The hidden treasures of Lansing

By Justin Anderson

Old Town Poets launch new writing contest seeking the hidden treasures of Lansing

Monday, Jan. 21 — Do you know about a hidden treasure in the greater Lansing area? If so, write about it. 

The Old Town Poets — a loose collection of writers based in the north Lansing neighborhood — are hosting the first-ever Celebrating My Secret Lansing writing contest, which is open to anyone in the greater Lansing area.

“We are trying to get people to describe and write about something unique, something special, in the greater Lansing area,” said Ruelaine Stokes, coordinator of the Old Town Poetry Series.

My Secret Lansing is intended to inspire people to describe a person, place or even a time of day that is special to them, Stokes said.

“We want people to convey in writing what makes it special,” Stokes said.

The deadline to submit your poem, prose or short writing entry is March 15. Winners will have a chance to read their work at a reception at 2 p.m. on April 28 at the Creole Gallery, 1218 Turner St.

Poems can be entered into one of three categories: The poem category must be less than 100 lines; the prose category must be between 300 and 400 words; and the third category includes micro submissions, which will consist of a tweet of 140 characters or less or a Facebook post of 420 characters or less. There will be cash prizes ($15, $10 and $5) for the first, second and third place winners, respectively. Two honorable mentions also will be chosen for each category.

Applicants may submit one entry per person. Email writing samples to or by snail mail to My Secret Lansing Contest, 918 Britten Ave. in Lansing.

Although there have been no submissions to date, several teachers at Lansing Community College intend to use the contest as a class project, Stokes said.

“There are a lot of creative writing classes in the area who could use this contest,” Stokes said. “This is a really fabulous writing contest. There is a lot of potential for winners.”