April is National Poetry Month, and there’s no better way to celebrate National Poetry Month 2009 than by exercising your creativity in a fun poetry contest. There are so many annual poetry contests out there that seek unique poems from talented writers like you, and below are details of poetry contests that you may want to consider entering. If you’ve never submitted poems to a poetry contest before, I have included some tips that will help you along the way.
You should definitely consider submitting poems to the following annual poetry contests: The Comstock Review’s Annual Poetry Contest, the 2009 Deane Wagner Poetry Contest, the Robert Frost Award, the Henderson Haiku Contest, Boston Review’s Annual Poetry Contest, Kisses and Popsicles Spring Poetry Contest, and Atlanta Review’s International Poetry Competition. Click on their links to find out more information about their submission guidelines.
When submitting poems to these poetry contests, the first thing you should do is carefully read the poetry contest’s instructions because contest rules vary depending on the contest, and make sure you are eligible to participate in the poetry contest. The following are some submission guidelines that are listed on the The Comstock Review’s website, which can apply to other poetry contests as well:make sure you write an original poem that is the result of your own creative effort and not a copy of someone else’s work; make sure you submit a poem that you haven’t already published elsewhere because some contests don’t want poems that have been previously published by someone else; submit your poem in the proper format, typed in the right font, and clear enough to read; make sure your poem contains the appropriate content because some poetry contests require you to write on a particular subject that is suitable for a particular audience; and make sure that your poem has the right number of lines and characters and that you have submitted the right number of poems for the contest-some contests require that you send a minimum or maximum number of poems. You may need to write a brief bio of yourself and cover letter for your poems if the contest requires you to do so. According to The Comstock Review’s website, your bio can include information such as your name, where you are from, what you do for a living, any important awards that you have received, and the names of any publications in which you were already featured. You can introduce your poems using a cover letter, and an article on the Essortment website offers helpful advice on writing cover letters for poems. Several of the contests listed above also require you to include your contact information so that you can be notified of who won; include a SASE and check or money order to cover the contest entry fee if necessary; and make copies of your poems because they may never be returned. When you are ready to seal the envelope with your poetry contest entries enclosed, The Comstock Review’s website suggests that you remember to put proper postage and write the right address on the envelope and have it postmarked by the deadline.
“The Comstock Review Annual Poetry Contest.”The Comstock Review website
“How to Submit Your Poetry.”The Comstock Review website
“Awards & Contests.” The Comstock Review website
“2009 Deane Wagner Poetry Contest.” St. Louis Writers Guild website
“13th Annual Robert Frost Foundation Annual Poetry Award.” The Robert Frost Foundation website
“Annual Contests Sponsored by the HSA.” The Haiku Society of America website
“Contests.”Boston Review’s website
“Poetry Contests.” Pandora’s Collective website
“Poetry 2009 International Poetry Competition.”Atlanta Review’s website
“Writing a Cover Letter for Poetry Submission.” Essortment website