Best Resources for Poets and WritersWinning Writers
IN THIS ISSUE

Wergle Flomp Poetry Contest Winners Announced

Recent Honors for Our Subscribers

Recent Publication Credits for Our Subscribers

The Best Free Poetry Contests, August-September

Notable Free Prose Contests, August-September

Calls for Submissions

New Literary Resources

New Recommended Books

Featured Poem:
"Phrases for Public Speakers at Sea"


Advertise in This Newsletter

Critique of Kim Mayhall's "Kari"

Newsletter Archives


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WINNING WRITERS NEWSLETTER
August 2007


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Welcome to our August 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.

Lost one of our newsletters? Message garbled in transmission? Not to worry. All our recent newsletters are posted online at http://www.winningwriters.com/news

Coming September 1: Award-Winning Poems
Each quarter we publish a special edition of this newsletter featuring the winning poems from contests we admire. The next edition is September 1. Please watch for it in your mailbox!

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Closing Next Month
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 Both published and unpublished poems are welcome. 30 cash prizes totaling $3,500 will be awarded, including a top prize of $1,000.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. 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 Short Story Contest
Postmark Deadline: March 31, 2008
Now in its 16th year. Prizes of $2,000, $1,000, $500 and $250 will be awarded, plus five High Distinction awards of $200 each and five Most Highly Commended Awards of $100 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. Winning Writers is assisting with entry handling for this contest. Judges: John H. Reid and Dee C. Konrad. See the complete guidelines and past winners.

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Erica Angle-Newman
WERGLE FLOMP POETRY CONTEST WINNERS ANNOUNCED

Congratulations to the winners of our sixth annual Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest. Erica Angle-Newman of Alta Loma, California won first prize and $1,359 for her poem "Pumpernickel". 901 entries were received from around the world. See the press release announcing the winners.

The Wergle Flomp Contest dramatizes the low standards of heavily advertised free poetry contests sponsored by Poetry.com, Famous Poets Society, JMW Publishing, the League of American Poets, and similar enterprises. Winning Writers maintains a list of these "vanity contests" and other publishing schemes to avoid.

Vanity contests typically praise most entries to flatter poets into buying expensive anthologies containing their poem, as well as personalized plaques, tote bags, silver cups, even tickets to conventions (as much as $595 apiece) where enormous numbers of people receive "awards". Vanity contests waste poets' time and money, and replace honest evaluation with empty praise that inhibits poets' development and mocks notions of excellence. The Wergle Flomp Contest offers prizes for the most absurdly, hilariously bad poems that have been submitted to vanity contests as a joke.

Jendi Reiter, editor of Winning Writers and judge of the Wergle Flomp Contest, said of this year's winning poem: "Erica Angle-Newman's mock-tragic ode to a cat run over by a Mary Kay saleslady ricochets from the heroic to the mundane with profane speedbumps along the way. A memorably bad poem is often completely oblivious to inconsistencies in its poetic voice, a trait that Angle-Newman exploits to the fullest."

C. Wayne Lammers of Memphis, Tennessee won second prize and $764 for "The Castration of Sam McGee", an elaborate parody of Robert Service's "The Cremation of Sam McGee" that features Yukon gold miners playing poker for unusual stakes. Ed Coonce of Encinitas, California received third prize and $338 for "And Now, The News", a satirical rendition of the media's endless stream of trivia that distracts us from serious issues. Twelve honorable mentions of $72.95 were also awarded.

Read all the winners and finalists, plus the judge's comments, here. Thanks to everyone who participated!

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Now Open
Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest - No Fee
Online Submission Deadline: April 1, 2008
Winning Writers invites you to enter the seventh annual Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest, called "infamous" by Writer's Digest. Fifteen cash prizes totaling $3,336.40 will be awarded, including a top prize of $1,359. There is no fee to enter. Judge: Jendi Reiter. Submit online at www.winningwriters.com/wergle

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RECENT HONORS FOR OUR NEWSLETTER SUBSCRIBERS
Congratulations to M.B. Powell. Her poem "Phrases for Public Speakers at Sea" won Atlanta Review's 2006 International Poetry Competition and was published in the Fall/Winter issue. She has kindly permitted us to reprint this poem below. In addition, her poem "Crucifixion Underwear" was just published in the Summer 2007 issue of Rock & Sling.

RECENT HONORS FOR POETRY CONTEST INSIDER SUBSCRIBERS
Congratulations to Ruth Thompson. She was the co-winner of the 23rd New Millennium Awards in Poetry for her poem "Fat Time". Twice a year, NMW offers prizes of $1,000 apiece for poetry, fiction, flash fiction and essays. They are currently accepting entries for the 25th New Millennium Awards, whose deadline is January 31. Ms. Thompson was also the second runner-up in the poetry category of the William Faulkner/William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, sponsored by the Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society of New Orleans. See the winners' list here. She found both of these contests through our newsletter.

Congratulations to Robert Hill Long. His poem "Aftermathematic" was a runner-up for the 2007 Runes Poetry Award. This contest from RUNES: A Review of Poetry seeks poems on an annually selected theme, from April 1 to May 31 of each year, with a top prize of $1,000. Mr. Long is a two-time prizewinner in the Winning Writers War Poetry Contest, taking home first prize in 2004 and honorable mention in 2006.

Congratulations to Carolyn Donnell. Her short story "Walking Shoes" won first prize in the Frontiers in Writing Conference contest sponsored by Panhandle Professional Writers. Her story "The Last of the Oatmeal" won third prize in the same contest. This contest has a March 1 deadline and awards prizes up to $100 in various genres. Ms. Donnell's story "Night of the Silver Moon" won first prize in the memoir/short story category of the Annual Writer's Talk Awards sponsored by South Bay Writers, a branch of the California Writers Club. Visit her website at http://www.geocities.com/cdonnelltx/

RECENT PUBLICATION CREDITS FOR OUR SUBSCRIBERS
Susan Keith's poem "Tombstones" will appear in a forthcoming issue of the minnesota review. Her poem "Chronicles from the Land of Maybes" has been accepted by Wordgathering, an online journal of creative writing about disability, for their September issue. Ms. Keith won first prize in the 2006 Margaret Reid Poetry Contest for Traditional Verse and second prize in the 2007 Tom Howard/John H. Reid Short Story Contest.

Linda Albert's essay "The Second Half of Life", about going on an Outward Bound rock-climbing expedition at age 53, was published on the website Boomer Cafe.

Kaimana Wolff's poem "Dia de los Defuntos" will be published in The Poetry of Food, an upcoming anthology from the Canadian Federation of Poets.


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FEATURED SPONSOR'S MESSAGE
Utmost Christian Writers
Last Call!
Novice Christian Poetry Contest
Postmark Deadline: August 31
Utmost Christian Writers seeks poems from unpublished Christian poets. US$2,000 in cash prizes will be awarded, including a top prize of $500. Special prizes for best rhyming poem and best traditional rhyming poem. Winning entries will be published at www.utmostchristianwriters.com. Entry fee is $10 per poem. Please see the complete rules and submit using our entry form:
http://www.utmostchristianwriters.com/poetry-contests.php

Here is an excerpt from last year's winning poem, "Triptych" by Sharon Talbott:
Here is a secret
Mothers know:
Love is not the work of a day.

          Mindful of the beginning
          Focused on the end
          Sustaining and sustained

The motherís kit includes
          whispered lore,
          attention to signs,
          a hand extended on the path,
          admonishments to
               ďremember who you are,Ē
context and purpose for
          every small act and choice,
a miscellany of other tricks under the
          governance of love

With lifetimes of such diligence accrued,
universes are redeemed.

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TRY POETRY CONTEST INSIDER
If you enjoy using The Best Free Poetry Contests, consider upgrading to Poetry Contest Insider. The Best Free Poetry Contests profiles the 150 or so poetry contests that are free to enter. With your Poetry Contest Insider subscription, you'll get access to all of our 750+ poetry contest profiles, plus over 100 of the best prose contests. Search and sort contests by deadline, prize, fee, recommendation level and more. Access to Poetry Contest Insider is just $6.95 per quarter, with a free 10-day trial at the start. Cancel at any time.

Most contests charge entry fees. You can easily spend hundreds of dollars and many hours entering these contests each year. Don't waste your time or money. 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. Learn more about Poetry Contest Insider.
Our customers say...

"I had immediate access to a wide array of poetry competitions, with links to work by the judges and previous winners. This service is invaluable, and the customer service has been prompt and helpful every time. It's far more convenient and personal than Poets & Writers magazine.... The immediacy and specificity of online information makes your service so efficient that I can make better use of my timeóthat is, I can spend more time writing poetry. :-)"
Leisha Wharfield, Oregon

"I love using winningwriters.com. I send poems and manuscripts out to probably 20 contests each month from your listings... I recommend it to all my writer friends and students, too. I donít see how a writer can live without it. It's like air or water."
Tom Lombardo, Georgia; Editor-in-Chief, MD Writers

"Your website is invaluable: definitely the best around. I have benefited greatly from the database of contests. Thank you and keep up the fantastic work!... Last year I received first prize in both the Dorothy Prizes and the Room of One's Own poetry competition—both of which I learned of through your database."
Vicki Duke, Alberta, Canada

"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, California

See more testimonials here, plus coverage of Winning Writers in Writer's Digest and The Writer, or start your trial now.

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THE BEST FREE POETRY CONTESTS
Deadlines: August 16-September 30

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.

Winning Writers gathers contest information from a wide variety of sources including publishers' press releases, online link directories, Poets & Writers Magazine, and e-newsletters such as TOTAL FundsforWriters, The Practicing Writer, and CRWROPPS. We encourage readers to explore these useful resources, and let us know about worthwhile contests we may have missed.

8/18: Boardman Tasker Prize ++
Entries must be received by this date
Recommended free contest offers 2,000 pounds for the best published book on the theme of mountains or mountaineering, first published or distributed in the UK between November 1 of the previous year and October 31 of this year. Entries must be submitted by publisher, and may be poetry, fiction, nonfiction or drama. Early entries are encouraged.

8/24: Science Fiction Poetry Association Poetry Contest +
Entries must be received by this date
Neutral free contest offers prizes up to $80 for speculative poetry (surrealism, science and math, fantasy, sci-fi and supernatural horror). Maximum 3 entries per person. Enter online. The required form for 2007 is the sonnet.

8/25: United Planet Writing & Photo Contest +
Entries must be received by this date
Neutral free contest seeks poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and photos that demonstrate the promotion of cross-cultural understanding, friendship, and supporting one another in one's own community or abroad. Prize is a free volunteer Quest (airfare not included) for up to two weeks to any of United Planet's short-term locations around the world in order to advance the winner's own personal intercultural interaction and promote social and economic prosperity worldwide. Written entries should be 2,500 words maximum (one winner across all genres); see website for photo formatting rules. Enter by email only.

8/31: John Llewellyn Rhys Prize ++
Entries must be received by this date
Recommended free contest offers top prize of 5,000 pounds for the best English-language book (poetry, fiction or nonfiction) published in the UK by a UK publisher during the current calendar year. Galley proofs accepted for books scheduled to be published between August 31 and December 31. For 2007 only, they will also accept books published in 2006, because the prize used to be for books published in the preceding year. Author must be a British or Commonwealth citizen aged 35 or under as of the date of publication. Must be submitted by publisher.

9/1: Helen Schaible Shakespearean/Petrarchan Sonnet Contest +
Neutral free contest offers top prize of $50 for the best sonnet using a Shakespearean or Petrarchan rhyme scheme. Sponsored by the Poets' Club of Chicago and the Illinois State Poetry Society. One poem per person.

9/5: Funny Paper Poetry Contest +
Neutral free contest offers $100 for light verse (16 lines maximum), possible publication for runners-up. Maximum 3 poems per person.

9/15: Greensboro Review Literary Awards +++
Highly recommended free contest from reputable journal offers $500 each for poetry and short fiction. No length limit for poetry; stories should be 7,500 words maximum. Unlimited number of free entries makes up for the no-simultaneous-submissions rule.

9/15: Gwendolyn Brooks Center Literary Awards +
Formerly September 22
Neutral free contest offers prizes of $150-$500 for unpublished poetry and prose (fiction, essays, drama) concerning the Black experience and culture. See website for specifics. Some awards are for Illinois high school and college students; the others are for unpublished writers.

9/15: Kate Tufts Discovery Award +++
Highly recommended free contest offers $10,000 for a first published book of poetry by a US citizen or current resident. Books must have been published between September 15 of last year and September 15 of this year. Send 5 copies of book, cover sheet, bio, entry form from website. Judges seem to favor books that have already won prizes and/or come from the top literary presses.

9/15: Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award +++
Highly recommended free contest offers $100,000 for a published book of poetry by a US citizen or current resident. "The Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award is presented annually for a work by an emerging poet, one who is past the very beginning but has not yet reached the acknowledged pinnacle of his or her career. While some poetry prizes discover and honor new voices and others crown an indisputably major body of work, this award at Claremont Graduate University aims to sustain a poet who is laboring in the difficult middle between these extremes." Books must have been published between September 15 of last year and September 15 of this year. Send 5 copies of book, cover sheet, bio, entry form from website.

9/28: Abolition 2007 Poetry Competition ++
Entries must be received by this date
Recommended free contest offers 500 pounds and publication on the Arts Council England website for poems of any length on the theme of slavery. Entrants must be UK residents with no published books of poetry. This contest is a one-time event commemorating the 200th anniversary of Britain's abolition of the slave trade.

9/30: Familia Books Writing Contest +
Neutral contest offers prizes up to $500 for prose, $100 for poetry, on the theme "Things Mother Taught Me". Winners published in anthology. Fifty percent of the profits from the book will be donated to shelters for mothers and their children escaping from abusive relationships. Entries should reflect life's lessons learned from one's mother, regarding values, ethics, relationships. They should be generally positive, but may explore areas of disagreement or conflict with one's mother. Maximum 3,000 words.

9/30: International Tanka Splendor Award +
Entries must be received by this date
Neutral free contest offers small prizes for unpublished tanka, a Japanese form. 31 tanka and three tanka sequences will be published in annual anthology and the authors will receive a $20 gift certificate from AHA Books. Send either 1-3 tanka or one titled sequence of 3+ tanka. A tanka is five lines and up to 31 syllables. No simultaneous submissions. Contest is judged anonymously by those entrants who submitted their work online.


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
FROST (The Play)
FROST (The Play): One-Time Only Performance in Los Angeles, September 8
In the stageplay FROST you experience the master returning to the stage, sharing his philosophy, poetry, and gradually, his inner self. If you enjoy Robert Frost's poetry, or simply want to learn more about Robert Frost the man, you can't miss this one-time only staged reading as part of the Moondance Film Festival held at Universal Studios City Walk in Los Angeles. FROST will be performed Saturday, September 8th, at 5:00 PM. This is your only chance to experience FROST while seated side-by-side with famous directors, stars and filmmakers. Reserve your tickets here. For more information, email william@level4press.com.

From the play...
FROST

You know damn well who Iím talking about. I know all about it, so you might as well be honest.

KAY

[She paces, considering different courses of action. Several times she starts to speak, then stops. Finally, she resolves to tell the truth.]

Alright, It started six months ago. But really Robert, he doesnít mean anything to me. It was just some occasional sex, and it wasnít even any good. Nothing like you and me.

FROST

But with my own friend? Not even the decency to stay away from him? Iíll get my revenge on that bastard. Iíll call his publisher. Iíve got some pull with them.

KAY

No Robert, it wasnít his fault. Lawrance just happened to be here. I initiated things.

FROST

[Flabbergasted.] Lawrance? I was talking about DeVoto. [Realization dawning.] My God, are there any of my friends you havenít been sleeping with?

KAY

Well, thereís Edmond.

FROST

[FROST sits down with his head in his hands, defeated and dejected.]

Oh, thatís something we can be proud of. [Sarcastic imitation.] ĎThereís Edmond.í

KAY

But heís homosexual. Does he still count?

FROST

Oh for Godís sake!

[Blackout.]


Rachel Basch
Announcing the 2nd Annual Litchfield Review Writers' Conference at Chase Collegiate School
Saturday, October 20, 2007, 9am-5pm
St. Margaret's Hall, 565 Chase Parkway, Waterbury, CT (see map)

Keynote Speaker: Novelist Rachel Basch, author of Degrees of Love and The Passion of Reverend Nash

Workshops with novelist Kay Abella, novelist Chantel Acevedo, nonfiction magazine writer Chris Dannen, publisher/author Patricia D'Ascoli, composer/researcher Janet Marlow, editor Laura Hazard Owen, children's author Nan Rossiter, editor Keneisha Sinclair and poet/author Theresa C. Vara

To reserve a place, please register online at www.thelitchfieldreview.com or make your $100 check payable to The Litchfield Review Writers' Conference and mail to:

     Mary Donnarumma Sharnick, Editor
     The Litchfield Review
     7 Bonna Street
     Beacon Falls, CT 06403

Questions? Please contact Mary at 203-723-9321 or at msharnick@chasemail.org.



Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference
The Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference
Next conference: November 9-12
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 Martha Rhodes (Four Way Books), Jeffrey Levine (Tupelo Press), Jeffrey Shotts (Graywolf Press), Michael Simms (Autumn House Press), Chase Twichell (Ausable Press) and others; workshop leaders include Director of the Concord Poetry Center, Joan Houlihan, Suffolk University Creative Writing Program Director Frederick Marchant, Director of the Smith Poetry Center, Ellen Dore Watson, and Chair of the Writing and Publishing Department at Emerson College in Boston, Daniel Tobin.

The cost of the November conference is $895 (when you register by October 15), and includes tuition, pre-conference materials, lodging and meals. The November 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 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.
Attendees say:

"The Colrain Manuscript Conference managed to pack into a weekend what a lot of grad school teachers never had time to do in their classes or individually: offer finishing touches to a manuscript eager to be picked up by a publisher."
Steve Fellner, Brockport, NY

"...It was a goldmine for me especially, removed as I am from the academic world and from a community of serious poets."
LouAnn Muhm, Park Rapids, MN, Teacher, Creative Writing

"...extremely helpful to hear responses to the other manuscripts. I learned as much or more from the critiques of others' manuscripts as I did from the critique of mine."
Mary Crow, Fort Collins, CO, Poet Laureate of Colorado

"I gained a good sense of how Jeffrey [Levine, Tupelo Press] might proceed (or not) through the manuscript. He made an effort to note positives as well as 'areas of challenge'. It helped enormously that he read a few poems aloud, so that then I got a good sense of where he might trip up."
JoAnne McFarland, Brooklyn, NY

Anderbo Poetry Prize

Closing Next Month
Anderbo Poetry Prize - Second Year!
Postmark Deadline: September 15
anderbo.com, "Best New Online Journal", seeks up to 6 unpublished poems. Winner receives $500 cash and publication on anderbo.com. Judge: Elizabeth Zimmer, former Village Voice Senior Editor. Guidelines:
  • Poems should be typed on 8 1/2 x 11 paper with the poetís name and contact information on the upper right corner of each poem
  • Limit six poems per poet
  • Poet must not have been previously published on anderbo.com
  • Mail submissions to 341 Lafayette Street, No. 974, New York, NY 10012
  • Enclose self-addressed stamped business envelope to receive names of winner and honorable mentions
  • All entries are non-returnable and will be recycled
  • Reading fee is $10. Check or money order payable to RRofihe.
www.anderbo.com



RRofihe TrophyClosing Next Month
2007 RRofihe Trophy/OPEN CITY Short Story Contest
Postmark Deadline: September 15
$500 cash will be awarded for an unpublished short story up to 5,000 words. The winner will also receive a trophy and publication in Open City. Judged by Rick Rofihe. Guidelines:
  • Stories should be typed, double-spaced, on 8 1/2 x 11 paper with the authorís name and contact information on the first page and name and story title on the upper right corner of remaining pages
  • Limit one submission per author
  • Author must not have been previously published in Open City
  • Mail submissions to 341 Lafayette Street, No. 974, New York, NY 10012
  • Enclose self-addressed stamped business envelope to receive names of winner and honorable mentions
  • All manuscripts are non-returnable and will be recycled
  • Reading fee is $10. Check or money order payable to RRofihe.
See the complete guidelines at Open City.

Congratulations to Erin Brown of Charlottesville, Virginia, author of the 2006 winning entry, "Reckoning". Her story will be published in OPEN CITY 24, in the winter of 2007.

Rick Rofihe is the author of Father Must, a collection of short stories published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Grand Street, Open City, and on epiphanyzine.com. His nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, The Village Voice, Spy, and The East Hampton Star, and on mrbellersneighborhood.com. A recipient of the Whiting Writersí Award, he has taught writing at Columbia University and the Writerís Voice of the West Side Y. He currently teaches privately and at Gotham Writersí Workshop in New York. He is the editor of the new online literary journal, anderbo.com.



Robert Frost Foundation
Closing Next Month
11th Annual Robert Frost Foundation Annual Poetry Award
Postmark/Email Submission Deadline: September 15
The Robert Frost Foundation welcomes poems in the spirit of Robert Frost for its 11th Annual Award. The winner will receive $1,000 and an invitation to present the winning poem at the Frost Festival located at the Lawrence Public Library, 51 Lawrence Street (at the intersection of Lawrence and Haverhill Streets) in Lawrence, MA 01841, 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. Enjoy this audio recording (WAV file) of 2006 winner Rob Smith delivering his poem.


The Litchfield Review
Now Open
The Litchfield Review Writing Contest
Postmark Deadline: December 31
We seek poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction for our semi-annual magazine competition. Prose entries should be 3,000 words or less. Poetry entries may be of any length.

To be considered for both publication and a cash prize, please enclose $10 with each essay, short story, or set of 1-3 poems. Enclose $15 and you may submit an unlimited number of entries. Mail your manuscripts to:

     The Litchfield Review
     7 Bonna Street
     Beacon Falls, CT 06403

For more information and news about our ongoing writing contests, please check our website, www.thelitchfieldreview.com, or contact Theresa C. Vara at tvdannen@sbcglobal.net.



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SELECTED FREE PROSE CONTESTS

These free prose contests with deadlines between August 16 and September 30 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.

8/24: Young Lions Fiction Award +++
Entries must be received by this date; formerly August 25
Highly recommended free contest sponsored by the NY Public Library offers $10,000 for the best published book of fiction (novel or short story collection) by a US author age 35 or under. Books must have been published or scheduled for publication during the current calendar year. Must be submitted by publisher. See website for nomination form.

8/31: Family Circle Fiction Contest ++
Recommended free contest offers top prize of $750 for short fiction up to 2,500 words. Entrants must be US residents, aged 21+. Family Circle is a women's magazine with articles about parenting, health, cooking, crafts, relationships and family travel.

8/31: Happy Tales Literary Contest ++
Formerly September 1
Recommended free contest offers $200 and a trophy cup for the best literary parody providing an alternate happy ending to a well-known tragic work of fiction or drama. Sponsored by the Montana Festival of the Book. Entries should be no more than 10 double-spaced pages. Submit by mail or email.

9/1: Adirondack Life Writing Contest +
Neutral free contest offers $500 for essays (1,000-2,000 words) profiling forgotten Adirondackers, living or dead, using oral histories, interviews and personal observations. Sponsor is a magazine that covers the people, places, history, wildlife, environment and public issues of the Adirondack Park region of northern New York State.

9/7: National Legal Fiction Writing Competition for Lawyers ++
Entries must be received by this date
Recommended free contest for attorneys licensed in the US offers top prize of $1,000 for an unpublished short story or novel excerpt on a legal theme. One entry per person, 2,500 words maximum. Contest sponsor SEAK, Inc. provides training, seminars and publications for attorneys, physicians and other professionals.

9/15: Hiett Prize in the Humanities +++
Highly recommended free contest offers a $50,000 fellowship to a US citizen or permanent resident who has not yet reached his or her full potential, but whose work in the humanities shows extraordinary promise and has a significant public or applied component related to cultural concerns. Candidates must be within the early stages of a career track in which the primary work is in a field centered in or directly related to one or more of the humanities. Open to creative writers as well as scholars. Entrants must be nominated by an individual already established in the humanities.

9/15: Nereus Writers' Trust Non-Fiction Prize ++
Entries must be received by this date
Recommended free contest offers C$15,000 for nonfiction books published in Canada during the calendar year by Canadian citizens or landed immigrants. Deadline varies depending on when your book was published: books published between January 1 and April 30 must be received by May 15; those published between May 1 and August 31 must be received by September 15; and those published between September 1 and December 31 must be received by November 1. Publishers should submit 5 copies of the book (or 3 bound galleys, to be followed by at least 2 copies of the book), press kit, entry form, and list of titles published by that publisher, to establish eligibility. See website for detailed requirements.

9/15: Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize ++
Entries must be received by this date
Recommended free contest offers C$15,000 for novels or short story collections published in Canada during the calendar year by Canadian citizens or landed immigrants. Deadline varies depending on when your book was published: books published between January 1 and April 30 must be received by May 15; those published between May 1 and August 31 must be received by September 15; and those published between September 1 and December 31 must be received by November 1. (New schedule for 2007; former deadlines were June 30 and November 1). Publishers should submit 5 copies of the book (or 3 bound galleys, to be followed by at least 2 copies of the book), press kit, entry form, and list of titles published by that publisher, to establish eligibility. See website for detailed requirements.

9/17: Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest for College Students +++
Formerly September 15
Highly recommended free contest for full-time college students offers $10,000 top prize, other large prizes, for essays on Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged. Essays should be based on one of the three questions on the website, and be 1,000-1,200 words long. Enter by mail or online. Contest is looking for entries that are sympathetic to Rand's rationalist, libertarian philosophy. See website for other student contests.

9/21: Glass Woman Prize +
Entries must be received by this date; late submissions held for the next contest
Neutral free contest offers $380 and online publication for the best short fiction or creative nonfiction by women. Both published and unpublished work welcome. Entries should be 1-25 double-spaced pages. Contest sponsor Beate Sigriddaughter says, "Subject is open, but must be of significance to women. My criterion is passion, excellence, and authenticity in the womanís writing voice."

9/30: Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize +++
Entries must be received by this date; don't enter before September 1
Highly recommended free contest from major literary publisher offers $12,000 for the best full-length manuscript of creative nonfiction by a US resident with no more than two published books in that genre. Entries should be 175-400 double-spaced pages.

9/30: Iowa Short Fiction Prize ++
Recommended contest from the prestigious Iowa Writers' Workshop seeks a manuscript of short fiction (150 pages minimum) by an author who has not previously published a book of prose fiction in English. (Books in other genres or languages, and self-published books, do not disqualify you.) Prize is publication under a standard royalty contract.

9/30: Jerry Jazz Musician Fiction Contest +
Entries must be received by this date
Thrice-yearly free neutral contest offers $100 and web publication for short fiction. The Jerry Jazz Musician reader has interests in music, social history, literature, politics, art, film and theatre, 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.

9/30: 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.

9/30: LILITH Magazine Fiction Competition +
Neutral free contest offers $250 for unpublished stories touching on the experience of Jewish women. Send one story, maximum 3,000 words (shorter stories preferred). Sponsored by LILITH, a Jewish feminist magazine.

9/30: Metcalf-Rooke Award ++
Recommended free contest offers C$1,500 and publication for the best unpublished novel or short story collection by a Canadian writer. No length limit specified (200-400 pages is typical). Biblioasis is a small independent press in Ontario that publishes literary prose and poetry, and the critical journal CNQ: Canadian Notes & Queries.


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

FAWLT Magazine
Postmark Deadline: August 20
FAWLT is a new online journal of poetry, fiction, essays and artworks that deal with human flaws. "Funny, sad, weird: these are not issues. Quality, however, is." Each issue of the magazine will focus on a single undesirable characteristic, exploring who is affected by it, the impact it has on individuals, when it can be especially bad (or actually good), and any other aspect of the flaw that is interesting to consider. The more unusual and sincere the work, the better. Ultimately FAWLT hopes to offer an entertaining look at human frailty and a serious consideration of some of our more unpleasant traits. The issues will initially be published online, and then the first five issues will be bundled as a print journal. For their first five issues, they are looking for writing and artwork about Perfectionism, Dependence, Apathy, Arrogance, or Self-Delusion. Send entries or questions to fiction@fawltmag.com, poetry@fawltmag.com, or artandphoto@fawltmag.com, and indicate in the subject line which flaw your work addresses. Maximum 6,000 words per written piece. Artwork should be sent as JPEG or TIF files. Submissions can also be mailed to Fawlt Magazine c/o Alex Palmer, 188 Hart Street, Brooklyn, NY 11206.

WriterAdvice.com
Entries must be received by August 28
In October, the writers' resource newsletter Writer Advice will celebrate its ten-year anniversary. They're seeking to publish pieces on the following theme: "How has your writing life changed since October, 1997? Hone in on a moment when your perceptions about writing changed. What happened? What did you discover? How did it change you?" Prose and poetry accepted. Paste your submissions into an email to Lgood67334@comcast.net with "Ten Year Anniversary" in the subject box. Short, gripping pieces that capture a specific moment and touch readers are the ones most likely to be published in the anniversary issue. Please include a short bio (forty words or less) with your submission.

The Arabesques Review
Postmark Deadlines: August 30, September 30
The Arabesques Review, an Algerian print and online literary journal, seeks submissions of poetry, fiction, essays, reviews and drama. All submissions must be in English and previously unpublished. Translations are acceptable and should be accompanied by a copy of the original text. Next deadlines are August 30 for the "Dreams" issue, and September 30 for "Rumi in Love: A Tribute to Contemporary Love Poetry".

Spiral Poetry for Peace Competition
Entries must be received by September 4
Spiral Universe, a website designed to boost business, social and spiritual interaction amongst Christians in the UK, seeks short poems about peace (maximum 20 lines). The winning poem will be used as the theme for a one-page flash website designed by a leading web design company. The winning poem will be announced on the 9th of September, at the start of the London Week of Peace, and the website will be launched on the International Day of Peace, September 21, 2007, and will be used by key Peace partners. See website for thematic suggestions. Entrants must be over 8 years of age.

Crab Orchard Review "Adolescence" Issue
Postmark Deadline: October 31
Crab Orchard Review, a prestigious journal from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, seeks submissions of poetry, stories and literary essays (original or translations) on the theme of "The In-Between Age: Writers on Adolescence". Writers whose work is selected will receive $20 per magazine page ($50 minimum for poetry; $100 minimum for prose), two copies of the issue, and a year's subscription. Editors say, "We are open to work that covers any of the multitude of ways that the transition from childhood to adulthood in the teenage years defines us and, in turn, defines the world we live in."

Tea Party Magazine: The "FREE" Issue
Entries must be received by October 31
Tea Party, a progressive arts and culture magazine in Oakland, CA, seeks poetry, fiction, artwork, interviews and articles. The theme for the Spring 2008 issue is "FREE". Editors say: "What does FREE mean to you? How does FREE speak to our investment as individuals and as communities, and what meaning does remain FREE in our society at this particular point in history? What isn't FREE but should be? What do you give away and what's been given to you? What would you like to be FREE of? What's considered FREE to the public? How do you spend your FREE time?" See more suggestions on their website. Email your submissions to teapartymagazine@gmail.com with "Free Submission" in the subject line.

A Midsummer Night's Press
Postmark Deadline: December 1
A Midsummer Night's Press announces two new annual anthologies: Best Gay Poetry edited by Lawrence Schimel, and Best Lesbian Poetry edited by Linda Alvarez. Poems published during 2007 (in print or online periodicals, books or anthologies) are eligible. "We are open to all styles of poetry, from formal to free verse; we are likewise open-minded in terms of content, so long as it somehow fits (even if pushing the boundaries of) what might be considered 'gay poetry' or 'lesbian poetry'." Send poems as MS Word attachments, with your contact information, bio and previous publication credits within the attached file. See complete guidelines and submission addresses on website.


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NEW LITERARY RESOURCES

GirlSpeak
GirlSpeak is a pro-women web-based literary and visual art magazine that seeks to provide a platform for those who identify as female. They showcase original works by young women and male allies ages 12-22 for an international readership. Editors say: "GirlSpeak is a respectful, diverse and empowered space, a reference for everyday life. We aspire to emulate self-knowledge, awareness of the world around us, and activism through art." See website for submission guidelines.

Kathryn Magendie
Co-editor of acclaimed e-zine The Rose & Thorn posts eloquent personal essays about the writing life and the environment, plus photos of the Great Smoky Mountains landscape and wildlife. Visit her Writers' & Artists' Blog (linked on this site) for interviews.

Mad Hatters' Review
Online multimedia journal publishes inventive, often whimsical, dark, and lyrical poetry, fiction, essays, artwork, cartoons, and irreverent columns about politics and literature. Progressive political and antiwar themes welcomed. Contributors include H.L. Hix, Sam Witt, and Helen Ruggieri.

The Other Journal: An Intersection of Theology and Culture
Provocative journal accepts creative writing, artwork, and expository articles on themes of Christianity and culture. Editors say, "The Other Journal is a project creating space for Christian theological reflection on contemporary and progressive culture. Amidst current events, artistic trends, political landscapes, and cultural narratives our publication seeks to draw out how the Christian narrative is revealed and can be more fully articulated."

The Poetic Voice
Poetry podcast from educational publisher Houghton Mifflin features contemporary poets such as Donald Hall, Alan Shapiro and Natasha Trethewey reading and discussing their work.

ReadPrint
Searchable full text of many classic works of English and American literature.

Tennessee State Poetry League
The Tennessee State Poetry League was conceived in March 2006, due to the lack of growth of poetry in our community and to encourage a return to more conventional poetry, while remaining upbeat on our contemporary poetical trends. The League publishes an annual anthology (with special editions for the blind and deaf), hosts monthly readings, and offers two annual fellowships for poets and artists. The poetry fellowship gives the author a choice of $1,000, a reading tour in Nashville, or publication of their manuscript in an edition of 500 copies.

Writing for Money
Online journal for freelance writers features market reports, career tips, and an extensive links directory (some content is subscription-only). Editor John Clausen, author of a Writer's Digest guide to freelancing, answers your questions in his expert advice column.


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 BOOKS

2008 Novel & Short Story Writer's Market
Annual directory for fiction writers from Writer's Digest includes over 2,000 listings of magazines, book publishers, literary agents and contests. Other helpful resources include advice from well-known authors, and information on conferences, workshops and writing programs for fiction writers.

2008 Poet's Market: 1,800 Places to Publish Your Poetry
Published each August by Writer's Digest, this is the best annual directory of journals, magazines, book publishers, chapbook publishers, websites, grants, conferences, workshops and contests. Helps you find publishers who are looking for your kind of work.

As If Gravity Were a Theory
By Don Colburn. Winner of the 2005 Cider Press Review Book Award, this first collection limns the wonders and losses of everyday life with clarity, compassion and a deceptive simplicity that is the distilled product of wisdom. Admirers of Douglas Goetsch and Wislawa Szymborska may find Colburn's poetic voice especially resonates with them.

In the Collage of Life
By William Schulman. Artistically designed limited-edition chapbook pairs poetic reflections with intricate abstract pen-and-ink drawings and collages suggesting forms from nature. Schulman keeps alive the tradition of books as art objects, creating an "illuminated manuscript" with a decisively modern feel. Order copies from the Studio Gallery in Menomonie, WI.


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MORE SPONSORS' MESSAGES

Closing Next Month
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.


Now Open
Tom Howard/John H. Reid Short Story Contest
Postmark Deadline: March 31, 2008
Now in its 16th year. Prizes of $2,000, $1,000, $500 and $250 will be awarded, plus five High Distinction awards of $200 each and five Most Highly Commended Awards of $100 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. Winning Writers is assisting with entry handling for this contest. Judges: John H. Reid and Dee C. Konrad. See the complete guidelines and past winners.


Now Open
Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest - No Fee
Online Submission Deadline: April 1, 2008
Winning Writers invites you to enter the seventh annual Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest, called "infamous" by Writer's Digest. Fifteen cash prizes totaling $3,336.40 will be awarded, including a top prize of $1,359. There is no fee to enter. Judge: Jendi Reiter. 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/Formichelli/magazines.htm


2008 Poet's Market - NEW
The 2008 edition of Poet's Market has just arrived. It's on sale for $17.81 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 - August 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.
Get $20 off purchases of $100 or more at Office Depot! Coupon valid through 8-18. *Excludes Technology


Alibris Coupons - Save on Textbooks and Books of All Kinds
Save on over 60 million used, new and out-of-print books at Alibris. Free shipping when you order $49 or more of eligible titles. Use this coupon code:
Use promo code TEXTBOOKS on checkout at Alibris to save $5 on orders of $50 or more. This coupon expires September 15, 2007.

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FEATURED POEM FROM OUR SUBSCRIBERS

Phrases for Public Speakers at Sea
by M.B. Powell

The student should read aloud daily several pages of these phrases, think just what each one means, and whenever possible fill out the phrase in his own words. A monthís earnest practise of this kind will yield astonishing results.
óGrenville Kleiser, Phrases for Public Speakers (1910)


We ought, first of all, to note
          her oceanic eyes flecked with sea wrack.
And we should pause to consider
          the wavy wilderness of her damp hair.

I will not dwell on
          her cheeks ruddy under my thumbstrokes.
I will not attempt to explain
          the shapely abalone shells of her ears.

I wish to call your attention to
          the cunning animal of her mouth, muscular.
I wish to say something about
          the mollusky dark language of her kisses.

I am obliged to mention
          her sudden breasts, breaching, rhythmic.
And I am perfectly astounded at
          her finger charting my lips round her nipple.

Here, in this connection, let us notice
          her nipple against the roof of my mouth.
Here, in passing, let us observe
          her palms casting me down the dark seaway.

And here, I have to speak again of
          sea wrack, oceanic pools, salt waves.
And here, I wish I could stop
          and surface, save myself, return to tell.

But now it begins to be apparent
          that I am far weaker than I had thought.
And now we are naturally brought on to
          the sea change that deception brings.

You may point, if you will, to
          scripture, proverbs, and therapeutic talk.
You may also search through history
          and learn that my deafness is archetypal.

It is, to be sure, a melancholy fact that
          love's clouds will ever hang on us, drown us.
It is, to be sure, a notorious fact that
          love's tempest has driven me from my home.

What remains to be shown is
          whether I can put an end to this.
What remains to be considered is
          whether anyone should.

For when we contemplate
          the doldrums of life, we cannot rest.
And, likewise, when we reflect upon
          the pitiful port, we must rush into peril.

Let no one suppose
          I can tread safely the sea green of her eyes.
Let no one suggest there is any among us
          who could. I sink. I lose everything.

Permit me to illustrate the point:
          I am overboard, hands manacled in her hair.
Permit me to remind you that
          you have not met her, felt her undertow.


Copyright 2007 by M.B. Powell

This poem won Atlanta Review's 2006 International Poetry Competition and was published in the Fall/Winter issue.


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Advertise to 20,000 Poets and Writers
Promote your contests, websites, events and publications in this newsletter. Reach over 20,000 poets and writers for $65. 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

Verizon Teams Up with ProLiteracy and Other Partners to Offer Thinkfinity
Over 55,000 authoritative educational and literacy resources for teachers, students and community programs

A message from Patrick R. Gaston, President of the Verizon Foundation:
It is with great pleasure that we announce the creation of Thinkfinity, the Verizon Foundationís signature digital learning platform designed to improve educational and literacy achievement.

Thinkfinity is built upon the foundationís flagship education program formerly known as Verizon MarcoPolo, and the foundationís comprehensive online resource for literacy, the Thinkfinity Literacy Network.

Thinkfinity reflects the Verizon Foundationís goal of truly making a difference in the lives of students, teachers, families and the communities in which they live and work. We are doing this by supporting quality educational resources and programs that enable lifelong learning and growth. We are fortunate that our Content and Literacy Partners in this endeavor are the premier organizations in seven K-12 academic subjects and in literacy instruction, along with outstanding organizations and institutions across the country that serve as Rollout Partners to take Thinkfinity into schools, literacy programs and communities nationwide. Through our collaboration and work, we deliver the highest quality, standards-based and research-based educational and literacy resources to teachers, instructors and students.

Thinkfinity will continue to grow in the coming months and years. This growth will be directed through the shared vision of the Verizon Foundation and its partners to extend the reach and impact of Thinkfinity beyond traditional classroom and instructional settings. In order to support lifelong learning, we will provide resources for after-school, parent and community organization audiences, make content available on new technology platforms and enhance professional development.

Thinkfinity means "endless possibilities for learning." Our goal and our mission are to support the present and future needs of our global society, and, through Thinkfinity, deliver resources to advance the knowledge and skills that are required of citizens in the 21st century.

Summer activities now featured on Thinkfinity:
Blockbuster Ideas for Summer Learning from ReadWriteThink
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is in theaters, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is now out. Build on children's excitement over Harry Potter with Summer Blockbusters, one of ReadWriteThink's Summer Activities. This activity engages children in reading, writing, and filmmaking, by recreating their favorite Harry Potter scenes. This is just one of the fun-filled activities, games and online tools brought to you this summer by the literacy experts at ReadWriteThink. Check out Summer Activities: Learning Beyond the Classroom, and keep children and teens reading and writing all summer long.

Rich Online Literacy Tools for Parents, Caregivers and Mentors
Use resources from the Thinkfinity Literacy Network to engage a child with the right reading selections and to find tips on how to establish lasting family literacy traditions. With more than 40 online courses, exclusive best practices and activities for all ages, Thinkfinity Literacy Network provides a wealth of resources for parents, caregivers and students of all ages. Courses include Family Literacy: The Intergenerational Approach to Learning; Parents and Children: Natural Learning Partners; and Selecting and Sharing Books with Young Children, Parts I & II.

ProLiteracy WorldwideProLiteracy is 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.

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 "Kari" by Kim Mayhall.

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!


Kari
my best friend

by Kim Mayhall

Some monster lay deep in the water that day.
It put its fingers to our mouths when it drifted
towards what was left of Kari's lungs.
Our eyes had never heard death, never tasted
that moment when what makes us whole,
separates.

I remember Kari, afraid of monsters,
willing herself to jump from the highest cliff
in the pits of the old quarry.
It was just that kissing game, truth or dare.
The water was deep and black, cold.

The monster cut through her with pure mean
that thickened the day into ice.
I stirred myself into a cocktail of warm.
After all, we were making snow angels in the air.
We were just teasing her a little.
It was all just fun.

Dangling arms and pretentious fingers
waited for childhood to choke as her weight
slammed the rocks and her flesh sliced
down to the water in long strips
making wet slurping sounds.
She jumped too soon.

That summer the pits had no bottom
but open earth sores watered up
to keep Kari's hands spilling over limestone.
A blood angel fades here kids
arenít allowed to swim anymore.


Copyright 2007 by Kim Mayhall


Critique by Jendi Reiter

Kim Mayhall's poem "Kari" intersperses the awful physical sensations of a girl's death with metaphorical and fantastical images in order to capture the onlooking children's shock when their game collides with a deadly reality. Perhaps any poem about death is as much about the feelings of those left behind as it is about the person memorialized. Here, despite the title "Kari", the primary focus is the impact on her playmates.

Kari, about whom we know nothing except her fear of monsters and her closeness to the narrator, is not an individual so much as a representative of the children's own mortality, which they confront for the first time through her. She becomes a sacrificial symbol, a "blood angel" reminding them of their guilt. They feel responsible for goading her to take the fatal dive, of course, but the guilt is also something more primal that is bound up with their new consciousness of death. The immunity of youth fails in both directions. How much harm even a child can suffer is also a measure of how much harm a child can inflict on others....

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_0708mayhall

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 SEPTEMBER 1: AWARD-WINNING POEMS
Our Fall 2007 selection of winning poems from contests we admire

COMING IN OUR SEPTEMBER 15 NEWSLETTER
Winners Announced for the Fourth Annual Margaret Reid Poetry Contest for Traditional Verse
The Best Free Poetry Contests for September 16-October 31