English Department • Upcoming Events • Hilda Simmons Levitt Poetry Contest

Announcing the 2016 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 28th 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 Saturday, April 9, 2016.

hsl walkerJudging

This year's judge, will be Loretta Diane Walker. Ms. Walker is a two-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize for poetry. She has published three collections of her work. Her poetry can also be found in the new anthology of 60 Texas women poets entitled Her Texas and within her manuscript In This House, soon to be published by Bluelight Press. In 2011 she won the Bluelight Press Book Award. Her work has been honored many times and has appeared in numerous publications.


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 is set for Thursday, April 28th, 2016, 5:30 p.m. in Room 101 (the Lecture Hall), F. Marie Hall Academic Building, MC main campus. 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.


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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 Phone: (432) 685-4624

 E-mail: Fine Arts & Communications Division