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Memorial Dylan Days Creative Writing Contest

Memorial Dylan Days Creative Writing Contest

Memorial Dylan Days Creative Writing ContestHIBBING, Minn. ─ Dylan Days of Hibbing, Minnesota, has opened its 2014 B.J. Rolfzen Memorial writing contest for poetry and short fiction. Authors and poets are invited to submit works for publication consideration in “Talkin’ Blues,” the annual program and literary journal for Dylan Days this May 22-25 in Bob Dylan’s hometown.

The contest is named for the late B.J. Rolfzen, an influential teacher of English and poetry for two generations of Iron Range high school and community college students. Among his many students in Hibbing was a young Robert Zimmerman, who took an interest in Rolfzen’s lectures and cited his influence years later when he was better known as Bob Dylan.
“We’re looking for that one story, that one poem that takes a chance, surprises us or makes us feel something,” said Aaron Brown, Dylan Days co-chair and “Talkin’ Blues” editor.
All fiction will be judged in one category; poetry will be judged in a student division for secondary and undergraduate students, and an open division for all other poets.

For more than a decade, this contest has built itself from modest roots to its status as a national and international competition that provides an opportunity for new, emerging or off-the-beaten-path writers and poets.


Story, that one poem that takes a chance, surprises us or makes us feel something


HIBBING, Minn. ─ Dylan Days of Hibbing, Minnesota


Winners of the contest will be published in the “Talkin’ Blues” journal and official Dylan Days program and receive copies of the publication. First place winners will have their names recorded on a plaque in Bob Dylan’s hometown. All are invited to participate in the Literary Showcase at Dylan Days on Friday, May 23, 2014.


March, 2014


  • The contest is open to original, unpublished works.
  • Entering the contest grants us one time rights to publish your work in the Dylan Days literary journal and program. After publication all rights revert to the authors.
  • In all divisions, entries need not be about Bob Dylan or use his style of writing; but they should strive for creativity, originality and literary theme.
  • Open Division Poetry: Poems limited to 1,000 words on any subject. Contest open to all poets. Because of overwhelming interest in our small contest, limit yourself to entering your best unpublished poem. Multiple entries will not be considered.
  • Student Poetry Division (Must be currently enrolled in high school or undergraduate college and have no professional literary publication): Poems limited to 1,000 words on any subject.
  • Short Fiction: Short story in any genre, limit 4,000 words, limit one story per person.
  • All entries in the B.J. Rolfzen Memorial Dylan Days Writing Contest must strictly observe these submission rules for your poem or story to be considered by our judges. Entries that do not confirm to these specifications will be discarded without being read.
  • To enter the contest, compose an e-mail to the following address:
  • In the SUBJECT line, include your title and the division you seek to enter (FICTION, STUDENT POETRY, or OPEN POETRY).
  • In the BODY of the e-mail you must include ALL of the following information:

Your name

Your mailing address

Your preferred phone number

Your category and division

IF STUDENT POETRY, your high school or undergraduate college affiliation (if not, skip this)

The title of your work

A 50-100 word biography

  • The e-mail address you use to enter the contest will also be used as part of your contact information, including possible notifications.
  • Finally, ATTACH to the e-mail a Microsoft Word-formatted file that includes your entry. The file should include the title of your work and the work itself. No identifying information should be included, especially your name or other contact information. These files will be distributed directly to judges and will be disqualified if they include any identifying information. The file must be .doc or .docx formatted. No exceptions. All other formats will be disqualified. Entries that do not conform to the word or page limits described above will be disqualified.


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Writer. Difference Maker. Entrepreneur. Author, Your Right To Write & Vertical Writing. Winner, 11 Writing Prizes.

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