Best Resources for Poets and WritersWinning Writers
IN THIS ISSUE

Now Open—Tom Howard/John H. Reid Poetry Contest

Recent Honors for Our Subscribers

The Best Free Poetry Contests, December-January

Notable Free Prose Contests, December-January

Calls for Submissions

New Literary Resources

New Recommended Book

Featured Poem:
"On Writing"


Advertise in This Newsletter

Critique of Alegria Imperial's "Light as Magic"

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Newsletter Archives

One of the "101 Best Web Sites for Writers" (Writer's Digest, 2006)

WINNING WRITERS NEWSLETTER
December 2006


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Welcome to our December newsletter. This is the companion to our online database, The Best Free Poetry Contests. It alerts you to upcoming contests and important contest changes, highlights quality resources for writers, and announces achievements and great poems by our readers.

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Tom Howard/John H. Reid Short Story Contest
Postmark Deadline: March 31, 2007
Now in its 15th year. Prizes of $1,200, $800 and $400 will be awarded, plus four High Distinction awards of $200 each. Submit any type of short story, essay or other work of prose, up to 5,000 words. You may submit work that has been published or won prizes elsewhere, as long as you own the online publication rights. $12 entry fee. Submit online or by mail. Early submission encouraged. This contest is sponsored by Tom Howard Books and assisted by Winning Writers. Judges: John H. Reid and Dee C. Konrad. See the complete guidelines and past winners.

Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest - No Fee
Online Submission Deadline: April 1, 2007
Winning Writers invites you to enter our sixth annual Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest. The prize pool has doubled to $3,336.40 in cash, with a top prize of $1,359. There is no fee to enter. Submit online. Judge: Jendi Reiter. See the complete guidelines and past winners.

War Poetry Contest
Postmark Deadline: May 31, 2007
Sponsored by Winning Writers. We seek 1-3 original, unpublished poems for our sixth annual contest on the theme of war, up to 500 lines in total. We will award $5,000, up from $3,000 in the previous contest. The top prize is $2,000. Your entry fee of $15 includes three months of online access to Poetry Contest Insider, a $6.95 value. Submit online or by mail. Judge: Jendi Reiter. See the complete guidelines and past winners.

Margaret Reid Poetry Contest for Traditional Verse
Postmark Deadline: June 30, 2007
Now in its fourth year, this contest seeks poetry in traditional verse forms such as sonnets and haiku. Both published and unpublished poems are welcome. 50 cash prizes totaling $4,500 will be awarded, including a top prize of $1,000. The entry fee is $6 for every 25 lines you submit. Submit online or by mail. Early submission encouraged. This contest is sponsored by Tom Howard Books and assisted by Winning Writers. Judges: John H. Reid and Dee C. Konrad. See the complete guidelines and past winners.

Now Open
Tom Howard/John H. Reid Poetry Contest
Postmark Deadline: September 30, 2007
Now in its fifth year, this contest seeks poems in any style, theme or genre. Both published and unpublished poems are welcome. 30 cash prizes totaling $3,500 will be awarded, including a top prize of $1,000. The entry fee is $6 for every 25 lines you submit. Submit online or by mail. Early submission encouraged. This contest is sponsored by Tom Howard Books and assisted by Winning Writers. Judges: John H. Reid and Dee C. Konrad. See the complete guidelines and past winners. Winners from the 2006 contest will be announced this coming February 15.


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RECENT HONORS FOR POETRY CONTEST INSIDER SUBSCRIBERS
Congratulations to Linda Simone. Her sonnet "On Writing" won a Special Recognition award in the 2006 Helen Schaible Shakespearean/Petrarchan Sonnet Contest from the Poets' Club of Chicago. Ms. Simone is the Associate Director of the Graduate Writing Program at Manhattanville College, which publishes the literary journal INKWELL. She kindly shares her poem with us below.

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Like What We Do? Please Nominate Us!
Writer's Digest is calling for nominations for its 2007 101 Best Web Sites for Writers. As you know, we were grateful to be named to this list in 2005 and 2006. Please consider sending an email to writersdig@fwpubs.com. Put "101 Best Web sites" in the subject line and include a brief note about how Winning Writers helps you. Copy us on your nomination if you feel like it. We appreciate it!

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TRY POETRY CONTEST INSIDER
Get profiles for over 750 poetry contests, plus over 100 of the best prose contests. Search and sort contests by deadline, prize, fee, recommendation level and more. Out of hundreds of contests, there might only be two or three dozen that are especially appropriate for your work. We help you find them fast. Interviews and links to award-winning work help you refine your craft. Explore Poetry Contest Insider for 10 days on us. If you like it, you'll pay just $6.95/quarter. If it's not for you, cancel and pay nothing. Learn more about Poetry Contest Insider.
"As a beginning writer, I had no idea where to send my work for submission or for contest entries... With guidance from your website, I was able to figure out which contests my poetry, short stories and essays might do well in. I've also used it to sign up to receive wonderful magazine and journal publications of contemporary poetry, short stories and nonfiction that I would never have found without your website.

"Since using your website in the summer this past year (just six short months ago), I won First Prize in the Margaret Reid Traditional Verse Contest, a short story of mine, "Magnolia", was a finalist for the 2006 New Letters Alexander Cappon Award for Fiction, my poem "The Blue Laptop" was long listed for the 2006 Bridport Prize, and now, I'm waiting to hear if my poem, "Tombstones", moves up from the short list of the Poetry at Work Challenge. That almost averages out to one placement or prize a month due to your website!

"...I've got a bunch of other pieces out for consideration. I'll keep you posted if anything else wonderful happens. This really has been a tremendous year for me and I truly couldn't have done it without your website."
Susan Keith, Poetry Contest Insider Customer, California

"...an outstanding site with valuable resources for poets and writers....straightforward information on dozens, perhaps, hundreds of poetry and writing contests that YOU could be winning."
CruelestMonth.com, The Poetry of HarperCollins Publishers

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THE BEST FREE POETRY CONTESTS
Deadlines: December 16-January 31

Here is a summary of upcoming free poetry contests. Click the contest names to be taken directly to their profiles (you may be asked to login on your first click of the day). You may also view the profiles by logging in to The Best Free Poetry Contests here and clicking the Find Free Contests link to search for contests by name.

Forgot your password? Need a password?
Please go to http://www.winningwriters.com/forgot_password.php
We will email your password to you within minutes.

12/20: Somerset Maugham Awards +++
Entries must be received by this date
Highly recommended free contest for published books of poetry and prose offers stipend of up to 6,000 pounds for foreign travel. Entrants must be UK residents and British subjects by birth, and under age 35 as of December 31. The work submitted may be poetry, fiction, criticism, biography, history, philosophy, belles-lettres or a travel book. Dramatic works are not eligible. Entries in all genres compete for one prize.

12/23: Poetry Society of America Awards +++
Extended from December 15
These highly recommended contests on various themes, with prizes up to $1,000, are free to Poetry Society of America members. We highly recommend joining ($45 per year, $25 for students). For nonmembers, a $15 fee covers all contests for which you are eligible. One entry per person per contest.

12/30: Charlotte Newberger Prize for Poetry +
Neutral free contest offers $150 for unpublished poems touching on the experience of Jewish women. Send 1-3 poems, maximum 100 lines each. Sponsored by LILITH, a Jewish feminist magazine.

12/31: Desert Writers Award +
Neutral free contest offers annual fellowship of $1,000 for writers of poetry and prose to spend time writing in and about the desert landscape. Send 10-page writing sample, project description and biographical statement. Finalists may be interviewed.

12/31: Euphoria Annual Poetry Contest +
Entries must be received by this date
Neutral free contest offers $100 and online publication for the best set of 1-5 poems, 50 lines maximum per poem. Submit by email only. Previously published poems accepted. Best for emerging writers.

12/31: Griffin Prize for Excellence in Poetry +++
Highly recommended free contest offers two prizes of C$50,000 for poetry books published in the current calendar year. One prize will go to a living Canadian poet or translator, the other to a living poet or translator from any country (including Canada). See website for detailed eligibility rules. Publisher should send 4 copies of book plus a press packet. This is one of the most lucrative poetry prizes around, as well as one of the most prestigious.

12/31: Harold Morton Landon Translation Award +++
Highly recommended contest from the Academy of American Poets offers $1,000 for the best book of poetry in translation published in the US during the current calendar year. Translator must be a living US citizen. 3 copies of book should be submitted by publisher.

12/31: Michael E. DeBakey Medical Student Poetry Award ++
Recommended free contest for US medical students offers $1,000 and possible publication in a leading medical journal for one poem, maximum 2 pages. No simultaneous submissions.

12/31: Ohioana Poetry Award: Helen & Laura Krout Memorial ++
Recommended contest offers $1,000 to an Ohio poet for a body of published work that has made, and continues to make, a significant contribution to poetry, and through whose work as a writer, teacher, administrator, or in community service, interest in poetry has been developed. Award is by nomination only. Nominees must have been born in Ohio or lived there for at least 5 years.

12/31: ORBIS Readers Award +
Neutral free rolling-deadline contest offers 50 pounds per issue for the best poem published in each issue of Britain's ORBIS Quarterly Literary International Journal, as determined by reader vote. Online submissions accepted from non-UK entrants only. Translations eligible.

12/31: Raiziss/de Palchi Translation Award +++
Formerly November 1
Highly recommended free contest from the Academy of American Poets alternates between a $20,000 fellowship for translators of 20th-century Italian poetry to complete a work-in-progress (even-numbered years), and a $5,000 prize for published books of English translations of 20th-century Italian poetry (odd-numbered years). The 2006 contest is the fellowship for a work-in-progress. US citizens only.

12/31: Thomas Merton Poetry of the Sacred Contest ++
Recommended free contest offers top prize of $500 and publication for an unpublished poem of 100 lines maximum that "expresses, directly or indirectly, a sense of the holy or that, by its mode of expression, evokes the sacred. The tone may be religious, prophetic, or contemplative." Send by mail, email or fax.

12/31: William Carlos Williams Poetry Competition +
Free neutral contest for students of medicine or osteopathy in the US and Canada offers prizes of $300, $200, $100 for a poem on any subject. Winners invited to read at Northeast Ohio Universities College of Medicine in April, possibly published in scholarly journal. Submit 1-3 poems, maximum 750 words each.

1/1: Henry Latta Memorial Writing Contest +
Neutral free contest offers prizes up to $100 for poems, stories, essays, and unpublished book excerpts on themes of personal and spiritual health. "Specifically, we are most interested in authors that explore the complexities and challenges of humanity (inspiration, wellness, philosophy, spirituality, self-help), including life strategies and stories of triumph." See website for length limits and judging criteria for each category. Entries may be unpublished or self-published. Enter by mail (preferred) or email.

1/2: Native Writers' Circle of the Americas First Book Contest ++
Recommended free contest offers $500 each for poetry and prose manuscripts by Native American authors with no published books. Prose manuscripts may be novels, short story collections, or nonfiction of any type: history, autobiography, criticism, philosophy, etc. The competition is open to writers of Native American background (full-blood, mixed-blood, enrolled, unenrolled, Metis, Alaska Natives, Canadian Natives, Latin American Natives, etc.). Winning books will be published by the University of Oklahoma.

1/5: Western Australian Premier's Book Awards +++
Entries must be received by this date
Highly recommended free contest for published books offers A$7,500 each for fiction, poetry, nonfiction, scripts, books for children and books for young adults. Books that make a contribution to the understanding of Western Australia’s past will also be eligible for the A$7,500 West Australian History Award. Open to authors who: 1) were born in Western Australia; or 2) are current residents of Western Australia; or 3) lived in Western Australia for at least 10 years; or 4) the work is primarily about Western Australia, regardless of the author's country of residence. Book must have been published in the previous calendar year.

1/7: Texas Institute of Letters Awards ++
Formerly January 9
Recommended free contest offers prizes up to $6,000 for published books in various genres including poetry, fiction and translation. Entrants must have been born in Texas or resided in Texas for two consecutive years at some time, or the book's subject matter must substantially concern Texas.

1/15: Asnuntuck Student Poetry Contest +
Free neutral contest offers top prize of $200, other cash prizes, for poems from full- and part-time students at Connecticut public universities, community colleges, and selected high schools. Send 1-5 poems by mail or email.

1/15: Julia Ward Howe Book Awards ++
Recommended contest offers $1,000 each for adult and children's books published in the previous calendar year by authors who live or have lived within 100 miles of Boston, Massachusetts. The adult literature category includes fiction, nonfiction and poetry; children's books may be chapter books or young adult books, but no picture books. Note new contest chair and mailing address for 2007. We've upgraded this contest to Recommended because the prize money has doubled.

1/15: Levis Reading Prize ++
Entries must be received by this date
Recommended free contest offers $1,000 for a first or second book of poetry published during the preceding calendar year. Winner also receives an expenses-paid trip to Richmond, VA for a reading in September.

1/15: Poetic Licence Contest for Canadian Youth ++
Entries must be received by this date
Recommended free contest for Canadian citizens or landed immigrants attending junior high or high school offers top prizes of C$200 in each of two age categories: Junior (grades 7-9) and Senior (grades 10-12). Send 1-2 poems, no more than 50 lines each. Enter by email only. Send as plain text file in the body of the message, not as attachment. Include poem titles, poet's name, address, phone, age, grade and school.

1/15: Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Scholarship Awards +++
Formerly February 1
Highly recommended free contest for Ohio high school seniors offers $2,500 tuition to Kent State University, renewable up to four years pending good academic standing. 2nd & 3rd Prize winners receive $1,500 renewable scholarships. Send 4 copies of one poem, 100 lines maximum.

1/15: Summerfield G. Roberts Award +
Neutral free contest offers $2,500 for the literary manuscript or published book that "best portrays the spirit, character, strength, and deeds of those who lived in the Republic of Texas" (1836-46). Entries may be fiction, nonfiction, poetry, essays, plays, short stories, novels, or biographies. Send 5 copies.

1/15: Women Artists Datebook Contest +
Neutral free contest offers several payments of $100 for poems by women, to be included in a spiral-bound datebook with original art. Syracuse Cultural Workers describes itself as a "peace and justice publisher" with interest in the environment, social change, and marginalized groups. Send up to 8 poems, 30 lines maximum apiece.

1/19: Poetry Society of Virginia (Student Categories) +
Neutral free contest offers prizes of $25, $15, $10 in each age category, plus small prizes for poems on specific themes. Age categories are Grades 1-2, Grades 3-4, Grades 5-6, Grades 7-8, Grades 9-10, Grades 11-12, and Undergraduate College. One poem per entrant. See website for line lengths and themes for each contest.

1/31: Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards +++
Entries must be received by this date
Highly recommended free contest for published books offers two awards of $10,000 each: one for a book of fiction or poetry, the other for a book of nonfiction. The nonfiction category covers both creative nonfiction and scholarly works (biography, history, etc.). This award honors books that have made important contributions to our understanding of racism or our appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures. Books must have been published in the previous calendar year. Plays, screenplays, unpublished and self-published works not eligible. Author or publisher should submit 5 copies plus entry form from website.

1/31: Ann Arlys Bowler Student Poetry Contest ++
Recommended free contest for students in grades 6-12 offers 6 prizes of $100 plus publication in Read Magazine. Send 1-3 poems (published or unpublished), one-page maximum per poem.

1/31: Anthony Abbott Poetry Competition +
Neutral free contest offers top prize of $150, other prizes, for the best poem of 40 lines maximum by a full-time undergraduate at a North Carolina college. One poem per person. Winners will be invited to read at the CPCC Spring Literary Festival in March. No haiku.

1/31: Archibald Lampman Award ++
Recommended free contest for published poetry books by residents of Canada's National Capital region (Ottawa) offers C$1,000. Send 4 copies of a book published during the preceding calendar year by a recognized publisher. Archibald Lampman (1861-99) was a leading Canadian poet of the 19th century, known for his ability to immerse metaphysics in the details of nature.

1/31: Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize ++
Entries must be received by this date
Recommended free contest sponsored by the Goethe-Institut Chicago honors an outstanding literary translation from German into English published in the US during the preceding calendar year. Literary novels, short stories, plays, poetry, biographies, and correspondences are eligible. Prize is $10,000 plus a 3-month stay at the Literarisches Colloquium Berlin and travel expenses for award ceremony in Chicago in June. Publishers should submit 6 copies of the book along with any relevant publicity materials.

1/31: Jerseyworks Poetry Contest +
Entries must be received by this date
Neutral free contest offers prizes up to $100 for unpublished poems of any length. Jerseyworks is an online journal of literature, art and photography. Read past winners online before entering. Enter by email only.

1/31: Lohmann Poetry Prize +
Neutral free contest offers 3 prizes of $150 for poems by current residents of Washington State. Submit one poem, maximum 2 double-spaced pages.


Login to The Best Free Poetry Contests now to view these and all our profiles of free contests. You can browse contests by deadline date, name, recommendation level and more.

Key to Ratings
Highly Recommended: +++
Recommended: ++
Neutral: +

All deadlines are postmark deadlines unless otherwise specified.


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SPONSORS' MESSAGES


Weimaraner at edalbaugh.com Ghosts of Christmases Past
Rewriteman as alchemist. Firth commands reporters’ allegiance. Overwhelmed by time and material, they look to him for rescue. He also covers and transmogrifies parades. To escape henpecking, he regularly spends off-hours with colleagues. Then, abruptly, Firth is no more.

Grandma, Grandpa meet...GM’s goodies all set. Carolers are expected. GP can’t wait; they arrive, he partakes. He goes out to mail cards and notices a light in the sky. Simultaneously, their TV goes blank. The light brightens, subsides. Night visitors—but definitely not carolers.

Dec. 24, 1977. The last great game at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium, the Oakland Raiders-Colts playoff. In six quarters, a Raiders scoring pass decided. Afterward, the Colts, with their storied history, suffered sharp reversals.

Santa paws. A puppy, so dark it might have come down the chimney, has arrived to take over a household and steal hearts. And he won’t be denied.

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Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference The Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference
Next conference: May 4-7
The Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference provides the faculty, connections, and method necessary to set poets with a completed manuscript or manuscript-in-process on a path towards publication. Includes workshops, consultations with press editors, evening poetry readings, editorial panel Q&A, group critique of selected poems, and an after-conference strategy session.

Faculty for 2007 include editors and publishers April Ossmann (Alice James Books), Martha Rhodes (Four Way Books), Jeffrey Levine (Tupelo Press), Jeffrey Shotts (Graywolf Press) and others; workshop leaders include Director of the Concord Poetry Center, Joan Houlihan; Suffolk University Creative Writing Program Director Frederick Marchant, and Chair of the Writing, Literature, and Publishing Department at Emerson College in Boston, Daniel Tobin.

Cost of the conference is $795, which includes lodging and meals. The conference takes place in Colrain, a country town in Western Massachusetts, at the unique and magical Round House. For an application and complete guidelines, please visit www.concordpoetry.org/Colrain. You may also call 978-897-0054, email cpc@concordpoetry.org, or write to Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference, Concord Poetry Center, 40 Stow Street, Concord, MA 01742-2418.


Shakespeare Redux
by Larry Lyall
On sale now at Amazon.com

A poem for poem response to Shakespeare's sonnets in his own terms. Shakespeare Redux counters the rich, "upholstered rhetoric" of the Elizabethans with our contemporary American idiom.
"A rarity: a high level of energy and wit sustained throughout an entire collection...in which the comic muse is the antic child of wisdom."
—James Hoggard, Texas Poet Laureate, 2000

"For a Shakespearean, for anyone really familiar with the Sonnets, these are fascinating—at once fine poems in themselves and keen commentaries/readings of Shakespeare's work."
—Sidney Homan, University of Florida
Shakespeare ReduxExcerpt from Shakespeare Redux

70.

am I to think that I just prior to bloom
(there must though I must say I can't recall
have been a prior bud long since entomb'd)
fell prey to canker'd vice whose wherewithal
at that fond stage so far exceeded mine
that I was say as sweetest air to crows
or better still as mother's milk to brine
the which when mix'd would canker any rose?

thus through my young into my better days
until for all that now as winter fades
I've kept throughout my share of merit's praise
the bitter secret of that ambuscade

(libidinous tag:)

a crow will black the lightest sweetest air
& I despite my show would join him there


Marvin Bell Last Call!
2006 Perigee Poetry Contest Closing, Call for Submissions!
Postmark Deadline: December 31
The Perigee 2006 Poetry Contest is closing soon! This year renowned poet Marvin Bell serves as Finalist Judge. A faculty member of Pacific University's MFA Program, the author of sixteen books of poetry, and Iowa's first Poet Laureate, Bell is a virtuoso of verse indeed. But hurry: You only have until December 31st to submit your poems! Cash prizes total $650. All four winning entries will be published in our 2007 anniversary issue, this April, and the first-place poem will be nominated for the 2007 Pushcart Prize. Reading fee: $7 for every three poems. Results announced: February 15th. We are also seeking regular submissions of poetry, fiction and memoir for our April issue. No reading fee makes this is a great way to get your work included in our most popular annual issue—along with the winning poems. Read guidelines and submit directly through our website: www.perigee-art.com.


Kore Press Kore Press Open Submissions Period
Submissions accepted during January 2007
Kore Press, a publisher of literature by women writers, accepts open submissions each January. We seek book-length manuscripts in poetry, memoir, fiction and creative nonfiction, written by women, that reflect the highest standards of literary quality. We are open to work that is genre-bending and/or experimental. Each submission will be read either by our Artistic Director or our Executive Director. Every manuscript will receive a personalized letter offering a short critique. For details on how to submit your work, visit our website at www.korepress.org.


Closing Next Month
Grayson Books Grayson Books Chapbook Competition
Postmark Deadline: January 15
Now accepting submissions!
Prize: $500, publication of chapbook and 50 free copies. Reading fee: $15. This year's judge: Pit Pinegar, author of Physics of Transmigration (nominated for a Pulitzer Prize).
Submit 16-24 pages of poetry with two cover sheets (one with contact information and one anonymous). Include self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) for results only. Simultaneous submissions okay if we are notified immediately on acceptance elsewhere.
Make your reading fee payable to Grayson Books and mail with your entry to:
Grayson Books
P.O. Box 270549
West Hartford, CT 06127

See www.graysonbooks.com for more information.

California Institute of Arts and Letters
Closing Next Month
The Robert G. Cohn Prose Poetry Award
Postmark Deadline: January 15
The California Institute of Arts and Letters is pleased to announce the Robert Greer Cohn Prose Poetry Award in honor of Professor Cohn's lifetime of work dedicated to literature and poetry. Professor Cohn worked primarily in the field of French Literature, writing over 16 books, numerous articles, and essays focusing on the life and work of Mallarmé, a major book on Rimbaud and several books of cultural criticism. While a student at Yale University, just after World War II, Professor Cohn founded the highly regarded literary journal Yale French Studies. Read sample poems by Professor Cohn: "The Slender Girl" and "Request to Simon".

A prize of $300 will be awarded. The editors will also work with the winning poet to select up to ten additional unpublished poems from their body of work for publication in a limited edition chapbook. The reading fee is $10, payable by check to California Institute of Arts and Letters.

Please submit two copies of one unpublished prose poem on separate pages. One page must have your contact information and one page the poem only. Appropriate length of poems: 500 words or less, or one single-spaced page approximately 50 lines or less. See the complete guidelines at www.calartsandletters.org, then mail your submissions to:

California Institute of Arts and Letters
Cohn Prose Poetry Award
P. O. Box 470746
San Francisco, CA 94147
Sky Saje Enterprises

Announcing the 3rd Annual Skysaje Enterprises Poetry Contest
Postmark Deadline: April 30, 2007
Haiku to homilies, form to free verse, slam to sonnets. All styles eligible! We also accept previously published work and multiple entries! Songs are welcome. Minimum $100 prize, additional prizes and/or publication depending on the number of entries received. Include a $5 reading fee with each entry. An entry is a set of 1-5 poems. Please put each poem on a separate page. Poems should be a maximum of 50 lines each. Make checks payable to L. Berger and mail your entries to: Skysaje Enterprises, 50 Amesbury Road, Rochester, NY 14623-5314.

Someone will win! Why not you? For additional information, please visit the Skysaje website.


Now Open
The Litchfield Review The Litchfield Review First Annual Book Contest
Postmark Deadline: June 1, 2007
Judges
Editors of The Litchfield Review
Categories
Fiction, Drama, Nonfiction, Short Story Collection, Poetry Collection
Entry Fee
$25.00 each book length manuscript
Submission Guidelines
Open to all writers.
Send one copy of your manuscript to:
The Litchfield Review
7 Bonna Street
Beacon Falls, CT 06403
Manuscripts must be accompanied by a title page with complete contact information. Manuscripts must be accompanied by a business-size self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) for contest results. Manuscripts will not be returned.
Awards
Winner in each category will receive a $500 Honorarium, publication by The Litchfield Review with a royalty contract, and ten copies of the published book. Winners will be announced in August 2007. The Litchfield Review reserves the right not to choose a winner in a category in case of insufficient submissions; in that event, reading fees in that category will be returned.

For more information, please contact Theresa C. Vara-Dannen.

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SELECTED FREE PROSE CONTESTS

These free prose contests with deadlines between December 16 and January 31 are included as a bonus in The Best Free Poetry Contests.

Click the contest names below to go straight to their profiles, or login to The Best Free Poetry Contests here. After you login, please click the Find Free Contests link, then search by Prose Contest Type to find prose contests.

12/29: PEN/Beyond Margins Awards +++
Entries must be received by this date
Highly recommended free contest offers five awards of $1,000 for the best book of literary prose by an author of color that was published in the US during the current calendar year. Preferred genres are fiction, literary nonfiction, biography/memoir. Publisher or agent should submit 5 copies plus letter of nomination.

12/30: David Dornstein Memorial Creative Writing Contest ++
Formerly December 31
Recommended free contest offers prizes up to $1,000 (top prize will be at least $700) for an original story of no more than 5,000 words on a Jewish theme or topic. Entrants must be aged 18-35 as of the deadline. Sponsored by the Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education. Winners published in CAJE newsletter.

12/31: Black Caucus of the American Library Association Literary Awards ++
Recommended free contest offers two prizes of $500 for books of fiction and nonfiction (creative or scholarly) written by an African-American and published in the US during the current year. The awards honor books that depict the "cultural, historical, or sociopolitical aspects of the African Diaspora." Must be nominated by publisher.

12/31: L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future Contest ++
Recommended free contest for emerging writers of short science fiction, fantasy and horror offers quarterly prizes of $1,000 plus an annual $4,000 grand prize for one of the four winners. Send only one story per quarter, maximum 17,000 words. See website for eligibility rules. Entrants must not have professionally published a novel or short novel, or more than one novelette, or more than three short stories, in any medium.

12/31: Lantern Books Essay Contest +
Entries must be received by this date
Neutral free contest offers $1,000 top prize for essays on the animal advocacy, vegetarian, or environmental movements, maximum 1,500 words. Entrants should familiarize themselves with Lantern's core subject areas and viewpoint by exploring their website. Online entry preferred. No simultaneous submissions.

12/31: Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction ++
Recommended free contest offers $2,500 for the best novel about the Civil War published during the current calendar year. Publishers, critics or authors should send 10 copies of the book to the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College.

12/31: Premio Aztlan Literary Prize +
Neutral free contest offers $1,000 for published books of fiction by Chicano/Chicana authors who have published no more than two books. Books must have been published in the calendar year in which the deadline falls. Winner must agree to attend the award ceremony and deliver a lecture at the University of New Mexico in April (the prize includes travel and lodging expenses). Send 5 copies of book plus supporting materials.

12/31: TCU Texas Book Award ++
Recommended free contest offers $5,000 for the best book of fiction, nonfiction, art or photography about Texas, which was published in the past two years. All genres compete together. Author, publisher or agent should send 3 copies of the book. Winner must give speech at awards banquet in Fort Worth in the spring.

1/10: Tell Tale Press Writing Contest +
Neutral free contest for short fiction offers 3 prizes of $200 savings bond, other gifts. Complete one of the 24 story openings on the website, or write a story involving any of the Tell Tale Press characters or places. Maximum 2,000 words.

1/15: Donald Murray Prize ++
Recommended free contest from the National Council of Teachers of English offers $500 for the best essay about teaching and/or writing that was published in the previous calendar year. Anyone may nominate an essay of any length. Send 4 copies with information on the source and date of publication. Email John Boe for complete rules.

1/15: Feedback Magazine's "So You Think You Can Write?" Essay Contest +
Entries must be received by this date
Neutral bimonthly free contest for authors aged 18+ offers prizes up to $250 for nonfiction articles on any topic, 1,000-1,500 words. Feedback is a new Los Angeles magazine covering fashion, beauty, celebrity news and current events. Enter by email only. One entry per person; entries must be received by midnight Pacific time on the deadline date. Read sample articles online to get a sense of their style and interests.

1/15: Lulu Blooker Prize ++
Entries must be received by this date
Recommended free contest offers prizes up to $10,000 for published and self-published "blooks"—a book of fiction, nonfiction or comics whose content was originally developed on the author's blog or website. E-books not eligible. Sponsored by Lulu.com, a provider of self-publishing services. Author or publisher should send a copy of the book and a completed entry form. Finalists will be asked to send 4 additional copies.

1/15: South Carolina Fiction Project ++
Recommended free contest for South Carolina residents offers 12 prizes of $500 and publication for the best unpublished story up to 2,500 words. Winners will be published on the websites of the SC Arts Commission and The Post and Courier, a Charleston newspaper. Entrants must be 18 or older.

1/16: PEN/Robert Bingham Fellowship for Writers +++
Entries must be received by this date
Highly recommended free contest offers a $35,000 fellowship to complete a second book of literary fiction. Entrants must be US residents (not necessarily citizens) whose first book of literary fiction (novel or short story collection) was published in the US during the previous year. Anyone may submit nomination. Send 3 copies of book.

1/31: American Kennel Club Fiction Writing Contest +++
Recommended free contest offers top prize of $750 for short stories up to 2,000 words that feature dogs of an AKC-registrable breed or a breed listed in the Miscellaneous class. No simultaneous submissions. The AKC is a well-known organization that sets the criteria for purebred show dogs, as well as advocating for animal welfare and providing information for dog owners and breeders.

1/31: Betty Trask Prize +++
Entries must be received by this date
Highly recommended free contest offers awards totaling 25,000 pounds for a published first novel of "a romantic or traditional nature", i.e. not experimental. Author must be a Commonwealth citizen. If published, the work must have been published in the UK in 2006 or be due for publication in 2007. Entrants must be under 35 as of December 31, 2006. Winner must agree to use the prize money for foreign travel.

1/31: Caine Prize for African Writing +++
Entries must be received by this date
Highly recommended free contest offers 10,000 pounds for published short stories by African writers, defined as someone who was born in Africa, or who is a national of an African country, or whose parents are African, and whose work has reflected African sensibilities. Up to 5 shortlisted authors receive a travel stipend. For the 2007 contest, entries must have been published between February 1, 2002 and January 31, 2007. Must be submitted by publisher. Send 6 copies of published story. (They prefer 6 originals but will accept 1 original and 5 photocopies.)

1/31: Jack London Writing Contest ++
Recommended free contest for students in grades 9-12 offers prizes of $1,000, $500 and $250 for stories and essays of 2,000 words maximum (entries in both genres compete together). Entries should be submitted by the student's English teacher. Manuscripts may be any style or any subject and must be titled. "For ideas you may want to use one of Jack London's themes which include man against nature ('Love of Life'), man misplaced in different ethnic cultures ('Chun An Chun,' 'The Chinago,' 'The Mexican,' 'On the Makaloa Mat,' 'The Heathen,' and 'Samuel'), man at sea, in Alaska, in the South Seas, in poverty ('The Apostate,' 'South of the Slot,' and 'A Piece of Steak'), boxing, on the farm, even in the leper colony."

1/31: Jerry Jazz Musician Fiction Contest +
Entries must be received by this date
Thrice-yearly free neutral contest offers $200 and web publication for short fiction. The Jerry Jazz Musician reader has interests in music, social history, literature, politics, art, film and theater, particularly that of the counter-culture of mid-20th century America. Entries should appeal to a reader with these characteristics. Submit stories of 1,000-5,000 words by email to jm@jerryjazz.com as an MS Word or Adobe Acrobat attachment. Please be sure to include your name, address and phone number with your submission. Please include "Short Fiction Contest Submission" in the subject heading of the email.

1/31: Northwest Perspectives Essay Contest ++
Recommended free contest seeks essays that "address ideas that affect the Northwest" region of the US. Top prize of $750 in the open category, $500 in the student category (college or graduate school), plus smaller prizes and publication in Oregon Quarterly, the University of Oregon magazine. Maximum 2,500 words for the open category, 2,000 words for the student category. One essay per person.

1/31: Undiscovered Authors Competition ++
Entries must be received by this date
Recommended free contest from self-publishing company BookForce UK awards prizes up to 10,000 pounds for unpublished fiction, creative nonfiction, and academic works. Winners from 16 regions of the UK and Ireland receive cash prizes up to 1,000 pounds, and compete for the national grand prize. Send sample chapter of up to 25 pages/10,000 words, plus synopsis. Finalists will be asked to submit a complete manuscript. Send entries by email as MS Word attachments.

1/31: Virginia Commonwealth University First Novelist Award ++
Recommended free contest offers $1,000 for a first novel published during the previous calendar year. Author, agent and editor also receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Richmond, VA to participate in the Virginia Commonwealth University First Novelist Forum. Send 3 copies of published book.

1/31: Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant ++
Recommended free contest offers a $1,000 grant to an Ohio writer aged 30 and under with no published books. Submit 1-6 prose pieces (fiction or creative nonfiction), each of which should be 10-60 double-spaced pages in 12-point font. Applicants must have been born in Ohio or lived there for at least 5 years. See website for details and entry form.


Login to The Best Free Poetry Contests now to view these and all our profiles of free contests.

Key to Ratings
Highly Recommended: +++
Recommended: ++
Neutral: +

All deadlines are postmark deadlines unless otherwise specified.


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CALLS FOR SUBMISSIONS

Bylines Writer's Desk Calendar
Postmark Deadline: February 1
Snowflake Press seeks submissions of personal stories of the literary life (300 words maximum) from writers who have been published and paid for their work. The best 53 entries will be included in the 2008 Bylines Writer's Desk Calendar, a weekly calendar that the editors describe as "a celebration of working writers, and a writing motivator full of inspiration, humor, and passion." Suggested topics: your first sale, lessons learned from experience, memorable interviews, ways that your writing made a difference in people's lives. Send your submission via email to Sylvia Forbes. Include your name, address, phone number, email address, and website.

Tarpaulin Sky
Postmark Deadline: March 15
Online literary journal Tarpaulin Sky is seeking submissions of poetry, prose and cross-genre work for its first print issue. Email 3-5 poems or short prose pieces, or one prose work of 3,000 words maximum, as a single attached file, with "submission" and your name in the subject line. Tarpaulin Sky Press is also accepting chapbook and full-length manuscript submissions, which cost $10 and $20 respectively; free for past contributors to the journal. Contributors to this well-regarded publication include Jenny Boully, Joshua Corey, kari edwards, Matthea Harvey, Joyelle McSweeney, and Jonah Winter.


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NEW LITERARY RESOURCES

Poet Ferlinghetti Chased Subs in WWII
San Francisco Chronicle article recounts the wartime experiences of famous Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti and his conversion to pacifist principles after viewing the devastation at Nagasaki.

War Poets Association
The War Poets Association promotes interest in the work, life and historical context of poets whose subject is the experience of war, with particular interest in World Wars I and II, the Spanish Civil War, and the conflict in Northern Ireland. Their website posts announcements of new publications in this field, calls for papers, and literary events (mostly in London).

War Poets on Wikipedia
Brief overview of the emergence and development of the contemporary war poetry genre, with links to information on major poets of World Wars I and II.


See our complete directory of resources at http://www.winningwriters.com/resources/ur_web.php. This is also the gateway to our recommended books, magazines, service providers, advice for writers (with manuscript tips) and poetry critiques.


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NEW RECOMMENDED BOOK

Love Poem to Androgyny
By Stacey Waite. Fierce, tragicomic poetry chapbook voices the struggles and desires of a lesbian whose masculine appearance leads her (not always voluntarily) to adopt alternate identities in response to others' preconceptions. This writer's fertile imagination was formed by a hostile world in which one best expresses one's true self by wearing a mask. "Who will believe us that deception is only/ a matter of cutting through the red tape?"


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MORE SPONSORS' MESSAGES

Tom Howard/John H. Reid Short Story Contest
Postmark Deadline: March 31, 2007
Now in its 15th year. Prizes of $1,200, $800 and $400 will be awarded, plus four High Distinction awards of $200 each. Submit any type of short story, essay or other work of prose, up to 5,000 words. You may submit work that has been published or won prizes elsewhere, as long as you own the online publication rights. $12 entry fee. Submit online or by mail. Early submission encouraged. This contest is sponsored by Tom Howard Books and assisted by Winning Writers. Judges: John H. Reid and Dee C. Konrad. See the complete guidelines and past winners.


Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest - No Fee
Online Submission Deadline: April 1, 2007
Winning Writers invites you to enter our sixth annual Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest. The prize pool has doubled to $3,336.40 in cash, with a top prize of $1,359. There is no fee to enter. Submit online. Judge: Jendi Reiter. See the complete guidelines and past winners.


War Poetry Contest
Postmark Deadline: May 31, 2007
Sponsored by Winning Writers. We seek 1-3 original, unpublished poems for our sixth annual contest on the theme of war, up to 500 lines in total. We will award $5,000, up from $3,000 in the previous contest. The top prize is $2,000. Your entry fee of $15 includes three months of online access to Poetry Contest Insider, a $6.95 value. Submit online or by mail. Judge: Jendi Reiter. See the complete guidelines and past winners.


Margaret Reid Poetry Contest for Traditional Verse
Postmark Deadline: June 30, 2007
Now in its fourth year, this contest seeks poetry in traditional verse forms such as sonnets and haiku. Both published and unpublished poems are welcome. 50 cash prizes totaling $4,500 will be awarded, including a top prize of $1,000. The entry fee is $6 for every 25 lines you submit. Submit online or by mail. Early submission encouraged. This contest is sponsored by Tom Howard Books and assisted by Winning Writers. Judges: John H. Reid and Dee C. Konrad. See the complete guidelines and past winners.


Now Open
Tom Howard/John H. Reid Poetry Contest
Postmark Deadline: September 30, 2007
Now in its fifth year, this contest seeks poems in any style, theme or genre. Both published and unpublished poems are welcome. 30 cash prizes totaling $3,500 will be awarded, including a top prize of $1,000. The entry fee is $6 for every 25 lines you submit. Submit online or by mail. Early submission encouraged. This contest is sponsored by Tom Howard Books and assisted by Winning Writers. Judges: John H. Reid and Dee C. Konrad. See the complete guidelines and past winners. Winners from the 2006 contest will be announced this coming February 15.


LEARN TO WRITE FOR MAGAZINES!
Want to freelance for magazines but don't know how? Need a little motivation to get started? Learn how to develop ideas, research markets, write your query letter, and make your pitch to editors! In only eight lessons, veteran freelancer Linda Formichelli will show you the ropes. She's written for more than 120 publications, including USA Weekend, Family Circle, Men's Fitness, and Woman's Day. Let Linda show you how you can, too!
http://www.absoluteclasses.com/Formicelli/writing_for_magazines.htm


2007 Poet's Market
The 2007 edition of Poet's Market is on sale now at Amazon. Published each August by Writer's Digest, this is the best annual guide to 1,800 journals, magazines, book publishers, chapbook publishers, websites, grants, conferences, workshops and contests. Helps you find publishers who are looking for your kind of work. Also updated are Novel & Short Story Writer's Market and Writer's Market for works of prose. Writer's Market is "the most valuable of tools for the writer new to the marketplace," says Stephen King in On Writing.


Office Depot - December Coupons
Save on paper, toner, binders and all your writing supplies at Office Depot. Free delivery in select areas when you order $50 or more. Coupons:
Save $30 off any $150 purchase from Office Depot in December!
Save $40 off any $200 Purchase from Office Depot in December!


Gifts for Booklovers at Alibris
Good gifts cheap. Over 60 million used, new and out-of-print books on sale.
FREE Shipping on orders of $49 or more! Eligible books are marked with our Super Value Shipping truck.

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FEATURED POEM FROM A SUBSCRIBER

On Writing
by Linda Simone

Language springs sudden: taste it on your tongue.
It flourishes on buds, though silently.
Never too old to dapple, nor too young.
Deafen your echoes by setting them free.
An odd progression snaking into words,
announcing you more than your name or age,
nagging and haunting that they may be heard,
nonfertile till you plant them on the page.

Salute your tongue by speaking with your hand.
Impress the paper with your idling pen.
Move slow or move it fast as thoughts demand
or readers’ ears to other Sirens bend.
Never a better time to coax a verse:
Endorse this now—or suffer for the worse.


Copyright 2006 by Linda Simone

This poem won a Special Recognition award in the 2006 Helen Schaible Shakespearean/Petrarchan Sonnet Contest from the Poets' Club of Chicago.


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Advertise to 16,000 Poets and Writers
Promote your contests, websites, events and publications in this newsletter. Reach over 16,000 poets and writers for $50. Ads may contain up to 150 words, a headline and a graphic image. Find out more and make your reservation here:
http://www.winningwriters.com/advertisers.php

Carolina Sineni of hotmetalpress on the impact of advertising in the Winning Writers Newsletter:
"We advertised elsewhere but I know it was a startling jump from a few acceptable submissions in weeks to a few everyday. We went from perhaps less than a hundred hits in a month to over 3500 each month."

See more testimonials.

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PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

ProLiteracy Supporters Help Thousands

A number of recent grants and sponsorships to ProLiteracy Worldwide will help thousands of women in countries around the world, and literacy practitioners and students here in the US.

A $76,000 grant from the Peery Foundation is going to ProLiteracy's Women's Literacy and Human Rights Project in 10 countries: Afghanistan, India, China, Kenya, Bolivia, Mexico, Guatemala, Egypt, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Fourteen local women's learning and development organizations will initiate, upgrade or expand programs that integrate women's literacy, human rights and parent leadership.

UPS sponsored the annual banquet at ProLiteracy's national conference this past October in Atlanta, Georgia. Dollar General sponsored the student recognition luncheon and conference bags. Other conference sponsors included New Readers Press, Verizon, and GED Testing Service.

An $8,000 grant from The United Methodist Church Women's Division, General Board of Global Ministries, will go to four women-focused international partners to help women alleviate violence in their lives and advance peace/security building in their communities. These projects will reach more than 6,000 women and their families in poor rural villages and urban areas of Afghanistan (Afghan Women's Empowerment Program), China (Cultural Development Center for Rural Women), Liberia (Imani House), and India (Yuvaparivartan).

Citizens Bank has donated $5,000 for the National Book Scholarship Fund, which provides books and materials to literacy programs that otherwise could not afford them.
ProLiteracy Worldwide
Read more about ProLiteracy's initiatives at ProLiteracy.org, and join in advancing ProLiteracy's vital mission. Click here to contribute.

Send this page to a friend and we'll donate 15 cents to ProLiteracy for each friend you refer.


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Jendi Reiter JENDI'S CRITIQUE CORNER

This month, Critique Corner is pleased to present "Light as Magic" by Alegria Imperial.

If you would like a chance to be critiqued, please email your poem to me at critique@winningwriters.com. Send the poem in the body of your email message (no attachments) and put "poetry critique" in the subject line. One submission per poet per month. Thanks!


Light as Magic
by Alegria Imperial

The essence of magic is light
says the puppeteer to me as I peer
through his box of a stage
yet but a shell of trash—
limp pieces of strings,
sleeping snakes of light cords,
tubs of light shades, the puppets
mere swaths of rags.
Life moves only where
there is light, he seems to chant,
invoking magic from his words. In the myth
of creation, God first bid Light with words and Light
burst into rays like wings or so the puppeteer
imagines.
You can ride on light,
the universe does, speeding and crashing
on taut streams of translucence. I can transform you
into a nymph under these lights,
the puppeteer turns
to me, sensing my longing.
Could I grow into wings if
I wish
and vanish in the light? I ask. Or
like my puppets be born
and live if only for a fraction
of light, he answers grinning. I hesitate
but then, step in to his box of a stage among scraps
of life and give in.


Copyright 2006 by Alegria Imperial


Critique by Jendi Reiter

Alegria Imperial's poem "Light as Magic" gracefully explores age-old questions of free will, mortality and faith, through the metaphor of the puppet show. The dialogue between the puppeteer and the narrator can be understood on many levels, but it is fundamentally a poem about trust.

Can the spectator trust the artist enough that she will suspend disbelief and let him turn his "box of a stage" from a "shell of trash" into a cosmos in miniature? She must decide whether to rely more on her skeptical eyes, which see only the unglamorous machinery and "swaths of rags", or on the puppeteer's seductive promises and the longings of her own heart, which beckon her to move from spectator to participant. One could even see this as an example of the tension between scientific and religious approaches to knowledge—the former demanding that the knower remain objective and detached from the known, the latter requiring personal commitment as a precursor to understanding.

This poem also has a romantic dimension, with the puppeteer as the seducer ("I can transform you/into a nymph under these lights,/the puppeteer turns/to me, sensing my longing")....

critique continues here

This poem, our critique and contest suggestions for poems in this style appear in full at:
http://www.winningwriters.com/resources/critiques/2006/urc_0612imperial.php

See all of our poetry critiques.


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JENDI REITER'S WEBSITE RELAUNCHED AS A BLOG
Visit Reiter's Block for poetry, cutting-edge Christianity, book notes and cultural insights. Subscribe free to get Jendi's latest posts as they happen. Go to the home page, see the Subscription box at the bottom on the left.


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COMING IN OUR JANUARY 15 NEWSLETTER
The Best Free Poetry Contests for January 16-February 28