2019 Poetry Competition

Presented by Mustard Seed Farm and Market


Who We Are

Mustard Seed Farm & Market is a new 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created to provide meaningful work for adults with disabilities. Among our other produce, we will be primarily growing native milkweed plants for sale. In the process, we'll help promote and restore the monarch butterfly's natural habitat!

We are currently fundraising, and we hope to break ground and begin construction on our work program building in the spring of 2020. Once it’s completed, we hope to fill it with words of encouragement and imagination. We have decided to hold a poetry competition to find the inspiration to express our vision.

About the Contest

We are honored to announce that internationally renowned poet, Edward Hirsch, has agreed to be the final judge of our first annual poetry competition. Funds raised from entry fees will be used to fund our building project and provide a venue for the poets who will participate.

In addition, the winning poem will be considered to be featured in a mural on the main entry wall of our new work program building. Every visitor who enters will have a chance to read it, and it will inspire our participants daily. The founder and board will make the final decision of inclusion of the poem, in part or whole, as a component of the mural.

Download the Mustard Seed Farm & Market 2019 Poetry Competition Flyer.


The topic of the poem must be one of or a combination of the following:

  • Monarch butterflies

  • Monarch butterfly habitats

  • Working with disabled adults

  • Honoring disabled adults and celebrating differences

  • The beauty of diversity

  • Uniqueness in creation related to inspiring people who have disabilities.


Submissions must be original and unpublished poems. The submissions must not have won or placed in any poetry contest other than honorable mention. A poet may enter a maximum of three poems, but must pay entry fees as detailed below.

Entry Fees

  • $10 for the first entry

  • $5 for second entry

  • $5 for third entry.

Entering two poems costs $15, entering three poems costs $20. Checks should be made payable to Mustard Seed Farm and Market.


  • Entries must be on regular 8.5” x 11” printer paper in Times Roman 12-point font or typewritten.

  • Entries must be 40 lines or less and no line may exceed 60 characters in length (format requirements for the publication).

  • Blank lines are included in the line count but not the title.

  • If a haiku is entered, the first line of the haiku will be considered to be the poem’s title unless the poet gives the haiku a different title.

  • Participants should submit two (2) copies of each poem with the following distinctions:

    1. The first copy must show the poet’s name, complete mailing address, email address (if available), and phone number in the upper right corner.

    2. The second copy must show only the poem title and poem with nothing on the page that can identify the poet to the judges.

  • If a poem runs more than one page, please staple the pages together on each copy.



Certificates will be awarded for first, second, third place, and honorable mentions. Awards will be given at a venue in the Richmond, Texas area in November 2019. The location and date will be announced in September, and some selected entrants will be asked to read one or more of the poems they entered during an event in honor of contest participants.


Mustard Seed Farm & Market 2019 Poetry Anthology

The top 15 poems and other selected entries will be published in the Mustard Seed Farm and Market 2019 Poetry Anthology. Entry into the contest does not guarantee publication for any other than the top 15 poems. Because multiple entries are permitted, more than one poem by a poet may be included in the top 15 poems.

Copies of the Mustard Seed Farm & Market 2019 Poetry Anthology will be awarded to the top three winners.

All US entrants who enter three poems will also receive one copy of the anthology. Entrants who live outside of the United States will not receive copies of the anthology. However, copies of the anthology will be available for purchase from Mustard Seed Farm & Market for a limited time after the winners are announced.



All entrants give permission for their poem to be featured in a mural on the main entry wall of Mustard Seed Farm & Market’s new work program building if they are chosen as the grand prize winner. However, the final decision to include the poem in the mural will remain with the founder and the board.



Entries must be received by August 31, 2019. No entries received after this date will be accepted.


Send entries to the following address:

     Mustard Seed Farm & Market 2019 Poetry Competition

     20003 Flax Flower Dr.

     Richmond, TX 77407


Judging of poems will go through three stages.


  1. The first stage is approval of content by the Mustard Seed Farm and Market founder.

  2. The second stage will be the first round judging of the entries by a qualified judge (to be named when the contest concludes).

  3. In the final stage, the top 15 poems will be judged by award-winning poet, Edward Hirsch.  Mr. Hirsch will include comments for the first-place poem that will be included in the anthology.


Send SASE or email address for a list of winners. Winners’ names will also be posted on the Mustard Seed Farm & Market website, https://www.mustardseedfarmers.org.

If there are not enough entries to justify the cost of publication, the entry fees will be returned to the poets and copies of the poems will be destroyed. Do not enter your only copy of your work. It will not be returned.


If you have questions about the contest, please write to MustardSeedFarmandMarket@gmail.com.  Please do not submit poems to this email address. Please mail entries to the mailing address specified previously.


Good luck, and we look forward to every entry!