The NFSPS (National Federation of State Poetry Societies) sponsors 50 poetry contests each year. Each state sponsors its own contest, and we would like to invite you to enter the Ohio contest this year. You do not need to be a member of the NFSPS to enter. Below are the particulars:
Your poem can be on any subject and in any form. There is a 40-line limit. First prize is $50, second prize is $25, and third prize is $15.
I am printing the contest rules verbatim from the NFSPS website. Some will apply to non-members and some will apply to members. Unless you happen to be a member, your attention need only be directed to the rules for non-members to enter the Ohio contest.
1. All poems submitted must:
a. be the original work of the contestant, unpublished in any form, including electronically, not placed on exhibition, not under consideration or accepted for publication. (Award will be recalled if a winning poem is found to be in violation of rules before publication in the NFSPS anthology of prize poems, and lower prizes and honorable mentions will move up in classification).
b. be written in English, be titled, unless a haiku.
c. have a 40-line limit for all contests not stating line limit.
d. be typed or computer-generated (not handwritten or hand-printed) without illustrations.
2. Poets give NFSPS exclusive first printing rights to all poems entered in the NFSPS Annual Contests. Poems winning a cash prize of $15.00 or more will be printed in the NFSPS prize poems anthology, Encore, at the discretion of the editor. (The editor reserves the right to alter line breaks in poems having more than 50 characters per line, including spaces.) Printing rights revert to the author after the anthology is published (June 2014). Printing rights to poems winning less than $15.00 (or no prize) revert to the poet after the list of winners is published in the NFSPS newsletter, Strophes (See Rule 10). No poems will be returned, so poets should retain copies.
3. An eligible poem may not be withdrawn after submission.
4. Except as indicated in Contest 1-NFSPS Founders Award, a contestant may submit only one entry in any contest, and may not submit the same poem in any other contest. (Note: Since we are announcing information for only the Ohio contest, this is superfluous unless you look at the NFSPS website and choose, on your own, to enter additional contests.)
5. Check or money order enclosed must be made to NFSPS, Inc. (initials sufficient) rather than to any individual.
a. Non-members (which we are, unless, of course, you ARE a member) may enter most contests at $1.00 each (except $5.00 for each entry in Contest 1-NFSPS Founders Award). Non-members may not enter Contests marked with an asterisk, * , and which are designated Members Only. (See website for full listing of contests. Link is below.)
b. (Again, this part is for members): Members may enter up to 10 contests for $1.00 per poem or $10. total for entries in more than 10 contests (except for Contest 1-NFSPS Founders Award which is $5.00 per poem) The entry limit for Contest 1-NFSPS Founders Award is four poems.
c. Entrants from outside the U.S. must send checks drawn on U.S. banks or branches, payable in U.S. funds, or send U.S. currency.
6. First Prize winner in Contest 1-NFSPS Founders Award is not eligible to enter the following year (NFSPS Founders Award only).
7. Judges will be selected by NFSPS, Inc. No ties will be awarded, and the decisions of the judges will be final.
8. When to submit poems:
a. Contest starting date: Entries must not be postmarked before January 1, 2013. (We’re good here!)
b. Contest deadlines: Entries must be postmarked by March 15, 2013.
9. (Not applicable to us): “Members Only” eligible if a paid-up member of a state society, listed in alphabetical membership roll mailed by a state society along with NFSPS dues to:
Lucille Morgan Wilson
2325 61st St.
Des Moines IA 50322
by Jan. 15, 2013 and updated as required by the Contest deadline (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
10. A list of winners will appear on the website (www.nfsps.com) and in third quarter Strophes (August). All prize winners will be notified, and others may obtain a list of winners in August by sending $1.00 and a #10 SASE to Paul Ford, Strophes editor, 10239 Hickory Point Drive, Sandy, UT 84092.
11. How to submit poems:
a. Send two clear copies of the poem, typed, photocopied, or computer-generated, on 8 1/2″ x 11″ white paper (no onionskin or tissue) in black ink, single-spaced. If poem is over one page, staple together all pages of each copy.
b. On both copies, place number and name of contest in upper left corner
(26 – Ohio Award).
c. On second copy only, name and address, phone number, and email address of poet, state society membership, or “NON-MEMBER NFSPS” (the latter is what we will use) in upper right corner. If a poem is over one page, number pages also on upper right corner (both copies).
d. Separate originals from duplicates and stack in numerical order (1-50) with originals on top. Count them. (We will be sending only one original with one duplicate. Be sure to put original on top.)
e. Prepare a 3″ x 5″ lined file card (leave the first line blank) with your name, address, phone number, email address (if available), state society or “NON-MEMBER”. List on the card the number but not the whole title of each contest you are entering (26 – Ohio). List the total number of poems sent (1 poem). Do not staple the card to entries or entry fees.
f. Mail all entries at one time, unfolded, in a large envelope, including file card and entry fee(s). Send First Class or Priority Mail or any form of delivery not requiring a signature upon receipt to the Contest Chairman:
Mail entries to:
P.O. Box 7842
Moore, OK 75153-1842
All entries received postage due will be returned by the Postal Service.
NFSPS, Inc. will not assume mailing costs and will not be responsible for any entries lost or delayed in the mail.
Sound overwhelming? I’ve done it, and it’s not, really. Write a poem, make a second copy, label them as directed, type it up, prepare your 3×5 card, include your fee, pack it in a large envelope and send it winging on its way.
Who knows? We might have winners in our midst. We are hoping you will take up the challenge.
Here’s a link to the NFSPS website so you can peruse all of its information.