2-Day Poem Contest

The 2021 2-Day Poem Contest is now over! The words for 2021 were: palm, embank, sheer, wrest, lacuna, whizzed, runny, mustard, balter, and nubivagant.

See you next year!

What is the 2-Day Poem Contest?

This annual contest challenges you to write an original poem in 48 hours — with only one catch. The final poem must include ten words that we provide. These words are released at midnight CDT on Friday April 23rd, 2021, (when Friday becomes Saturday), leaving you 48 hours to use each of them at least once in an original poetry composition. Prizes include cash, publication, and a copy of the issue containing the winners, not to mention a whole weekend of wordy entertainment.

It’s easy to enter. The steps below will take you through the process. Be sure to provide your permanent, active email address in order to receive the 10 words without a hitch when the contest opens.

By registering, you have the opportunity to take advantage of our Play & Read discount, which includes a 1-year subscription to CV2 magazine for only $10. This 60% discount is only available to contest entrants. Play & Read! A whole year of CV2‘s exceptional poetry, feature interviews, and critical writing.

Official 2-Day Poet’s Rules

  • You have 48 hours from 12 AM (CDT) April 23, 2021 (when Friday becomes Saturday) to 12 AM (CDT) April 25, 2021 (when Sunday becomes Monday) to write your best poem, using all 10 words listed above.
  • The list of words will be available on our website for the duration of the contest period.
  • Each word must be used at least once in the body of the final entry. Words may be used in the title, but must also appear in the body of the poem.
  • Each word must be spelled exactly as provided. Words provided should not be altered in any way. Tense changes, suffixes, plurals, etc. are not permitted, although caps and lowercase uses are both permitted.
  • The words may not be used as proper nouns.
  • Each word must be used in proper context to qualify. If you are unsure what a word means, look the word up in a dictionary. If a word has multiple meanings you may decide which meaning to use. If you use the word more than once in the poem, the meaning of the word does not necessarily have to be the same. We are using merriam-webster.com for all our definitions for the 2021 2-Day Poem Contest.
  • Submitted poems may not exceed 48 lines of text not including the title. Stanza breaks DO NOT count as lines, nor does the title.
  • Only one poem may be entered per participant.
  • Racist, homophobic or defamatory writing will be disqualified.

Contest fees

You must be registered and pay the contest fee in order to submit your poem for judging. The registration deadline for 2021 is April 16, 2021. If you aren’t registered, feel free to play along, but your poem will not be considered. This contest takes place yearly in April.

“Play & Read” discount – $26. Includes registration plus a 1-year subscription to CV2 magazine. You save over 60% off our standard subscription price.

Or:

Registration only – $16.

Contest prizes

First Prize: $500 plus a one-year subscription and publication in CV2 magazine.

Second Prize: $300 plus a one-year subscription and publication in CV2 magazine.

Third Prize: $150 plus a one-year subscription and publication in CV2 magazine.

Editor’s Choice: one-year subscription and publication in CV2 magazine

Editor’s Mom’s Choice: a one-year subscription and publication in CV2 magazine

People’s Choice: a one-year subscription and publication in CV2 magazine

Winners in all categories will also be published online.

What’s unique about this contest?

It’s a contest that challenges you to write under pressure. The 10 words will lead you to new creative places – and a poem you never would have written otherwise.

Winning poems from previous years