2020 Patricia Dobler Poetry Award Entry Information

Thank you for your interest in the Patricia Dobler Poetry Award. Due to the pandemic situation, we have made some changes to the 2020 award submission process, submission fees, and prize:

Prize: $2,500 and publication of the winning poem in Voices from the Attic.

Submission Format: Email only - dobleraward@carlow.edu (no postal mail entries accepted). Microsoft Word or PDF formats only. Submit your poems and cover sheet by Thursday, October 1, 2020, 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

Submission Fees: None. In light of the current pandemic and in the interest of supporting women writers, we have waived the submission fee for the 2020 Dobler Award.

If you have any questions, please contact Sarah Williams-Devereux or 412-578-6346.

2020 Patricia Dobler Poetry Award

Submission Deadline: Thursday, October 1, 2020, 11:59 P.M. Eastern Time
Submission by email: dobleraward@carlow.edu
Judge: Jan Beatty, poet


One prize in the form of $2,500; publication of the winning poem in Voices from the Attic. Prize valued at $2,500.


Open to women writers over the age of 40 who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, currently living in the U.S., who have not published a full-length book of poetry, fiction, or non-fiction (chapbooks excluded).

You are not eligible to submit your work if any of these apply:

  • You have published a full-length book of poetry (48+ pages), fiction (50+ pages), or nonfiction (48+ pages). This includes full-length books published under pen names or in languages other than English.
  • Your first full-length book will be published after the submission deadline. The promise of publication is considered to be publication.
  • You turn 40 after the submission deadline.
  • You are a past Dobler Award winner.
  • You are a current Carlow University student or employee.
  • You have self-published a book of poetry, fiction, or nonfiction of any length; or
  • You are the author of a nonfiction work that is an academic/technical textbook, a research monograph, theological text, or a children's book.


  • Up to four unpublished poems of any style. One entry per person. Each poem must be 75 lines or fewer (not counting stanza breaks). All entries will be anonymously judged, so no identifying information, such as your name, address, etc., should appear on your poems.
  • A cover sheet with your name, address, phone number, e-mail, title(s) of poem(s), and a 1-paragraph bio.
  • Put all of your poems and your cover sheet into one document and title it: Last Name 2020 Dobler Award (e.g. Jones 2020 Dobler Award)
  • All documents must be in Microsoft Word or PDF formats (doc, docx, pdf). We will not accept poems submitted in the body of an email.

Poem Eligibility

  • Poems that have appeared in a self-published book of poetry of any length are eligible for submission.
Poems are considered not eligible for submission if:
  • They have appeared in a literary magazine/journal/newspaper, either in print or online, or
  • They have appeared as part of a publicly viewed multimedia work, lecture, or performance, or
  • They have been accepted for publication in a book, journal, etc., that is being published by a press after the contest deadline, or
  • They have been selected as a finalist, honorable mention, or winner of another writing contest.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Do you accept simultaneous submissions? 
Answer: Yes. Please notify us as soon as possible if your poems are accepted elsewhere.

Question: I am a past Dobler Award entrant. Can I reapply? 
Answer: Yes. This includes finalists and honorable mentions.

Question: Is an editor of an anthology of poetry, fiction, or nonfiction eligible to submit?
Answer: Yes.

Question: I live outside of the United States for part of the year or live outside of the U.S. on a military base. Am I eligible to submit? 
Answer: Yes, as long as you have a permanent U.S. residence address.


The copyright reverts to the writer. The winning poem is considered a publication, and thus could not be sent out to other literary magazines. It could, however, be included in a book of poems.


All entries must be emailed to dobleraward@carlow.edu by Thursday, October 1, 2020, 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. 


The winner will be notified by phone or email by Tuesday, December 1, 2020. All other entrants will receive an email after this date, listing the winner and finalists. The results and winning poem will be posted on the Carlow University website. All entrants will receive a copy of Voices from the Attic.


Contact Sarah Williams-Devereux
Phone: 412.578.6346