Poetry Contest Rules

Mississippi River Poetry Writing & Reading Contest Rules

  • Deadline (postmark) to submit to ArtStart’s Mississippi River Poetry Contest: APRIL 15, 2013
    Notification to all, including finalists: WEEK OF APRIL 29, 2013
    Finalists’ reading: approximately 11:00 A.M. MAY 18, 2013, with presentation of winner at about 1:00 P.M.
  • The competition is for people 18 and over – Minnesotans and also poets from other states who can commit to traveling, if finalists, to read their poems in Saint Paul, Minnesota, on Saturday, May 18, 2013. Previous first-place contest winners may win again, but must submit a different or new river poem as part of the current year’s contest.
  • 3. THEME
  • Submit a manuscript of between 4-7 typed and numbered pages of poems, with at least one poem relating directly or indirectly to the Mississippi River. The theme or subject of the contest, “Mississippi River,” can be broadly interpreted. Poets can write about any aspect that subtly or overtly relatesthe river or any part of its eco-system, tributaries, scenes, nature, human habitation, personal experience with the river or its creatures, plants, history, beauty, challenges, and changes. The poem can be placed, if location is important to the poem, anywhere along or around the Mississippi River’s 2,320 miles. The river does not need to be cited by name. The poems can be in free verse or rhymed, in a traditional form or contemporary – the tone and style of the contest is open, although in submitting poems for the competition, poets should consider that the audience includes families and children.
  • 4. ENTRY FEE
  • $10 as a check or money order payable to ArtStart. Please do not send cash. Entry fees will not be returned on any condition or circumstance, including incomplete application or withdrawal from the contest, unless the contest is not completed and awards do not occur.
  • 5. PRIZES
  • $100 for 4 finalists and $250 for the 5th finalist who wins the event. The participants pay their own way to the event. The winner will also receive a symbolic artwork.
  • Length: Submit poems in a typed, page-numbered manuscript of between 4-7 pages total, with at least 1 poem on the contest theme. Other poems may be on any topic.
  • Each poem must have a title or handle, even if you use “Untitled”
  • Put no more than 1 poem on a page, although poems may extend beyond 1 page.
  • Clearly indicate which poem fulfills the theme by writing “river poem” at the top of the poem, above the title. Even if you include more than one river poem, indicate just one, which you will be required to read as part of the poetry aloud event if you become a finalist.
  • Author’s name or identifying information may NOT appear on ANY page of the manuscript, but ONLY on the required cover form.
  • Copies: Include 3 (three!) sets of the manuscript, each stapled as a separate manuscript.
  • The entire manuscript must be typed, but the cover form can be NEATLY hand-printed. Printed, please!
  • Include the required entry cover form.
  • Email will be used to interact with contestants. If you do NOT have a working email, you MUST include 2 self-addressed stamped business envelopes to confirm submission and status.
  • More than one submission is permitted, but each must be in a separate envelope, with a separate cover form, and separate entry fee, and entirely different poems.
  • Three stapled copies of your manuscript, with a cover form and $10 entry fee (no cash) must be mailed to ArtStart, Poetry Contest, 1459 St.Clair, St. Paul MN 55105
  • Keep a record and copy of your work. Manuscripts will not be returned.
  • Please do not contact ArtStart, the contest sponsor, by telephone with questions. If, after reading all instructions a second time, you still have questions, please email contest contact Margaret Hasse at mmhasse@gmail.com using the words POETRY CONTEST in the title of your email. Thank you for your interest.

    Mail to ArtStart, Poetry Contest, 1459 St. Clair, Saint Paul, MN 55105
    All inquiries to contest contact, mmhasse@gmail.com

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