Best Resources for Poets and WritersWinning Writers
IN THIS ISSUE

Tom Howard/John H. Reid Poetry Contest Winners Announced

Recent Honors for Our Subscribers

Recent Publication Credits for Our Subscribers

The Best Free Poetry Contests, February-March

Notable Free Prose Contests, February-March

Calls for Submissions

New Literary Resources

New Recommended Book

Featured Poem:
"We Sisters"


Featured Poem:
"Catching Blue Frogs"


Featured Poem:
"Ghostly Memories"


Advertise in This Newsletter

Critique of Liz Davies's "The Fox Woman"

Newsletter Archives


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WINNING WRITERS NEWSLETTER
February 2008


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

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 are continuing to work on this issue. In the meantime, we recommend using the free Firefox web browser to view our web pages.

Coming March 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 March 1. Please watch for it in your mailbox!

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Zoe Krasney TOM HOWARD/JOHN H. REID POETRY CONTEST WINNERS ANNOUNCED
Zoe Krasney is the winner of the fifth annual Tom Howard/John H. Reid Poetry Contest sponsored by Tom Howard Books. This year's contest awarded $3,670 in cash prizes, including a top prize of $1,000, for the best original poems in any style or theme. Krasney's poem "Another Country" depicts an emotionally charged visit to a loved one in prison. It was judged the best of hundreds of entries from around the world.

Contest judge John H. Reid said, "This hauntingly atmospheric piece by Zoe Krasney not only stays in the memory but forces the reader to return to its embittered images time and time again. The language is not only novel but powerful in its immediacy. The poem sings in the present, yet reflects on the past with a potent streak of bitterness that runs parallel with its sorrow... In the final stanza, the dark images take on a brighter hue, betokening a hope and an inner peace which even the bitter sting of the final line cannot overcome."

Contest judge Dee C. Konrad said, "'Another Country' by Zoe Krasney becomes alive with its vivid word pictures making that country ours—even with examples that shock us to attention. The poet translates personal reactions into patterns that we not only see but also understand. Special lines are written with a personal honesty that resonates to add an exotic sense to the conundrum of Cruz."

We congratulate Ms. Krasney, second prize winner Paul Hamill and third prize winner Johnmichael Simon. Seven High Distinction Awards of $100 went to Helen Bar-Lev, Mike Burch, Debbie Camelin, Noble Collins, Rollin A. Lasseter, Frances Truscott, and Mollybee Welkin. Eleven Highly Commended Awards of $70 each and 12 Commended Awards of $50 each rounded out the prizes, bringing the total to $3,670.

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

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FEATURED SPONSOR'S MESSAGE


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

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

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

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

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

See our website for complete rules and entry form. Winners announced on April 12. Utmost Christian Writers Foundation is a government registered non-profit association for the support and promotion of Christian poets. Utmost sponsors the International Christian Poet Laureate program, purchases poems for publication, sponsors several contests and provides numerous free resources to poets.

Please enjoy this selection from "Fear and Trembling" by Tina Blevins, third prize winner in the 2007 Utmost Christian Poetry Contest:
Fear and Trembling
by Tina Blevins

I.

Isaac, child of my old age, pear of promise.
I measure my sons innumerable not by stars,
but by laughs in the pasture, warm milk brought me
by the fire, lashes planted one by one that make
the rushes ashore his eyes. Yet here in the cool night
under the tent flap comes Your voice: this
do, this do, and in the warm dark, fragrant with sheep
and the slumbering lambs his small hand I find, press.
His five fingers fold so easily in mine.
This task and his life, You have said both, both
must be so. But the way of it, here I am blind,
and am afraid.
I have held fruit often in the pockets of my mouth,
felt it sweet and secret where none save You can see,
Your voice is known to me, but this is not a test.

[poem continues]

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Closing Next Month
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.


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RECENT HONORS FOR OUR NEWSLETTER SUBSCRIBERS
Congratulations to Ricky Rapoport Friesem. She won first prize for poetry in the 2007 Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards for her poetry collection (Parentheses): Poems for the 21st Century, which can be ordered directly from the author for $12 at Friesem@wisemail.weizmann.ac.il. She kindly shares a poem from this book below. More sample poems are available on her website. The Writer's Digest contest offers prizes of $1,000 in nine categories including poetry, fiction, and memoirs, plus a $3,000 grand prize across all genres. The next deadline is May 1.

Congratulations to Darrell Lindsey. He won second prize in the 11th annual Mainichi Haiku Contest, a Japanese competition sponsored by the Mainichi Daily News (his poem is on page 12). Read more of his work at http://www.thisisby.us/user.php/darrell_lindsey

Congratulations to John B. Lee. He recently received the inaugural Black Moss Press Souwesto Award for his contribution to the ethos of Southwestern Ontario Literature and Culture. Mr. Lee is the poet laureate of Brantford, Ontario. See a list of his other publications here. He kindly shares with us below a poem from his new collection, The Place That We Keep After Leaving, forthcoming this spring from Black Moss Press. The poems in this book were inspired by the lakeside town of Port Dover, Ontario, located on the north shore of Lake Erie across from Cleveland.

Congratulations to Sheila Gee. Her poem "Ghostly Memories" won a monthly competition with a prize of 50 pounds from Freelance Market News and was published in their December 2007 issue. She kindly shares this poem with us below.

Congratulations to Harrison Solow. Her story "The Postmaster's Song" was one of 10 winning stories in the 2007 fiction competition from Cinnamon Press and will be published in their anthology, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, in September 2008.

RECENT HONORS FOR POETRY CONTEST INSIDER SUBSCRIBERS
Congratulations to Ellen LaFleche. She won first prize in the 2007 Lucidity Poetry Journal International Poetry Contest. Other Winning Writers subscribers honored in this year's contest were Ginna Wilkerson, who won third prize, and Dion Farquhar, who received one of the Honorable Mentions. This free contest offers prizes up to $100 for "poetry that deals with people, relationships, life issues and events, written in clear and concise English". The next deadline is October 31.

Congratulations to Phyllis Jean Green. Her poem "Jumping in Puddles" was a finalist in the Summer 2007 contest from New Millennium Writings. Another poem, "Curtained Off", recently won a Special Commendation in the Firstwriter.com International Poetry Competition, and her poems "Left Ellis Island Flowerless" and "Hope" were selected as Notable Entries in the Burning the Midnight Oil Poetry Contest from The Write Helper.

RECENT PUBLICATION CREDITS FOR OUR SUBSCRIBERS
Alvin Ethington's poems "Lavender and Lace", "Ignoble End", "Spiritual Physician", and "Tashlikh" were published in the Shadow Poetry Contest's Shadows Ink chapbook anthology, Series 2, Volume 5.

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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 $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.

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THE BEST FREE POETRY CONTESTS
Deadlines: February 16-March 31

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

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

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.

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).

2/28: Dylan Days Writing Contest +
Entries must be received by this date; formerly April 9
Neutral free contest sponsored by singer-songwriter Bob Dylan's hometown offers top prizes of $100 for poems and short stories in both open and student categories, plus a prize of $100 for one-act plays. Enter by email only. Send 1-2 poems, maximum 2 pages, or one story, 1,000-1,500 words. Student category is for current high school or undergraduate students with no literary publishing credits other than school publications. "Entries need not be about Bob Dylan or use his style of writing; but they should strive for creativity, originality and literary theme."

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: New Words Poetry Competition +
Formerly November 24
Neutral free contest for Ohio residents offers prizes of $125, $100 and $75 for 1-3 unpublished poems, maximum 5 pages total. Series judge is award-winning poet Elton Glaser.

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.

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

3/1: Brenda L. Smart Grand Prize for Poetry +
Neutral free contest offers $500 for poems by North Carolina residents with no published books. Send 2 copies of 1-3 poems. Previous winners and tenured UNC faculty may not enter.

3/1: Bright Lights Big Verse: Poems of Times Square +++
Entries must be received by this date
Highly recommended free contest offers five prizes of $1,000 for unpublished poems, any length. One entry per person. Award includes trip to NYC (airfare and 2 nights hotel stay) in May to read at an event in Times Square. Co-sponsored by the Poetry Society of America, one of the nation's leading arts organizations, and the Times Square Alliance, an association of local businesses. Open to legal residents of the US who are aged 18+. No simultaneous submissions.

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

3/1: Fresh Meadows Poets Teen Poetry Contest +
Formerly December 21
Neutral free contest for teen poets living in Queens, NY offers top prize of $100. Submit one poem, any length, that is suitable for a general audience.

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

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

3/1: Myong Cha Son Haiku Award +
Neutral free contest offers $300 for haiku by undergraduates enrolled in a college/university in the Delaware Valley of Pennsylvania (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, or Philadelphia counties). Send one unpublished poem.

3/5: Anthony Abbott Undergraduate Poetry Competition +
Free neutral contest offers top prize of $150, other prizes, for the best poem of 40 lines maximum by a part-time or full-time undergraduate at a North Carolina college. One poem per person. Winner and runners-up will be published in the CWC anthology and invited to a public reading in April. No haiku.

3/14: Collision Poetry & Creative Nonfiction Contest +
Entries must be received by this date; formerly March 1
Twice-yearly neutral free contest from Collision, the University of Pittsburgh's creative nonfiction magazine, offers prizes of $150, $100, $75, plus publication, for poetry and creative nonfiction by undergraduate students anywhere in the world. Entries should be 1-4 poems or 1-2 essays, maximum 10 pages total from any author. Prizes are across all genres, not per genre (personal essays and narratives, travel pieces, feature articles, and poems).

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

3/15: Lynn DeCaro Poetry Contest +
Neutral free contest offers prizes of $75, $50, $25 for unpublished poems by Connecticut high school students (public, private, home-schooled or alternative) in grades 9-12. Send 2 copies of 1-3 poems, maximum 40 lines each.

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

3/15: Ray Bradbury Creative Writing Contest +
Neutral free contest offers top prize of $100 in each age category, high school students and adults. Alternates annually between poetry (even-numbered years) and prose (odd-numbered years). For the 2008 contest, send 3 copies of 1-2 poems, maximum 2 single-spaced pages each.

3/20: Leonard Milberg '53 Secondary School Poetry Prize ++
Recommended free contest sponsored by the Princeton University creative writing program offers prizes up to $500 for unpublished poems by 11th-graders (high school juniors). Submit 1-3 poems, any length. Contest is judged by the Princeton University creative writing faculty, which includes such acclaimed authors as Jeffey Eugenides and Joyce Carol Oates.

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

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

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

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

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

3/31: Jerseyworks Poetry Contest +
Entries must be received by this date; formerly January 31
Neutral free contest offers prizes up to $200 for unpublished poems of any length. Jerseyworks is an online journal of literature, art and photography. Read past winners online before entering. Enter by email only.

3/31: Mildred Kanterman Memorial Merit Book Awards +
Entries must be received by this date
Neutral free contest from the Haiku Society of America offers $500 for the best book of haiku, or primarily haiku, published in the previous calendar year. Books should be at least 24 pages. Also see website for the Annual Merit Book Awards, open to poets of all experience levels. Both prize and fee for the latter contest were eliminated in 2005; winners now receive only publicity in Haiku Society materials. Early entries encouraged. Email Tom Painting for details.

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

3/31: Sarah Mook Memorial Poetry Prize for Students +
Neutral contest offers prizes up to $100 in four age categories for unpublished poems by students in grades K-12. Submit 1-3 poems, any length. Optional $5 entry fee will be donated to St. Joseph's Indian School in Chamberlain, SD, which serves the Lakota (Sioux) population. This contest is sponsored by David Mook in memory of his daughter, a young writer who died suddenly of an aortic aneurysm when she was in third grade.


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

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

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

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

4.

that you would audit beauty make of sums
the measure by which beauty's worth is gaug'd
were mere accountancy whose art becomes
the more contentious when hot war is wag'd
against what can't be number'd book'd nor us'd
thus increase here is more an act of will
your vest'd interest lest it be recus'd
now amortiz'd to yield more profit still

but how to audit that which self-consum'd
belies its manufacture takes that loan
& niggard in its bounty lives unwomb'd
its usury the use of self alone?

(regulatory couplet:)

to book your hoped-for profit on the sly
is but to sign off on a number'd lie



Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference
The Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference
Next conference: February 22-25, 2008
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 2008 include editors and publishers Martha Rhodes (Four Way Books), Jeffrey Levine (Tupelo Press), Jeffrey Shotts (Graywolf 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, and Director of the Smith Poetry Center, Ellen Dore Watson.

The cost of the February conference is $1,295 and includes tuition, pre-conference materials, lodging and meals. The February conference takes place in the Brandt House, a gorgeous, turn-of-the-century Colonial Revival manor nestled in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. Attendance is limited. For an application and complete guidelines, please visit www.colrainpoetry.com. You may also call 978-897-0054, email conferences@colrainpoetry.com 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


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 Closing Next Month
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.


Poetry Society of Georgia
The Cosmos Mariner Open Poetry Award
Postmark Deadline: April 1
$500 is offered annually for the best poem in this national contest. Sponsored by the Poetry Society of Georgia, this year's contest will be judged by Vivian Shipley. Submit up to 5 poems (10 pages maximum). Send all submissions to: The Poetry Society of Georgia, 4 Edgewood Road, Savannah, GA 31404-2417. Include a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) and a $10 entry fee made out to Poetry Society of Georgia.



Toward The Light 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 RealEnter the Spring Writing It Real Personal Essay Writing Contest
Postmark/Electronic Submission Deadline: April 1
We are seeking unpublished creative non-fiction essays based on personal experience.

All entrants receive a six-month subscription to Writing It Real for their $15 reading fee. The top prizes of $150, $75 and $50 also include a choice of LifeJournal for Writers software or a half-hour consultation with Sheila Bender. Ten honorable mentions will receive a detailed response from Sheila, writing teacher, poet, essayist, columnist, and book author. In weekly Writing It Real articles, she shares her know-how and ability to offer instruction that encourages and helps those who write from personal experience. Whether you want to break your writing out of its current form, revise effectively, generate more writing or facilitate the writing of others, you will benefit from Sheila's weekly articles. 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. Questions? Please email info@writingitreal.com.

Writing It Real in Port Townsend Summer Writers' ConferenceWriting It Real in Port Townsend Summer Writers' Conference
For in-person opportunities for instruction in writing and publishing memoir, non-fiction, fiction and poetry, come to the fourth annual Writing It Real in Port Townsend Summer Writers' Conference on June 26-30. It will be our best ever.

Whether you are experienced or new to writing, have a special project in mind, need a jumpstart or are switching genres, our conference provides the professional guidance you are looking for. Since 1999 our faculty's trademark has been enthusiasm, warmth and genuine down-to-earth instruction. Join instructors Sheila Bender, Meg Files, Jack Heffron and Susan Rich for encouraging, thorough, small group instruction. For fees, registration and schedule information see our conference page or email conference@writingitreal.com
What Attendees Say

"Thank you! I'm inspired and dedicated! Can't wait for next year!"

"I'm impressed with the spirit of the workshop participants."

“The conference exceeded my expectations in almost every way. I gained greater understanding of the craft, of various approaches to writing, of good workshop technique, and of the community of writers. I felt very much at home and nurtured as a professional by professionals.”


Alabama Writers ConclaveAlabama Writers Conclave Contest - www.alabamawritersconclave.com
Postmark Deadline: April 30
Alabama Writers Conclave (AWC) annual contest offers prizes (awarded at the AWC conference in July) of $100, $75, $50 and $25 plus publication (optional) of first through fourth place winners in Alalitcom (online at www.alalit.com).

Categories and maximum word limits: Fiction (2,500), Short Fiction (1,000), Juvenile Fiction (2,500), Nonfiction (2,500), Traditional Poem (any form – maximum 40 lines), Free Verse Poem (60 lines), Humor (fiction, nonfiction - 2,000 words, or poetry - 50 lines), First Chapter Novel (up to 10 double-spaced pages). Entry fees for each submission in all categories: $3.00 for AWC members, $5.00 for non-members, EXCEPT for First Chapter Novel contest ($8.00 for AWC members, $10.00 for non-members). Multiple entries accepted, but you may win only one prize per category. Entries must be original, unpublished, and may not have won a money prize in any other contest. Further information at www.alabamawritersconclave.com.



Creekwalker Poetry & Photography
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 "Choosing a Desert" by Diana Woodcock, from her 2007 winning entry:
Choosing a Desert
by Diana Woodcock

When you decide the time has come for a move
to the desert, consider this one: peninsula with Arabian
Gulf waters on three sides, an inland sea, flamingos in the
shallows, songs of that Persian nightingale—the white-
cheeked bulbul—pure magical

incantations, the sidra tree spreading its branches like
arms raised in praise. In the silence and solitude, you’ll
learn to love your neighbor for who he is—not
what he claims to be. In this harsh place, you’ll
find within yourself the grace of gentleness.

Sea lavender will draw you to saline flats you might
otherwise avoid, moorhen and crakes to sewage lagoons
hidden by tall green reeds. You’ll grow so accustomed
to arid flat tan terrain till you’ll feel like an alien
in lush mountains and rain. You’ll settle in,

but once in a while the cloud-moving wind will stir the
chords of vagabondage, and you’ll long for a mountain stream
and the woodsong. You’ll thirst for rain—day-long rain,
rain that drenches your dreams all night. You’ll miss birches
and mushrooms. But there’s a seamlessness in all this

barrenness—a sand-brown transience that shouldn’t be
missed: quiet inlets with gentle ripples, springtime with desert
hyacinths blossoming, the season of mists when desert scrub
drips with moisture. This is the place to enter the cloister of your
own design—take all the time you need to simply be.

Originally published in Quercus Review, April/May 2007


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 three $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



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.



Lost Horse PressThe Idaho Prize for Poetry 2008
Postmark Deadline: May 15
$1,000 cash prize, plus publication by Lost Horse Press. No restriction on content, style or subject. Entry fee: $25 check or money order only, please, payable to Lost Horse Press. Send manuscripts of 48 or more pages of poetry, no more than one poem per page, no smaller than 12-point type in an easily readable font. Poems may have appeared in journals and chapbooks, but not in full-length, single-author collections.

Name, address, phone number, email address, title of work, and title of poetry collection must appear on the cover letter only. Use white, lightweight paper. Print on one side only. Please type—no handwriting should appear anywhere on the manuscript. Include SASE (number #10 business envelope) with sufficient postage for notification of finalists and winner. If manuscripts arrive postage due, they will be returned. Send submissions to:
The Idaho Prize
Lost Horse Press
105 Lost Horse Lane
Sandpoint, ID 83864
Winners announced on August 15. See the complete guidelines and past winners at the Lost Horse Press website.



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 excerpt from the 2004 winning poem, "To do to Beans" by Megan Grumbling.
To do to Beans
by Megan Grumbling

These green beans are a palpable relief
to my fingers weary of tweezering
tiny leaden letters, molded smaller even
than bean seeds, between too-thick tips
of thumb and pointer. Such sweet
rough gifts, the pods’ forgiving girth
and bodacious imprecision, freeing me
to gratefully paw, crush and grasp
at the curved forms hanging vine-heavy,
velvet-fuzzed and swollen at seams with seed.

[poem continues]


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SELECTED FREE PROSE CONTESTS

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

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

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).

2/29: Judith Siegel Pearson Award +
Formerly March 1
Neutral free contest offers annual awards averaging $250 for the best creative or scholarly work on a subject concerning women. Award categories rotate each year. Drama will be the genre of choice in 2008, poetry in 2009, essays in 2010, and fiction in 2011. Prose and drama length limit is 20 double-spaced pages, poetry 4-10 poems (maximum 20 pages).

3/1: Harold U. Ribalow Prize ++
Entries must be received by this date
Recommended free contest offers $3,000 for a published book of fiction on Jewish themes. Publishers should submit 3 copies of an English-language book published in the previous calendar year. Two copies should be sent to Hadassah Magazine's NYC office, the other to their chief screener in Israel. Sponsored by Hadassah: The Women's Zionist Organization of America. Website may not be updated; see Winning Writers profile for complete rules, or email Angela Mayans.

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

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

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

3/14: Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize ++
Entries must be received by this date
Recommended free contest for short stories offers $1,000 and two tickets to the May 21 closing night of the Selected Shorts series at Symphony Space, when the prizewinning story will be read. Entries should be 1-4 double-spaced pages. For 2008, the required theme is "Are we there yet?" Enter by mail or email.

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

3/21: Glass Woman Prize +
Entries must be received by this date; late submissions held for the next contest
Neutral free contest offers $550 and online publication for the best short fiction or creative nonfiction by women. Both published and unpublished work welcome. Entries should be 50-5,000 words. Contest sponsor Beate Sigriddaughter says, "Subject is open, but must be of significance to women. My criterion is passion, excellence, and authenticity in the woman’s writing voice." Enter by mail or email (no attachments).

3/31: Charles Johnson Student Fiction Award +++
Formerly April 30; don't enter before March 1
Highly recommended free contest for US college and graduate students offers $1,000 and publication in Crab Orchard Review for a short story, maximum 20 double-spaced pages. The award competition is open to all undergraduate and graduate students who are US citizens or permanent residents currently enrolled full- or part-time in a US college or university.

3/31: L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future Contest +++
Highly recommended free contest for emerging writers of short science fiction, fantasy and horror offers quarterly prizes of $1,000 plus an annual $5,000 grand prize for one of the four winners. Send only one story per quarter, maximum 17,000 words. See website for eligibility rules. Entrants may not have professionally published a novel or short novel, or more than one novelette, or more than three short stories, in any medium.

3/31: Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz Award +++
Entries must be received by this date
Highly recommended free contest offers $10,000 for a novel first published in Spanish after 2006 by a female author. Winner also receives publication in English by Curbstone Press, and travel expenses to the award ceremony at the Guadalajara International Book Fair in Mexico. Send 6 copies of the published Spanish-language book, a curriculum vitae, and copies of any reviews that the book received. Contact David Unger for details.


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

Hiram Poetry Review
Rolling Deadline
Hiram Poetry Review, the literary journal of Hiram College in Ohio, reads submissions of original contemporary poetry throughout the year. "We like adventurous, humorous, idiosyncratic work that is not too self-involved" and uses the English language with "verve, aplomb, or gusto". Send 3-5 poems with cover letter and short bio. Read samples from the journal online before submitting.

University of Michigan Press "Sweetwater Fiction" Series
Rolling Deadline
The University of Michigan Press seeks unpublished novels and short story collections set in the Great Lakes region for their new Sweetwater Fiction series. Submit a cover letter explaining the status of the project and your timetable for completion (if it is not already finished), and a sample of 30 pages maximum, to Fiction Editor, University of Michigan Press, 839 Greene Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104-3209. The press is interested in literary fiction and is not likely to consider genres such as mystery, religious, science fiction, romance, or children's fiction.

Yemassee
Rolling Deadline
Twice-yearly literary journal of the University of South Carolina seeks poetry, fiction, drama, nonfiction, reviews and interviews. Maximum 7,500 words per submission. Read samples on their website before entering. Yemassee also offers annual poetry and fiction contests.

Kaleidoscope
Postmark Deadline: March 1
Kaleidoscope, a semiannual literary journal that explores various aspects of disability, seeks submissions of poetry, fiction, essays, book reviews and visual art for their upcoming issue on "The Effects of War: Body, Mind and Spirit". Submissions should explore what participating in war does to the mind and spirit of soldiers and civilians caught in the crossfire, not only physical injuries and the details of battle.

A Poets' Haggadah
Entries must be received by March 3
Rick Lupert, editor of Poetry Super Highway, seeks submissions of poems that reflect on the themes of the Jewish holiday of Passover, which commemorates the Exodus from Egypt. The Haggadah is the book read during the Jewish Passover Seder which tells the story of Passover as well as guides participants through the ritual components of the seder. Accepted poems will be published in A Poets' Haggadah, to be produced and released as part of the "Poets' Seder" event at Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center in Venice, California on April 26. Submit 1-3 poems, any length, which specifically relate to one of the themes of Passover, with one of the 15 components of the Passover Seder in mind. Some of the general themes of Passover and the seder are: Freedom, Slavery, We used to be slaves and now we're free, Bitterness, Memory, History as memory, Telling a story, Plagues, Giving Thanks, Drinking Wine, Celebration, Praise, Festive Meal. The 15 components of the Passover Seder and a brief explanation of each can be found here. Poems should be emailed to submit@poetseder.com as MS Word or PDF attachments or pasted into the message. Previously published work accepted.

Zoland Poetry
Postmark Deadline: March 15
Zoland Poetry, an annual journal of poetry, translations and interviews, seeks submissions for its 2009 issue. Zoland's mission is "to unite the world of literature by reconfiguring the border between domestic and international poetry, allowing these literatures to coexist within a single book." They have published such authors as Thomas Sayers Ellis, Fanny Howe, Ange Mlinko, Patricia Smith, and Dean Young. Send up to 10 single-spaced pages of poetry to Zoland Poetry, 384 Huron Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138, or as an MS Word attachment to submissions@zolandpoetry.com. Include cover letter with name, address, phone, email, and poem titles. Translations accepted if accompanied by a letter of permission from the original author, a copy of the original text and brief bio of author.

The Art of Resistance: Creative Writings on Prostitution
Postmark Deadline: September 15
Feminist scholars Annie Fukushima and Christine Stark seek poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction (essays, memoirs, journal entries) for The Art of Resistance: Creative Writings on Prostitution, an anthology that will address the harms resulting from prostitution, pornography and sex trafficking. The editors say: "Prostitution is an issue that impacts everyone in that its harm remains invisible due to systemic racism, classism, sexism, and histories of colonialism. As we make our way into the 21st century creative writing will be important for defining the movement against prostitution as well as functioning as a means for survivors to educate others about their experiences of violence.

"We are looking for creative writing (prose, prose poems, poetry, creative non-fiction, short stories, micro-fiction, memoir, diary, multi-genre) for a groundbreaking anthology that addresses the harm resulting from prostitution.

"We invite submissions from survivors, family and friends of survivors, advocates, and all others who have experienced or observed the impact of prostitution on individuals, communities, and societies. Works that discuss race, class, sexuality, disability, nationality, colonization, globalization, and ethnicity and their relationships to systems of prostitution are encouraged.

"Because this is a supportive place for people in prostitution, the requirement for submissions is that they engage with prostitution in critical ways that do not blame or reinforce stereotypes of prostituted people."

Send 1-5 poems or one prose piece up to 5,500 words, as an MS Word attachment, to editors.artofresistance@hotmail.com. Include your name, address, phone, email, and 5-sentence bio in the email message.


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NEW LITERARY RESOURCES

An Incomplete Guide to POD Publishers
Clea Saal at Books & Tales has compiled this easy-to-read comparison chart of the prices and terms of a variety of print-on-demand publishing companies.

On the Premises
Fiction e-zine holds quarterly contests with $140 top prize on selected themes. Genre work welcome (thriller, sci-fi, etc.) as well as mainstream literary fiction.

PODdy Mouth: Daily Dirt on POD and Self-Publishing
This blog compares the services offered by a variety of print-on-demand and self-publishing companies, and publicizes complaints against them. A must-read for authors wondering which self-publisher to choose.

Poetry Links by Drowning Man
Alphabetical listing of hundreds of literary journals with links to their websites. Site also features Amazon.com links to books by famous poets, and a page of other poetry sites.

Poetz.com
Online poetry calendar lists readings and literary events in the New York metro area, plus Connecticut, Vermont and New Mexico. The site also includes an editor's blog and links to other poetry websites.

Umbrella: A Journal of Poetry and Kindred Prose
Quarterly online journal seeks short poems "whose real subject is the human condition". See submission guidelines page for each issue's special themes. Read their mission statement for the editors' musings about the "umbrella" metaphor and how it conveys the type of work they like. "Umbrella wishes to publish news of the underworld, with its passions, confusions and frights; it also welcomes irony, humor, wryness, outrageousness, crookedness, and unalloyed joy. Its core equation: Idea + Imagination x Craft = Lasting Poetry."


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


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NEW RECOMMENDED BOOK

The Three Great Secret Things
By Anthony S. Abbott. Gentle, profound coming-of-age story about an orphan boy in postwar America and his introduction to the mysteries of sex, love, art and faith. The boarding-school setting allows insightful readings of literary classics and Christian beliefs to be skillfully woven into the narrative. Readers of all ages will feel for young David Lear as he matures from observer to author of his own life, with help from a strong-willed, unforgettable girl. This book is the sequel to Leaving Maggie Hope but can be enjoyed on its own.


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MORE SPONSORS' MESSAGES

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


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.
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FEATURED POEMS FROM OUR SUBSCRIBERS

We Sisters
by Ricky Rapoport Friesem

We speak in code
the two of us, our words
grown heavy with the gathered
moss of memories that
only we two share.

When days go by
and you don't call
I think of what will be
when only one of us
remains, left speaking
to the empty air in words
stripped weightless
with no one out there
who understands
what we two sisters share.


Copyright 2008 by Ricky Rapoport Friesem

This poem is reprinted from Ms. Friesem's collection (Parentheses): Poems for the 21st Century, which won first prize for poetry in the 2007 Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards.


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Catching Blue Frogs
by John B. Lee

The eight-year-old boy, Noah Jukes
who caught
a blue bullfrog
said of himself
"I've been doing this
for years"
as if in the backdrift
of time
in time before memory time
waiting in the ponds
of Somerset swamp
he'd been lingering unborn
in the pre-dawn mists
of antediluvian spring
also in the post-dusk haze
milk-brushed like a chalk-dusted black
where the singular song
of amphibious night
was writing
the fog of the soul
in the voice of the water
pollywog strong
with its spermy tadpole throb
where one axanthic
and therefore blue event
hopped to be caught
in the mind
like a living fragment
of heaven
a blinking singing four-toed wonderful
sky-tattered remnant
of morning—
science says—
"take away yellow
and frogs become blue"
a one in a million
lack-gene rarity

waiting for boys
with light in their hands


Copyright 2008 by John B. Lee

This poem, which first appeared in the Voices Israel anthology, is reprinted from Mr. Lee's new collection, The Place That We Keep After Leaving, forthcoming this spring from Black Moss Press.


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Ghostly Memories
by Sheila Gee

My dad gave me nightmares.
Huge blockbuster nightmares
in Technicolor
starring banshees, devil dogs
and stallions with manes afire.
Creatures with scales, cloven hooves
and green goat eyes.

Tumble drying me as I slept,
until, waking late for school,
heavy lidded, I vowed never again
to stay up late to listen to his stories.

But knowing by the weekend,
I'd sit by the fire, ears pinned back
as he retold the tale of the devil
summoning a ghostly carriage
by rapping on the tiled fire surround
with our grandad's poker.

Having to take my mother to the bathroom
to stand guard outside
and then to bed, crucifix around my neck
and rosary clutched tightly in my hand.


Copyright 2008 by Sheila Gee

This poem won a monthly competition with a prize of 50 pounds from Freelance Market News and was published in their December 2007 issue.


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PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

Tips and Techniques for Communicating with Elected Officials

ProLiteracy Worldwide has decades of experience working with elected officials. Here are practical suggestions for advancing your cause:

The process of cultivating relationships with your elected representatives is a lot like gardening: it requires time, effort, and a good deal of fertilizer! It is important that you establish and maintain regular communications with your elected officials and their legislative staff.

Put key staff on your newsletter mailing lists and invitation lists for all your program events. Take every opportunity to invite your representatives to visit your program and when they do attend, follow up with photographs of the event and thank you letters. Include adult students in your visits whenever possible.

Meeting in your representative's office
Expect to meet for about 15-20 minutes. Introduce yourself and briefly identify your organization and its mission. State the purpose of your meeting. If you are asking your elected official to take action on a specific piece of legislation, be sure to have the bill number, name, and topic with you. It is not necessary to make a specific ask every time you visit, but it is important that you provide some new information. Bring with you updated data about adult literacy in your community, but don't review it in detail unless asked. Have with you a small package of "leave-behind" materials—for example, a data sheet about your program, a recent newsletter, a student profile, and your contact information. Take photographs during the visit and provide a pre-written paragraph about the purpose of the meeting that your official can include in his/her constituent newsletter. Always send follow up thank you notes, especially when your representative takes an action that you have asked him/her to take.

When you communicate in writing
We recommended that you send written letters by mail, fax, or as an email attachment. If you chose to send email, be sure that you write it in your own words rather than forwarding pre-formatted text. Fax or email is the best way to communicate with members of Congress in their Washington, DC offices as inspection processes delay mail delivery considerably. Use the correct address and salutation and put your message into your own words:
The Honorable Governor/Senator/Representative/Mayor Jane Doe
Address

Dear Governor/Senator/Representative/Mayor Doe:

I am writing to express...
State the purpose of your communication clearly and concisely. Always send a copy of your letters to members of Congress to their staff in your regional or local office and to their Washington, DC staff.

Telephone communications
Occasionally you will make a phone call to your legislator's office. Ask for the specific staff person responsible for your issue by name whenever possible, or by area of responsibility (for example, appropriations, education, scheduling, etc.) If you are calling to invite your elected official to an event or to schedule a meeting, ask for the scheduler and be prepared to follow up your request in writing. If you want to express your point of view about a particular issue or piece of legislation, be clear and concise and include specific and relevant information about your program and your community in your message. An example of an effective phone message follows:
My name is Lynn Reed and I am the executive director of Literacy Volunteers of Maricopa County [in Arizona].
I am calling to express my support for House bill number 1234.
My program helps XX,XXX adults to acquire literacy skills each year.
When adults learn to read, they are able to be self-sufficient, take better care of their families, and become active citizens.
Bill 1234 will allow more adults to become productive members of society and will improve the economic and social life of our community. Thank you.
Additional Resources
The following links will help you find information about how to contact your elected officials.

http://www.congress.gov
- a database of federal, state, and local elected officials; search by zip code and send emails via direct links. (We recommend against sending pre-formatted issue emails.)

http://www.nationalatlas.gov/printable/congress.html
- view the geographic map of every US Congressional district.

http://www.melissadata.com/lookups/mapcd
- search for your Congressional District by zip code and view a map.

http://www.senate.gov
- useful contact information for US Senators, including regional and local offices and personnel. You also can search for information about the Senate calendar and Committee information.

http://www.house.gov
- useful contact information for US House of Representative members, including regional and local offices and personnel. You also can search for information about the House calendar and Committee information.


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 "The Fox Woman" by Liz Davies.

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


The Fox Woman
by Liz Davies

She lives in the urban park, the fox,
The little vixen, with no shelter for her head
Under the sooty trees, in the scraggy grass,
The daily roar of a great city in her ears,
And the shouting of boys flinging cans in the dark.
She feeds from the boxes discarded around, finds
Scraps of food, laps pink-tongued from puddles,
And sleeps curled up, thick tail over her nose,
Her coat ruffled by wind and wet in the dark,
At the side of a bench with her old name carved.
Think fox, and you think thick red fur, bright eyes,
But she is dull and matted, and somewhere she knows
That once she was loved, but it comes and goes.
At times she feels that her hair was long and groomed,
That her eyes, once blue, shone from out a smooth white face,
That her teeth, now stale-breathed fangs, were even,
And smiled at crowds as she swanned serene.
But her foxy brain blurs and the memories fade,
Glimmers come seldom as she sinks with age.
What was it that passed, in a cast-off life,
That caused her to sink and die, fighting for breath
In the bright waters of a far-off land?
She remembers being pushed and thrown through stars
From across the world on the racing jet stream,
Impelled tumbling and breathless, to find her home,
Falling into this forlorn beast with the russet fur,
Hair the same shade as hers. They set this bench
As memorial for a dead girl, her friends,
And here she will live until one morning,
One of too many mornings of winter chill
Will leave her stiff and gone, again.


Davies says of the origin of this poem: "I read a short article in The Sunday Times about a young woman, a minor celebrity, who died in a boating accident in South America on holiday. Her friends erected a bench in the park opposite her home as a memorial, and suddenly a little vixen has taken up residence next to the bench. Could it be?"


Copyright 2008 by Liz Davies


Critique by Jendi Reiter

The human being who is also an animal figures prominently in fairy tales and ghost stories worldwide. Male shape-shifters are often princes in disguise, needing a woman's civilizing love to scrub off their beast nature. Animal-women tend to appear more seductive or sinister, as in the legend of the Selkie, or Korean folktales of fox-demons disguised as beautiful girls. Mystery both allures and frightens us. One way to express our anxieties about the elusive, emotional feminine is to depict a woman who is literally a fox, a cat or a bird—a stealthy predator yet also a fragile, delicate creature compared to man.

Like a small animal, a woman is vulnerable to falling through the cracks of urban life, as Liz Davies' poem "The Fox Woman" illustrates. Whereas the image of a man going feral suggests aggression and inspires fear, a woman in the same plight can inspire the reader's sympathy, even admiration for her ruined beauty.

Davies' successful strategy in this poem is to first build our rapport with the main character as a fox, letting us feel what she feels, through direct sensory description without commentary. We barely register the shift from a naturalistic depiction to an anthropomorphized one ("somewhere she knows/That once she was loved, but it comes and goes") because we have already made the imaginative leap of seeing the world through a fox's eyes....

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_0802davies.php

See all of our poetry critiques.


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COMING MARCH 1: AWARD-WINNING POEMS
Our Spring 2008 selection of winning poems from contests we admire

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