2-Day Poem Contest

Registration for this year’s 2-Day Contest is now open!

It’s easy to enter. The steps below will take you through the process.

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 21st, 2023 (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.

Step 1 › PAY

There is no registration form for the 2-Day Poem Contest. To register, simply follow this link to reach the payment screen. Select the Play & Read discount for $26 (includes 1-year subscription), or registration only for $16. Be sure to provide your permanent, active email address in order to receive the 10 words without a hitch when the contest opens.

If you would like to pay for another person’s registration, to use someone else’s PayPal account for your own registration, or to pay for your registration by cheque, please contact contests@contemporaryverse2.ca.

Step 2 › PLAY

Prior to the contest, we’ll send you full contest details and confirm the accessibility of your email address. At midnight CDT on Friday, April 21, 2023 (when Friday becomes Saturday), we’ll send you the list of 10 words. You will have 2 days to compose your poem, submitting it by email by 11:59 pm CDT Sunday, April 23, 2023 (when Sunday becomes Monday).

Official 2-Day Poet’s Rules

  • You have 48 hours from 12 AM (CDT) April 21, 2023 (when Friday becomes Saturday) to 12 AM (CDT) April 23, 2023 (when Sunday becomes Monday) to write your best poem, using all 10 words that we provide.
  • 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 2023 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 do subheadings or 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 2023 is April 10, 2023. 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.


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