The New York State Fair is looking for poets to submit and be a part of this year’s Poetry Competition.

“In New York State, our competitive spirit is a big part of who we are – and few places is it more evident than at the Fair. Each year, thousands of participants cater to their competitive side by entering in competitions spanning a full range of categories including arts and crafts, cooking, cattle, agriculture and more. From plus-sized produce to blue-ribbon rabbits to antique automobiles, the Fair hosts competitions for nearly every interest and age group.”

A Best of Show Award for $125 will be announced as well as prizes for two groups:

  • Adult – ages 18 and over $100,  $75, $50
  • Youth – ages 17 and under $50, $25, $15

The deadline for entry is July 3. The fee is exhibitor fee is $10.00 for adults, $3.00 for youth. All of the rules and regulations are below.


  1. Only New York State residents can enter. We encourage the non-professional as well as the professional poet to submit recent, original work for competition.
  2. Award winning poems and selected poems of merit will be on display during the State Fair.
  3. ALL WORKS MUST BE ORIGINAL, RECENT AND MUST BE THE WORK OF THE POET ENTERING ITEM. Violation will forfeit any/all awards earned and poet will not be allowed entry in any future competition.


  1. The general rules are online and those listed herein are made a part of the conditions under which all entries of exhibitors are made, and exhibitors are respectfully requested to read them carefully to ensure they are entering their exhibit correctly and thereby avoiding confusion at the time of the Fair.
  2. Entries may be made in person, on-line at www.nysfair.org/competitions or by mail. Official entry blank for specific department must be used, except for on-line entries, and are to be mailed or dropped off to the Entry Department, New York State Fairgrounds, 581 State Fair Blvd., Syracuse, NY 13209. Checks or money orders payable to the New York State Fair. (Currency sent at your own risk.)
  3. Poems must be the entrant’s own original work and not have been previously published, either in print or electronically.
  4. Poems must not exceed 40 lines in length. (Approximately one, 8” x 11” page).
  5. Only one (1) entry per poet. We are looking for your very best work!
  6. Each poem should be computer-printed or type-written on one sheet of white paper in a simple, 12 point font.
  7. Poems must be properly labeled with author’s name, contact phone number, e-mail, mail address, title of work and the class entered.
  8. E-mail entries will be accepted as long as they follow the proper procedure of preparation: they must be emailed as an attached pdf files before the deadline date, allowing judges enough time to fully read and consider the work. E-mail entries to: maryellen.daino@agriculture.ny.gov.
  9. Winning entries and honorable mention entries will be displayed. ALL ACCEPTED POEMS MUST REMAIN ON DISPLAY THE ENTIRE TWELVE DAYS OF THE NEW YORK STATE FAIR. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  10. There will be a group reading of winning and selected poems of honorable mention on (insert information)
  11. THEMES: Poets can be prompted by the Fair’s theme “Summer’s Best in Show”, agriculture or New York State itself. Themes may follow from a list of New York State’s symbols: State fruit, apple; State beverage, milk; State tree, sugar maple; State flower, rose; State insect, ladybug; State bird, bluebird; State animal, beaver; State freshwater fish, brook trout; State fossil, eurypterus remipes; State gem, garnet; State muffin, apple muffin; State shell, bay scallop; State bush, lilac; State reptile, snapping turtle; State marine or saltwater fish, striped bass.