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, June-July

Notable Free Prose Contests, June-July

Calls for Submissions

New Literary Resources

New Recommended Book

Featured Poem:
"Keeper of the Dream"


Featured Poem:
"Thy Keeper, Thy Shade"


Advertise in This Newsletter

Critique of Renee Palmer's "It's Not About Sharks"

Newsletter Archives


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WINNING WRITERS NEWSLETTER
June 2008


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Welcome to our June 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

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FEATURED SPONSOR'S MESSAGE

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. Please enjoy "Lesson" by Gardner McFall, a poem from the Frost Foundation's 2005 online anthology:
Lesson
by Gardner McFall

Everyone's enrolled in the school of loss,
the instruments of study, heart and mind,
applied to life experience. Me? I've been
a student a long time; I'm taking too long
to graduate. How crossed my accomplished principal
has grown, weary of making me write
"Nothing gold can stay" as many times as it takes.
Pages accrue on my desk in the waning sun.
When she dismisses me, my cramped hand aches.
I almost believe repetition has driven
the lesson home, till outside under the stars
and the moon's two profiled faces locked
in a white, new kiss, a reasonable mind is
helpless to tamp the heart's rich howl.


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Last Call!
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. 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 Sue Vincent. She won first prize in the 2008 David Burland Poetry Prize, a bilingual French-English competition sponsored by French philosopher Michel François, for her poem "Door of Dreams". The next deadline for this free contest, which offers a top prize of 150 pounds, will be March 31.

Congratulations to Janet M. Powers. Her poetry chapbook Difficult to Subdue as the Wind was a finalist in the 2008 New Women's Voices Chapbook Competition from Finishing Line Press and will be published later this year. Ms. Powers found this contest through our newsletter. The most recent deadline for this $1,000 prize, which is open to women with no published books, was February 15.

Congratulations to Marie Delgado Travis. Her chapbook Miracles: A Book of (Mostly) Humorous Poetry won an honorable mention in the 10th annual International Latino Book Awards in the category Best Poetry Book in English. Awards were presented at Book Expo America in Los Angeles. Miracles is now a chapter in her full-length collection Blossom: Collected Poems in English, available here.

RECENT HONORS FOR POETRY CONTEST INSIDER SUBSCRIBERS
Congratulations to Marcia Popp. She won the 2008 Robert Greer Cohn Prose Poetry Award from the California Institute of Arts and Letters for her prose-poem "comfort in small rooms", which will be published in the journal Black Zinnias. The most recent deadline for this $300 prize was February 15.

Congratulations to Shirley Barasch. She won two awards in the 2008 Taproot Literary Review contests: first prize in short fiction for "The Chocolate Bar" and second prize in poetry for "Keeper of the Dream". She kindly shares her poem with us below. In addition, her music drama "Mary Shelley and Her Frankenstein", for which she wrote the music, book and lyrics, will be produced by Tuesday Musical Club with a premiere on November 12.

Congratulations to John Alexanderson. His poem "Thy Keeper, Thy Shade" won second prize in the 2008 Chistell Writing Contest, and is reprinted below. The most recent deadline for this poetry and fiction contest for emerging writers was February 28. Read winners here.

RECENT PUBLICATION CREDITS FOR OUR SUBSCRIBERS
Winning Writers editor Jendi Reiter is the featured author for June at The Writing Site. Her story "Dinosaurs Divorce", an excerpt from her novel-in-progress, received an Honorable Mention in their Arthur Edelstein Prize for Short Fiction and is posted on the site.

Nicole Nicholson's poems "Katie, Bar The Kitchen Door", "The Edge", and "A Queen's Epistle" were published in the June edition of the Word Catalyst Magazine. Read more of her work at her website, Raven's Wing Poetry.


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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. Contest rules, addresses and deadlines change constantly. We update Poetry Contest Insider nearly every day to stay on top of them. 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: June 16-July 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.

6/20: Youth Speaks Global Warming Contest ++
Entries must be received by this date; formerly July 8
Recommended free contest seeks poems about global warming by authors aged 13-25. Twelve finalists will be selected from the written submissions. Those poets will be invited to compete at a special session during the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival on July 16, 2008, which will be filmed for the Sundance Channel. Three top winners receive honorarium and trip to Sundance Film Festival in January. Send 1-3 poems, each a maximum 3:30 minutes performance time, by mail or email.

6/25: Costa Book Awards +++
Entries must be received by this date; formerly June 29
Formerly known as the Whitbread Book Awards, this highly recommended free contest offers a top prize of 25,000 pounds, plus prizes of 5,000 pounds in each genre, for books first published in the UK or Ireland by authors who have lived in the UK or Ireland for at least six months of each of the preceding three years. Awards given in the genres of poetry, novel, first novel, biography, and children's literature. Books must have been published between November 1 of the previous year and October 31 of the current year. Must be submitted by publisher.

6/27: Utah Arts Council Original Writing Competition ++
Formerly June 30
Recommended free contest for Utah residents offers prizes up to $1,000 for unpublished full-length manuscripts of poetry, novels, general nonfiction and juvenile literature, plus smaller awards for individual poems, stories and essays. Manuscript prizes are for authors with no published books in the genre they are entering; other prizes are open to all.

6/30: Juan Rulfo Latin American and Caribbean Literary Award +++
Entries must be received by this date
$100,000 lifetime achievement award is given (by nomination only) to a native of Latin America or the Caribbean writing in Spanish, Portuguese or English or a native of Spain or Portugal writing in Spanish or Portuguese. This is one of several awards sponsored by the Guadalajara International Book Fair.

7/1: Frost Place Resident Poet Fellowship ++
Recommended free contest for poets with at least one published book offers $1,000 and two-month summer fellowship at Robert Frost's former farmhouse in Franconia, NH. The Resident Poet will have an opportunity to give a series of public readings across the region, including at Dartmouth College and the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, and will join a faculty of renowned guest poets in giving a craft talk, workshop, and reading as part of The Frost Place's annual Festival and Conference of Poetry. Submit application with references and selection from most recent book. Winners have been established poets such as Robert Hass and Mary Ruefle.

7/1: Glen Dimplex New Writers Awards +++
Entries must be received by this date
Highly recommended free contest for a first published book offers top prize of 20,000 pounds, plus 5,000 pounds in each of five categories: poetry, fiction, nonfiction/biography, children's book, and Irish-language book. Authors must have been born in the UK or Ireland, or lived there for at least 5 years. Books must have been published in the UK or Ireland between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2008. Publishers should send 5 copies of the book plus entry form.

7/4: Ishar Singh Poetry Contest +
Entries must be received by this date; formerly July 6
Neutral free contest for students in grades 1-12 offers top prize of C$100 in each of 5 age categories. Send 5 copies of a one-page poem, one copy with contact information and the others anonymous.

7/25: GLCA New Writers Awards ++
Formerly February 28
Recommended free contest offers a reading tour of 12 midwestern colleges, with a $500 honorarium per visit, for the author of a book of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction that is the author's first published book in that genre. One winner in each category. Publisher should submit 4 copies of book along with publicity material. Book must have been published in the USA or Canada between spring 2007 and spring 2008. Selection process favors recipients of major first-book awards.

7/31: Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award +++
Highly recommended free contest for unpublished poems by authors aged 11-17 offers free books, anthology publication, and tuition to a writing course (for UK entrants only). Online entries accepted.

7/31: Jerwood Aldeburgh First Collection Prize +++
Entries must be received by this date
Highly recommended free contest offers 3,000 pounds and a reading at the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival in Suffolk for the best first full-length collection of poetry published in Great Britain or Ireland since August 1 of the preceding year. Either publisher or author may submit 3 bound or proof copies of the book with a note indicating the date of publication. Include cover letter with contact information.

7/31: John Glassco Translation Prize +
Neutral free contest offers C$1,000 for an author's first book-length translation into French or English, published in Canada during the previous calendar year; work may be poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or children's book (all genres compete together). Contest is open to Canadian citizens or landed immigrants.

7/31: Linda Bruckheimer Series in Kentucky Literature ++
Don't enter before July 1
Recommended free contest offers publication by Sarabande Books, a high-quality literary press, for a manuscript of poetry, fiction or creative nonfiction (all genres compete together) about Kentucky or by Kentucky authors. Winner must agree to travel to readings within the state. You are eligible if you were born in Kentucky or have lived there for at least five years, or your book is set in or about Kentucky. Poetry manuscripts should be 48-100 single-spaced pages, prose manuscripts 150-250 double-spaced pages. No genre fiction.


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

WordHustlerWordHustler: Simplify, Streamline, and Organize Your Submissions
Writing for publication? Figuring out where to send your work, sending it, and keeping track of your submissions is hands down the least enjoyable part of the process. With WordHustler, you can spend more time writing because we organize the entire submission process for you. We'll help you win that contest, sell that novel, and succeed as a writer. Not only that, we print and ship each manuscript, saving you time, inconvenience, and money!

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Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference
The Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference
Next conferences: June 27-30; July 25-28; August 22-25
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), Peter Conners (BOA), Susan Kan (Perugia 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 June conference is $995 and includes tuition, pre-conference materials, lodging and meals. The June conference takes place in Colrain, a country town in Western Massachusetts, at the unique and magical Round House. 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



Thousands of writers use FanStory.com for:FanStory.com
  • Helpful Feedback. Get detailed feedback for every poem, short story and book chapter that you write.

  • Contests. Over 40 contests are always open and always free to site writers. Participate for cash prizes.

  • Rankings. See how you compare to other writers. Online statistics will show you how you are doing.

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OUR CONTESTS

The Words Are The Same
Write a poem that uses the words listed in the contest announcement.
Deadline: June 20th

This Sentence Starts The Story
Write a story that starts with this sentence: "I knew something was wrong."
Deadline: June 25th

Faith Poetry
The theme for this poetry contest is "faith". It doesn't matter if your submission is spiritual, political, intellectual or emotional as long as faith is represented.
Deadline: June 29th

Strong Character
A strong character can make a story. Write a story based on the character pictured in this announcement.
Deadline: June 30th

These are only a few of our contests. View our full listing here.

FanStory is one of the Writer's Digest "101 Best Websites for Writers" (2005-2008). Writer's Digest says, "Founded in 2000, this site presents free contests and peer-to-peer reviews. One fairly unique feature offered by the site is the ability to create your own contest and challenge other writers." Find out more.




Autumn HouseLast Call!
2008 Autumn House Poetry Prize and Autumn House Fiction Prize
Postmark Deadline: June 30
The winners will receive book publication, a $1,000 advance against royalties, and a $1,500 travel grant to participate in the 2009 Autumn House Master Authors Series in Pittsburgh. All finalists will be considered for publication. Final judge for the Poetry Prize is Naomi Shihab Nye. Final judge for the Fiction Prize is Sharon Dilworth (see interview).

All full-length collections of poetry 50-80 pages are eligible. Fiction submissions should be approximately 200-300 pages. All fiction sub-genres (short stories, short-shorts, novellas, or any combination of sub-genres) are eligible. Include a stamped, self-addressed envelope (SASE) for contest results. Autumn House Press assumes no responsibility for lost or damaged manuscripts. All entries must be clearly marked "Poetry Prize" or "Fiction Prize" on the outside envelope. $25 entry fee (check or money order) must be enclosed. Send manuscript and fee to:
Autumn House Press
P.O. Box 60100
Pittsburgh, PA 15211

Click for the complete guidelines. Please note: Manuscripts will not be returned.


Last Call!
Ellen LaForge Poetry PrizeEllen LaForge Poetry Prize
Postmark Deadline: June 30
Established in 1983 as the Grolier Prize, the Ellen LaForge Poetry Prize is open to all poets who have not yet published a book of poetry, including small press, chapbook or trade book. The winner receives $1,000 and two copies of the poetry prize Annual. Up to six poems by the winner and four by each of three runners-up are chosen for publication in the Annual.

Submit your manuscript, in duplicate, of up to six poems, no more than 12 double-spaced pages. Your name must not appear in this manuscript. On a separate cover sheet, provide your name and contact information, including email address and poem titles. Entry fee: $10, payable to The Ellen LaForge Memorial Poetry Foundation. Please mail your entry to:
The Ellen LaForge Memorial Poetry Foundation
1770 Massachusetts Avenue, PMB 345
Cambridge, MA 02140-2808
Submissions must be unpublished elsewhere. No simultaneous submissions. Winner and runners-up are notified by October 1. Copies of the Annual are available from the Foundation at the above address.



The Litchfield Review Last Call!
The Litchfield Review Writing Contest
Postmark Deadline: June 30
We seek poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction for our semi-annual magazine competition. Prose entries should be 3,000 words or less. Poetry entries may be of any length.

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

     The Litchfield Review
     7 Bonna Street
     Beacon Falls, CT 06403

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

The Litchfield Review proudly congratulates Amy Nawrocki as the First Prize winner of The Litchfield Review Spring 2008 Writing Contest. Her poem "Annotating the Text" appears in the latest issue.



Dream Quest OneClosing Next Month
Dream Quest One Writing Competition
Postmark Deadline: July 31
This writing contest is open to anyone who loves to express their innermost thoughts and feelings in poetry or to write a short story that's worth telling everyone! We're accepting poems, 30 lines or fewer on any subject, and short stories, 5 pages maximum on any theme (single- or double-line spacing). Multiple entries welcome.

Prizes
Short Story First Prize: $500, 2nd: $250, 3rd: $100
Poetry First Prize: $250, 2nd: $125, 3rd: $50

Entry fees
$10 per story
$5 per poem

How to Enter
Send your work with a cover page that lists the title(s) of your poem(s)/story(ies), name, address, phone number, and email address, along with a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) for entry confirmation. Make your entry fee payable to "DREAMQUESTONE.COM" and mail to Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest, P.O. Box 3141, Chicago, IL 60654. Visit www.dreamquestone.com for details and to enter.



Rome Art and Community Center Annual Milton Dorfman Poetry Prize
Postmark Deadline: August 1
The Milton Dorfman Poetry Prize is sponsored by Rome Art & Community Center of Rome, New York. FIRST PRIZE $300, SECOND $150, THIRD $100, plus honorable mentions. Entries accepted from all over the US and the world. Judge to be announced. Entries must be original poetry, unpublished at time of submission. Guidelines must be followed or entry will be void. Entries must be typed on 8.5" x 11" paper. Author's name, address, and telephone number must appear on the BACK of each entry. Entry fee of $10 per poem, US funds. Checks or money orders accepted. Entries may also be submitted via email with a credit card payment over the phone—call 315-336-1040 for more info.

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


Utmost Christian Writers
Novice Christian Poetry Contest
Postmark Deadline: August 31
Utmost Christian Writers seeks poems from unpublished Christian poets. US$2,000 in cash prizes will be awarded, including a top prize of $500. Special prizes for best rhyming poem and best traditional rhyming poem. Winning entries will be published at www.utmostchristianwriters.com. Entry fee is $15 per poem. Please see the complete rules and submit using our entry form.

Please enjoy last year's winning poem by Leah Stewart:
I have more of his paintings than Rockwell's
by Leah Stewart

My grandfather could stare for hours at every painting
by Rockwell. He wanted to be
the Great American Artist, but the
Great American Dust
                            bowled over his lessons,
                            made him cough

up—time instead of money for lessons.
He taught himself
to daub half-smiles across his face
weathered like canvas.

In turn, I painted my grandfather's house.
It needed to be sold; we knew
he wouldn't live there
                      always.

                                 Still,
we were a Rockwell scene once;
he (not Rockwell) and I read in the living room.
His words came from on high;
my pose at his feet
     bookended. He finished his chapter.

He taught me to scream and cry the Psalms
—a place for comfort just like the living room—
and he toned my faith, shaded
in all-block lettering. His note:
I prayed for you when awake, which was often.

But he never could draw people; the proportions
weren't quite right. He marked one sketch
with my name anyway and a tentative,
'at age 12, maybe'. I was seven, or maybe
I think every year of my childhood was seven
and I marveled at the great artist
as I wondered what he saw
that made me so much more than I was.


The Enigmatist The Enigmatist Poetry Contest
Postmark Deadline: September 1
Prizes of $200, $100 and $50 will be awarded. The top three winners will be published in the fall issue of The Enigmatist. The entry fee is $10 for 3 poems, plus $2 for each additional poem. All poems will be considered for publication. The final judge is Robin Cravey.

Poems should be less than one page each with no identifying information on the poem. All entries should include a cover letter with poem titles, poet's name, address, phone number and email address. Simultaneous entries are accepted, as are entries that have been published online, otherwise only unpublished poems are eligible.

Make your entry fee payable to Mike Gullickson and mail your entry to Mike Gullickson, P.O. Box 1455, Burnet, TX 78611. Our fall issue will have poems by Gary Snyder, Li-Young Lee, Jean Valentine...and you?

Any questions? Please email Mike at poetkind@yahoo.com or call 512-756-8303. I look forward to seeing your poems.

Mike Gullickson has published in Affirming Flame, X, Divercity, Kedemi, Barnwood Press and many other mags. He is a regular contributor to The MAP of Austin Poetry and has been poetry editor for The Enigmatist and Snap. He has a chapbook with his wife Joyce, called Bridges. He has also read on NPR.

Please enjoy last year's winning poem by Katie O'Dea:
After a Run
by Katie O'Dea

She felt every muscle
in her body
move
with confidence
From now on
walking became movements
became words became
machines pumping
Up
Down
Up
Her presence slapped
their faces with hints
of moist grass
on a fall evening
heavy with jasmine
sweet and suffocating the air
When she walked
into a room
that was exactly what
she would be thinking
This earth
was meant for her



Open City 2008 RRofihe Trophy
Postmark Deadline: September 15
For an unpublished short story (up to 5,000 words). Winner receives trophy, $500 cash and publication in Open City. Judged by Rick Rofihe, assisted by Carolyn Wilsey.

Guidelines:
  • Stories should be typed, double-spaced, on 8 1/2" x 11" paper with the author’s name and contact information on the first page and name and story title on the upper right corner of the remaining pages
  • Limit one submission per author
  • Author must not have been previously published in Open City
  • Mail submissions to RRofihe, 270 Lafayette Street, Suite 1412, New York, NY 10012
  • Enclose a self-addressed stamped business envelope (SASE) to receive names of winner and honorable mentions
  • All manuscripts are non-returnable and will be recycled
  • Reading fee is $10. Check or money order payable to RRofihe
  • See the complete guidelines at http://www.opencity.org/rrofihe.html
Rick Rofihe is the author of Father Must, a collection of short stories published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Grand Street, Open City, Swink, Unsaid, and on epiphanyzine.com. His nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, The Village Voice, Spy, and The East Hampton Star, and on mrbellersneighborhood.com. A recipient of the Whiting Writers' Award, he has taught writing at Columbia University and the Writer's Voice of the West Side Y. He currently teaches privately and at Gotham Writers' Workshop in New York. He is the editor of the new online literary journal, anderbo.com.



Anderbo 2008 Anderbo Poetry Prize
Postmark Deadline: November 1
For up to six unpublished poems. Winner receives $500 cash and publication on anderbo.com. Judged by Kim Waller.

Guidelines:
  • Poems should be typed on 8 1/2" x 11" paper with the poet's name and contact information on the upper right corner of each poem
  • Poet must not have been previously published on anderbo.com
  • Mail submissions to 270 Lafayette Street, Suite 1412, New York, NY 10012
  • Enclose a self-addressed stamped business envelope (SASE) to receive names of winner and honorable mentions
  • All entries are non-returnable and will be recycled
  • Reading fee is $10. Check or money order payable to RRofihe
  • See the complete guidelines at http://www.anderbo.com/anderbo1/anderprize2008.html
Kim Waller's first published poems appeared in anthologies edited by Chad Walsh and John Ciardi. Her poetry has subsequently appeared in The Hudson Review, The Minnesota Review, New World Writing #10, Best Poems of 1975, The Penny Paper, Visiting Frost, and the Cider Mill Press, among others. Her privately-printed collection of poems is titled Winter Parsley. She is now a freelance magazine writer specializing in architecture and interior design. Her articles have appeared in such magazines as Coastal Living, House Beautiful, Connecticut, Real Simple, Travel & Leisure, The New York Times, Decorating, and Home. She is the author of two books on tea and three decorating books, and her personal essays have been in magazines and two anthologies: Thoughts of Home and The Quiet Center. She and her husband, a documentary filmmaker, live in New York City and have two sons.


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SELECTED FREE PROSE CONTESTS

These free prose contests with deadlines between June 16 and July 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.

6/27: Nereus Writers' Trust Non-Fiction Prize ++
Entries must be received by this date
Recommended free contest offers C$15,000 for nonfiction books published in Canada during the calendar year by Canadian citizens or landed immigrants. Deadline varies depending on when your book was published: books published between January 1 and April 24 must be received by April 25; those published between April 25 and June 26 must be received by June 27; and those published between June 27 and September 30 must be received by August 8. Publishers should submit 5 copies of the book (or 3 bound galleys, to be followed by at least 2 copies of the book), press kit, entry form, and list of titles published by that publisher, to establish eligibility. See website for detailed requirements.

6/27: Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize ++
Entries must be received by this date
Recommended free contest offers C$15,000 for novels or short story collections published in Canada during the calendar year by Canadian citizens or landed immigrants. Deadline varies depending on when your book was published: books published between January 1 and April 24 must be received by April 25; those published between April 25 and June 26 must be received by June 27; and those published between June 27 and September 30 must be received by August 8. Publishers should submit 5 copies of the book (or 3 bound galleys, to be followed by at least 2 copies of the book), press kit, entry form, and list of titles published by that publisher, to establish eligibility. See website for detailed requirements.

6/30: Bank of New Zealand Katherine Mansfield Awards ++
Recommended free contest for short fiction offers top prize of NZ$10,000, plus prizes of NZ$1,500 each for writers aged 13-18 and entrants who have not previously had creative writing (including, but not limited to, a novel, short story, poetry or other work of fiction) published or broadcast for payment. Entrants must be New Zealanders by birth, naturalization or by residence in New Zealand for three years continuously immediately prior to the Closing Date. See website for rules and entry form. Enter by mail or online. No simultaneous submissions.

6/30: Bechtel Prize +++
Entries must be received by this date; formerly June 29
Highly recommended free contest from Teachers & Writers offers $2,500 for the best unpublished essay or article relating to creative writing education, literary studies, and/or the profession of writing. Maximum 5,000 words. Entries must be received by 5pm Eastern time on the deadline date.

6/30: Drue Heinz Literature Prize +++
Highly recommended free contest for an unpublished book-length collection of short fiction (150-300 pages) includes $15,000 and publication by the University of Pittsburgh Press. Open to writers who have published a book-length collection of fiction or a minimum of three short stories or novellas in commercial magazines or literary journals of national distribution.

6/30: Goi Peace Foundation International Essay Contest for Young People ++
Entries must be received by this date
Recommended free contest offers top prize of 100,000 yen (about $840) for short essays by children and youth on themes of cross-cultural reconciliation. Prizes awarded in age categories under-14 and 15-25. See website for details on the annual theme and formatting rules. Entries may be written in English, Spanish, German or French. Send by mail or email.

6/30: L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future Contest +++
Highly recommended free contest for emerging writers of short science fiction, fantasy and horror offers quarterly prizes of $1,000 plus an annual $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.

7/1: Hillerman Mystery Competition +++
Highly recommended free contest offers $10,000 and publication by St. Martin's Press for a mystery novel set in the Southwestern US, by an author with no published books in that genre. Entries should be a minimum of 220 pages (60,000 words). Early entries strongly encouraged. Contest is co-sponsored by St. Martin's Press and the Tony Hillerman Writers Conference. Hillerman is the author of the best-selling Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee mystery series set on a Navajo reservation.

7/1: Michigan Literary Fiction Awards ++
Recommended free contest offers $1,000 and publication by the University of Michigan Press for an unpublished novel by an author who has published at least one previous book of "literary fiction," either a novel or a short story collection. Simultaneous submissions are permitted. Include a copy of your previous published book with your entry.

7/1: Richard J. Margolis Award ++
Recommended free contest offers a $5,000 stipend and a month-long residency at the Blue Mountain Center, a writers' and artists' colony in the Adirondacks in Blue Mountain Lake, New York, to a promising new journalist or essayist whose work combines warmth, humor, wisdom and concern with social justice. Send at least two nonfiction pieces (published or unpublished), up to 30 pages total, with a short biographical note including a description of your current and anticipated work.

7/7: Samuel Goldberg & Sons Foundation Prize ++
Entries must be received by this date; formerly February 15
Recommended free contest offers $2,500 and a weeklong residency at Ledig House International Writers Colony in upstate New York for a published first or second novel or collection of short stories by a US author that explores the American-Jewish experience. Submit 6 copies of a book published in the previous calendar year, plus application materials from website. Must be received by 4 PM Eastern time on the deadline date.

7/10: Tell Tale Press Writing Contest +
Neutral free contest for short fiction offers 3 prizes of $200 savings bond, other gifts. Complete one of the 24 story openings on the website, or write a story involving any of the Tell Tale Press characters or places. Maximum 2,000 words, or 10,000 characters if submitted online.

7/15: Bard Fiction Prize +++
Entries must be received by this date
Highly recommended free contest offers $30,000 for US authors aged 39 and under who have published a book of fiction. Winner also receives one-semester appointment as writer-in-residence at Bard College. Send 3 copies of book, proposal for new project, and CV.

7/31: Chicago Tribune Young Adult Book Prize +++
Highly recommended free contest from a major newspaper offers $5,000 for the best published book of fiction for readers aged 12-18. For the 2008 award, publishers should submit books published between August 1, 2007, and July 31, 2008.

7/31: Chicago Tribune's Heartland Prizes +++
Highly recommended free contest from a major newspaper offers prizes of $7,500 apiece for the best published novel and nonfiction book "embodying the spirit of the nation's Heartland". Not limited to Midwestern writers or regional subjects. For the 2008 award, publishers should submit books published between August 1, 2007, and July 31, 2008.

7/31: IHS High School Essay Contest ++
Entries must be received by this date
Recommended contest offers prizes up to $1,500 for essays (500-1,000 words) by US high school seniors. Topics change annually. 2008 topic: "Write an essay on George Orwell's Animal Farm answering the question, 'Could the animals' revolution have succeeded? Why or why not?'" Sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies, a libertarian think tank affiliated with George Mason University in Arlington, VA. Enter online only.

7/31: Jelf Group First Novel Award ++
Entries must be received by this date
Recommended free contest offers 2,500 pounds for the best first novel by a UK resident, published between November 1 of last year and October 31 of this year. Galley proofs are acceptable. Entries must be submitted by publisher or agent. Send email to Pamela Thomas to receive the submission address where books should be sent. Books for children are not eligible. Formerly known as the Goss First Novel Award, changed in 2007.

7/31: Platt Family Scholarship Prize Essay Contest ++
Recommended free contest for full-time US college students offers prizes up to $1,000 for essays, 1,500-5,000 words, on an annual theme relating to Abraham Lincoln. Enter by mail or email. The Lincoln Forum's mission is "to enhance the understanding and preserve the memory of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War".


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

Oregon Humanities "Civility" Issue
Entries must be received by June 16
This journal published by the Oregon Council for the Humanities seeks essays and articles for an upcoming issue on the theme of "Civility", which will explore the role of civility, politeness, and propriety in American culture. "We are interested in submissions that consider this theme through both the traditional disciplines of the humanities (e.g., history, literature, jurisprudence) and in contemporary culture." This is a paying market; typical rates are $400-$800 for features, $100-$300 for personal essays. See guidelines on website for submitting your draft or proposal.

Poemeleon "Humor" Issue
Entries must be received by August 31
Poemeleon, an online journal of poetry and essays on poetics, seeks humorous poetry (but no light verse), as well as relevant essays and interviews related to the use of humor in poetry, for their next issue. Upload your submission of 1-5 poems or one essay, along with a cover letter, to the online form on their submission guidelines page. You may submit work that was previously published in print, but not online.

Passager
Postmark Deadline: September 15
Passager, the literary journal for writers over 50, seeks submissions of poetry and short fiction. Send 3-5 poems, maximum 50 lines each, or short stories up to 4,000 words. Also see website for their long-running annual poetry contest, which accepts entries September through February.


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NEW LITERARY RESOURCES

Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility
The "War Prevention" page of this activist group includes announcements of antiwar readings and lectures, plus remarks by Jane Collins, editor of For Love of a Soldier, and some of the military families who tell their stories in her book.

Hidden River Arts
This nonprofit literary arts organization, based in suburban Philadelphia, offers workshops, readings, an annual writers' conference, and fiction and drama contests.

Quotidiana
Online anthology of classic essays from antiquity to the early 20th century, by such authors as Francis Bacon, G.K. Chesterton, Jonathan Swift, and Mark Twain.

Sniplits
This site features audio files of original short stories that can be downloaded to any device that plays digital music. Search for stories by genre or playing time (the shortest are 1-5 minutes, the longest 30-40 minutes). Most stories cost under a dollar. Authors featured on the site include Sally Bellerose, Barbara Quinn, Bruce Boston, O'Neil De Noux, Laird Long, and many others.

Timothy Steele
Website of neo-formalist poet Timothy Steele, a professor of English at California State University, Los Angeles, includes selections from his poetry and critical essays as well as a useful introduction to traditional poetic forms and meters.


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

Orpheus in the Bronx: Essays on Identity, Politics, and the Freedom of Poetry
By Reginald Shepherd. This selection of autobiographical and critical essays by an award-winning poet eloquently explores how the poetic imagination fruitfully problematizes the self, potentially liberating us from fixed identities based on race, class, sexual orientation and personal history.


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MORE SPONSORS' MESSAGES

Last Call!
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. 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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FEATURED POEMS FROM OUR SUBSCRIBERS

Keeper of the Dream
by Shirley Barasch

If I am in a dream, then, how is it my tears still taste of salt and all the lines
        upon my face
Do not relent and cold brings to my bones, a chill and heat, a mist along my neck
        and if
I prick my finger, I still bleed...indeed, if this is dreaming why is it within the middle of
The night, I am a tongueless bell of loneliness, stiff, upright, embracing knees
        with white
Laced fingers trembling to the clangs of emptiness that hunger for a voice
        and not the
Moaning of the wind about the door and what is more, I must insist—if this
        is dreaming
What is waking for?

Is this bitter interlude of famine, feast and fire, of cold gray abstinence and
Hot white-black desire, the grueling test of some unknown immortal ecstasy?
Is the center of myself chained to another side by some unseen string that
Pulls upon my mind as if it were a thing?
Are the shadows ‘round this phantom flesh, reflections of a rotted crèche
Or just the jagged edges of my reality?
Am I beginning or finality?

When will I lay me down to sleep and from me all this dreaming keep?
When will this prisoner of my skin, this multitude of particles begin its flight
In search of fragments of my whole and like an eagle with its rippling wings
Find a place where it no longer clings to all the raucous noises of the night
But freely sings the early morning music of the soul and nests within
The willow tree among the starling, dove and owl?
Where is the end?

I peer out upon this dream with dread through the veil that shields myself and
Tightly guards the passions in my head and plumb the depths to find the source.
Who is the keeper of this dream—this tapestry, this half-way place—this convoluted
Space between the murky dusk and inner dawning of my destiny?
I listen closely as the prophets chant the droning mantra: love and peace
And peace and love instead of pain while in this twilight space
All my agony begins again.

I see within the rainbow, baptismal tears and shattered rosaries and lingering fears.
I hear the voices whining, "God is dead...God is dead!"
Yet water trembles where lilies make their bed and naked branches swell with green
And overhead the stir of wings must soon be seen and I—
I, too...without confessional
Shall be
Redeemed!


Copyright 2008 by Shirley Barasch

This poem won second prize in the 2008 Taproot Literary Review poetry contest.


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Thy Keeper, Thy Shade
by John Alexanderson

Grieve upon a plastic chair,
like nothing else is left,
head in hands,
a warning scolds in yellow stain:
PLEASE DON'T SMOKE...
OR THINK OR EVEN FEEL

Fake flowers stage a dream
before the rats of magazines
that seem to sneer when no one looks.
Smart Money. House Beautiful. Self.

Listen!
An elevator slams its door,
the corridor chants some steps.
A comrade comes and gapes about,
as would an old, lost dog,
meaning well,
but even more afraid.

Words become the final stop,
the best of mortal men and women,
who sit atop the hills
like gods,
yet brief
as vapors in July.

...God’s will...she's in a better place...we'll pray.

Even the smallest folds of skin cry out.


Copyright 2008 by John Alexanderson

This poem won second prize in the 2008 Chistell Writing Contest.


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Advertise to 20,000 Poets and Writers
Promote your contests, websites, events and publications in this newsletter. Reach over 20,000 poets and writers for $65. Ads may contain up to 250 words, a headline and a graphic image. Find out more and make your reservation here:
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"I'm very pleased with the variety of responses we've received, and I very much appreciate the care you took in adding links and generally improving the copy I sent you."
Mark Schorr, Executive Director, The Robert Frost Foundation

See more testimonials.

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PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

Literacy Opportunity for Safety Awareness Month

June is Safety Awareness Month

Imagine your child telling you about a safety lesson he had, urging you to buy a smoke alarm for the home. You get that alarm, but have no idea what to do with it because you can't read the instructions. Smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, warning labels on common household products, even medications come with instructions that 30 million adults in the US cannot read or comprehend.

ProLiteracy and the Home Safety Council partnered to provide fire safety and disaster preparedness materials that can be used by adults at all reading levels. "The schools and fire and life safety educators are doing a great job of reaching the children," says Linda Church, ProLiteracy special projects associate director. "Unfortunately, one in five parents won't be able to read the safety materials they bring home. The Home Safety Literacy Project makes it possible for family members to learn together."

Most fire safety materials used by fire departments throughout the country are written at a 6th grade level. Free materials designed for adults with low literacy skills or adults learning English as a second language are available and would be great starting tools for lessons with your students.

For more on National Safety Month:
National Safety Council
Home Safety Council

Click for more information on literacy and public safety.

ProLiteracy WorldwideProLiteracy supports adults and young people in the US and internationally who are learning to read, write, and do basic math by training instructors, publishing instructional materials, and advocating for resources and public policies that support them.

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 "It's Not About Sharks" by Renee Palmer.

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!


It's Not About Sharks
by Renee Palmer

"Let me tell you about heartache and the loss of God."
—Jim Morrison
It's about sharks and how there was no warning,
No lifeguard's whistle,
No dorsal fin sailing horizontal to the beach,
No time to decide between flight or fight,
Only sink or swim.
It's about trust and finally feeling safe enough
To lay back and float on the waves,
Eyes closed under the sun's watchful gaze,
Arms extended outward like an aquatic crucifixion.
It's about pain, fear and the heart-stopping shock
Of being dragged down, pulled under,
Where no one can see you struggle or hear your screams.
Your mouth fills with water with each "why?" and "what?"
To a force you cannot yet see.
It's about sharks and what they take from you,
The loss of faith as you remember
The moment before, how sure you were
That the warmth on your face was the smile of God
And the breeze his breath on your skin.
It's about isolation and struggling to survive.
It's the blank gray face, the cold dead eyes
That leave you, bleeding out,
To fight the pain, the undertow and the shock;
To live, if you dare.
It's about sharks and what they leave you with:
A fear of a place you once loved,
Phantom pains that haunt you years later,
An artificial limb that will never feel like your own,
Prosthetic toes that cannot wiggle in the sand.
It's about sadness, madness and the loss of God.
It's about things that can never be retrieved
Even if the fishy guts were split open.
It's about my life and all that was taken from me
On these shores.
And no, it's not really about sharks at all.


Copyright 2008 by Renee Palmer


Critique by Jendi Reiter

Renee Palmer's "It's Not About Sharks" uses her literal subject, a shark attack, as a metaphor for another trauma that is never defined. This indirection gives the poem its universal resonance.

Experiences too terrible to be spoken about find expression in dream symbolism, sensory memories stripped of context, or sublimation into a work of art. This last strategy contains the emotions within a less charged set of facts so they can be viewed apart from the wounded self. Trauma overwhelms our consciousness, cutting off awareness of past and future, and with them the hope of experiencing anything other than the painful feelings of the moment. The healing process can start with the mere act of expanding one's field of vision to include a storyline other than the autobiographical.

Because indirection and metaphor are well-known ways of talking about trauma, the tension between Palmer's title "It's Not About Sharks" and her refusal to talk about anything but sharks convinces the reader that the unnamed event was real and significant. It also leaves a space open for the reader to identify the "shark attack" with an experience in her own life...

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_0806palmer.php

See all of our poetry critiques.


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


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COMING IN OUR JULY 15 NEWSLETTER
The Best Free Poetry Contests for July 16-August 31