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Bad Poetry Contest

One of the most challenging aspects of converting the traditional face-to-face Sigma Tau Delta Convention into a viable virtual experience has been determining which components to keep, which needed to be modified, and which ones simply wouldn’t work. From day one of virtual convention planning we knew we would be keeping the vastly popular Bad Poetry Contest as it simply wouldn’t be a Sigma Tau Delta Convention without Bad Poetry. However, as with so many things, Bad Poetry in the time of COVID will look a bit different.

For those of you unfamiliar with the long-standing tradition that is the Bad Poetry Contest, the event celebrates the best and worst of bad poetry. Whether it’s a sincerely bad poem written in middle school or a comedy poem lampooning annoying poetic trends, members present the worst original poetry they have ever written in this fiercely funny competition. Members take this competition very seriously, so prepare to laugh until you cry.

The 2021 Bad Poetry Contest will take place on the evening of Friday, March 26 and will only be available to registered convention attendees. During the event, moderators will share pre-recorded video submissions for the live audience who will boo for their favorite bad poems and help name the best bad poets of the year. New and improved prizes up to $50 will be awarded to the “Worst Bad” poems and to the “Best Bad” poems.

Submit Your Bad Poetry

To participate in this year’s Bad Poetry Contest, Sigma Tau Delta members and alumni will submit videos of themselves through our AwardSpring platform presenting their own bad poetry. The Student Leadership Committee will then select the best of the worst to share during the event.

Submission Guidelines

  • Video submissions are to be of the author reading their own creative work. This can either be something you wrote years ago and now cringe to re-read or something new that you write to poke fun at outlandish poetic conventions.
  • Videos must not exceed 2 minutes.
  • Videos must be saved as MP4 or MOV files.
  • Please keep profanity to a minimum.
  • To submit to the Bad Poetry Contest you must first have registered to attend convention. The reduced Early Registration rate of $25 ends on February 8.

Submission Deadline and Notification

Submissions will be accepted Monday, February 1 through Monday, February 15, 2021, 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time (CST). After you  Notifications will be made by early March. Questions regarding the online submission process should be addressed to

Submission Instructions

Sigma Tau Delta uses the AwardSpring platform for the application process to apply and submit required materials for several awards, including the Bad Poetry Contest. The deadline is February 15, 2021.

AwardSpring Sign In

Step 1

You may already have an account If you have used AwardSpring previously to apply for a Sigma Tau Delta award. Your AwardSpring account is not the same account as your convention registration account or your Sigma Tau Delta membership account. If you do not have an account you may register for an account with your email address and a password on the Sign In page.

Step 2

Complete the general application questionnaire, including contact and academic information, to determine if you are eligible to apply.

Step 3

If you are eligible, you will see under Follow-Ups a box that contains the Bad Poetry Contest. Please click on the Complete Follow-Up. Here you will upload your video and the text of your poem. Be sure to hit Submit to complete your application. You will receive an email confirmation that your Bad Poetry Contest submission has been accepted.

Contact if you have questions.

More from Footnotes: February 2, 2021

Sigma Tau Delta Journal Internship
Virtual Convention Update
Sigma Tau Delta Webinars
African American Read-In Begins Today

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