DASHing Words in Motion 2021 Poetry Contest Now Accepting Entries

DASHing Words in Motion 2021 Poetry Contest Now Accepting Entries

January 19, 2021

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Transit Company are joining forces to organize DASHing Words in Motion, a yearly poetry contest that recognizes local Alexandria writers, is now accepting entries for the 2021 contest. Participating poets draw on DASH and the agency’s buses and trolleys for inspiration. Participation is voluntary and selected poets are not compensated for submissions. 

The deadline to submit contest entries is 5 p.m. on Friday, February 12, 2021. Selected poets will be notified in March 2021. 


The eligibility requirements are:

  • Applicants are emerging or established writers and poets.
  • Applicants live, work or study in the City of Alexandria, VA.
  • Applicant should be a minimum of 16 years of age.  
  • Members of the Alexandria Commission for the Arts and City of Alexandria staff are ineligible to apply.


The competition’s primary goal is to encourage a broad range of ideas and subject matter.  Possible inspirational ideas might stem from:

  • The Alexandria Transit Company’s DASH buses motto is “Keep Alexandria Moving” 
  • Bus stops, neighborhoods, buses, roads, or other modes of transportation within the City of Alexandria 
  • Community and connection

Entry Rules: 

  • Applicants must apply online. Mailed applications will not be considered.  
  • Up to three poems per person can be submitted
  • Submitted poems must be previously unpublished
  • Poems must be 30 words or less; Poems must be no longer than 15 lines.     
  • Poems should be titled
  • Poetry must be uploaded as a 1-sided WORD document; Font size should be 12-point. Do not upload photocopies from books or magazines. 
  • Do not place name or address on poetry pages.
  • Should your poem(s) be selected, you may be asked for a short bio and photograph. 

Selection Process:  

The entries will be juried by a task force. Each poem will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

  • Clarity of theme: Traveling/Transportation/Connection/Community
  • Readability/poem structure/clarity/meter/rhyme; 
  • Appropriateness for the competition;
  • Creativity and Memorability.

Contest entries can be submitted here

For more information contact the Office of the Arts, Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities by phone at 703.746.5565 or by email at arts@alexandriava.gov.