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The Story Embers Poetry Contest

Does emotion stir your heart into creative flame? Our poetry contest awards Christian writers proficient in the art of verse. It provides the top two finalists with the opportunity to workshop their entries under the direction of our editorial team and receive recognition for their work through publication on our blog. You can read the official rules and learn how to enter below. You can also check out the winners of past contests here.

Prizes

First Place Winner will receive:

  • $100 cash
  • Publication on the Story Embers blog

Second Place Winner will receive:

  • $50 cash
  • Publication on the Story Embers blog

Dates & Deadlines

Contest Opens:

August 1, 2023 at 10 a.m. EDT

Contest Closes:

August 31, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. EDT

Winners will be announced on or before November 2, 2023.

Submission Instructions

Please read these guidelines carefully and refer back to the list before entering. We reserve the right to disqualify entrants for not following our criteria, and our decisions as judges are final.

  • Word count must be no shorter than 100 and no longer than 500. You may choose any style of poetry you wish (free verse, rhyming, sonnet, etc.) provided that it fits within those perimeters.
  • The poem must be original and unpublished. If it has previously been posted online (on a personal blog or elsewhere), that classifies as published. You may acquire the help of critique partners to refine your poem, but coauthored pieces are not permitted.
  • Entries must be submitted as Microsoft Word documents. If you don’t have access to that program, you can prepare your text in Google Docs and export to Word.
  • Type your poem’s title at the top of the page, but do not include your name anywhere in the document (that information will be collected on the entry form). Use 12 pt. Times New Roman. Center and left alignment are both acceptable.
  • Entries must be text only. Images, graphics, or illustrations (whether enclosed in the file or submitted separately) will be rejected.
  • Only one entry is allowed per person. Once a poem has been submitted, we will not accept edits or exchanges, so be sure to polish your work thoroughly and upload the correct document.
  • Entries that contradict our Statement of Faith or contain objectionable content (such as gratuitous violence, profanity, or sex) will be disqualified.

Judging Process

Poems will be evaluated on the basis of rhythm/meter, theme, imagery, word choice, and originality. Daeus Lamb and Cindy Green will be acting as judges.

Daeus has the twin ambitions of reaching thousands of readers with his fiction and helping other Christian artists do the same. In pursuit of these visions, he’s the author of God of Manna, serves as a member of the leadership team here at Story Embers, runs Excelsior Writing School, and hosts a YouTube channel dedicated to analyzing the fantasy genre. He loves juggling words. He also loves people, fictional or real (but he doesn’t juggle them).

 

 

Cindy is a forest-wandering, poetry-scribbling stargazer with messy notebooks and messy thoughts. Despite her love for all of God’s creation, sunflowers and stars have a way of sneaking into both her writing and her heart. As a self-professing ambivert (or a living contradiction), she deeply feels both the beauty and fallen state of the world. Through her words, she hopes to describe the indescribable and form personal connections with people while reflecting adoration for her Savior and a passion for everything she touches.

Publication Rights

The finalists are subject to our Editorial Policy, and Story Embers retains exclusive use of the winning poems for 3 months after publication. Once that time span has elapsed, authors are free to reprint their pieces elsewhere.

Only the first and second place poems will be published on the Story Embers blog. If you do not win one of those spots, you can assume we aren’t interested in acquiring your poem. Any contest entries that come through our regular submission channel, whether immediately following the contest or much later, will be rejected.

Eligibility

Entrants must be subscribers to our newsletter. If you haven’t signed up yet, you may do so by visiting our Resource Library.

The following individuals are ineligible to enter the contest: Story Embers leadership team members, operations team members, writers, interns, and their immediate family members, as well as the previous year’s first place winner.

Fees

A $10 submission fee must be tendered at the time of entry. This fee is nonrefundable. After you fill out the form and click Proceed to Payment, you’ll be redirected to PayPal to pay the fee.

Patrons who pledged at the $8 tier or above may enter for FREE. Type your name/pseudonym in an email, attach your poem, and send it directly to brianna@storyembers.org. All other participants must submit their poems via the entry form.

Contact Information

Have a question about the contest? Email brianna@storyembers.org.

If you place in the contest, we’ll contact you a few weeks prior to November 2nd. Otherwise, due to the volume of submissions we receive, we won’t be able to follow up with you on the status of your entry.

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