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The Jerome Norgren Poetry Contest


South Dakota State University, the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, and the School of English and Interdisciplinary Studies are pleased to invite you to submit your students’ creative work to the 2024 Jerome Norgren Poetry Contest. The contest is open to all high school (9th-12th) and middle school (6th-8th) students in South Dakota writing poetry on all subjects and in all styles (free verse or traditional).

The deadline for submissions is February 15 (postmarked) each year. There are separate prizes for high school and middle school students. Winners will be invited to read their poems at South Dakota State University.


  • First prize: High School - $100 / Middle School - $100
  • Second prize: High School - $75 / Middle School - $75
  • Third prize: High School - $50 / Middle School - $50
  • Honorable mention: Up to five in each category

Prize-winning submissions will be published in a chapbook of Winning Writing, and we will print sufficient copies for students, teachers, and immediate family. Each poem should be on a separate page without the author's name on it. Writers must keep a copy of any poem submitted. Poems will not be returned.


  1. A student may not submit more than three poems or three prose entries (six total).
  2. Include a cover sheet with the following information:
    • Name of the contest
    • Title of work(s)
    • Student’s name and grade, and home address
    • School’s name and address
    • Teacher’s first and last name
    • Teacher’s statement declaring that the student’s work is the student’s own
  3. The student’s name should not appear on the actual submission. We assign the entries numbers and read them blind.

Deadline: Submissions must be postmarked on or before Feb. 15, 2024. Send to:

Steven Wingate
School of English and Interdisciplinary Studies
P.O. Box 2218/ Pugsley Center 301
South Dakota State University
Brookings, SD 57007

We expect to contact the teachers whose students won a contest prize or honorable mention by April 1. I will let you know about any changes to this schedule.

Note: In past years we have accepted “mass submissions”—the work of an entire class on the same assignment. These will no longer be accepted, as similarity of theme and form makes our assessment more difficult. Please focus instead on the strongest work you encounter and/or the work of your most enthusiastic students.

For more information, contact professor Steven Wingate.

The contest is sponsored by the Jerome Norgren Estate and the SDSU School of English and Interdisciplinary Studies.