schwartz, who lives in Washington, D.C.

This is the 27th year of the contest. It honors student poets at Midland College with publication, recognition, and cash awards.


Contestants may enter a maximum of five poems written in any form and any length.


Any full-time or part-time student registered in English classes at Midland College at any time in the past year is eligible to compete. Eligible students may submit as many as five entries, but no contestant will be awarded more than one prize. Prior Grand Award winners are not eligible.

Format Requirements

Your entry may be disqualified if you fail to follow format requirements listed below:

Each poem should be submitted on a separate page in a MSWord (.doc/.docx) document using the following guidelines:
   Use 1” margins on all sides.
   Center the title, capitalizing important letters (follow standard MLA guidelines for titles) one inch from the top of the first page. Do NOT include your name or any other identifying information.
   Double-space after the title and between stanzas. Otherwise, single-space throughout.
   Place the title and the page number in a header in the top right corner every page.
   Do not include your name anywhere in the entry.
   Your filename should be the title of the entry.

Submitting the Entry

Entries must be submitted online at https://www.midland.edu/forms/poetry


The deadline for entries is Friday, April 3, 2015.

hsl hardwickJudging

This year's judge, Shannon Elizabeth Hardwick, received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. She has been nominated for a Best New Poets and her manuscript was a finalist for the Levis Prize in Poetry. Hardwick’s chapbook, Hummingbird Mind, is available through Mouthfeel Press and another, Francine in the Garden, is forthcoming with Thrush Press. She is an associate poetry editor for The Boiler Journal. Her work has appeared in the following: 3:AM Magazine, Night Train, Versal, Sugar House Review and Four Way Review, among others.


Grand Award: $600 and Award Plaque
Second Place Award: $400 and Award Plaque
Third Place Award: $200 and Award Plaque
Fourth Place Award: $100 and Award Plaque

NOTE: Midland College reserves the right to withhold awards if entries are lacking in quality.

Awards Celebration

The Awards Celebration will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday April 16th, in the Carrasco Room, of the Scharbauer Student Center. Winners will not be notified in advance and are expected to attend the awards ceremony. Failure to attend may result in loss of awards.


Selected writings from the Hilda Simmons Levitt Contest will be published in Tableau, an annual student publication produced through cooperation of the Departments of English and Journalism and may also appear on the Midland College website. The material published will be selected by the Hilda Simmons Levitt Poetry Contest Committee and approved by the President of Midland College.


Browse previous Tableau magazines at the Midland College website and peruse previous winners.

Contact the Language Hub, 182 TC, 685-4561, or email began@midland.edu with questions or for examples of the correct manuscript format.


Brendan Egan
Department of English, Midland College
(432) 685-4638 |began@midland.edu

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