Elizabeth Royal Patton Poetry Competition

Clare Songbirds Publishing House (CSPH) is launching its inaugural Elizabeth Royal Patton Memorial Poetry Competition. Born and educated in the South, Elizabeth Patton lived in Central New York for most of her adult life. Elizabeth taught English at Skaneateles High School in the Finger Lakes Region of New York, where she developed a senior elective in creative writing until 1984. Her writing appeared in professional journals, literary magazines, anthologies, and newspapers. She published three chapbooks of poetry, Late Harvest (Pudding House), Autumn Notes (DownTown Books), and Seasons of the Mind which was one of the first books published by Clare Songbirds in 2017. Elizabeth’s support was instrumental in the foundation of Clare Songbirds. Co-founder Heidi Nightengale and associate editor Rachael Ikins were among Elizabeth’s students in the Skaneateles school district, supporting their poetic endeavors throughout her life and befriending them in adulthood.


The Elizabeth Royal Patton Memorial Poetry Competition will be blind judged by a panel of 5 judges and cash prizes will be awarded to the top three poems. An anthology will be published with all the poems that make it through the first round of judging and each poet with an entry in the anthology will receive a free copy. All submissions must be sent via Submittable.  The submission period will be from February 1 through April 18, 2024.


Submission Guidelines:

  • Poems must be in English.
  • Poems may not exceed 60 lines of text.
  • Poems must not have been previously published in any form. This includes self-publishing, online posting, journals, websites, chapbooks, or books.
  • No simultaneous submissions allowed.
  • Poems must be original work, no translations.
  • Up to 3 poems per submission.
  • Submission fee of $15 per entry (up to 3 poems).
  • Multiple entries are allowed.
  • Do Not Include name or contact information on the poems only on the Submittable form.
  • Poems MUST have a title in bold above the poem.
  • One poem per page, please.
  • Poets previously published by CSPH may submit.
  • Relatives of Clare Songbirds staff and judges may not submit.
  • Poet must be at least 18 years of age by April 18, 2024.



1st Prize $500 (USD) and the opportunity to publish a book with CSPH and 50 free copies of that book.

2nd Prize $200 (USD) and the opportunity to publish a book with CSPH and 25 free copies of that book.

3rd Prize $50 (USD) and the opportunity to publish a book with CSPH and 10 free copies of that book.

Honorable mentions will be given at the judges’ discretion.



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