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The Accidental Historian Poetry Contest Sponsored by Orange County Regional History Center

Attention all writers and Central Florida enthusiasts! Our wonderful gem of a History Center (located in the heart of downtown; if you’ve never been you must visit) is hosting a poetry contest* to gather stories and create a new little bit of history about where we live. Here are some details about the contest and how you can enter: TheHistoryCenter.org/poetry-contest/.

“Life in Central Florida Today”
The  Orange County Regional History Center’s next special exhibition, “The Accidental Historian”, is opening September 21, looks at the way artists, photographers, poets, and others become the historians for the future simply by doing what they love in the present – recording life around them.

To warm up for the exhibit, the Orange County Regional History Center is seeking your poetry and flash prose. Write about how you see and feel about Central Florida right now. How would you narrate life today to those living more than 100 years from now?

After submissions are received, a panel of judges will select a winner from each category from blind submissions (the authors’ names will be withheld to the judges).

The winning entry will be included in “The Accidental Historian” exhibition, a limited-run exhibit through the first part of 2020, as well as published in the History Center’s magazine, Reflections. The winners will also have the opportunity to read their poem at the Center’s Poetry Night, a public event presented in conjunction with “The Accidental Historian” exhibit.

For the contest there are two (2)categories for submissions: Adult and Youth.


  • Length limits: Poetry up to 20 lines or 500 words. “Flash” prose submissions of no more than 500 words.
  • Deadline for submissions: Please submit poems by email to Catherine.Duffy@ocfl.net by next Friday August 23, 2019.
  • Submissions format: If possible, send your work in a pdf file. Please use widely available, legible typefaces and do not include graphics or images.
  • Language: Entries are acceptable in any language; please supply a translation when submitting in a language other than English.
  • Indicate if you are submitting for the Youth Poetry Contest (ages 17 and younger). Otherwise, the judges will assume entries are from those 18 and older.
*Please note much of the content in this post was borrowed via the History Center’s website in order to maintain consistency and accuracy of the contest guidelines.

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