Annual William Carlos Williams Poetry competition

Celebrating Medical-Student Poets for Four Decades

Submissions are being accepted now through Dec. 31 for the 42nd annual William Carlos Williams Poetry Competition.

The poetry contest, sponsored annually by the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University, is open to students attending allopathic or osteopathic schools of medicine in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada.


The top three prize-winning poems receive a monetary award ($300, $200 and $100 for first, second and third place, respectively) and are considered for publication in the Journal of Medical Humanities.


In addition, the winning poets are invited to read their poetry alongside an esteemed guest and receive commendation in a formal awards ceremony at the Health Humanities Consortium’s annual conference April 10-13, 2024.

Past speakers included physician writers Drs. Rafael Campo, John Stone, Audrey Shafer, Dagan Coppock, David Watts, Jay Baruch and Amit Majmudar, a 2003 NEOMED graduate and Ohio’s first poet laureate.

Travel expenses are paid by the Department of Family and Community Medicine.

Eligibility and submission


  • Entrants must be enrolled in programs leading to a Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree in the United States, Puerto Rico or Canada.
  • Submissions must be original, unpublished (except for college publications) and must not have won a contest at the time of submission.
  • Previous monetary winners of the William Carlos Williams Poetry Competition are not eligible to compete again in any future William Carlos Williams Poetry competitions.

How to enter

  • The William Carlos Williams Poetry Competition accepts submissions annually from Sept. 1 through Dec. 31.
  • Online submissions must be received before 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 31 to be considered.
  • All entries will undergo blind review and should contain no identifying information other than the title of the poem.
  • Students may submit up to three poems per entry (one poem per page)
  • Each poem is not to exceed 750 words.
  • Poems must be written in English and can reflect medical as well as non-medical subjects.
  • Please preview the eligibility criteria before submitting your work.

Video: 2022 Competition Winners

Read more about the 2022 winners and their winning entries: “A Mouthful of Hummingbirds”

List of past winners

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William Carlos Williams Poetry Competition

Please direct any queries to

Northeast Ohio Medical University

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