Jan. 16 2017 01:38 PM

Poetry contest explores hidden sides of Lansing

Do you have a hidden favorite place? Lansing authors are invited to write about their favorite Lansing spots in the My Secret Lansing writing contest, hosted by the Lansing Poetry Club.

Lansing Poetry Club President Ruelaine Stokes got the idea for the contest from local poet Dennis Hinrichsen, who told Stokes he wanted to write a poem about special places people were unfamiliar with. She asked to use the idea for as a contest.

“What makes this so enjoyable is that we make use of all the unique places we have around,” Stokes said.

Authors are asked to write about one specific place, person or event in the Greater Lansing area. The contest has three different categories: micro, poem or prose. The poem category must be under 100 lines, the prose category must be between 300 and 400 words and the micro category must be less than 420 characters. Anyone who lives in or has lived in Lansing is invited to enter this contest.

The deadline for entry is March 15; full guidelines are listed below. Cash prizes are available for first, second and third place entries in each category.

The Lansing Poetry club will be offer a few workshops in the upcoming months, giving writers a chance to work on the prompt and get feedback.

“It is a great atmosphere when we get to watch some of the contestants read their submissions,” Stokes said.


· Only one entry per person.

· Write about 1 specific & real place/thing/person/event w/in the Greater Lansing Area.

· If you write about a person/people, locate them within a specific Lansing-Area context

· The contest is limited to people actually living in the Greater Lansing Area or who have lived here at some time in the past.

· If you are describing a place/thing, include the name of the place/location. If you focus on a person, include at least their first name & their general location/context (ex. Mary, an ER nurse at Sparrow Hospital, on Michigan Ave.)

· Send two copies of your entry, one w/ the following contact information & one without.

Your full name

Your address & contact information

3 Categories:

1. Poem—must be under 100 lines.

2. Prose—must be from 300-400 words.

3. Micro—can be a Facebook post (420 characters or less).


· Poem—1st, 2nd & 3rd prizes ($30, $20, $10) & 2 Honorable Mentions

· Prose—1st, 2nd & 3rd prizes ($30, $20, $10) & 2 Honorable Mentions

· Micro—1st, 2nd & 3rd prizes ($15, $10, $5) & 2 Honorable Mentions

Deadline: Submit your entry by March 15, 2017 to:

My Secret Lansing Contest

918 Britten Avenue

Lansing, MI 48910

For more info, contact Ruelaine Stokes, 517-267-0410 or ruestokes@gmail.com