Robert Golden Contest

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. Amber Flora Thomas will be the contest judge.

Submission Guidelines


Click here to see the winners and read the winning poems.


  • Each entry must be your original poetry and previously unpublished either in print or online (including websites, blogs, and social media).
  • Simultaneous submissions will be accepted, but authors must notify Nexus Poets at immediately to withdraw any poem(s) accepted elsewhere. Put “Withdraw” in the subject line. Submissions may not be withdrawn once contest winners are announced.
  • All submissions will be read blind. Therefore, your name and any identifying information should NOT appear anywhere on the manuscript and will result in disqualification of the work without the return of entry fees.
  • Contest is open to anyone in the United States.
  • This is a poetry-only contest.
  • Poems must be in English.


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

How To Enter

  • Submit up to 3 poems, 5 pages maximum total in one document. This is one entry.
  • Use 12-point Times New Roman font with 1” document margins.
  • 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.
  • Your file must be formatted as a Word document (.doc or .docx) or as a PDF.
  • No illustrations, artwork, or photos should accompany poems or submissions.
  • 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.
  • Entries will be accepted via the form at the bottom of this page from September 1, 2019 through midnight Eastern Standard Time on October 23, 2019.
  • Entries by e-mail or postal mail will not be accepted.
  • For student entries, please state your grade level, your school name, and school location in your e-mail.
  • Again, do NOT include your name or any identification in your attached submission—the submission form will serve as your cover letter and is the only place your name and contact information will appear.
  • Nexus Poets Board Members are ineligible to enter.

Entry Fees and Payment

  • Nexus Poets members: $4 per entry.
  • Non-members of Nexus Poets: $8 per entry.
  • To become a member of Nexus Poets through 2020, click HERE. Membership is $20/calendar year. (Your membership when joining at this time will go through 2019 and 2020.)
  • 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 open when the contest period opens.


All entries and payments must be received between September 1, 2019 and October 23, 2019. The Nexus Poets Board reserves the right to extend the deadline.

Winners Announced

Winners will be announced on or about November 25, 2019, and will be notified by email.

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


Winners in both the Adult and Student categories will receive the following:

  • First Prize: $25
  • Second Prize: $15
  • Third Prize: $10

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


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

The Robert Golden Poetry Contest will be judged by Amber Flora Thomas.

Amber Flora Thomas—judge for 2019 Robert Golden Poetry Contest
Amber Flora Thomas

Amber Flora Thomas was born and raised in northern California. She is the author of Eye of Water: Poems which was selected by Harryette Mullen as the winner of the 2004 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Her other books include, The Rabbits Could Sing: Poems (University of Alaska Press, 2012) and Red Channel in the Rupture: Poems (Red Hen Press, 2018). Her poetry has appeared in EcotoneThe New England ReviewTin HouseCallalooOrion MagazineAlaska Quarterly ReviewSaranac Review, and Third Coast, as well as Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry, and numerous other journals and anthologies. Thomas has taught at the Cave Canem annual retreat and the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers Conference. She has received fellowships from Yaddo, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and Sewanee Writers Conference. She earned an MFA at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. Currently, she is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC.

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. Any poems submitted via the contact form will be discarded. Submit your entry only through the entry form below.)


The Robert Golden Poetry Contest ran from September 1, 2019 through October 23, 2019. Visit us in mid-November to look for the winners.

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