FARMINGTON — The annual Literacy Volunteers Poetry Contest, free and for all ages, is open now until Wednesday, March 31, for all residents of Franklin and Somerset counties and the towns of Livermore and Livermore Falls. First-, second- and third-place winners will be selected in each of five categories: Age 0-10, 11-17, 18-25, 26 and older, and students of Literacy Volunteers.

Winners will receive gift certificates to area bookstores: $20 for first place, $15 for second and $5 for third. All winners will be announced Monday, April 12, and invited to a virtual celebration on Friday, April 30, open to the public. All winning poems will be published. For more information, go to westernmainelitaracy.org.

To enter, submit one poem, with a cover letter, by March 31 to [email protected] (subject line: Poetry) or mail to Literacy Volunteers, 129 Seamon Road, Farmington, ME 04938. Only submissions which follow the criteria and are submitted by March 31 will be considered. The cover letter must list the poet’s name, category entered, contact information and the title of the poem so that poems can be read anonymously by the judge.

All poems must be original and previously unpublished. Poems will not be returned, so do not send originals or a SASE. Simultaneous submissions are accepted; note on the cover letter and notify Literacy Volunteers immediately of acceptance elsewhere.

Literacy Volunteers will catalog all poems and send them, with any identifying information removed, to an out-of-county judge – Laine Kuehn of Belfast – who will select the winners in each category.

Kuehn graduated from the Denver School of the Arts in 2010, received a bachelor of fine arts in creative writing from UMF, served as an intern with the Beloit Poetry Journal in 2013-14, and is on the Belfast Poetry Festival steering committee.

Finalists will be notified by April 12. Other confirmation of receipt should not be expected.

For more information about the contest guidelines, visit westernmaineliteracy.org or call 207-500-3131.