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


September 1, 2020 through October 15, 2020.

Entry form at bottom of page.

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

Basic Information

  • Each entry must be your original poetry and previously unpublished either in print or online (including websites, blogs, and social media).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 Submissions may not be withdrawn once contest winners are announced.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.
  • 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/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 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 is now open:

Robert Golden Contest 2020

  • • Student entries, please tell us your grade or age, along with the name and location of your school, homeschools included.
    • Adult entries, please put N/A.
  • • List the names of the poem(s) you are submitting in this entry/file (up to three poems).
    • Do not list any other information here.
  • Accepted file types: doc, docx, pdf.
    • Upload one file.
    • Your file name should be the name of the first poem in your entry/file.
    • One poem per page. (Use "insert > break > page break" to add a new page for each new poem rather than just using the space bar).
    • No more than three poems and five pages per entry and entry fee.
    • NO photos, illustrations, or images.

    • When your entry is successfully submitted you will receive a "thank you" e-mail. (Remember to check your "spam" folder.)

    • If you're having trouble submitting, use the contact form in the menu at the top of the website, or e-mail us:
    • If you're submitting at the last minute and run into technical difficulties, no worries—just contact us, and we'll help sort it out.
  • • IMPORTANT: By typing your name here, you are agreeing to click the "Add to Cart" button (that will appear after you click on "Submit") and PAY your entry fee.

    • Reminder: Students simply SIGN and click the "Submit" button below. Students have one entry free, so no need to use the PayPal button that appears on the next page (unless submitting a second entry).

    • You don't have to set up or have a PayPal account to use the Add to Cart/PayPal button—you can use a debit or credit card.

    • PLEASE NOTE: If you use a PayPal account that uses a different e-mail address than you're using on this entry form, please tell us that when you type your name above.

    • If you're having trouble with anything, email us at You can also use the "contact us" button in the menu at the top of this website.
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