Best Resources for Poets and WritersWinning Writers
IN THIS ISSUE

Tom Howard/John H. Reid Poetry Contest Winners Announced

Recent Honors for Our Subscribers

The Best Free Poetry Contests, February-March

Notable Free Prose Contests, February-March

Calls for Submissions

New Literary Resources

Featured Poem:
"Sleeping Beauty in Old Age"


Featured Poem:
"Movie Version"


Advertise in This Newsletter

Critique of Belinda Smith's "The Telepathic Bruise"

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Newsletter Archives

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

WINNING WRITERS NEWSLETTER
February 2007


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Welcome to our February 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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Debbie Camelin TOM HOWARD/JOHN H. REID POETRY CONTEST WINNERS ANNOUNCED
Debbie Camelin is the winner of the fourth annual Tom Howard/John H. Reid Poetry Contest sponsored by Tom Howard Books. This contest awards 30 cash prizes totaling $3,500, including a top prize of $1,000, for the best original poems in any style or theme. Camelin's poem "Intimidation", a stirring account of nonviolent resistance to apartheid, was judged the best of hundreds of entries from around the world.

Contest judge John H. Reid said, "It's always difficult to make a political statement in a poem without seeming arch, prosaic, heavy-handed or, worse still, offensive... Debbie Camelin has not only courageously tackled this subject head on but manages her poem, 'Intimidation', with sympathy and lyricism, with feeling and humanity. She avoids the pitfalls of prose by the inspired use of spacing (rather than punctuation), repetition and rhyme (which make her statements rise above the prosaic and become a song, a hymn to a triumphant salvation). Above all, with great economy and skill, she presents an indelible, poignant picture of this brief street scene. It is an image which not only captures the eye of the reader, but the mind and heart."

Contest judge Dee C. Konrad said, "Ms. Camelin's 'Intimidation' highlights a determination of political forces and an ongoing resistance to that pressure and persistent personal pain. Significant blocks of structured lines, deliberately spaced irregularly to represent the lack of communication, indicate the policies against freedom and the insistence for the freedom of recognition."

We congratulate Ms. Camelin, Second Prize winner Noble Collins and Third Prize winner Jessica Morrow. Ms. Camelin and Mr. Collins also received High Distinction Awards, as did Tom Berman, Linda Dousay, David J. Goss, Johnmichael Simon and Martin Steele. Ten Highly Commended Awards of $70 each and ten Commended Awards of $50 each rounded out the prizes, bringing the total to $3,500. Many of the winning entries are published in Sailing in the Mist of Time: Fifty Award-Winning Poems, on sale now at Lulu.

Read the top 10 winning entries, the complete list of winners, and the judges' comments. Read the press release. See the guidelines for this year's contest, open now.

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Closing Next Month
Tom Howard/John H. Reid Short Story Contest
Postmark Deadline: March 31
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
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
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
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.

Tom Howard/John H. Reid Poetry Contest
Postmark Deadline: September 30
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.

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RECENT HONORS FOR OUR NEWSLETTER SUBSCRIBERS
Congratulations to Maureen Sherbondy. Her chapbook, After the Fairy Tale, will be published by Main Street Rag in April in their Editor's Choice Chapbook Series. Get a pre-release discount if you order through their website before March 22. She kindly shares a poem from her book below.

Congratulations to Kay Elizabeth. Her article "Take the ARGHHH!! Factor Out of Trips Home" won third prize in Feedback Magazine's "So You Think You Can Write?" Essay Contest for November 2006, and was published in the Jan/Feb 2007 issue. This bimonthly award from a Hollywood news and fashion magazine offers prizes up to $250 for short articles.


RECENT HONORS FOR POETRY CONTEST INSIDER SUBSCRIBERS
Congratulations to Mimi Moriarty. Her chapbook, War Psalm, has been accepted for publication by Finishing Line Press. This collection of 23 poems addresses the aftermath of war and the effects of war on society and on individuals. It will be published in late spring or early summer of 2007. Ms. Moriarty kindly shares a poem from her chapbook below.

Congratulations to Walter Bargen. His 10th book of poetry, Remedies for Vertigo, was recently published by WordTech Communications and was the subject of a profile in the Jefferson City (Missouri) News-Tribune on January 12. Read the article and a sample from his book here. Mr. Bargen won an Honorable Mention in the 2005 Winning Writers War Poetry Contest, and is the recipient of numerous other awards.

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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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FEATURED SPONSOR'S MESSAGE


Dancing Poetry Festival Artists Embassy International Poetry Contest - 43 Cash Awards
To further understanding and goodwill through the universal language of the arts

Postmark Deadline: May 15
Three $100 grand prizes and a video of your poem being performed at the Dancing Poetry Festival in San Francisco, California on September 29, 2007, plus cash awards for 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes. Award winners will be invited to read in person at the festival, to be held in the Florence Gould Theater at the Historic Palace of the Legion of Honor, a Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco. Artists Embassy International honors the tradition of poetry and dance performed together, creating a visually exciting melding of both forms. We are seeking poetry of a danceable, lyrical nature, bringing together the world's cultures. Dancers and poets from all over the earth have participated in all past festivals.

Reading fee is $5 for one poem, $10 for three poems. Each poem may have up to 40 lines. All themes and subjects are welcome—poems need not be confined to the subject of dancing. Send two copies of each poem. Put your name, address and phone number on one copy only. The anonymous copy will go to the judges. Please send your entries to: Judy Cheung - Chair, 704 Brigham Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95404. No entries will be returned. Complete guidelines: http://www.bestofsanfrancisco.net/dancingpoetrycontest.htm



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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: February 16-March 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.

2/16: Arts & Letters Awards +++
Formerly January 20
Highly recommended free contest for residents of the Canadian Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Prizes are as follows: Senior division (age 19 and up): 17 awards of C$1,000 each (6 poetry, 5 fiction, 3 nonfiction, and 2 scriptwriting winners, one French-language winner in any genre); junior division (age 12-18): 21 awards of C$250 (10 for poetry, 10 for prose and drama, one for French-language). Entries must have been written in the past 12 months. Only one submission per person per art form (literary arts, music or visual arts); i.e. literature entrants must choose between poetry, fiction, nonfiction and drama genres. No simultaneous submissions. We've upgraded this contest, despite its limited eligibility, because the prizes increased significantly in 2007. See website for music and art contests.

2/16: miniWORDS 2007 +
Entries must be received by this date
Neutral free contest for very short poetry and prose offers grand prize of 750 pounds, plus prizes of 250 pounds in each of five genres: poetry, stories, (auto)biography, monologue/dialogue, and haiku. Online entries accepted. Winners and runners-up published on website. Contest sponsor Charnwood Arts is an independent community arts and media organization based in the Borough of Charnwood in the East Midlands of Britain.

2/24: California Federation of Chaparral Poets Youth Contest +
Neutral contest for California students in grades 7-12 offers prizes up to $50 in each of 6 categories for poems 20 lines maximum. Categories are Junior (grades 7-9), Senior (grades 10-12), Light Verse, and three themed contests: "Legends", "Youth's View of Humanity", and "I Remember". Email Elaine Harper for rules or see the profile in The Best Free Poetry Contests.

2/28: Chistell Writing Contest +
Neutral free contest offers top prizes of $200 for short fiction and $100 for poetry, for writers aged 16+ who have never been published in a major publication. Chistell is an independent publisher of popular literature with a focus on African-American women. Send 1-2 poems or one story; online submission only. 2007 theme: "Life's Common Thread".

2/28: GLCA New Writers Awards ++
Recommended free contest offers $300 and a reading tour of 12 midwestern colleges for the author of a book of fiction or poetry that is the author's first published book in that genre. One winner in each category. Publisher should submit 4 copies of book along with publicity material. Selection process favors recipients of major first-book awards.

2/28: Toronto Book Awards +
Entries must be received by this date
Neutral free contest for published books of literary or artistic merit that are evocative of Toronto. C$15,000 will be awarded in all. Each shortlisted author (usually 4-6) receives C$1,000 and the winning author is awarded the remainder. There are no separate categories: novels, short story collections, books of poetry, biographies, histories, social studies, books about sports, children's books, photographic collections, etc. are judged together. (While the prize money is good, this contest is only Neutral for poets because prose dominates the winners' circle: the last poetry winner was in 1999. Also, we feel it's hard to judge fairly between books in such different genres.)

3/1: Beverly Hopkins Memorial Poetry Contest for High School Students +
Neutral free contest for high school students living within 100 miles of St. Louis offers prizes of $50 and $35, plus reading at annual poetry concert in May. Send 1-3 poems, any length, that are unpublished and not previously awarded a prize. Entries should be typed, single-spaced, signed with pseudonym only; include a 3"x5" index card with author's real name and pseudonym, address, phone number, email, high school name and poem titles.

3/1: Brenda L. Smart Grand Prize for Poetry +
Neutral free contest offers $500 for poems by North Carolina residents with no published books. Send 2 copies of 1-3 poems. Previous winners and tenured UNC faculty may not enter. Winner must be available to read the poem and receive the prize at the NC State Poetry Festival on March 28, 2007.

3/1: Collision Poetry & Creative Nonfiction Contest +
Entries must be received by this date
Twice-yearly neutral free contest from Collision, the University of Pittsburgh's creative nonfiction magazine, offers prizes of $150, $100, $75, plus publication, for poetry and creative nonfiction by undergraduate students anywhere in the world. Entries should be 3,000 words maximum. Prizes are across all genres, not per genre (personal essays and narratives, travel pieces, feature articles, and poems).

3/1: Eastern Shore Regional Poetry Contest +
Neutral free contest offers top prize of $100 per age division (children, student, adult, senior) for poems by residents, students or employees from the following Maryland counties: Caroline, Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne's or Talbot. Send 2 copies of 1-2 poems, 20 stanzas or 3 pages maximum per poem.

3/1: Iris N. Spencer Undergraduate Poetry Award +
Formerly January 31
Neutral free contest offers prizes of $500 and $250 for formal poetry by undergraduates enrolled in a college/university in the Delaware Valley of Pennsylvania (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, or Philadelphia counties). Send one unpublished poem, any length.

3/1: Milton Kessler Poetry Book Award ++
Entries must be received by this date
Recommended free contest from Binghamton University offers $1,000 for the best book of poetry published in the previous calendar year by an author over 40, minimum press run 500. Publishers should send 3 copies of published book (no galleys) plus entry form.

3/15: Howard Nemerov Creative Writing Awards ++
Recommended free contest for US high school juniors and seniors offers three prizes of $250 in each genre (poetry and fiction). One entry per person per genre. Sponsored by Washington University in St. Louis.

3/15: Lynn DeCaro Poetry Contest ++
Formerly March 10
Neutral free contest offers prizes of $150, $100, $50 for unpublished poems by high school students (public, private, home-schooled or alternative) in grades 9-12. (Formerly for Connecticut residents only, now open to all.) Send 2 copies of 1-3 poems, maximum 40 lines each. No simultaneous submissions.

3/15: Paterson Prize for Books for Young People ++
Entries must be received by this date
Recommended contest offers $500 in each of three age categories: books of poetry or prose for Pre-K - Grade 3, Grades 4-6, or Grades 7-12. Books must have been published in the previous calendar year. Send 3 copies of book plus entry form. Sponsored by the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College.

3/15: Ray Bradbury Creative Writing Contest +
Neutral free contest offers top prize of $100 in each age category, high school students and adults. Alternates annually between poetry (even-numbered years) and prose (odd-numbered years). For the 2007 contest, send 3 copies of one story, maximum 2 double-spaced, single-sided typed pages.

3/25: Nicholas A. Virgilio Memorial Haiku Competition for High School Students +
Entries must be received by this date
Neutral free contest offers six prizes of $50 for the best haiku by students in grades 7-12 as of the previous September (no homeschooled students). Send 1-3 haiku, typed in triplicate on 3"x5" cards, with author's name and contact information on only one copy. Sponsored by the Haiku Society of America.

3/30: Betsy Colquitt Award for Poetry/Frank O'Connor Award for Fiction +
Formerly April 30
Neutral free contests offer $500 apiece for the best poetry and fiction published in Descant: Fort Worth's Journal of Poetry & Fiction. General submission guidelines apply. Editors prefer poems 60 lines or less, stories 5,000 words or less.

3/30: bp Nichol Chap-Book Award ++
Recommended free contest offers C$1,000 for the best English-language poetry chapbook published in Canada in the preceding year. Author or publisher should submit 3 copies of book plus author's curriculum vitae.

3/30: Jo-Anne Hirshfield Memorial Poetry Awards +
Formerly March 10
Neutral free contest offers prizes of $100, $50 and $25 in each of 3 age categories: children (grades K-8), high school students, and adults. Open to Chicago-area teens and adults and Evanston, IL elementary school students. Send 2 copies of 1-5 unpublished poems.

3/31: Foley Poetry Contest ++
Formerly April 18
Recommended free contest from the Jesuit magazine 'America' offers $1,000 and publication for a poem of 30 lines or less. (Past winning poems have touched on morally significant issues, but have not been "religious" poetry in the conventional sense.) No simultaneous submissions.

3/31: Jackson/Phelan/Tanenbaum Literary Awards ++
Recommended free contest offers 3 awards of $2,000 for unpublished manuscripts (up to 40 pages) of poetry, fiction, nonfiction or drama. For Jackson award, must be residents of Nevada or northern California (north of the Monterey-San Luis Obispo county line) for 3 consecutive years prior to deadline; for Phelan award, must have been born in California; for Tanenbaum award, must be residents of northern California as defined above. Entrants must also be aged 20-35 as of the deadline date.

3/31: Mildred Kanterman Memorial Merit Book Awards +
Entries must be received by this date
Neutral free contest from the Haiku Society of America offers $500 for the best first book of haiku, or primarily haiku, published in the previous calendar year. Books should be at least 24 pages. Also see website for the Annual Merit Book Awards, open to poets of all experience levels, not just first books. Both prize and fee for the latter contest were eliminated in 2005; winners now receive only publicity in Haiku Society materials. Early entries encouraged. Email Stanford M. Forrester for details.

3/31: Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award +
Entries must be received by this date
Neutral free contest for African-American poets offers $500 and publication for a poetry manuscript, 60-90 pages. Authors who have already had books published by Lotus Press are not eligible.

3/31: Word Works Young Poets Competition +++
Highly recommended free contest for high school students in the Washington, DC region offers two winners an honorarium plus reading at Rock Creek Park with an established poet. Send 5-6 poems, published or unpublished. The Word Works also runs a prestigious manuscript prize for adults.


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

Train at edalbaugh.com A Steam Excursion
Weldon and his mother take a weekend ride on an old train, which she hopes will revive his spirits. Jobless and facing divorce, her son, she suspects, is growing increasingly depressed. Itís a one-way from trip Alexandria, Va., to Richmond. Coaches are crammed with rail buffs and their kids. En route, Weldon meets an older man who overcame adversity to prosper in business and offers encouragement. Also, a striking married woman who takes an interest in him. Returning home, he receives a call from a potential employer. An unexpected turn of events. Only, what does it all portend?

www.edalbaugh.com



Utmost Christian WritersLast Call!
Utmost Christian Poetry Contest
Postmark Deadline: February 28

US$4,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to poets of Christian faith. $15 entry fee.

FIRST PRIZE: $1,000
SECOND: $500
THIRD: $150

HONORABLE MENTIONS (10): $100 each
MERIT AWARDS (20): $50 each

Special Prizes:
BEST RHYMING POEM: $200
HONORABLE MENTION RHYMING POEM: $100
MERIT AWARD FOR RHYMING POEM: $50

Bonus Prize:
Six entrants—chosen randomly from all entrants—will receive a contemporary gospel music CD courtesy of Grandview Records. You can listen to samples of their music here.

Bonus Prize:
Four entrants—selected by the judges—will receive a year's subscription to Poetry Contest Insider (each valued at $27.80) courtesy of Winning Writers.

See our website for complete rules and entry form. Utmost Christian Writers Foundation is a registered nonprofit association dedicated to the support and encouragement of Christian poets. In addition to generous support of Christian poets, Utmost pays cash for poetry published on its website and offers numerous articles and other resources of value to Christian poets. Has God given you a gift of poetry?



Writecorner Press
Writecorner Press - Call for Poetry & Fiction Contests Submissions

Writecorner Press Poetry Prize - Last Call!
Postmark Deadline: February 28

First Place $500; Editors' Choices, $100 each.
This new contest seeks the best unpublished poems under 40 lines. Any style, any theme. Send two copies of each poem with authorís name, address, phone, email address and short bio on only one copy. The other copy should be anonymous. Fee: $5 first poem, $3 each additional poem, payable to Writecorner Press.

E.M. Koeppel Short Fiction Contest
Postmark Deadline: April 30

First Place $1,100; Editors' Choices, $100 each.
Seeks unpublished stories, 3,000 words maximum. Any style, any theme. $15 fee for one story, $10 each additional story, payable to Writecorner Press. Send one title page with authorís name, address, phone, email address and short bio. Send second title page with title only. Read past winners.

Writecorner Press judges all submissions anonymously. Winning poems and stories will be published on our literary site, www.writecorner.com. After publication, writers retain all rights. No email entries, please.

Read the contest guidelines, then mail your submissions to Writecorner Press Contests, P.O. Box 140310, Gainesville, FL 32614.



BlueCatClosing Next Month
BlueCat Screenplay Competition
Postmark Deadline: March 1
Grand Prize $10,000, Four Finalists $1,500. Every entrant receives one page of written script analysis. One Finalist receives live, staged reading at acclaimed High Falls Film Festival. Loglines of semi-finalists, finalists and winner showcased on website, along with coverage in Variety.

Our 2005 Winner, GARY THE TENNIS COACH, discovered by BlueCat, has wrapped production and will be released this fall starring Seann William Scott and Randy Quaid. Our 2006 Winner, HYUNG'S OVERTURE, is nearing pre-production, with Young Kim, our winning writer, attached to direct. Founded by Sundance winning writer-director Gordy Hoffman in 1998, BlueCat has become the screenwriter's screenplay contest, with unmatched and genuine support for all writers. More community than contest, BlueCat writers rally, stopping, listening and looking for their space to grow as screenwriters. If you have a powerfully original story, send us your hard work. www.bluecatscreenplay.com



Toward the LightToward The Light Fifth Annual Poetry Contest
Entries must be received by April 1
First Prize: Can$175 plus publication and 2 copies
Two Honourable Mentions: Publication and 2 copies
Entry Fee: Can$12 for a maximum of 3 poems or Can$25 for a subscription that includes entry fee for a maximum of 3 poems.

Theme: Toward The Light. Send poetry that sees in the dark. Poetry that integrates the power of light and dark in life, recognising that neither is a permanent resting place, rather, together they stimulate movement and growth; never a final location. Write how your journey through darkness to light has made you wise.

Contest sponsored by Toward The Light: Journal of Reflective Word & Image. Complete guidelines are available at www.towardthelight.net.



Rome Art and Community CenterAnnual Milton Dorfman Poetry Prize
Postmark Deadline: April 30
The Milton Dorfman Poetry Prize is sponsored by Rome Art & Community Center of Rome, New York. FIRST PRIZE $300, SECOND $150, THIRD $100, plus honorable mentions. Entries accepted from all over the US and the world. Judge to be announced. Entries must be original poetry, unpublished at time of submission. Guidelines must be followed or entry will be void. Entries must be typed on 8.5" x 11" paper. Author's name, address, and telephone number must appear on the BACK of each entry. Entry fee of $10 per poem, US funds. Checks or money orders accepted. Entries may also be submitted via email with a credit card payment over the phone—call 315-336-1040 for more info.

Contest open to the general public, excluding RACC employees. Winners will be notified by telephone. Winning entries will be published and read during the annual awards ceremony at RACC. More info can be found at www.romeart.org. Make your entry fees payable to Rome Art & Community Center and mail your entries to: Rome Art & Community Center, c/o Dorfman Poetry Prize, 308 West Bloomfield Street, Rome, NY 13440.


Sky Saje Enterprises
Announcing the 3rd Annual Skysaje Enterprises Poetry Contest
Postmark Deadline: April 30
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.



The Litchfield Review First Annual Book Contest
Postmark Deadline: June 1
The Litchfield Review 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 and news about our ongoing writing contests, please check our website www.thelitchfieldreview.com or contact Theresa C. Vara-Dannen.



11th Annual Robert Frost Foundation Annual Poetry Award
Robert Frost FoundationPostmark/Email Submission Deadline: September 15
The Robert Frost Foundation welcomes poems in the spirit of Robert Frost for its 11th Annual Award. The winning poem will receive $1,000 and an invitation to present the winning poem at the Frost Festival located at Lawrence Riverfront Park (off I-93, River Road Exit) in Lawrence, Massachusetts on Saturday, October 27, 2007. Festival readers will include X.J. Kennedy, Rhina Espaillat, Jeffrey Harrison and others.

Please submit two copies of each poem, one copy with contact information and one copy free of all identifying information. Mailing address: Robert Frost Foundation, Lawrence Library - 3rd Floor, 51 Lawrence Street, Lawrence, MA 01841. Email submissions are also accepted at frostfoundation@comcast.net. Reading fees are $10 per poem (send fees via regular mail, please). Read last year's winning poem and this year's guidelines at www.frostfoundation.org.


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SELECTED FREE PROSE CONTESTS

These free prose contests with deadlines between February 16 and March 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.

3/1: John Gardner Fiction Book Award +
Entries must be received by this date
Recommended free contest from Binghamton University offers $1,000 for the best book of fiction published in the previous calendar year, minimum press run 500. Publishers should send 3 copies of published book (no galleys) plus entry form.

3/1: Judith Siegel Pearson Award +
Neutral free contest offers annual awards averaging $250 for the best creative or scholarly work on a subject concerning women. Award categories rotate each year. Fiction is the genre of choice in 2007, drama and nonfictional prose in 2008, poetry in 2009, and essays in 2010. Story length limit is 20 double-spaced pages.

3/1: Newsweek "My Turn" Essay Contest +++
Entries must be received by this date
Highly recommended free contest for college-bound US high school students offers $5,000 top prize plus publication in Newsweek, as well as other large prizes, for unpublished personal essays of 500-1,000 words on a topic of significance to them. Style should resemble the "My Turn" column in Newsweek magazine. See website for details on formatting, eligibility and judging criteria. Online entries accepted.

3/1: Stony Brook Short Fiction Prize ++
Recommended free contest for college students in the US and Canada offers $1,000 and online publication. Send one story, maximum 7,500 words, and proof of current enrollment for the academic year in which the deadline falls. Asian students especially encouraged to enter. Sponsored by SUNY-Stony Brook.

3/1: Sylvia K. Burack Award ++
Recommended free contest for personal essays by full-time undergraduates in the US or Canada. Prize is $500 and publication in The Writer, a monthly magazine with advice and markets for creative writers. Submit a 600- to 800-word personal essay in English on a topic you feel passionate about. Entrants must be 18 or older.

3/15: 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. Read sample articles online to get a sense of their style and interests.

3/20: Anthem Essay Contest for High School Students +++
Highly recommended free contest for 9th and 10th graders offers top prize of $2,000, other large prizes, for essays on Ayn Rand's novella Anthem. See website for essay topics and background on Rand's rationalist, libertarian worldview. Length limit is 600-1,200 words.

3/31: L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future Contest +++
Highly 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 may not have professionally published a novel or short novel, or more than one novelette, or more than three short stories, in any medium.

3/31: Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz Award +++
Entries must be received by this date
Highly recommended free contest offers $10,000 for a novel first published in Spanish after 2005 by a female author. Winner also receives publication in English by Curbstone Press, and travel expenses to the award ceremony at the Guadalajara International Book Fair in Mexico. Send 6 copies of the published Spanish-language book, a curriculum vitae, and copies of any reviews that the book received. Contact David Unger for details.

3/31: The Nation Student Writing Contest ++
Entries must be received by this date
Free recommended essay contest for US high school and college students offers top prize of $500 and publication in The Nation, a prominent left-wing political and cultural magazine. Send one essay, maximum 800 words, about the issue that you think is most important to your generation. Enter by email or fax only.




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

Genre Fiction Anthology from Relief Journal
Entries must be received by April 1
Literary journal Relief: A Quarterly Christian Expression seeks genre fiction with a Christian slant for their upcoming anthology Coach's Midnight Diner. Stories should be up to 10,000 words and fall into one of these categories: hardboiled detective/mystery, horror/weird fiction, conspiracy/aliens/paranormal, suspense/adventure, fantastic/archetypal exploration, futurist, crime/police procedural. There will also be three prizes of $100 apiece for an "editor's choice" story in any of the above categories, a "Jesus versus Cthulhu" story, and of course, a story set in a diner. Submissions are only accepted through their online form. Read guidelines on website first to understand their editorial tastes.

Tupelo Press Poetry Project
Entries must be received by February 21
Acclaimed poetry publisher Tupelo Press seeks submissions of poems 50 lines maximum for their new online poetry site. Submit by MS Word attachment only to poetryproject@tupelopress.org, and include your mailing address and 3-line bio in the message. Entries must use one of four titles that are posted on their website (different for each monthly deadline). For the February deadline, the titles are:
"We Leave the Beaches for the Tourists, Mostly"
"You Were Born to be Mine, See, Why Even Fight It"
"Exposition of the Contents of a Cab"
"Snowman"

Uptown Books Chapbook Series
Postmark Deadline: April 30
Uptown Books is seeking submissions of poetry, prose poems, flash fiction and short musings (250 words maximum) for a chapbook anthology about animals. Excerpts, incomplete thoughts, and experimental forms are welcome. Unpublished works preferred, but previously published material to which the author holds copyright is welcome. Send submissions pasted into the body of an email to threeelephantspublishing@yahoo.com with "Animal Chapbook" in the subject line. Uptown Books publishes chapbooks eight times a year, each one an individual story illustrated by a professional artist. "Though we tend to favor absurd, magical, and surreal work, we are open to all themes and styles." Early submission encouraged. Uptown Books will close submissions early if they accept enough material before the deadline date.


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NEW LITERARY RESOURCES

Audio Archives from the Academy of American Poets
Beginning with John Berryman's historic first reading of The Dream Songs on Halloween night, 1963, the Academy of American Poets has presented and recorded over 700 poetry readings, lectures, and symposia, making the Poetry Audio Archive one of the world's richest aural records of poetry. You can search for audio clips by author or poem title, or browse the most popular selections. See their online store for poetry CDs to purchase.

Common Ties
Online journal publishes autobiographical essays (up to 2,000 words) on a wide variety of themes. See their submissions page for the theme of the week. Past topics have included adolescence, humor, war, the Holocaust, and college life. A good place for emerging writers to share their work.

Fairy Tale Review
This annual literary journal publishes "elegant and innovative" contemporary fairy tales in poetry and prose. Distinguished contributors include Marina Warner, Jeanne Marie Beaumont, Cate Marvin, Joyelle McSweeney and Donna Tartt.

GoDaddy.com Quick Blog Service
GoDaddy's hosting service makes it easy to set up a weblog of your own for just $2.99 a month. They offer a variety of templates and color schemes. Minimal HTML formatting experience is all you need to create a professional-looking website for your writing. (See example at Reiter's Block.) Winning Writers has an affiliate relationship with this vendor.

Life in the Slush Pile
Witty and commonsense advice on making your unsolicited submissions stand out, from Simon DeDeo, editor of the poetry journal absent.

The Salt River Review
Thrice-yearly online journal of poetry, fiction, essays and book reviews has been publishing since 1997. Contributors include Carlos Reyes, David Graham, Tess Gallagher, Dara Wier and Barry Spacks. Editors say: "Editorial preferences are for poetry with fresh language and images, prose poems that are more than colorful or clever prose, short fiction (such as that in the current issue), and brief reviews, though most reviews are done in-house. Literary non-fiction should be fresh and incisive; we are not interested in memoir or personal narrative."

What Makes Good Poetry, an essay by John R. Haws
Self-taught poet and essayist John R. Haws offers down-to-earth reflections on how to make your work come alive. "Poetry, good poetry that is, bites and stings. It arouses your senses. It burns a hole in your brain. It stimulates your imagination. You think, 'I never thought it like that before.' Yet, It (whatever it is) was always there for everyone to see."


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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MORE SPONSORS' MESSAGES

Closing Next Month
Tom Howard/John H. Reid Short Story Contest
Postmark Deadline: March 31
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
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
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
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.


Tom Howard/John H. Reid Poetry Contest
Postmark Deadline: September 30
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.


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


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FEATURED POEMS FROM OUR SUBSCRIBERS

Sleeping Beauty in Old Age
by Maureen Sherbondy


At Whispering Woods Nursing Home
mirrors reveal the truth of time, beauty
faded into the years. All she wants to do
is descend into sleep, but attendants
pester her into crafts, jewelry making,
flower arranging classes. She has no use
for such things. Her Prince died years
before, a heart attack while riding his horse
across the golf course. The monarchy had
ended, he was a token Prince, all title, no power.
He left life insurance, but not enough.
They never had kids because Rosamond
didnít want to ruin her perfect size two figure.
She dreams about castles, and fairies, spinning wheels,
but when she wakes all that remains is
a sterile room, a view of the busy street,
other old faces wheeling by in the hallway
waiting for darkness filled with seamless sleep.


Copyright 2007 by Maureen Sherbondy

This poem appears in Ms. Sherbondy's chapbook After the Fairy Tale, forthcoming from Main Street Rag.


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Movie Version
by Mimi Moriarty

It's a scene from an old flick
a drummer marching to war
streams of soldiers keeping
his dry beat, a ruffian slash
of uniforms through birch,
oak, larch, fir, soldiers
still scented from maternal
embraces, magnolia tears,
hankies waving.

They plunge into a version
of war featuring romance
and heroism, nurses
and gleeful medics,
not the cruel, dazzling rogue
waiting at the turn in the road,
cannons loaded and aimed,
the faithful drum beating
hup-two-three-four.


Copyright 2007 by Mimi Moriarty

This poem is reprinted from Ms. Moriarty's forthcoming chapbook War Psalm, which will be published by Finishing Line Press this summer.

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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

Cerebral Palsy, a Literacy Volunteer Tutor, and a Computer

Adapted from A Way With Words, by Ruth J. Colvin, founder of Literacy Volunteers of America (p.145)...

Jack was in his 40s and had cerebral palsy. Coming from a broken home, suffering from severe anxiety and constant pain, and having no friends or support, Jack began drinking alcohol and taking anti-anxiety medication. He was given social promotions in school and did graduate, but he had no skills and read at the lowest level. Two suicide attempts and the withdrawal from the pills nearly destroyed him. But one man, a tutor from Literacy Volunteers of America in Oswego, New York, gave Jack the first sign of hope.

Because of his cerebral palsy, writing was painful and frustrating for Jack. To help solve this problem, Jack's tutor introduced him to computers. As Jack said, "There is something very intelligent inside of me, and I have to learn to get it out." Working with his tutor to learn to use the computer helped Jack "get it out."

ProLiteracy WorldwideLiteracy Volunteers of America has joined with Laubach Literacy International to form ProLiteracy Worldwide. ProLiteracy is now the oldest and largest nongovernmental literacy organization in the world. It sponsors educational programs that help adults and their families acquire the literacy practices and skills they need to function more effectively in their daily lives.

Support ProLiteracy's vital mission. Click here to learn more. Click here to contribute. To order a copy of A Way With Words, please contact New Readers Press.

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 "The Telepathic Bruise" by Belinda Smith.

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!


The Telepathic Bruise
by Belinda Smith

he punched and i heard them
voices internalised by men     i hear them still

1. happenstance
tell me everything
fade only with the bruise
life normalising
truth deposed
hiding placed behind backs

blackened eyes weep, waning back to flesh colour
i hesitate     so too, the voices     doubt
myself into their existence
clever intuition away
i see only the smiling faces, regret tears
they say 'sorry.' but tell me nothing

i believe in monsters

hold on
that's just my imagination

this time was different
the truth-whispering.
constant scolding, scouring

i hear them all in my crouched ear covering
i touch my face and find no wound
but still the throaty rumblings
but still the voices
echoed lodgements
fitted in sand, silver and lime
all purpling from a bath tap
a telepathic bruise

each day now i welcome the truth
i no longer need them to harm me
self-harming becomes salvation

i know what you're thinking
she's mad
one punch too many
hear now, i can hear you now
i thank you for your honesty

little voices in your mind are now little voices in my mind
trust only in my violence
not in my ribbons

eventually they dim
i refine my art, accordingly
a bashful thought
a bash filled art

i am no treasure

2. circumstance
i return from diversion
without my brushes or turpentine hair
i return to him no longer his prodigy
yet still
he defines my art
and sweaty wakings the night stories

the nightmare now becomes me
and the first completes the pattern
he punches and i hear them
i breathe in the death
the death shouts at me
i screw up my face in sanity
listening


Copyright 2007 by Belinda Smith


Critique by Jendi Reiter

This month's critique poem, Belinda Smith's "The Telepathic Bruise", uses a fragmented stream-of-consciousness style and unusual juxtapositions of images to convey the psychological disintegration of its abused narrator. As the poem progresses, we become increasingly uncertain who is being addressed and at what point in time we find ourselves. This disorientation reflects the ongoing power of trauma to blur past and present in terrifying flashbacks, as well as the abuse victim's tragic propensity to repeat the pattern in new relationships. The speaker's sense of self has shrunk to a timid lowercase "i" who struggles to differentiate herself from a chorus of internal and external voices. By the last two lines, however, some hope has emerged that she is beginning to find stability and clarity of understanding.

The poem is divided into sections titled "happenstance" and "circumstance". These words have such similar meanings that it initially seems odd to use them as separate section headings. Isn't it like giving two chapters of a book the same title? One is forced to meditate more attentively on the subtle distinctions between them, just as the narrator must look closely at the patterns of abuse in her life to distinguish reality from nightmare, unchangeable past from potentially changeable future. "Happenstance" is a fate outside one's control, suggesting the speaker's passivity and helplessness. "Circumstance" is more open-ended. Her circumstances are merely the facts of her life right now. Do they, too, simply happen to her, or might she have the ability to change them?...

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/2007/urc_0702smith.php

See all of our poetry critiques.


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VISIT JENDI REITER'S 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 on the left.


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COMING IN OUR MARCH 1 SPRING SUPPLEMENT
Links to New Award-Winning Poems
Special Offers for Poets and Writers


COMING IN OUR MARCH 15 NEWSLETTER
The Best Free Poetry Contests for March 16-April 30