Are you a poet and don't know it? Then again, maybe you're a poet in search of an opportunity to share your talent with the public. Now's the time to enter your best work in the Mesa County Libraries 2019 Poetry Contest.

This annual event is open to teens and adults. To participate, submit one or two of your best original, unpublished poems. In addition to having your work featured on the Mesa County Library's website, you'll have a chance to win prizes.

Did someone say prizes? Yes! Authors of the top three poems win Downtown Grand Junction gift certificates. In addition to prize winners, three "honorable mentions" will be awarded in each age group.

What are the criteria? Poems must meet the following:

  • Cannot exceed 40 lines
  • Must be suitable for general audiences
  • Must be a Mesa County Library cardholder
  • Open to participants grades 6-12 and adults 18+
  • Cannot be an employee of Mesa County Library

For additional rules, please visit the Mesa County Libraries website.

Why should you participate? Here are five reasons I came up with:

  • There's nothing like guidelines and deadlines to bring out the inner artist
  • Entering a contest is a fantastic way to expand your repertoire
  • Here's a chance to get your work in front of the public, and maybe win prizes in the process
  • This could be a tremendous boost to your portfolio and resume'
  • The act of submitting your work is an accomplishment in and of itself (thanks to diyfma.com for this one)

Like all competitions, there are deadlines. Submit your best works by 5 p.m. on Monday, April 8. To submit your poems, use the online entry form. Please do not submit your poems in person at the various Mesa County Library locations.

When do we find out which poets won the competition? The awards ceremony is coming up Tuesday, April 30, at 5 p.m. at the Mesa County Central Library.

I hope you will consider participating. Of all the arts, the one I've never been involved with is poetry. I took a poetry appreciation class in college where I received...... let's just say I received a passing grade (barely). Good luck to you.