Calling all Ball State Poets, Wordsmiths, and Performance Artists!

On the occasion of Ball State’s 100th Anniversary, the creative writing program is seeking a commemorative poem that honors Ball State’s history and celebrates its future.

The winning poet will be published in the Spring-Summer 2019 issue of Ball State Magazine. Creative writing faculty will judge the submitted poems. All members of Ball State faculty, staff, students, and alumni can apply.

Poetry Contest Guidelines

  1. The creative writing program is looking for poems with expressive and diverse imagery. Additionally, try to showcase a good sense of rhythm and flow, a unique voice, original language, and audience appeal.
  2. Poems must be typed, single-spaced, in PDF or Word Document format.
  3. Poems must be from 12 to 75 lines long (no longer than two single-spaced, typed pages).
  4. Poems may have more than one author.
  5. Poems should be free of any information identifying the author/s (i.e., do not put the author(s) name or address or any other identifying information on the poem itself.)
  6. The contest deadline is midnight Eastern, Friday, March 1, 2019.

For this contest, the creative writing program encourages poets to think creatively about this subject. To get ideas flowing for a great poem, consider the following prompts, but don’t feel limited to these options.

  • Write about a landmark or one of the statues on Ball State’s campus (i.e. Frog Baby, Beneficence, Bell Tower).
  • Write a poem in the voice of Beneficence.
  • Write about a historical photograph. For inspiration, check out Ball State University Campus Photographs in the Digital Media Repository.
  • Write about a single memory of Ball State that inspired you.
  • Write a call and response poem.
  • Write a poem that includes “We Fly” as a major theme or repeating element.
  • Write a letter-in-verse to an incoming freshman about life at Ball State, and about the legacy you would like to leave for them.
  • Write a list poem. List as many images of Ball State that you can fit into 75 lines.
  • Write a poem about how members of the Ball State faculty have inspired you. Similarly, you could write about what inspired you from your full experience at Ball State.

Poetry Contest Rules

Frog Baby

All entries must be the original creation of the submitting author(s). All rights to the entries must be owned by the author(s) and shall remain the property of the author(s). The author(s) give(s) permission to Ball State to publish the entry in print, on the Web, and in promotional materials if the entry is selected as a winner or finalist.

How to Submit Your Poem

  1. Please email your submissions as a PDF or Word Document attachment to: Matt Mullins, Director of Creative Writing at
  2. In the body of your email please include your name, address and phone number.
  3. In addition, please also state your affiliation with Ball State within the email (i.e., indicate if your are a student, faculty, staff or alumni).
  4. Again, the deadline for submissions is midnight, Friday, March 1, 2019