Winning Writers Newsletter

June 2005

Welcome to our June newsletter.

Last Call!
Margaret Reid Poetry Contest for Traditional Verse
Postmark Deadline: June 30
The Margaret Reid Poetry Contest seeks poems in traditional verse forms, such as sonnets and haiku. $2,000 in prizes will be awarded, including a top prize of $1,000. The winning entries will be published. The entry fee is $5 for every 25 lines. Submit online or by mail. You may submit poems that have been published or won prizes elsewhere, as long as you own the anthology and online publication rights. Unpublished work is also welcome. Winning Writers is assisting with entry handling for this contest. Guidelines:

Congratulations to Poetry Contest Insider subscriber Andrea Watson. She has recently won awards from Tiger's Eye, The Country Mouse and the Georgia Poetry Society. She writes, "I LOVE Winning Writers! I have enjoyed the newsletters and won prizes in three contests, more than paying for my yearly subscription. I also appreciate the personalized service. Bravo! I am recommending you to all my poet friends."

Ms. Watson has kindly allowed us to share this poem with you...

Mythology of Your Nights
by Andrea Watson
Winner of the Tiger's Eye Poetry Contest

You turn on the porch light
in that moment between twilight and dark:
little catch of breath, and your dead grandmother
kidnaps you, 40 freckles on her inner thigh
spilling out like stars snapping open.

Not what you asked for, this haze
of chimera, strange tock-tock of pinon
at her hearth. No, you want to see just-night,

want to hear Esquibel's junk-dog complain
about poor food, no food, his cursed
coyote life chained to a light pole.

But you taste your grandmother's coffee:
bitter grounds mixing with day-old cream,
3 sugar cubes she positions side by side

at the bottom of the cup with crack
of lizard's tail: When you roll one finger
around its rough rim, poco a poco sweetness

dissolves into heat, and 12 bizcochitos float
from that ancient oven, scent-of-anise falling
from dusky heavens of abuelita's dough.

Warning: Turn off the porch light or leave
it on. It makes no matter. You sit at the chartreuse
table, sampling constellations and crumbs, scatter
warm clouds onto her kitchen floor, momentito,
she says, then some moon remembers your ransom.

All best,

Adam Cohen & Jendi Reiter
One of the 101 Best Web Sites for Writers

(Writer's Digest, 2005)

The Best Free Poetry Contests

Deadlines: June 16 - July 31

6/24: Utah Arts Council Original Writing Competition ++
Honors individual poems by residents of Utah. Other competition categories this year include Novel, Biography/Autobiography, Collection of Stories, Young @dult Book, Short Story and Personal Essay.

6/30: John Glassco Translation Prize +
Award is for a translator's first book-length translation into French or English, published in Canada during the previous calendar year; work may be fiction, nonfiction, poetry or children's literature. The translator must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident.

6/30: Ken Saro-Wiwa Anthology +
Flipped Eye Publishing is compiling an anthology of poems to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Ken Saro-Wiwa's execution. From 1990, Saro-Wiwa led a movement in Ogoni for social and ecological justice. He used his writing and his boundless energy to unite the Ogoni behind a call for greater autonomy within the Nigerian Federation, access to oil revenues for the development of Ogoni, the right to protect Ogoni from ecological devastation and the right to preserve the Ogoni language.

Themes of poems for the anthology are:

Ken Saro-Wiwa: The Legacy
Freedom of expression; resistance (literary and otherwise); imprisonment; non-violence; political oppression; leadership.

Social and Ecological Justice
Minority rights; exile/displacement/refugees; war, peace, poverty, justice; equity; the death penalty; pollution; climate change; the right to appropriate/sustainable development; power (and the abuse thereof); capitalism and corporations.

Previously published poems must be accompanied by permission to reprint. Poems should not exceed 80 lines (two pages) including stanza breaks. Submit 1-3 poems in the body of an email (no attachments) to Submissions should include your name, address, email and phone number and a maximum 25-word bio. 100 poems will be published in the anthology. There is no payment for submissions. Royalties to go to The Ken Saro-Wiwa Foundation.

7/1: Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Awards +
Individual poems: "An annual series of awards to encourage poets to explore and illuminate positive visions of peace and the human spirit." Categories for children, teens and @dults. Only the @dult category has an entry fee.

7/15: Ishar Singh Poetry Contest +
Entries must be received by this date
Individual poems: For students in grades 1-12. Prizes of $100 and $50 (Canadian) will be awarded in each of five age categories.

7/31: Foyle Young Poets Award +++
Individual poems: For poets aged 11-17. Submit by mail or email. This highly competitive international contest, organized by The Poetry Society (UK), confers considerable prestige and attention on the winners.

See our complete list of free poetry contests by deadline date

Key to Ratings
Highly Recommended: +++
Recommended: ++
Neutral: +

All deadlines are postmark deadlines unless otherwise specified.

There are seven active free contests with rolling deadlines. These typically accept entries at any time of year. See them now at:

Sponsors' Messages

Perigee Now Accepting Submissions for its Autumn Issue
Want your work placed at the top of the pile? As the editors make final decisions on submissions to appear in July's issue, now's the time to submit your best poetry and fiction for the October issue. Get your work presented alongside Pushcart nominees in our award-winning format. Perigee seeks new and established voices in verse and prose and presents them to the online world in a truly innovative way. Submit your writing, read the spring issue, view the results of the 2005 Fiction Contest, and apply for your very own free Perigee email address! Hurry over to

We Pay for Poems Used
The Lucidity Journal of Verse celebrates its 20th year of publication. We give modest pay (from $1 to $15) for poetry published plus a free bonus copy. We seek clear and lucid poetry dealing with people, relationships and life encounters. For submission guidelines, contact Editor Ted O. Badger, 14781 Memorial Drive, No. 10, Houston TX 77079-5210,, or call 281-920-1795.

The Litchfield Review Summer Contest
Postmark Deadline: July 31
The Litchfield Review ( ) seeks original, unpublished poems, essays and short stories for its Summer Contest. The overall winner will receive $250. Other prizes of $100 may also be awarded. The reading fee is $10 per essay, short story, or set of 1-3 poems. All prizewinners will be published in The Litchfield Review. Runners-up may also be published. All writers we publish will receive a free copy of the issue in which they appear. We are a new journal offering a forum to emerging and established writers; our only criterion for acceptance is excellence. We look for good stories beautifully told, quality poetry of substance, and creative nonfiction that lingers long in the minds of readers. See the complete contest guidelines:

Historical Short Fiction Prize
Entries must be received by August 30
The prize is designed to publish and encourage writers of Short Historical Fiction. First Prize 2,000, nine runners-up prizes of 250, with the best ten stories published in a Short Histories Anthology in 2006. Judging are Barbara Erskine, Michel Faber and Rose Doyle. Entry fee is 20 per story. Writers may enter and pay online at or mail to Short Histories, P.O. Box 63, Exeter EX6 8WX, England. There is a critique service available for 37 per story. Full details on the website or phone 00 353 27 55645. Administered by Fish Publishing for the Historical Novel Society.

Robert Frost Foundation: Ninth Annual Award
Postmark Deadline: September 1
The Robert Frost Foundation welcomes poems in the spirit of Robert Frost for its Ninth Annual Award. The winning poem will receive $1,000 and an invitation to be presented at the Frost Festival in Lawrence, Mass. on October 22, 2005. This year's judges are Ted Deppe and Annie Deppe. Email submissions are also accepted at Reading fees are $10 per poem (via regular mail, please). Please submit two copies of each poem, one copy with contact information and one copy without any identifying information. All entries must be postmarked or emailed by September 1, 2005. Robert Frost Foundation, 439 South Union, Suite 205a, Lawrence, MA 01843.

Free Poetry Contest
Email Submission Deadline: November 15
Write On Poetry Place will host its second semiannual poetry contest. To enter, email your poem to Limit one poem per person, up to 55 lines. Winner to be announced and published on Write On's Poetry Place web page by December 1, 2005. Good luck! See the complete contest details:

Poetry Contest Insider
Make the Most of Your Contest Efforts
  • Expert online guide
  • Profiles over 650 poetry contests
  • Helps you decide which contests to enter
  • Updated nearly every day
  • $5.95 with 10-day free trial
Our customers say,

"I have often used Winning Writers as a source of information on writing competitions and publication possibilities. This is far and away the best site of its kind, anywhere on the Internet. As a result of submitting to some of the contests they have recommended, I've won various awards for my poetry and these, in turn, have led to other types of recognition. As well, the competitions directly associated with Winning Writers are of very high quality. The site administrator is always readily accessible by email and responds in a friendly and helpful manner. The newsletter is also very informative. I have recommended this site to many of my peers and as a senior high school teacher, have included it for reference in a list of writing resources for students. It is WELL worth numerous visits!"
Brenda Tate, Nova Scotia, Canada

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Free trial. Try Poetry Contest Insider free for 10 days. Access all our 650+ contest profiles. If you like it, you'll pay just $5.95 for three months of access. If not, cancel and owe nothing.

New Resources

Academic Support Network
Thesis, dissertation, essay and term paper specialists. APA, Turabian, Chicago and MLA formatting. Social science scholars will also want to check out the affiliated site APA Network. Network coordinator Lynda Lotman takes extra care to screen her staff ( read how).

Book Editing Associates
Serving writers, literary agents and publishers. Mainstream, genre, trade and academic publishing specialists. Copyediting, developmental editing, proofreading, critiques, book proposals, query letters, book promotions and creative writing instruction. A Lynda Lotman site.

A+ English Writing and Editing Network
Expert copyeditors and freelance writers specializing in business, technical, scientific, medical, legal and academic subjects. A Lynda Lotman site.

Clayton Eshleman
Poet and scholar Clayton Eshleman's areas of expertise range from prehistoric cave paintings to translations of experimental poetry. We especially liked the poem on his website titled 'Deeds Done and Suffered by Light,' which blends humor, philosophy and the macabre in a manner like that of Ginsberg's Howl. His book Conductors of the Pit, an anthology of surrealist and experimental verse, has just been reissued.

The Fortunes of Formalism
Poet and critic David Yezzi makes the case for mastery of verse forms and prosody as essential to the education of a poet, and gives a historical perspective on formalism's loss of status.

Short Fiction by Nick Antosca
'Movies and Kids', winner of the 2004 fiction contest from Painted Bride Quarterly, is a brilliant, disturbing story that could have been written by Shirley Jackson or Patricia Highsmith.

Selected Prose Contests and Calls for Submissions

CWA Communications Contest +
Postmark Deadline: July 1
Sponsored by the Cat Writers' Association, this contest offers several $500 prizes for previously published or broadcast works on cat-related topics in a wide range of media. Consumer-oriented nonfiction predominates, but there is also a literary category. Read detailed rules on website carefully.

Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers Contest +++
Entries must be received by November 24
$20,000 for best essay by a US author age 20-29. The winner and up to 28 runners-up will also be published in an anthology. We highly recommend this free contest from leading publisher Random House. See website for detailed rules and eligibility restrictions.

More Sponsors' Messages

Tom Howard/John H. Reid Poetry Contest
Postmark Deadline: September 30
Open to poems in any style, theme or genre. $2,000 in prizes will be awarded, including a top prize of $1,000. The winning entries will be published. Early submission is encouraged. The entry fee is $5 for every 25 lines. Submit online or by mail. You may submit poems that have been published or won prizes elsewhere, as long as you own the anthology and online publication rights. Unpublished work is also welcome. Winning Writers is assisting with entry handling for this contest. Guidelines:

Publish Your Book From Your Computer for as Little as $1.00 Each will take your manuscript over the Internet from any Microsoft Windows-based program. Publish a book in trade quality from 25 to 5,000 copies in about 7-10 working days. Ideal when you want to publish books to give as gifts, sell at events and readings, or sell from your website. Specify the kind of book you want to print and get an instant price quote. Customers say, "the published book is exactly what I had envisioned. And the cost was so reasonable, I'd recommend to anyone." "I experimented with several different short-run and POD printers during my 90-day adventure from self-published to major book deal, and I have to say that the quality of your books was BY FAR the best. When sending press kits to the media, and anyone we wanted to impress, we'd always send your books, which we affectionately referred to as 'The GOOD books.' "

Do you have a personal story that belongs in today's bestselling anthologies, like Chicken Soup for the Soul, A Cup of Comfort, and Chocolate for Women? You could get published and receive money for your work! Julia Rosien, a publishing veteran and editor at ePregnancy Magazine, will mentor you and show you how to turn your memories into essays that warm the heart...and sell.

WriteSuccess Newsletter
Sign up now for WriteSuccess's free biweekly newsletter for freelance writers. Editor Mary Anne Hahn has a knack for finding the most interesting literary sites and markets. It's easy to feel lonely as a freelancer. Mary Anne's inspiring attitude and success notes from readers create a sense of community.

Put Your Poems and Pictures on Apparel, Cards, Gifts and More makes it easy to put your words and images on shirts, greeting cards, postcards, mugs, magnets and posters. Order them for yourself or for gifts, or sell them online at a profit. CafePress makes each item to order, so you don't have to commit to a large batch all at once. It's quick and easy to set up your store, and there's no set-up charge. We've been getting a kick out of our Judge Jendi mugs. Now through June 28, save $3 off all apparel. Use the coupon code LOLSAV. Get started here:

Office Depot - June Coupon
Save on all your writing supplies at Office Depot. Free delivery in select areas when you order $50 or more. This coupon expires on July 1.
Save $30 off Purchases of $150 or More!

Public Service Announcement

ProLiteracy October Conference to Offer 100+ Workshops
Register by June 30 for a special discount

ProLiteracy Worldwide's annual professional development conference at the Tucson, AZ Starr Pass Marriott Resort and Spa, October 2629, will offer more than 100 workshops. Subjects include financial, health and workplace literacy skills, life skills training for prison inmates, tips for how learners can uncover and nurture their personal dreams, and instructional strategies for overcoming vision problems and learning disabilities.

There are a dozen workshops targeted to teachers of English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) and 14 developed specifically for students. Along with the Student and ESL tracks, workshops fall into the areas of Innovative Practices, Program Improvement and Accountability, Literacy Awareness and Advocacy, and Linking Research to Practice.

Literacy professionals will also have the opportunity for more in-depth development offered by 14 daylong "pre-conference" sessions to be held Wednesday, October 26.

Register by June 30 to enjoy a special discount off the regular registration fee. ProLiteracy affiliates may attend for just $260, non-affiliates may attend for $325. See the complete conference details at:

Advertise to 15,000 Poets and Writers
Promote your contests, websites, events and publications in this newsletter. Reach over 15,000 poets and writers for $35. Ads may contain up to 100 words and a headline. Place your reservation at:

"I want to thank all of you at Winning Writers again for providing such a wonderfully beneficial service for poets and writers.... The staff at Perigee is impressed with how many of our readers and contributors learned about our online publication through Winning Writers."
Ben Arnold, Co-Editor, Perigee

Jendi's Critique Corner

This month, Critique Corner is pleased to present 'Trapped in New Mexico' by Lana Loga.

If you would like a chance to be critiqued, please email your poem to me at 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!

Trapped in New Mexico
by Lana Loga

So...the men want to hear about meat.
About how the carcasses would bleed
when we'd strip away the hides after
slicing a bit at the stomach and feet.

Do they want to hear about hunger,
do you think? The emptiness that
drives an animal to take the bait
moments before cold steel jaws spring





everything they catch in their grip?
Should I tell about the owl I saw
upon a riverbank? One crisp morn,
early spring, as I ran the traps?

Ran steel traps on the riverbank.

The broken thing sat with one leg snared
and the other leg free, bobbing,
bobbing, I tried to drive
a .22 into its wise old brain.

Turns out I drowned it with a heel
there in the icy water passing.
Yes, I drowned it with a heavy heel
to bring to an end our suffering

early in the New Mexico spring.

Copyright 2005 by Lana Loga

Critique by Jendi Reiter

This month's critique poem, 'Trapped in New Mexico' by Lana Loga, assaults the reader from the outset with the brutal facts of survival in a predatory world. The plain-spoken, repetitive lines summon echoes of old folk songs where nature's laws harshly repay human violence. Here, the trappers themselves are trapped, victims of a fate that their own actions brought down on them. Even the noble owl, an unintended casualty, is implicated in the cycle of predation. His hunger and our own may be equally irresistible, culpable and deadly.

The first line effectively sets the tone of the poem. "So...the men want to hear about meat." The female narrator throws down a challenge to those who prefer not to face the bloody realities undergirding their existence. She is determined to make them see the cost of the life she leads. Setting herself up in opposition to "the men" establishes her basic stance of alienation and aggression. In her world, men and women, human and animal, are at war. The only gesture of sympathy in the poem is an act of violence; she reaches across the divide to kill the owl even as she becomes one with it. "I drowned it with a heavy heel/to bring to an end our suffering"...

critique continues

This poem, our critique and contest suggestions for poems in this style appear in full at:

Coming in the July 15 Winning Writers Newsletter
Best Free Poetry Contests for July 16-August 31

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