2nd Annual Robert Golden Contest

Second Annual Robert Golden Poetry Contest

Robert Golden was one of the founding members of Nexus Poets in New Bern, North Carolina, as well as a mentor and friend to numerous writers, especially in his years in Eastern North Carolina. Bob was a retired English professor and dean from upstate New York who had a passion for literature, social justice, and protecting the environment. The Robert Golden Poetry Prize has been created to honor Bob’s tireless energy and contributions to literature and his community. Catherine Carter will be the contest judge.

Submission Guidelines


2020 contest winners to be announced on or around November 15, 2020.

—check back here and on our Facebook page.


September 1, 2020 through October 15, 2020.

(Click here to see the 2020 winners and read the 2019 winning poems.)

(Click here to see the 2019 winners and read the 2019 winning poems.)

Basic Information


  • Adults—in college or college-age and above.
  • Students—sixth grade through high school.

How To Enter/Entry Guidelines

  • Submit up to 3 poems, 5 pages maximum total in one document. This is one entry.
  • Your file must be formatted as a Word document (.doc or .docx) or as a PDF.
  • You may submit up to 3 poems per entry fee.
  • Each entry (up to 3 poems) must be submitted as a separate attached file with a separate entry fee.
  • Use 12-point Times New Roman as your font.
  • No illustrations, artwork, or photos should accompany submissions.
  • Your name must not appear on the file title or any poems or pages.
  • Your submission should be in one document with each poem on a separate page of the document. (Use “insert < break < page break” to add a new page for each poem—this is better than adding spaces between each poem.)
  • Title your file/document with the name of the first poem in your entry—do not include your name in the file name. (Long titles may be truncated when naming the file.)
  • Entries will be accepted via the form at the bottom of this page. The form will be available from September 1, 2020 through midnight Eastern Standard Time on October 15, 2020.
  • Entries submitted outside of the entry form will not be accepted.
  • For student entries, please state your grade level, your school name, and school location in your e-mail. Homeschool entries are welcome.
  • Again, this is a blind contest—do not include your name or any identification in your attached submission. The entry form will serve as your cover letter, and is the only place your name and contact information will appear.
  • We will disqualify any poems we deem violent, hateful, or pornographic. Entry fees will not be refunded.
  • In the event that a poet fails to adhere to the above guidelines, Nexus Poets reserves the right to disqualify the poet’s entry or entries. Poets will not be notified of disqualification or reimbursed their entry fee(s) in this situation.
  • Nexus Poets Board Members are ineligible to enter.

Entry Fees and Payment

  • Nexus Poets members: $6 per entry.
  • Non-members of Nexus Poets: $10 per entry.
  • To become a member of Nexus Poets through 2021, click HERE. Membership is $20/calendar year. (Your membership when joining at this time will go through 2020 and 2021—what a deal! Thank you for your support!)
  • Student entry: Free. (One free entry per student. “Entry” is defined above.)
  • Though free, student entries MUST be submitted using the same guidelines as adult entries.
  • Entry fees will not be refunded for any work that is withdrawn from the contest.
  • A payment button will become available when the contest period opens.


All entries and payments must be received between September 1, 2020 and October 15, 2020. The Nexus Poets Board reserves the right to extend the entry period/deadline.


Winners Announced

Winners will be announced on or about November 15, 2020, and will be notified by email.

Once all winners have been contacted and confirmed, the list of winners will also be posted at www.NexusPoets.com and on the Nexus Poets Facebook page.


Winners in the Adult Category will receive the following:

  • First Prize: $100
  • Second Prize: $75
  • Third Prize: $50

Winners in the Student Category will receive the following:

  • First Prize: $50
  • Second Prize: $30
  • Third Prize: $20

Nexus Poets reserves the right to withhold a prize level in any category that receives too few entries.


By entering the contest, you give Nexus Poets first publication rights to electronically publish your winning poem(s) and list your name on the Nexus Poets website and Facebook page.

Permission is also given to excerpt your work and use your name in press releases and other related publicity.

Submissions may not be withdrawn once contest winners are announced.

Authors retain copyright to the poem(s) entered and published.

Contest Judge 2020

The Second Annual Robert Golden Poetry Contest will be judged by Catherine Carter.

Catherine Carter

Thomas Lux wrote of Catherine Carter’s first book, “Carter’s poems are utterly unique—wry and quiet and carrying a velvet sledgehammer. Her pitch, her tone, her sly humor is perfectly tuned.”  Carter was raised in tidewater Maryland by a master gardener and a biologist; her collections of poetry with LSU Press include The Memory of Gills (2006), The Swamp Monster at Home (2012), and the 2019 Larvae of the Nearest Stars.  Her poetry has won the North Carolina Literary Review’s James Applewhite Prize, the North Carolina Literary and Historical Society’s Roanoke-Chowan Award, the North Carolina Writers’ Network’s Randall Jarrell Award, and Jacar Press’ 2014 chapbook contest for Marks of the Witch; it has also appeared or is forthcoming in Best American Poetry 2009, Orion, Ploughshares, Poetry, Ecotone, Tar River Poetry, and Southern Humanities Review, among othersShe is a professor of English at Western Carolina University.

Note: Nexus Poets reserves the right to select an additional judge or judge(s) if needed. Any and all judges for the Robert Golden Poetry Contest will be unaffiliated with Nexus Poets.


Click here to use our contact form for any questions about this contest.

(Do not submit poems through the contact form or by email. Any poems submitted via the contact form will be discarded. Submit your entry only through the entry form below.)

The Robert Golden Contest 2020 is now closed.

Thank you to all who entered!

Winners will be announced on or around November 15, 2020.

Look for the 2021 contest to open in the fall of 2021.

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