Dylan Days in Hibbing calls for poems, stories

B.J. Rolfzen Memorial Dylan Days Writing Contest 2014Every year a group of folks, myself included, throw together a grassroots event in Bob Dylan’s Iron Range hometown of Hibbing, Minnesota, celebrating Dylan’s work and influence and the enduring art and culture of northern Minnesota. One of the things we do is a writing contest named in honor of the English teacher who turned a young Robert Zimmerman, along with two generations of Iron Range students, onto the power of poetry.

This week we opened the 2014 Dylan Days B.J. Rolfzen Memorial Writing Contest. The deadline is March 3. We’re looking for poems and short stories. I always like to see MinnesotaBrown regulars who have deep, repressed dreams of writing something creative for a change find their way into the contest.

How about some press release action? Pow:

Dylan Days Writing Contest calls for submissions

HIBBING, 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.

The deadline for the contest is March 3, 2014. All entries must follow strict specifications, which are listed on the Dylan Days website at www.dylandays.org. (Click on “Contests” and “Writing Contest.”)

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.

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.

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.

Dylan Days will be held May 22-25, 2014 in Hibbing, Minnesota. This year’s events including many exciting surprises, including the opening of a major touring Dylan museum exhibit in Hibbing and our usual mix of live music, storytelling, artistic expression and Iron Range and Bob Dylan history.

For more information, see www.dylandays.org or e-mail info[at]dylandays.org.


  1. Gerry Mantel says

    Very “artsy fartsy”!

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