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July 2007

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Welcome to our July 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


Tom Howard/John H. Reid Poetry Contest
Postmark Deadline: September 30
Now in its fifth year, this contest seeks poems in any style, theme or genre. Both published and unpublished poems are welcome. 30 cash prizes totaling $3,500 will be awarded, including a top prize of $1,000. The entry fee is $6 for every 25 lines you submit. Submit online or by mail. Early submission encouraged. This contest is sponsored by Tom Howard Books and assisted by Winning Writers. Judges: John H. Reid and Dee C. Konrad. See the complete guidelines and past winners.


Bonnie Lurie

Tom Howard Books is pleased to announce the results from its 15th annual Tom Howard/John H. Reid Short Story Contest. Bonnie Lurie of New York City won first prize and $1,200 for her story "Primary Day". Over 1,200 entries were received from around the world. Read the press release announcing the winners.

In Lurie's riveting personal account of the September 11 World Trade Center attacks, the tension is heightened by her memories of narrowly escaping the 1993 bombing as an employee on the 61st floor of Tower One. On her way to meet her former co-workers for breakfast on that fateful morning in 2001, she emerges from the subway to watch in horror as history repeats itself before her eyes. Her agonizing slow-motion escape is aided by a kind stranger, epitomizing the solidarity in the face of disaster that New Yorkers remember from that day.

Second prize of $800 went to Susan Keith of Eugene, Oregon for her memoir "Visiting My Father's Office", a tribute to a father whose modest exterior masked a remarkable life of service to his community. Ms. Keith also picked up two Most Highly Commended awards of $100 for the political satire "Labor of Love Day, 2005" and the story "Magnolia", about a child's first encounter with racism and betrayal. Elana Bregin of Durban, South Africa won third prize and $400 for "They", a science-fiction tale combining lyrical imagery with a searing indictment of our cruelty to animals in the name of scientific research.

High Distinction awards of $200 each were given to Jan Breen, Abby Ingraham, Marianne Sciucco and Laura Shumaker. Most Highly Commended awards of $100 also went to Ms. Ingraham, Jessica Greene, Geoff Griffin, Linda Oatman High, Nicholas Kennedy and Juhi Sinha.

The judges wish to congratulate not only the above winners on their achievements, but all who entered this year's contest. Entries were of such an extremely high standard, the judges awarded an additional eight cash prizes of $100 each. This brings the total prizes awarded to $4,000 (instead of the advertised $3,200).

Read the top winning stories on our website, plus the judges' comments and the complete list of winners and commended entries. The honorees come from such diverse countries as the USA, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, India, Switzerland and South Africa. Thanks to all of you who participated. The next Tom Howard/John H. Reid Short Story Contest will open here on August 15.


Congratulations to Meredith Karen Laskow. Her essay "The Book That Cradles Hearts" won first prize in the February-March 2007 "What Is Your Dream?" contest on Read it here. Visit Ms. Laskow's website for more information on her writing and original jewelry designs.

Congratulations to Cynthia von Hendricks. Her poem "For Asoka" was the honorable mention winner of the 2007 S. Portia Steele Award for Excellence in Poetry. She has kindly permitted us to reprint this poem below. This free contest offers prizes of $100 each for unpublished poems and short prose pieces by women writers aged 50+. The most recent deadline was April 15.

Congratulations to Phyllis Jean Green. Her poem "Dancing Still" won first prize in the 2007 Dan Sullivan Memorial Poetry Contest. This C$300 prize is sponsored by the Writers' Circle of Durham Region. The most recent deadline was February 15. Ms. Green's poem "Dust in the Bed" appears in the anthology In the Eye, edited by Katherine Tracy (Thunder Rain Publishing). All profits from the sale of this book go to Habitat for Humanity to support their relief efforts in areas affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Four other poems by Ms. Green will appear in the summer issue of the webzine L'Intrigue.

Evelyn Lewis-Chase's poem "Roses for My Mother" was selected by TallGrass Writers Guild for publication in A Walk Through My Garden, the 2007 contest anthology from Outrider Press, Inc.

Nicole Nicholson's poems "The Dancer Speaks", "Every Streetlight a Reminder" and "My Song" have been published at Her work can be found under the "Poetry 5" link as poem numbers 701, 702 and 703 (scroll to bottom of page).


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

Most contests charge entry fees. You can easily spend hundreds of dollars and many hours entering these contests each year. Don't waste your time or money. Out of hundreds of contests, there might only be two or three dozen that are especially appropriate for your work. We help you find them fast. Interviews and links to award-winning work help you refine your craft. Learn more about Poetry Contest Insider.
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"I love using 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."
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"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."
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"As a beginning writer, I had no idea where to send my work for submission or for contest entries... With guidance from your website, I was able to figure out which contests my poetry, short stories and essays might do well in. I've also used it to sign up to receive wonderful magazine and journal publications of contemporary poetry, short stories and nonfiction that I would never have found without your website.

"Since using your website in the summer this past year (just six short months ago), I won First Prize in the Margaret Reid Traditional Verse Contest, a short story of mine, "Magnolia", was a finalist for the 2006 New Letters Alexander Cappon Award for Fiction, my poem "The Blue Laptop" was long listed for the 2006 Bridport Prize, and now, I'm waiting to hear if my poem, "Tombstones", moves up from the short list of the Poetry at Work Challenge. That almost averages out to one placement or prize a month due to your website!

"...I've got a bunch of other pieces out for consideration. I'll keep you posted if anything else wonderful happens. This really has been a tremendous year for me and I truly couldn't have done it without your website."
Susan Keith, California

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


Deadlines: July 16-August 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.

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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.

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. Fiction predominates among winners, although 2006 winner was a poetry book; before that, the most recent poetry winner was in 1998.

7/31: Sarabande Series in Kentucky Literature ++
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.

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

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

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

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.



Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference
The Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference
Next conference: August 24-27
The Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference provides the faculty, connections, and method necessary to set poets with a completed manuscript or manuscript-in-process on a path towards publication. Includes workshops, consultations with press editors, evening poetry readings, editorial panel Q&A, group critique of selected poems, and an after-conference strategy session.

Faculty for 2007 include editors and publishers Martha Rhodes (Four Way Books), Jeffrey Levine (Tupelo Press), Jeffrey Shotts (Graywolf Press), Michael Simms (Autumn House Press), Chase Twichell (Ausable Press) and others; workshop leaders include Director of the Concord Poetry Center, Joan Houlihan, Suffolk University Creative Writing Program Director Frederick Marchant, Director of the Smith Poetry Center, Ellen Dore Watson, and Chair of the Writing and Publishing Department at Emerson College in Boston, Daniel Tobin.

The cost of the August conference is $895, and includes tuition, pre-conference materials, lodging and meals. The August conference takes place in Colrain, a country town in Western Massachusetts, at the unique and magical Round House. For an application and complete guidelines, please visit You may also call 978-897-0054, email or write to Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference, Concord Poetry Center, 40 Stow Street, Concord, MA 01742-2418.

Nick of Time
On Sale Now: NICK OF TIME—What does not pursuing a dream cost?
Melanie, a middle-aged waitress, lives in a trailer, has raised a son alone, and lives with an abusive husband. Her unlikely passion is to be a skilled ballroom dancer, but even as a woman, she demands to lead. At the peril of losing everything she holds dear, Melanie covertly scrapes together the money for lessons, for costumes, and the trip to her first national competition, which changes her life.

Readers will cheer for Melanie as she pursues moments of unadulterated ecstasy on the dance floor amid the otherwise mundane struggles with her husband, her listless and thankless son, the loss of her job, and the resistance to her desire to lead. At moments, readers may question the value of Melanie’s dream in the face of other aspects of her life, causing them to examine the challenges confronting the pursuit of their own dreams.
"Bingham's fiction just gets better and better. The forceful energy of her female protagonists gives readers of either gender a fresh sense of possibilities, of new directions—impetus to change the rhythms of their own lives."
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Read a sample chapter.

Sunstone Press, Hardcover: $28.95, Softcover: $22.95, 800-243-5644 (orders only)

Dream Quest OneLast Call!
Dream Quest One Writing Competition
Postmark Deadline: July 31
This writing contest is open to everyone! Whether experienced or not, anyone who loves to arrange words into beautiful art or write a story that's worth telling. 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.

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 for entry confirmation. Make your entry fee payable to "" and mail to Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest, P.O. Box 3141, Chicago, IL 60654. Visit for details and to enter.

Cedar Hill PressPoetry Contest Closing Next Month
Cedar Hill Press: Poetry & Short Fiction Contests
Postmark Deadline for Poetry Contest: August 1
Postmark Deadline for Short Fiction Contest: September 1
Cash prizes will be awarded to those placing in the top four. The top 10 entries (in each contest) will be published on our site along with the author's bio. Prizewinning works will also be turned into a podcast. For further details and the guidelines, please visit

Cedar Hill Press was created to provide a forum to discover and develop emerging artists. We look for people who are continuously seeking to change the course of their genre, and want to be viewed as an artist of the 21st Century. Cedar Hill Press encourages the use of new mediums, theories and ideas.

Insights from Jeremy Sayers, judge of the most recent Cedar Hill short fiction contest ...
Some of the most important elements of a good story, I think, are a strong sense of voice, and a consistent through-line. In other words, the way the story is told, that it is told by a storyteller we enjoy listening to, and that the story completes itself. In most cases, though, a sign of a good storytelling "voice" is that we don’t really notice it. It's kind of an ambiance in the world of the story. And, of course, when voice is well done, it is consistent throughout the story. When a writer drops the "voice" of a particular story, it's glaringly noticeable. The same holds true for the through-line. In a well written piece of fiction, no detail, no turn of phrase, no line of dialogue, is extraneous. But, at the same time, all of the elements of a good story should seem natural, not forced...

A few examples of writers who I think are good writing teachers through their work, besides Elaine Palentia, and Frank O'Connor, are Flannery O'Connor (no relation to Frank); the collection A Good Man Is Hard to Find is breathtaking. James Joyce's Dubliners everyone should read ("The Dead" is one of my favorite stories). Katherine Mansfield's The Garden Party and Other Stories is another collection no one should miss out on...

11th Annual Robert Frost Foundation Annual Poetry Award
Robert Frost FoundationPostmark/Email Submission Deadline: September 15
The Robert Frost Foundation welcomes poems in the spirit of Robert Frost for its 11th Annual Award. The winner will receive $1,000 and an invitation to present the winning poem at the Frost Festival located at the Lawrence Public Library, 51 Lawrence Street (at the intersection of Lawrence and Haverhill Streets) in Lawrence, MA 01841, on Saturday, October 27, 2007. Festival readers will include X.J. Kennedy, Rhina Espaillat, Jeffrey Harrison and others.

Please submit two copies of each poem, one copy with contact information and one copy free of all identifying information. Mailing address: Robert Frost Foundation, Lawrence Library - 3rd Floor, 51 Lawrence Street, Lawrence, MA 01841. Email submissions are also accepted at Reading fees are $10 per poem (send fees via regular mail, please). Read last year's winning poem and this year's guidelines at Enjoy this Google video of 2006 winner Rob Smith delivering his poem (4 min 23 sec):

Rob Smith

Caketrain Chapbook Competition 2007 2007 Caketrain Chapbook Competition: $250 and Publication of Winning Chapbook
Postmark Deadline/Online Submission Deadline: October 1
Final Judge: Claudia Rankine, author of Don’t Let Me Be Lonely, Plot and The End of the Alphabet. Winner will receive a $250 award and publication of a limited-edition, perfect-bound chapbook with a full-color cover in the style of our previous winners, Tom Whalen ("Dolls") and Elizabeth Skurnick ("Check-In").

Open to manuscripts 20 to 35 pages in length. Previously-published poems may be included in the manuscript, but the manuscript as a whole must be an unpublished work. Translations and previously self-published books are ineligible. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable; please notify us if your manuscript is accepted elsewhere. Please enclose a $20 check or money order for reading fee (payable to Caketrain) and send with your manuscript to Caketrain Journal and Press, Box 82588, Pittsburgh, PA 15218. You may also submit your entry electronically.

Caketrain is a literary journal and press based in Pittsburgh; our interest is in bringing readers the very best in daring contemporary creative writing. For more information, please visit us at



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

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 2007 award, publishers should submit books published between August 1, 2006 and July 31, 2007.

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 2007 award, publishers should submit books published between August 1, 2006 and July 31, 2007.

7/31: Funny Disaster Stories Contest +
Entries must be received by this date
Neutral free contest offers $400 and online publication for funny disaster stories (true or fictional) on various themes. Enter online only. Maximum 10,000 words. Authors must be aged 13+. No overtly sexual or inappropriate content. This month's theme is "The Bad Seafood Storytelling Contest".

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

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

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

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.



Apple Valley Review
Entries must be received by August 17
Semiannual online journal seeks poetry, fiction and essays. Enter by email only. Recent contributors include Sean Lovelace, M. Thomas Gammarino, Anna Evans and Simon Perchik. Editors say: "We prefer work that has both mainstream and literary appeal. All work must be original, previously unpublished, and in English. Please do not submit genre fiction, explicit work, or anything particularly violent or depressing. Also, please note that we do not accept simultaneous submissions. All published work is considered for our annual editor's prize."

New Minnesota Writing Anthology
Postmark Deadline: October 1
Milkweed Editions seeks unpublished short stories by Minnesota residents with no more than one published book. All contributors will receive at least $500. Submissions should be 15-50 double-spaced pages. Milkweed is a well-regarded independent press. Enter by mail or email. "The editors hope to solicit work suggestive of the increasingly diverse and multicultural nature of Minnesota, and the volume's publication is timed to mark the sesquicentennial of the founding of the state. Unpublished writers and writers of color are encouraged to submit manuscripts for consideration."

Switchback Books Poetry Anthology on Girlhood
Postmark Deadline: October 1
New feminist publisher Switchback Books seeks poems for an anthology on the contemporary experience of girlhood, from childhood to young adulthood, by authors with at least one published or forthcoming book. Editors Arielle Greenberg and Becca Klaver say: "We aim to create an anthology that addresses the need young women have for challenging, intelligent, complicated literature about their lives. Possible subjects include but are not limited to experiences of family relationships, work, activism, sexuality, friendship, consumer culture, physical or mental illness, body image, domesticity, athleticism, intellectual pursuits, creativity, geography, displacement, belonging, separation, identity formation, partnership and triumph. Poems that are not as subject-driven or narrative but might still be of particular interest to a teenage girl reader are also welcome." Previously published poems accepted if you own the rights. Send 1-3 poems by mail to Becca Klaver, Assistant Programs Director, Columbia College Chicago, 600 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605-1996, or by email as an MS Word attachment to becca [at] switchbackbooks [dot] com. Entrants will be notified by email next summer.



AA Independent Press Guide
This free online directory edited by Dee Rimbaud profiles over 2,000 literary magazines and publishers from around the world. There are also thousands of links to internet magazines, writers' websites and writers' resources.

Alma Latina Cafe
Bilingual forum showcases quality work by published Latino/Latina poets, and provides a place for writers to learn to be critiqued and to learn poetry by reading and critiquing other works themselves.

Between the Lines
Webzine associated with The Editorial Department, a well-established manuscript-editing service, offers original interviews, craft articles, essays, forums and blogs to keep writers and publishing professionals informed about today's book publishing market. The Editorial Department offers a range of editing and marketing services for your prose manuscript or screenplay. We like their transparency with respect to price, which is not always the case with their competitors.

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

Muse Online Writers' Conference
Unique free online conference, held annually in October, includes audio presentations from authors, publishers and editors who specialize in different aspects of building writing careers; live chat with presenters; and online writing workshops. Speakers have included Hope Clark of, Marshall Turner of, and Shel Horowitz of The conference is sponsored by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of The Frugal Book Promoter, and Lea Schizas of The MuseItUp Club. Email Lea with questions or to register for the conference.

Poetry Series on the PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
PBS and the Poetry Foundation collaborated on this series of broadcasts featuring short-form profiles on living American poets and long-form segments on current debates in poetry. Listen/view past segments on their website.

See our complete directory of resources at This is also the gateway to our recommended books, magazines, service providers, advice for writers (with manuscript tips) and poetry critiques.



By Melanie Braverman. Lesbian poet's first collection moves easily between the erotic and the elegiac in a voice that is fresh and wide-open as her Cape Cod landscape. Braverman invites the reader into a community of friends and lovers who embrace life despite the risk of loss. Elegantly designed by Perugia Press, this book won their 2002 contest as well as the Publishing Triangle Audre Lorde Poetry Prize.



Tom Howard/John H. Reid Poetry Contest
Postmark Deadline: September 30
Now in its fifth year, this contest seeks poems in any style, theme or genre. Both published and unpublished poems are welcome. 30 cash prizes totaling $3,500 will be awarded, including a top prize of $1,000. The entry fee is $6 for every 25 lines you submit. Submit online or by mail. Early submission encouraged. This contest is sponsored by Tom Howard Books and assisted by Winning Writers. Judges: John H. Reid and Dee C. Konrad. See the complete guidelines and past winners.

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!

Office Depot - July Coupon
Save on paper, toner, binders and all your writing supplies at Office Depot. Free delivery in select areas when you order $50 or more.
Office Depot's July Coupon - $30 off $150

Alibris Coupons - Save on Books
Save on over 60 million used, new and out-of-print books at Alibris. Free shipping when you order $49 or more of eligible titles. Use these coupon codes:
Use promo code EVANOVICH on checkout at Alibris to save $3 on orders of $30 or more. Hurry, this coupon expires July 22, 2007

Use promo code PLUM on checkout at Alibris to save $10 on orders of $100 or more. Hurry, this coupon expires July 22, 2007



For Asoka
by Cynthia von Hendricks

Those sunflowers
Didn't ask where they could grow.
Stalks askew,
They make crazy music,
Improvisation from Gillespie's horn,
Flowers gaze in every direction,
But not at the conductor.
They sing a cappella all day long,
And forget about the score—
They prefer their own song.

You, my love,
Sleep crooked in bed
And do not apologize.

Copyright 2007 by Cynthia von Hendricks

This poem won honorable mention in the 2007 S. Portia Steele Award for Excellence in Poetry.


Advertise to 20,000 Poets and Writers
Promote your contests, websites, events and publications in this newsletter. Reach over 20,000 poets and writers for $65. Ads may contain up to 150 words, a headline and a graphic image. Find out more and make your reservation here:

Carolina Sineni of hotmetalpress on the impact of advertising in the Winning Writers Newsletter:
"We advertised elsewhere but I know it was a startling jump from a few acceptable submissions in weeks to a few everyday. We went from perhaps less than a hundred hits in a month to over 3500 each month."

See more testimonials.



David C. Harvey Named ProLiteracy President and CEO

AIDS Alliance founder will head world’s largest adult literacy organization
David C. Harvey
The ProLiteracy Worldwide Board of Directors announced on July 11 that it has appointed David C. Harvey of Washington, DC as ProLiteracy’s new president and CEO.

"David's track record as an inspirational leader and innovator made him stand out among the many qualified candidates for the position," said M. Shân Atkins, ProLiteracy board of directors' chairperson. "He founded the AIDS Alliance and led its growth to become the highly influential organization that it is today. The board and staff are looking forward to working with David to increase the impact of ProLiteracy's efforts to help adults in the US and around the world become literate."

Harvey has served as executive director of AIDS Alliance since he founded the organization in 1994; during his tenure the organization has become a leading national AIDS advocacy group. With a membership of over 650 community-based HIV care and prevention programs, AIDS Alliance is the only national organization devoted to the unique concerns of women, children, youth, and families affected by HIV.

"I am honored and humbled to have this chance to fight illiteracy, and I look forward to working with ProLiteracy's enormously talented board of directors, staff, member agencies, and partners to fight adult illiteracy in the United States and around the world," Harvey said.

"ProLiteracy has an incredible history of accomplishment," he added. "I know that through new partnerships with foundations and corporations, a stronger presence in Washington, and a higher profile in the media, we will fight illiteracy in new and bigger ways."

"Ruth Colvin and Frank Laubach, ProLiteracy's founders, had an incredible vision—improve people's lives and lift others out of poverty by teaching basic reading and writing skills. It's a vision that helped to create a worldwide literacy movement—a social movement that I intend to build on with all of my heart and soul," Harvey said.

Harvey began his career in Washington in 1984 as a staff assistant to US Representative Sam Gejdenson (D-CT). As the head of AIDS Alliance, he served as chair of various national coalitions, testified before Congress, appeared widely in the media, and spoke at national and international conferences. He worked tirelessly with other national organizations and Congress on three reauthorizations of the Ryan White CARE Act. Harvey directed an array of federal and private grant-funded programs, including the Consumer Leadership Corps Training Program, a national education program for women living with HIV. An accomplished writer, Harvey has authored book chapters, journal articles, and monographs on topics related to health, disability, and AIDS.

Harvey is expected to assume his responsibilities in Syracuse in September. Board of Directors Vice Chair Patricia Johnston is serving as ProLiteracy interim president.

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.

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This month, Critique Corner is pleased to present "The Wild" by Tabitha Wood.

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!

The Wild
by Tabitha Wood

She would have sworn up and down
That there was nothing more common
Than the constant drip-dripping of the farm faucet.
The warm monotone of hot water against steel
Cancelled the emotion in the farmer's voice.
She didn't have a choice
                                      But to sit there and wait
For one more syllable to explode.
And what a heavy load for such a young girl.

She'd been alive for eight years and still laughed like a child
But the scars on her thigh showed that she's battled the Wild.
Beneath the eyes of a woman, she wore a little girl's pout
As she lined her wall with shards of glass to keep the Wild out.

Scorpion corpses laced the side of the empty chalet.
Like trust, their bodies took an instant to break,
And an eternity to mend.
By then, the screamers from the barn
Refused to be reconciled with their laughing counterparts
By the simple reassurance of fun and games
Perhaps gone just a bit too far.

Her work was careful and clean. She didn't cut herself at all;
Couldn't afford to lose more blood after her terrible fall.
Hot, red innocence had flooded the land,
The day the Wild of home had knocked it out of her hand.

The sour aftertaste of fruits that don't belong in human mouths
Can only be rinsed out by the
Warm, warm water, so
The constant drip-dripping of the farm faucet
Remained more in demand than anything else.

It had taken eight years, but eventually,
She had learned to read
The cryptic braille of scabs that lined his forearm.
She could understand what he muttered
Under alcohol-stained breath,
And the worst part:

She would have sworn that there was nothing more common.

Copyright 2007 by Tabitha Wood

Critique by Jendi Reiter

I chose Tabitha Wood's "The Wild" as this month's critique poem to explore the potential benefits and pitfalls of multiple styles within a poem, and to illustrate how an author can create dramatic tension by withholding information. Fans of mystery and horror films know that the unseen menace is often the most frightening. The creaking door, the odd angle of light, put the audience in the shoes of the protagonist who gropes for clues to the identity of the threat. Our inability to piece the facts together mirrors her helplessness.

With cinematic pacing, Wood focuses first on the dripping faucet, leaving us to speculate what trauma could have turned this ordinary object so sinister. The entire experience of violation is contained within this image. It is an all-consuming wrongness that poisons the smallest, most prosaic details of the child's world. Wood understands that to describe the abuse with more specificity would be to step outside the perspective of the victim, who has no name for what has happened to her—it is simply "The Wild", the haunted forest of fairy-tales, from which the monsters of our collective unconscious emerge. The unspeakable is defined by a negative, "the sour aftertaste of fruits that don't belong in human mouths".

The imagery now takes a more fantastical, overtly violent turn: "As she lined her wall with shards of glass to keep the Wild out./Scorpion corpses laced the side of the empty chalet." Because she began with a realistic, emotionally understated setting, Wood can dial up the intensity without seeming melodramatic. The striking phrase "hot, red innocence" reverses the usual values we assign to these attributes....

critique continues here

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