CONTEST GUIDELINES






THE CONTEST IS OPEN FOR EARLY SUBMISSIONS NOW
(The official opening day of the contest will be announced in the summer of 2017).

THE WINNER WILL RECEIVE 
A ONE THOUSAND DOLLAR CASH PRIZE

The Guest Judge Will Be 
Kansas Poet Laureate Eric McHenry

The purpose of the contest is to recognize the work of an outstanding poet, but it is also the major fundraiser for Songs of Eretz.  Our goal is to raise enough funds to exceed covering the operating expenses of holding the contest and publishing the Review, so that contributors to the Review may continue to receive honoraria for their work and so that the offerings of Songs of Eretz and our promotion of poetry may expand and grow.  In the most unlikely event that the contest does not take in enough funds to cover the entire $1,000 prize (this has never happened), a reduced prize will be awarded, or the contest may be cancelled and all entry fees refunded at the discretion of the editor.  The contest readers, editor, and judge are paid last and only if funds are available. 

Why You Should Enter:  We humbly suggest that you enter the contest only if:  you support Songs of Eretz and its mission, enjoy our week-daily offerings, would like to see us expand and grow, and/or would appreciate having your work critiqued by our Editor, and as a BONUS would enjoy having a CHANCE to win the prize and have your work read by our judge.  If your motivation is primarily to win and/or to have your work read by our judge, you are almost certainly going to be disappointed, and rather than upset a friend we would actually prefer that you give our contest a pass.  While every poem entered will be read and critiqued by our Editor, only those poems selected by the Editor for the finals will be read by the judge, and only one poem (or set of poems by the same poet) out of hundreds will win.  Typically, only 5% of the poems entered will make it to the finals, and the chance of winning will be only a tiny fraction of 1%.


HOW TO SUBMIT:  
A "submission" is a batch of up to five poems submitted during the same hour.  BOTH UNPUBLISHED WORK AND REPRINTS ARE WELCOME (except for work previously published in a Songs of Eretz venue).  Poetry of any genre and length will be considered. 

A "poem" is a SINGLE piece of verse.  If your poem is really a numbered series of poems, each numbered poem counts as ONE.  If you are not sure, query first.

Past or present Songs of Eretz Frequent Contributors are NOT eligible to participate.  Frequent Contributors are up-and-coming poets hand-picked by the editor--their names appear (or once appeared) on our masthead.  Other poets who frequently contribute are NOT Frequent Contributors and ARE welcome to participate. 


To submit, first go to PayPal.com to pay your twenty dollar entry fee for each batch of up to five poems.  Use SWGordonMD@gmail.com for the recipient's address.  

IMPORTANT:  Include your name and the title(s) of your poem(s) in the comment section.
Next, email up to FIVE poems, each poem IN A SEPARATE EMAIL (one poem per email), to:  SWGordonMD@gmail.com.  

MOST IMPORTANT:  Each Subject Line should read:  "Early Contest Submission [Title of Poem]".  

Your poem should appear in the body of your email--DO NOT SEND ATTACHMENTS.  If for reason of special formatting you feel an attachment is necessary in order to present your poem properly, query first.  

Cover Letter:  Include a cover letter IN THE BODY OF EACH EMAIL with following information:

- The poem's publication history (unpublished or prior publication history)
- If yours is a simultaneous submission or not (simultaneous submissions ARE accepted).
- How you discovered the contest.
- Your contact information:  PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR CITY & STATE (& country if you reside outside the USA).
Please do not include anything else (such as your bio, credits, or any explanatory material or notes).  Submissions that include such additional information will be automatically disqualified.  If you feel your poem requires an explanation, revise it until you feel it does not.

Response Time and Feedback:  Enter early and enter often!  Unlike most contests, entries will be read and responded to on a rolling basis, usually within a few days of submission--we do NOT wait until the contest is closed before responding.  Every poem will receive personal feedback from the editor &/or the judge--from a few kind words to a mini-critique.


Poems that make the finals and have not been previously published will be considered for publication in Songs of Eretz Poetry Review.  The winning entry will be published (or reprinted) in the Review as a special feature.
  
One of your poems may win, or more than one of your poems may be declared a winning "set."  If one (or more than one) of your poems makes the finals or is offered a spot in the Review, you will be asked for (and expected to provide) your bio, publication credits, and a "poet's notes" statement--but PLEASE wait to be asked for these items.  The wording of your bio and notes may be subject to gentle editing, but there is no limit as to length.





THE WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED IN JANUARY 2018    

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NO ANONYMOUS OR NEGATIVE COMMENTS, PLEASE. ONLY POSITIVE COMMENTS WITH ATTRIBUTION (YOUR NAME AND EMAIL ADDRESS) WILL BE CONSIDERED FOR PUBLICATION. OUR MODERATORS WILL SCREEN OUT ALL COMMENTS THAT DO NOT MEET THESE CRITERIA. ALL COMMENTS ARE SCREENED.

If you wish to provide suggestions, feedback, or constructive criticism to the Songs of Eretz staff, please send your thoughts to SWGordonMD@gmail.com. You may or may not receive a response, but your thoughts will be read.