Best Resources for Poets and WritersWinning Writers
IN THIS ISSUE

Recent Honors for Our Subscribers

Recent Publication Credits for Our Subscribers

The Best Free Poetry Contests, January-February

Notable Free Prose Contests, January-February

Calls for Submissions

New Literary Resources

New Recommended Books

Advertise in This Newsletter

Critique of Thom Adams's "Entropy Road"

Newsletter Archives


QUICK TIPS

Not getting our email messages reliably?
See this guide to recovering email caught in sp@m filters if you use AOL, Earthlink, MSN, Yahoo, Hotmail or Gmail. We use and recommend Webmail.us for reliable email service. It's the best answer to sp@m we've seen yet.

Want to make the text on our web pages (or any other web page) larger or smaller?
We recommend using the Firefox browser, available at no charge. Learn more about Firefox.


One of the "101 Best Websites for Writers" (Writer's Digest, 2005-2007)

WINNING WRITERS NEWSLETTER
January 2008


Send this page to a friend
We'll donate 15 cents to literacy


Welcome to our January 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

Using a Mac? The Safari browser for Macintosh made some changes that cause our drop-down menus to appear in the wrong place. We expect to have this problem fixed within a few days. In the meantime, we recommend using the free Firefox web browser to view our web pages.

______________________

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

Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest - No Fee
Online Submission Deadline: April 1
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.

War Poetry Contest
Postmark Deadline: May 31
We seek 1-3 original, unpublished poems on the theme of war for our seventh annual contest, up to 500 lines in total. We will again award $5,000, including a top prize of $2,000. Submit online or by mail. The entry fee is $15. Judge: Jendi Reiter. See the complete guidelines and past winners.

Margaret Reid Poetry Contest for Traditional Verse
Postmark Deadline: June 30
Now in its fifth year, this contest seeks poetry in traditional verse forms such as sonnets and free verse. Both published and unpublished poems are welcome. Fourteen cash prizes totaling $5,250 will be awarded, including a top prize of $2,000. 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 sixth year, this contest seeks poems in any style, theme or genre. Both published and unpublished poems are welcome. Fourteen cash prizes totaling $5,250 will be awarded, including a top prize of $2,000. The entry fee is $6 for every 25 lines you submit. Submit online or by mail. Early submission encouraged. This contest is sponsored by Tom Howard Books and assisted by Winning Writers. Judges: John H. Reid and Dee C. Konrad. See the complete guidelines and past winners. Winners from the 2007 contest will be announced in the next newsletter (February 15).


______________________


RECENT HONORS FOR OUR NEWSLETTER SUBSCRIBERS
Congratulations to Christopher Buehlman. His poem "Wanton" won first prize for poetry in the 2007 Bridport Prize competition. This prestigious contest offers top prizes of 5,000 pounds apiece for poetry and short fiction. The next deadline is June 30.

Congratulations to Walter Bargen. He was just named the first poet laureate of Missouri. In addition, his poetry collection Theban Traffic is forthcoming from Cherry Grove Collections in May.

RECENT HONORS FOR POETRY CONTEST INSIDER SUBSCRIBERS
Congratulations to Gerard F. Keogh, Jr. He won second prize in the 2007 Milton Dorfman Poetry Prize sponsored by Rome Art & Community Center. The most recent deadline for this contest, which offers prizes up to $300, was August 1. Mr. Keogh was also a 2006 Grand Prize winner in the Dancing Poetry Contest sponsored by Artists Embassy International, an opportunity that he discovered in this newsletter. The next deadline will be May 15.

RECENT PUBLICATION CREDITS FOR OUR SUBSCRIBERS
Sally Kosmalski's CD of original love songs and ballads, "Precious Jewels", is now on sale at CD Baby.


______________________


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 $7.95 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 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 don’t 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

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

______________________


Like What We Do? Please Nominate Us!
Writer's Digest is calling for nominations for its 2008 101 Best Websites for Writers. As you know, we were grateful to be named to this list in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Please consider sending an email to writersdig@fwpubs.com. Put "101 Websites" 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!


_______________________________________________
______________________



THE BEST FREE POETRY CONTESTS
Deadlines: January 16-February 29

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.

1/16: Texas Institute of Letters Awards ++
Formerly January 7
Recommended free contest offers prizes up to $6,000 for published books in various genres including poetry, fiction and translation. Entrants must have been born in Texas or resided in Texas for two consecutive years at some time, or the book's subject matter must substantially concern Texas.

1/19: Poetry Society of Virginia (Student Categories) +
Neutral free contest offers prizes of $50, $30, $20 for college students, $25, $15, $10 in the elementary through high school categories, plus small prizes for poems on specific themes. Age categories are Grades 1-2, Grades 3-4, Grades 5-6, Grades 7-8, Grades 9-10, Grades 11-12, Community College, and Undergraduate College. One poem per entrant. See website for line lengths and themes for each contest.

1/30: Nature Poetry Contest +
Neutral free contest offers top prize of $350 for 1-3 poems, maximum 30 lines each. Sponsored by the Friends of Acadia, a group founded to preserve Acadia National Park in Maine, this contest seeks to promote and recognize distinctive nature poetry. Biennial (even-numbered years only). No simultaneous submissions.

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

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

1/31: Lampman-Scott Award ++
Recommended free contest for published poetry books by residents of Canada's National Capital region (Ottawa) offers C$1,500. Send 4 copies of a book published during the preceding calendar year by a recognized publisher. Formerly the Archibald Lampman Award, renamed in 2008.

1/31: Lohmann Poetry Prize +
Neutral free contest offers 3 prizes of $200 for poems by current residents of Washington State. Submit one poem, maximum 2 double-spaced pages.

1/31: Poetic Licence Contest for Canadian Youth ++
Entries must be received by this date; formerly January 15
Recommended free contest for Canadian citizens or landed immigrants attending junior high or high school offers top prizes of C$200 in each of two age categories: Junior (grades 7-9) and Senior (grades 10-12). Send 1-2 poems, no more than 50 lines each. Enter by email only. Send as plain text file in the body of the message, not as attachment. Include poem titles, poet's name, address, phone, age, grade and school.

2/1: Gannon University's High School Poetry Contest +
Neutral free contest for students in grades 9-12 offers prizes of $100, $75, $50, plus reading with distinguished author at award ceremony in April. Send 1-3 poems, any length. Gannon University is a Catholic college in Erie, PA.

2/1: Japanese Literary Translation Prize ++
Recommended free contest offers $6,000 for book-length translations of classical or modern Japanese literary works: novels, collections of short stories, literary essays, memoirs, drama, or poetry. Entries may be published or unpublished. Prize may be split between two winners. Either publisher or translator should submit 7 copies of book plus entry form.

2/1: Paterson Poetry Prize ++
Recommended free contest offers $1,000 for the best book of poetry published during the previous calendar year. Book must have 48+ pages and a press run of 500+ copies. Publisher should submit 3 copies plus entry form. Recent winners have been well-established poets.

2/1: Wednesday Club Junior Poetry Contest +
Neutral free contest for students in grades 10-12 offers prizes of $100, $75, $50, $25. Entrants must attend high schools in the area of St. Louis, MO. Entries must be submitted through the school’s English Department. Send 3 copies of 3 poems, any length.

2/1: Wednesday Club Poetry Prize +
Neutral free contest for writers living within a 50-mile radius of St. Louis, MO offers prizes of $700, $300, $150. Must be over 18 to enter. Send 2 copies of 2 poems, any length.

2/1: Wick Poetry High School Competition +++
Formerly January 15
Highly recommended free contest for Ohio high school seniors offers $4,000 tuition to Kent State University, renewable up to four years pending good academic standing. 2nd & 3rd Prize winners receive $3,000 and $1,500 renewable scholarships. Send 4 copies of one poem, 100 lines maximum.

2/4: IUPUI Poetry Contest +
Neutral free contest for high school students or homeschooled students of high school age includes prizes up to $200, plus eligibility for scholarships if student enrolls at IUPUI. Enter by mail or online. Submit one poem, maximum 25 lines.

2/5: University of Buffalo Student Poetry Contest +
Neutral free contest for high school students offers top prize of $200, other prizes, plus reading at the University of Buffalo in April. Send one poem, maximum 25 lines, plus entry form from website.

2/8: Library of Virginia Literary Awards ++
Entries must be received by this date; formerly February 12
Recommended free contest offers prizes of $1,000 in each genre for books of poetry, fiction and nonfiction published in the preceding calendar year by Virginia authors and/or on a Virginia theme. Publisher or author should send 3 copies of book plus entry form.

2/8: Michigan High-School Poetry Contest +
Neutral free contest offers prizes up to $200 for unpublished poems by Michigan high school students. Winners published in The Albion Review, the literary journal of Albion College in Michigan. Send 1-3 poems, maximum 50 lines each.

2/12: Hart Crane Memorial Poetry Award +
Entries must be received by this date; formerly postmarked February 9
Neutral free contest from ICON, the student literary journal of Kent State University's Trumbull Campus, offers $100 for the best 1-2 poems, any length. Entries should be typed, single-spaced, with author's name, address and phone number on each poem. One submission per person. Email Gary Ciuba with questions.

2/15: Arts & Letters Awards +++
Formerly February 16
Highly recommended free contest for residents of the Canadian Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Prizes are as follows: Senior division (age 19 and up): 16 awards of C$1,000 each (6 poetry, 5 fiction, 3 nonfiction, and 2 scriptwriting winners, one humanitarian essay winner); junior division (age 12-18): 20 awards of C$250 (10 for poetry, 10 for prose and drama). 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.

2/15: Cleveland Poets Series +++
Formerly February 1
Highly recommended contest for poetry manuscripts by Ohio residents offers publication by Cleveland State University Press, a prestigious publisher. No fee to be considered for publication. However, if you want to be considered for the $1,000 First Book prize or the $1,000 Open Competition, enclose a $25 fee per manuscript.

2/23: California Federation of Chaparral Poets Youth Contest +
Formerly February 24
Neutral free 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: "Choices", "Youth's View of Humanity", and "I Remember". Email Elaine Harper for more information.

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. 2008 theme: "Roads Less Traveled" (following a unique path).

2/29: Jo-Anne Hirshfield Memorial Poetry Awards +
Formerly March 30
Neutral free contest offers prizes of $100, $50 and $25 in each of two age categories: high school students, and adults. Open to Chicago-area authors only. Send 2 copies of 1-5 unpublished poems.

2/29: 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.


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.


_______________________________________________
______________________


SPONSORS' MESSAGES
Sprague Lake Squirrel
Winthrop and Maples (a story in two parts)
Friends who haven't been in touch for nearly 10 years, retirees Martin Winthrop and Avery Maples, go on vacation together, renting a cabin near Rocky Mountain National Park. "There isn't enough awe in my life nowadays," Winthrop says, "Just awwww."

They sightsee, trek undemanding paths, tipple immoderately and exchange a broad range of views. Being old is a blessing, they conclude, not having to face much longer what's becoming of America. A freak trail accident drops Winthrop in his tracks.

Slightly high blood pressure, overactive bladder, irregularity, recurring spells of arthritis, weakening eyesight, sore feet and some things too minor to bring up—none of the various ailments besetting them held the immediate impact of the current problem.

Winthrop is confined to quarters scarcely able to move, numb from medication and alcohol. Maples, a bachelor accustomed to looking only after himself, is hard-pressed to deal gracefully with the situation. www.edalbaugh.com.



Fiesta Brava
by Larry Lyall
On sale now at Amazon.com

Fiesta Brava by Larry Lyall Fiesta Brava is a playful romp through the delights of ars poetica. The poet reports from New York, Havana, London, Paris, Mexico, Texas, Rome, Mississippi, Florida, and other points in his personal geography. Poetic commentaries on history, art, music, politics, and academe flavor this collection with a bit of spice, a touch of grit and enough variety to whet most any appetite. The "Improvisations Blue" section will soon be available in audio.

Please enjoy the title poem from Fiesta Brava...
Fiesta Brava
by Larry Lyall

the death sting of the punk espadachin
the carom off indifferent vertebrae
the bricks the whistles bottles rocks & shoes
the greying drizzle drizzling down to grudge
the squirrelly novillero's awkward mien
the jr picadores' butchery flay
the random barbs banderilleros loose
the band's ranchera tunes a prompt to nudge

the kid in jeans & sneakers through this sludge
the knife he wields no sword but meant to bring
the curtain down on this cruel farce to judge
the muddy carnage slicking up the ring

estribillo:

the gist of all this misery's bloody show
a promenade—sweet fantasy brought low



Poetry Protocol, SyndicatePOETRY PROTOCOL, Syndicate — Call for Submissions
Poetry Protocol, Syndicate is currently accepting prose, poetry and short stories for the next quarterly issue. We circulate to member poets, writers, libraries and other small press publications across the United States, Canada, England and Uganda. Contributors can receive international exposure as well as a chance to vie for the annual $100 in contests and quarterly $15 remunerations. Applications are also being accepted for Honorary Laureate sponsors of Poetry Protocol, Syndicate. Please write for a publishing information packet and contest guidelines:
Poetry Protocol, Syndicate
Attn: Alton C. McCloud, Editor/President
P.O. Box 6221
Tulsa, OK 74148-0221
918-728-8485



Dame Lisbet Throckmorton Fiction Writing ContestLast Call!
The Fifteenth Dame Lisbet Throckmorton Fiction Writing Contest
Postmark Deadline: January 31
Our annual contest seeks original fiction entries of 3,500 words or less. Cash prizes of $500, $125, $75 and $50 will be awarded. Winners published online. Critiques by judges are also available. This year's judges include Andrew Stauffer, Sherri Cook Woosley, Elyse Beaulieu and Nancy Adler.

We're here to elevate great fiction and to advance talented writers. We understand the maddening challenge encountered by new writers. You can't get published because you haven't been published. An agent won't read what you've written. Marketing trumps talent.

Fiction is our pursuit. Your writing can be historical, fantastic, contemporary or futuristic. We don't care. Our only requirement is that it be disarming and original. We delight in your talent and take joy in promoting your genius.

The reading fee per entry is $15. Please see www.coffeehousefiction.com for complete submission guidelines and past winners or email info@coffeehousefiction.com for specific questions. We accept entries both electronically and through the mail.



Friends of AcadiaLast Call!
Friends of Acadia Nature Poetry Competition (no fee)
Postmark Deadline: January 30
Submissions are invited for the 2008 Friends of Acadia Poetry Prize. Established in 1998, this prize is presented biennially to promote and recognize distinctive nature poetry. The three top-ranked poems will be published in the Friends of Acadia Journal (print and online), and awarded cash prizes by category ($350, $250, $150).

Nature-based poems of 30 lines or fewer will be accepted. Include cover sheet stating author's name and address and poem title. Do not include author's name on manuscript(s). Authors may submit up to three poems for consideration. Entries must be original, unpublished, and not submitted elsewhere. There is no fee to enter. Entries will not be returned.

Please submit your entries to: Editor, Friends of Acadia Journal, P.O. Box 45, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, editor@friendsofacadia.org.

Please enjoy "Apis mellifera", a prizewinner in the previous Friends of Acadia competition:
Apis mellifera
by Polly Brody

This chilled November morning,
the sun's light, wan and frosted,
finds her head-down
burrowing, legs in slow motion
pumping her tighter
against the lemon heart
of my Chrysanthemum.
Does she hope there to escape
stasis, awaiting her
with boreal patience?
Transparent wings
glued now to her fuzzed back,
will lift her no more into air
gelid with winter's breath.
Yet she has found
a golden resting-place.
May my last bed
be as bright.



Oregon QuarterlyLast Call!
8TH ANNUAL Northwest Perspectives Essay Contest (no fee)
Postmark Deadline: January 31
Oregon Quarterly invites entries to the 2008 Northwest Perspectives Essay Contest in both student and open categories. Entries should address ideas that affect the Northwest. The Oregon Quarterly staff will select finalists and the contest judge will choose the top three winners in each category. Past judges have been Kim Stafford, Barry Lopez, John Daniel, Karen Karbo, Brian Doyle, Lauren Kessler, and Craig Lesley.
  • Prizes in the Open Category: $750, $300, $100
  • Prizes in the Student Category: $500, $200, $75
  • First place essays will appear in Oregon Quarterly.
  • A selection of top essays will be featured in a springtime public reading on the UO campus.
  • Fifteen finalists (ten in the open category and five students) will be announced in the Summer 2008 issue of Oregon Quarterly.
  • All finalists will be invited to participate in a writing workshop with the contest judge.
Entries should be nonfiction, should not have been previously published, and should be no more than 2,000 words in the student category and 2,500 words in the open category. The student contest is open to any student currently enrolled and pursuing a graduate or undergraduate degree at a college or university. One entry per person. Find the submission address and complete guidelines at www.oregonquarterly.com. No entry fee required.



William SaroyanLast Call!
2008 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing
Postmark Deadline: January 31
Nominations are now being accepted for the third William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. This award, given by Stanford University Libraries in partnership with the William Saroyan Foundation, recognizes newly published works of fiction and non-fiction with a $12,500 award for the winner in each category. The prize is designed to encourage new or emerging writers and honor the Saroyan literary legacy of originality, vitality and stylistic innovation. While normally biennial, this third round of the award is on a triennial schedule, having been timed to coincide with the Saroyan Centennial celebrations taking place in 2008. For entry forms and more information on the prize, visit the Saroyan Prize website: http://library.stanford.edu/saroyan/

From the synopsis of the 2005 Fiction Winner, The Laments by George Hagen...
Howard and Julia Lament are reveling in the birth of their first child, a son. Undecided on the perfect name for Baby Lament (A child's name is his portal to the world, thinks Julia), Dr. Underberg asks them a most unorthodox question: would they consider letting their child nurse as a surrogate for a mother whose baby was born prematurely? After a brief deliberation, they agree, and this single decision shapes the rest of their lives.

The surrogate mother subsequently kidnaps the Laments' newborn and both are killed in a fatal car accident. Julia and Howard reel from their loss, but Dr. Underberg suggests they adopt the premature child as their own. As far as most were concerned, the matter ended there, but Julia struggles for years with the hidden story of her son's true identity.

Howard is an engineer who dreams of irrigating the Sahara and is determined that he and Julia will see the world like other Laments. Julia is a fiery spirit who must balance her husband's oddly peripatetic nature with unexpected aspirations of her own. The baby named Will is a waif with a paper-thin heart. As Will makes his way from infancy to manhood in an affably dysfunctional family that careens from continent to continent, one wonders where the Laments will ever belong...

"A thrill ride: bleak, deep and hilarious...a family story on speed, with a jolt of black comedy that makes it a close relative to that greatest of all American family stories, The Simpsons."
—The New York Times Book Review



Black ZinniasLast Call!
The Robert Greer Cohn Prose Poetry Award
Postmark Deadline: February 15
California Institute of Arts and Letters is pleased to announce the Robert Greer Cohn Prose Poetry Award in honor of Professor Robert G. Cohn's lifetime of work dedicated to literature and poetry. Professor Cohn worked primarily in the field of French Literature, writing over 16 books, numerous articles, and essays focusing on the life and work of Mallarmé, a major book on Rimbaud, and several books of cultural criticism. While a student at Yale University, just after World War II, Professor Cohn founded the highly regarded literary journal Yale French Studies. See his blog.

The winning poet will receive $300, plus the editors at California Institute of Arts and Letters will then work with the poet to select up to ten additional unpublished poems (prose poems or verse poems) from the winning poet's body of work for publication in a limited edition chapbook. The winning poem will also be featured in a future edition of the journal Black Zinnias.

Submit two copies of the poem on separate pages. One copy must include your contact information (name, mailing address, phone number, email address) with your poem, the other copy should have only your poem. Appropriate length of poems: 500 words or less, or one page of approximately 50 lines single-spaced or less. All poets are welcome to submit whether previously published or not. The poem submitted must not have been previously published. Please enclose a SASE for contest results and a SAS postcard for notification of receipt of poem. The results will be announced by March 31.

Carine Topal - Bed of Want Enclose a reading fee of $10 per poem, payable by check to California Institute of Arts and Letters, and mail with your submissions to:
California Institute of Arts and Letters
Robert G. Cohn Prose Poetry Award
3057 Sacramento Street, No. 18
San Francisco, CA 94115
For more information, please visit our website at www.calartsandletters.org.

Congratulations to Carine Topal. Her poem, "The Favourite Poet, 1888", won the 2007 Robert G. Cohn Prose Poetry Award. Black Zinnias Books is proud to publish her new chapbook, Bed of Want.

Cecilia Woloch writes, "The world Carine Topal creates in Bed of Want—or recreates?—is the world in which we all would live, if we could, if we could bear it—a world in which every sense is heightened, every beauty more beautiful, and elusive and shimmering, and even sadness is a kind of rapture. Here, the radio is swooning, there's 'a promise of milk at the door.' Lush and sensual and full of the strangeness and danger of love, these poems are also sassy and savvy and simply unlike any other poems I know."
The Favourite Poet, 1888
by Carine Topal

after the oil painting by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1836-1912

Time is a chamber, a willow. No, more tranquil than a willow. The
sleeping eye of a newborn. We do not even sing. We read our favorite
poets of the continent. Behind us, squares of light rest on the wall.
The floor has a welcome chill that marble gives in the unexpected
heat of April. The walls are lined with engraved copper sheets. The
bronze colored window, which is not a window one sees through, but a
window that swivels, opens to reveal a girl angel, out in the garden,
spreading her wings atop a Doric column. It is a room of anticipation
in which the words ballad, pledge, privilege, are whispered to a
hush. A century we only hear about or watch from a postcard, such as
I am doing now, telling you who we are and what we wish we were. How
did we know to dress wearing the sheer spine of a dragonfly? Wearing,
what so long ago, conjured up words like spells in a chamber, like a
chamber in a locket, like a locket on a neck, like a neck long as the
day, like a day of this lost time, of these faces full of light. And
despite our youth, laughing had not occurred to us.


Tiger's Eye Poetry ContestClosing Next Month
The Tiger's Eye Poetry Contest Has Returned to Planet Earth
Postmark Deadline: February 28
The Tiger's Eye Poetry Contest is back with larger prizes ($500/$100/$50), a terrific judge (Carol Aronoff), and a bolt from the blue: One contest entrant will be awarded an editors' choice chapbook contract. This prize is in addition to the three cash prizes. Winner receives 50 copies, and publication in the Mid-Spring 2008 Issue.

Please submit three unpublished poems that represent your best work. Your name should appear only on the cover page. No identifying information should appear on any other page. If your poems are selected, we will work with you to develop a gorgeous chapbook of 20-30 pages. You may submit simultaneously to this contest and to others.

Send 3 poems/short bio/SASE/$10 to:
Tiger’s Eye Poetry Contest
P.O. Box 2935
Eugene, OR 97402
Visit our website at www.tigerseyejournal.com. Questions? Please email tigerseyepoet@yahoo.com.

About the Judge
Carol Alena Aronoff, Ph.D. is a psychologist, teacher and writer whose poetry has appeared in Comstock Review, Potpourri, Poetic Realm, Poetica, Mindprints, Dream Fantasy International, Beginnings, Hawaii Island Journal, In Our Own Words, Theater of the Mind, Animals in Poetry, From the Web, HeartLodge, Out of Line, Sendero, Iodine, Asphodel, Tiger's Eye, Nomad's Choir, and The New Verse News. Dr. Aronoff received a prize in the 1999/2000 Common Ground spiritual poetry contest judged by Jane Hirshfield, and is a Pushcart Prize nominee. She won the Tiger's Eye blog contest on the writing life and has participated three times in Braided Lives, a collaboration of artists and poets. Her illustrated poetry book, The Nature of Music, was published by Pelican Pond in 2005, Cornsilk, in 2006, and Her Soup Made the Moon Weep, in 2007.



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

Writecorner Press Poetry Prize
Postmark Deadline: February 28

First Place $500; Editors' Choices, $100 each.
Seeks the best unpublished poems under 40 lines. Any style, any theme. Send 2 copies of each poem with author's name, address, phone, short bio, and email address on only one copy. Make other copy anonymous. Fee: $5 first poem, $3 each additional poem, payable to Writecorner Press. Read past winners.

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 author's 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. Fees are used to pay awards and site expenses.

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

Please enjoy "A Love Note to Teenagers", the 2007 winning poem by Allison Joseph:
A Love Note to Teenagers
by Allison Joseph

All the things your parents hate you for—
curt belligerent backtalk, rude grumbling
under your breath, clothes falling off you

or clinging to you as if wet, permanently—
that's what I love about you, what makes
me glad you exist, screeching and stumbling

through the mall, convulsed by laughter
so severe you can barely walk. Those sullen
stares, those moody silences—I think

they're art, and each of you's a master—
the prom kings and tech geeks, cutters
and starvers, the addicts of joystick

and screen, the scrawny and scarred,
the dyed, pierced, ripped and safety-pinned
together. Look at you—you are falling

apart and coming together all at once,
sprouting and sizzling and popping off
at the mouth, imperfections twitching up

overnight to grab you, trip you, make you
split-second vicious or so liquid-slow
that all you yearn to do is sleep

a sleep so voluptuous that you wake
in a different country, an oblivion so deep
it lets you become someone else.

And you are always becoming someone
else, reaching back to rip off the labels
slapped on your back by a succession

of guidance counselors and homeroom
teachers, witless adults like me, fools
too busy to see how you're flickering

and breaking, how fear, rage, and jealousy
have nothing and everything to do
with the next thing you buy, eat, say.


The Fountainhead
Attention Student Writers: Deadline Looming!
The Ayn Rand Institute is accepting essays from high school and college students on Ayn Rand's novels. $81,250 awarded in prize money to 521 students! Each contest is free to enter.

Contests Essays will be judged on both style and content. Judges will look for writing that is clear, articulate and logically organized. Winning essays must demonstrate an outstanding grasp of the philosophic and psychological meaning of the novel in question.

For complete rules, guidelines, and topic questions, please visit:
www.aynrand.org/contests



Robert Frost Poetry Festival 14th Annual Key West Robert Frost Poetry Festival and Contests
Contest Postmark Deadline: March 24
The 2008 Key West Robert Frost Poetry Festival & Contests will be held during April 9-13. The festival, set in the Heritage House Garden, Robert Frost Cottage, and other select venues in Key West, again will feature poetry and haiku workshops, poetry and haiku readings, impromptu jazz and open mike, an art & film event, poetry on the water, a poetry slam, a visual poetry exhibit, and local and international poetry and haiku contests. The festival concludes on Sunday afternoon with readings and contest award ceremonies.

Featured are Dr. Michael Wyndham Thomas, England, Playwright, Author and Poet, Rosalind Brackenbury, Key West, Author and Poet, Dr. Lee Gurga, Editor of Modern Haiku Press, Dr. Charles Trumbull, Editor of Modern Haiku, Cricket Desmarais, Key West, Author, Dancer, and Poet, Catherine Doty, New York, Author and Poet, Barry George, Philadelphia, Haijin and Poet, Richard Grusin, Key West, Actor and Poet, Bob Muens, Key West, Bookbinder.

I. KWRFPF Poetry Contest: 1st Place $150, 2nd Place $75, 3rd Place $50, and Honorable Mentions. Entry fees are $10 for each poem. Unpublished, open to style and theme, 30 lines maximum, typed copy. Two copies of each poem, with your name, address, phone and/or email on one copy only.

II. KWRFPF Haiku Contest: 1st Place $100, 2nd Place $50, 3rd Place $25, and Honorable Mentions. Entry fees are $10 for each three haiku; 3-line format of up to 17 or fewer syllables. All haiku must contain a seasonal or nature image. Two copies of each entry typed or neatly written, with your name, address, phone and/or email on one copy only.

Make checks payable to KWRFPF. Mail entries to KWRFPF Poetry & Haiku Contests, Heritage House, 410 Caroline Street, Key West, FL 33040. Include a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) if you would like to receive an announcement of the results. Chapbooks of winning poems and haiku from 1999-2005 and from 2006-2007 are available for $5.00 each, including S&H.

Poem and haiku copyright is retained by the authors. Heritage House retains one-time rights to publish winning contest entries in KWRFPF announcements or in a chapbook of winning poems. Since rights revert to the authors, a poem may be reprinted as long as appropriate acknowledgement is made to the KWRFPF. For further information, please visit robertfrostpoetryfestival.org or write to the Heritage House.



Toward The LightNow Open
Toward The Light Sixth Annual Poetry Contest
Entries must be received by April 1
First Prize: Can$175 plus publication in the Summer 2008 issue and 2 copies
Two Honourable Mentions: Can$50 plus publication in the Summer 2008 issue and 2 copies

Entry Fee: Can$12 for a set of 1-3 poems or Can$28 if you'd also like to receive a year's subscription to Toward The Light. Add Can$5 for each additional poem over 3. For the convenience of our international contestants and others, you have the option of paying your fee online with PayPal or a credit card.

Theme: Toward The Light. Send us poetry that sees in the dark. Personal poetry that integrates the power of light and dark in life, recognizing that neither is a permanent resting place, rather, together they stimulate movement and growth; never a final location. Wherever you are, ignite the fuse of light within you. Notice how darkness can make you wise. In celebration, struggle, joy, depression, transition, and achievement there is light and dark. Write that. We are not looking for rants or lists of profanity; we are looking for a sincere, multifaceted exploration of what it means to choose to grow toward the light. See an excerpt from the 2007 winning poem, "For Christ's sake, would you hurry and take the picture".

Contest sponsored by Toward The Light: Journal of Reflective Word & Image. See the complete guidelines at www.towardthelight.net. The winners will be announced in June.



Writing It Real
Now Open
Enter the Spring Writing It Real Personal Essay Writing Contest
Postmark/Electronic Submission Deadline: April 1
We are seeking creative non-fiction unpublished essays based on personal experience. The top prizes of $150, $75 and $50 include a choice of LifeJournal for Writers software or a half-hour consultation with Sheila Bender. More details available at WIR contest.

Each $15 reading fee per essay entitles you to a six-month subscription to Writing It Real. See complete details and upload essays at WIR contest, or mail your entry to Writing It Real, Attn: Essay Contest, 394 Colman Drive, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Winners announced by April 30.

Visit Writing It Real for information about Sheila's online writing workshops and classes as well as the annual Writing It Real in Port Townsend Summer Writers' Conference (June 26-30). Questions? Please email info@writingitreal.com.



Creekwalker Poetry & Photography
Now Open
2008 Creekwalker Poetry Prize
Postmark Deadline: April 30
"After nine years publishing the poetry of both veteran and novice poets, we established the Creekwalker Poetry Prize in 2007. The poetry of Diana Woodcock, our inaugural winner, captured in tone and thematic quality the kind of work for which we created the Creekwalker Prize. For our 2008 Prize, we anticipate a wider field of poets and look forward to what the contest will bring by way of captivating work with the power to inspire, uplift and challenge our customary ways of processing the elegant complexities of everyday life." —Tom Mark Gilbert, Founder

Submit five poems of 25 lines or less via typed hardcopy (no electronic submissions). All themes welcome. Both published and unpublished poems are eligible. Winner receives a $300 prize. Entry fee: $15, payable to Creekwalker. Place your name and contact information (address, phone, email) at the top of each page. Mail your entry and fee to:
Creekwalker Poetry Prize
5620 Paseo Del Norte #127-240
Carlsbad, CA 92008
Questions? Please visit www.creekwalker.com or email poetry@creekwalker.com.

Please enjoy "Sparse" by Diana Woodcock, from her 2007 winning entry:
Sparse
by Diana Woodcock

Sparks scattered in the ground,
the seed begins its journey.
The dew grows cold while the Hunter’s
Moon stalks fallow fields, rotting gourds.
Beside it, solitary Fomalhaut shines.
Gates between the realms of life and death
swing open.

Today a sleepy orange, last sulphur of the
season, dartled between three lingering
lantana blossoms on the wood edge—my days
just as numbered. Titmice and blue jays squabbled
at the birdbath as the one cloud in the sky became
the baby wrapped in white, floating down Lhasa’s
river toward her burial.

Unable to turn away that day years ago, I
chose to stay and watch the white bundle
diminish to a mere speck, then vanish.
On the riverbank, homeless peasants and
pilgrims with their yaks meandered among
tents and cooking fires, their children playing
games as the corpse passed by. Too old for
water burials, they all would be given the sky.

In the east before dawn, Venus and elusive
Mercury side by side. I am a seed, a spark,
a speck.

Originally published in Blue Fifth Review, Fall 2006


Skysaje Enterprises
Announcing the Fourth Annual Skysaje Enterprises Poetry Contest
Entries must be received by April 30
This year we've increased the top prize to $250 and we're offering two $25 Honorable Mentions. Please format your submissions using 12-point type. We prefer the Times New Roman, Courier and Arial typefaces. Entry fee: $15. Submit up to 5 poems per entry. All styles accepted! Both published and unpublished work welcome, and your poems may be of any length. Enter as often as you like.

Make your entry fee payable to L. Berger and mail to:
Skysaje Enterprises
50 Amesbury Road
Rochester, NY 14623-5314



Now Open
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
43 Poetry Contest winners will be honored at the 15th Annual Dancing Poetry Festival in September 2008. The authors will be invited to read at our prestigious podium in the elegant California Palace of the Legion of Honor Art Museum. Over $1,000 will be awarded, and all winners receive free entry into our festival plus a printed award certificate. The top three poems chosen as Grand Prizes will be choreographed, costumed and videotaped live in an on-stage performance at the Festival.

Recent topics of winning poems have touched on the travels of Matisse, a Picasso painting, falling leaves, love, Iraq, China, history, dance, current events, reverie, socially significant situations and even some humor sprinkled here and there. Please don't feel constrained to write a poem about dancing.

Dancing Poetry Contest The entry fee is $5 per poem or $10 for 3 poems. Each poem may be up to 40 lines long. Send two copies of each poem. One copy should be anonymous (just title and poem), the other should have your name, address, phone, email address and where you heard about this contest (e.g. Winning Writers Newsletter).

When the judges evaluate entries, they look for innovative perspectives on ordinary or unusual subjects as well as excellence of craft. Your entry should be suitable for a general audience since our following is comprised of people of all ages and ethnicities. English translations must be included with non-English poems.

Our judges consist of poets, dancers, musicians and visual artists of various media, all members of Artists Embassy International. Judging is done with the anonymous copies of the poems. Artists Embassy International is a non-profit, volunteer, arts and education organization whose goal is to further intercultural understanding through the arts.

Dancing Poetry ContestThree poets, the Grand Prize winners, will be rewarded with seeing their poems danced by Natica Angilly’s Poetic Dance Theater Company, a well-known dance troupe that has performed around the world and throughout America. This company is dedicated exclusively to creating new avenues by combining poetry, dance and music together for presentation and the expansion of poetry with dance in the life of our culture.

To enter the contest, please visit our website at www.dancingpoetry.com or submit to our Dancing Poetry Chair, Judy Cheung, 704 Brigham Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95404. Questions? Please email Ms. Cheung at jhcheung@comcast.net.



Now Open
Robert Frost Foundation12th 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 12th 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 in Lawrence, Massachusetts, on Saturday, October 25.

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 about last year's honorees and the contest guidelines at www.frostfoundation.org. Enjoy this slide show of the announcement of the 2007 winning poem, "Henry Jones From Wales" by Barbara Adams.
Henry Jones From Wales
by Barbara Adams

It was quiet at night and I'd wake
To the sounds of sheep
And the birds singin'.
The shops was shut up tight at five.

When I was eight
They sent me away north
With a trainful of kids,
Away from the buzz bombs.

When the war ended,
They sent me home
But me mum said she had enough kids
And sent me back.

A lady at the orphanage
Taught me to read and write.
I learnt in one year,
Got me a job fixing lorries.

I married a American,
Her dad sent us tickets to the U.S.
So I says O.K.
I was a engineer then.

Here, all I could get was this—
He swings his broom like a scythe,
Shaking his head,
Sweeping the endless corridor

Of dust, turns, cuts another swath
As if he were cutting hay.
Me name? It's what a bloke writes
In a hotel with a chippie. He laughs.

But me baptism name's Henry,
Like all them kings
What won them flower wars.
He nods at my book shelf:

Henry IV, part 1, part 2, Henry V.


_______________________________________________
______________________



SELECTED FREE PROSE CONTESTS

These free prose contests with deadlines between January 16 and February 29 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.

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

1/31: Amy Writing Awards ++
Recommended free contest offers $34,000 in prizes, top prize of $10,000, for articles with a Biblical perspective that were published in secular newspapers or magazines in the previous calendar year. "Examples of issues for consideration, but not limited to these, are family life, divorce, value trends, media and entertainment character, p**nography, political morality, US national interests, abortion, religion and addiction to drugs and alcohol. The biblical impact on individual character and outlook are also appropriate issues. The need for obedience through biblical truth should be evident."

1/31: Betty Trask Prize +++
Entries must be received by this date
Highly recommended free contest offers awards totaling 25,000 pounds for a published first novel of "a romantic or traditional nature", i.e. not experimental. Author must be a Commonwealth citizen. If published, the work must have been published in the UK in 2007 or be due for publication in 2008. Entrants must be under 35 as of December 31, 2007. Winner must agree to use the prize money for foreign travel.

1/31: Caine Prize for African Writing +++
Entries must be received by this date
Highly recommended free contest offers 10,000 pounds for published short stories by African writers, defined as someone who was born in Africa, or who is a national of an African country, or whose parents are African, and whose work has reflected African sensibilities. Up to 5 shortlisted authors receive a travel stipend. For the 2008 contest, entries must have been published between February 1, 2005 and January 31, 2008. Must be submitted by publisher. Send 6 copies of published story. (They prefer 6 originals but will accept 1 original and 5 photocopies.)

1/31: Danuta Gleed Literary Award +++
Entries must be received by this date
Highly recommended free contest offers C$10,000 for the best first collection of short fiction published by a Canadian author in the preceding calendar year. Send 4 copies to the Writers' Union of Canada.

1/31: Harper Academic Research Competition ++
Entries must be received by this date
Recommended free contest offers prizes up to $1,000 for essays (3,500 words maximum) by graduate school and law school students aged 39 and under, on the question "What factors lead to prosperity, progress, and human flourishing?" Sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies, a libertarian think tank affiliated with George Mason University in Arlington, VA. Enter online only.

1/31: IHS Essay Contest for Undergraduate Students ++
Entries must be received by this date
Recommended free contest offers prizes up to $1,000 for essays (600-2,500 words) by college students aged 26 and under, on the question "What factors lead to prosperity, progress, and human flourishing?" Sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies, a libertarian think tank affiliated with George Mason University in Arlington, VA. Enter online only.

1/31: Jack London Writing Contest ++
Recommended free contest for students in grades 9-12 offers prizes of $2,000, $1,000 and $500 for stories and essays of 2,000 words maximum (entries in both genres compete together). Entries should be submitted by the student's English teacher.

1/31: 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.

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

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

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

2/1: Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize ++
Entries must be received by this date
Recommended contest offers $5,000 for a book of fiction by a US woman, published in the preceding calendar year. Entries may be a novel, a collection of short stories, or experimental writing. Four copies must be submitted by publisher. Sponsored by the University of Rochester's Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women's Studies.

2/1: Newsweek "My Turn" Essay Contest +++
Entries must be received by this date; formerly March 1
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.

2/15: Vincent Astor Memorial Leadership Essay Contest ++
Recommended free contest from the U.S. Naval Institute is open to U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard officers, regular and reserve, in pay grades O-1, O-2, and O-3, and officer trainees within one year of receiving their commissions. Top prize $1,500 for essays on any subject relating to leadership in the sea services. Maximum 2,500 words. One entry per person; no simultaneous submissions. Email entries preferred.

2/20: StoryMash Writing Contest +
Entries must be received by this date
Neutral free contest offers prizes up to $300 for the best continuation of an existing chapter posted to StoryMash, a collaborative fiction website. Prizes awarded by reader vote. Free registration required to enter. Enter online only. Chapter length should be no more than 10,000 bytes (about 2,000 words).


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.


_______________________________________________
______________________



CALLS FOR SUBMISSIONS

Limp Wrist Magazine
Rolling Deadline
New online journal based in Atlanta, GA seeks submissions of poetry, fiction, artwork and video clips for their first issue, launching in February 2008. Send 1-5 poems or one story, maximum 5,000 words, via email; follow formatting guidelines on website. "Don't worry, at Limp Wrist we don't discriminate; hetero and homo peeps alike are featured."

Boyne Berries
Entries must be received by January 31
The Boyne Writers Group, a new Irish literary society, seeks submissions of poetry, short fiction and personal essays for their journal Boyne Berries. Send 1-3 poems, maximum 70 lines each, or one prose piece, maximum 1,000 words, by mail or email. No simultaneous submissions. Their first issue can be read online as a PDF file.

Bellevue Review "Abilities and Disabilities" Issue
Postmark Deadline: February 1
The Bellevue Review, a well-regarded literary journal published by the Department of Medicine at NYU, seeks submissions of poetry, fiction and essays for a special issue on "Abilities and Disabilities: The Range of Human Function". Send 3 poems or one prose piece, maximum 5,000 words.

Wordclay Publishing
Entries must be received by February 3
New self-publishing company Wordclay Publishing seeks submissions of individual poems and book-length manuscripts. One entrant in each category will receive $500 and a free self-publishing package. See website for online entry procedure. (We list this opportunity here rather than in our contest database because we have some concerns that the contest is mainly an opportunity to upsell a self-publishing deal to unsuccessful entrants. However, as free contests go, the terms are not unfavorable and the rules are transparent.)

The Other Journal "Atheism" Issue
Entries must be received by February 21
This provocative journal accepts creative writing, artwork, and expository articles on themes of Christianity and culture. For Issue #11, "The Atheism Issue", they are seeking poetry, short fiction, self-contained novel excerpts and creative nonfiction that thoughtfully considers the relationships between belief, superstition, doubt, and science. 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."

Six Little Things
Entries must be received by February 29
Each issue of this online journal features six prose poem/flash fiction pieces with a different creative angle on the issue's theme. For Spring 2008, they are seeking submissions on the theme "Cut Paper/Paper Cuts". Email editor Bard Cole for guidelines.

Ninth Letter "Music" Issue
Postmark Deadline: April 30
Ninth Letter, a literary journal published by the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, seeks submissions of poems about music for their spring 2008 issue. Send 3-6 poems by mail or via their online form. "We are interested in prose and poetry that experiment with form, narrative, and nontraditional subject matter, as well as more traditional literary work."


_______________________________________________
______________________



NEW LITERARY RESOURCES

Curly-Headed Pussycat
Israeli poet Elisha Porat tells the story of two writers, one an angry young war veteran who hopes poetry will ease his traumatic memories, the other an sanguine older man who learns his own lesson about the fragility of youth and beauty.

Cuttings: Haiku and Short Poems
Links to haiku and Zen Buddhist quotations compiled by Michael P. Garofalo on his Garden Digest website.

Deep South
Literary journal of the University of Otago, New Zealand, has an international reach, publishing such authors as Elisha Porat, Sarah Jane Barnett and Robert Gibbons. Issues are available online as PDF files.

Flash Fiction Online
Literary e-zine publishes flash fiction in the 700-1,000 word range. Editors have a particular interest in science fiction, fantasy and mysteries. Payment: 5 cents a word.

Le Jaseroque
Frank L. Warrin's translation of "Jabberwocky" into French weds nonsense to high culture. "Il brilgue: les tôves lubricilleux/Se gyrent en vrillant dans le guave." Whatever it means, it sounds very important in the language of Racine and Moliere.

Vulgata Magazine
Online journal of poetry and prose published by St. Jerome Ministries, "a Catholic organization which seeks to promote the Faith through reasoned persuasion in apologetics, magisterial loyalty in content, and artful prose in presentation." Notable features include the as-yet-incomplete "Areopagus University", a series of essays on using archetypes to craft compelling fiction. Classical art and tongue-in-cheek archaic language contribute to the website's mood of pageantry and mystery.

The Writer's Eye Magazine
Bimonthly online multimedia journal features poetry, fiction, essays and book reviews by authors who are also visual artists. Submissions must include both writing and artwork by the author. This market pays 2-5 cents per word for accepted pieces.


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.


_______________________________________________
______________________



NEW RECOMMENDED BOOKS

The Hospital Poems
By Jim Ferris. A powerful contribution to the literature of disability, this autobiography in verse exposes a childhood spent at the mercy of medical "experts", who performed invasive and ultimately futile surgeries to correct his uneven legs. With dark humor and an insistence on facts over rhetoric, Ferris restores dignity to the bodies of those whom the establishment treats as problems to be fixed. This book won the 2004 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award.

The Radiant
By Cynthia Huntington. Austere moments of beauty illuminate this collection whose theme is finding peace in the midst of suffering. Though battered by a lover's betrayal and the onset of multiple sclerosis, the speaker of these poems is renewed by the transcendent qualities of nature and her own courage in seeing clearly. Winner of the 2003 Levis Poetry Prize from Four Way Books.

The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories
Edited by Tobias Wolff. Every story is a masterpiece of voice, setting, and emotional depth in this collection of short fiction from the 1970s and '80s. Contributors include Dorothy Allison, Allan Gurganus, Mary Gaitskill, Ron Hansen, Chris Offutt, Susan Power and John Edgar Wideman. This anthology stands out for the genuine diversity of its authors and subject matter (race, class, gender, location, historical period) and the absence of intellectual anomie and cynicism: something truly human is at stake in every tale.


_______________________________________________
______________________



MORE SPONSORS' MESSAGES

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


Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest - No Fee
Online Submission Deadline: April 1
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.


War Poetry Contest
Postmark Deadline: May 31
We seek 1-3 original, unpublished poems on the theme of war for our seventh annual contest, up to 500 lines in total. We will again award $5,000, including a top prize of $2,000. Submit online or by mail. The entry fee is $15. Judge: Jendi Reiter. See the complete guidelines and past winners.


Margaret Reid Poetry Contest for Traditional Verse
Postmark Deadline: June 30
Now in its fifth year, this contest seeks poetry in traditional verse forms such as sonnets and free verse. Both published and unpublished poems are welcome. Fourteen cash prizes totaling $5,250 will be awarded, including a top prize of $2,000. 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 sixth year, this contest seeks poems in any style, theme or genre. Both published and unpublished poems are welcome. Fourteen cash prizes totaling $5,250 will be awarded, including a top prize of $2,000. The entry fee is $6 for every 25 lines you submit. Submit online or by mail. Early submission encouraged. This contest is sponsored by Tom Howard Books and assisted by Winning Writers. Judges: John H. Reid and Dee C. Konrad. See the complete guidelines and past winners. Winners from the 2007 contest will be announced in the next newsletter (February 15).


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


2008 Poet's Market
The 2008 edition of Poet's Market is 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, Inc

Office Depot - Yearly 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.
Office Depot's Yearly Coupon - Save $30 off $150


Alibris Coupons - Save on Books, Music and Movies
Get great deals on hard-to-find titles at Alibris. Free shipping when you order $49 or more of eligible items.
Use CHEAPEST on checkout at www.alibris.com to get $4 off any order of $40 or more of books, music, & movies! Hurry, this offer expires February 7th, 2008.

Use COLLEGE on checkout at www.alibris.com to get $6 off any order of $60 or more of books, music, & movies! Hurry, this offer expires February 7th, 2008.

Use USEDTEXTBOOKS on checkout at www.alibris.com to get $10 off any order of $100 or more of books, music, & movies! Hurry, this offer expires February 7th, 2008.



_______________________________________________
______________________



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.

_______________________________________________
______________________


PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

Literacy Advocates: Subscribe to ProLiteracy Worldwide's Public Policy Updates
UNESCO estimates that there are nearly 800 million illiterate adults in the world. About two-thirds of them are women, and we can safely say that most of them live in poverty, have poor health, and suffer from various kinds of abuse.

In the United States, nearly half the adult population, or 93 million adults according the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, have very poor or marginal literacy skills. Even if we combine all the public and private investment in adult literacy at the federal, state, and local levels there is only enough funding to serve three million adult literacy students a year. Americans spend more money on premium-label ice cream each year than they do on adult basic education and literacy.

Adult literacy needs more advocates! Each of us has the potential to become an effective literacy advocate. ProLiteracy Worldwide issues Public Policy Alerts as information develops about Congressional legislation that relates to adult basic education and literacy. Subscribe here to receive these updates free via email. See past updates.

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.


_______________________________________________
______________________



Jendi Reiter JENDI'S CRITIQUE CORNER

This month, Critique Corner is pleased to present "Entropy Road" by Thom Adams.

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!


Entropy Road
by Thom Adams

time slips from great to good or, from terrible to wors'ning
down entropic road we pay our toll
paved start toward never ending

that god, what god? the mirror asks, tone optimistic, while condescending
the urge to organize is quite strong
make amends, then share the booty's blending

time slips from me to us or, from you and i to loving
our valentine then seeks its mate
goes the prolific downward sending

that god, what god? the reflection quests, while the last winter sno's still clinging
that holonic symbol, our family crest
wears the blood from each upbringing

the urge to love is as strong to hate, to blend, then split the winnings
our junior is the sum of both
but adds "new" moment's vendings

time drives us from then to now, its final destination reaching
tho next can never touch our lips
it's law, relatively speaking

that god, what god? the question begs, and who should i tell him's asking?
an urge to love and proliferate...

life's sentence, and time's unmasking


Copyright 2007 by Thom Adams


Critique by Jendi Reiter

The form of this month's provocative poem, "Entropy Road", embodies its theme of order struggling to remain distinct from chaos. The headlong rush of syllables in the longer lines and the fragmentary, zigzag presentation of the poem's argument give the poem a restless energy. Meanwhile, the "-ing" rhymes repeating in the first and third lines of every stanza, the refrain "that god, what god?" and the semi-regular meter attempt to corral that energy within a poetic framework.

Making the rhyming words present participles (verb forms, or nouns derived from them, ending in "-ing") was an inspired choice. These words describe action in progress. Just as the stability that the narrator seeks is always a moving target, the concepts on which he depends to convey this argument will not stay put. Each rhyming line also ends on an unstressed syllable, which gives the poem an open-ended, unfinished cadence.

Entropy, of course, refers to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which basically states that the energy levels in an isolated system will tend toward equilibrium. Entropy has sometimes been described as a measurement of the disorder or randomness within a system. In the poem, as in popular usage, it symbolizes universal mortality and dissolution. If evolution drives organic life to ever-higher levels of self-organizing complexity, entropy is the opposite force, that which pulls down and breaks apart complex systems into nature's simplest building blocks. It means that all material energy will ultimately spend itself and be unrecoverable.

As self-aware components of this dying system, how can we find the motivation to go on living, loving, procreating, and planning for the future? Which will win, our philosophical sense of futility or the inward compulsion to survive and create?...

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/2008/urc_0801adams.php

See all of our poetry critiques.


_______________________________________________
______________________



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.


_______________________________________________
______________________



COMING IN OUR FEBRUARY 15 NEWSLETTER
2007 Tom Howard/John H. Reid Poetry Contest Winners Announced
The Best Free Poetry Contests for February 16-March 31