CALL FOR WRITERS: BRIGHT LIGHT POETRY CONTEST


Southeastern Minnesota Poets is seeking family-friendly poems for possible inclusion in a late-winter virtual program, Bright Light Stories in the Night. Six winning poems from local writers will be illustrated by local artists and incorporated into a e-chapbook that will be read by local celebrities on the evening of March 4, 2022. Two honorable mentions will also be named, illustrated, and read at this virtual event. This year’s theme is: from polestar to terra firma. Winning poems and illustrations will also be on display at the SEMVA Gallery in March 2022. 

Thanks to grant funding from the SEMAC, six winning poets will receive $100 in prize money. Honorable mentions will receive $50.

Submission Deadline

Submit your work through Submittable by no later than 11:59 p.m. on Friday, December 17, 2021. Poets may not send more than one submission (of up to three poems) through Submittable. Entries sent via email will not be read. Please read submission criteria closely, as submissions that do not follow the criteria will not be read.

Poetry Submission Criteria

· Eligible writers must live in Southeastern Minnesota (residents of Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Rice, Steele, Wabasha, and Winona Counties)

· A cover letter with your contact information, including mailing address, email address, and phone number, and the titles of the artwork should be a part of your submission

· Poems must be 12-30 lines in length (stanza breaks do not count toward length)

· Prose poems or flash fiction of no more than 200 words are also eligible

· Poems should focus on themes and/or images that reach from polestar to terra firma, bringing light and connection to our community

· Poems must be family-friendly, with no charged language, explicit imagery, or overly adult themes

· Poets may submit no more than 3 poems for consideration, all within one Word document or PDF attachment, into Submittable

· Your submission title should be the name(s) of your submitted work (i.e. PoemTitle1; PoemTitle2; PoemTitle3)

· Poems can be new or previously published work to which poets retain rights; however, the publication credit of previously published work must be included in a cover letter

· Poems will be judged blind by 3 peer artists—do not include your name or other identifying material in your attached poetry submission

· Poems will be judged based on the following criteria: craft, family-friendly appeal, and thematic awareness.

· Questions? Email poets.semn@gmail.com

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts & cultural heritage fund.

CALL FOR VISUAL ARTISTS: BRIGHT LIGHT ILLUSTRATION CONTEST

Southeastern Minnesota Poets is seeking six local artists interested in illustrating winning poems that will be selected for inclusion in a late-winter virtual program, Bright Light Stories in the Night. Winning poems will be themed to reach from polestar to terra firma, and winning artists will be expected to match the tone of the poem they will illustrate.

Following selection in early January, artists will have several weeks to illustrate one of six winning poems by creating 4-6 pages of new artwork for an e-chapbook. Illustration parameters, including size, will be shared with artists at the time of their selection, so that the e-chapbook can be designed efficiently during the month of February.

Thanks to grant funding from the SEMAC, the six selected illustrators will receive $200 for their work. Two artists will also be named honorable mentions, and they will receive $50 to create a single page broadside of one of the poems also named honorable mention. The e-chapbook will be read by local celebrities on the evening of March 4, 2022, allowing artist illustrations to reach a broad virtual audience. Broadsides from the two honorable mentions will also be showcased at this virtual event. Winning illustrations and poems will also be exhibited at the SEMVA Gallery in March 2022.

Submission Deadline

Submit your work through Submittable by no later than 11:59 p.m. on Friday, December 17, 2021. Artists may not send more than one submission (of up to three works). Entries sent via email will not be viewed. Please read submission criteria closely, as submissions that do not follow the criteria will not be considered.

Artwork Submission Criteria

· Eligible artists must live in Southeastern Minnesota (residents of Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Rice, Steele, Wabasha, and Winona Counties)

· A cover letter with your contact information, including mailing address, email address, and phone number, and the titles of the artwork should be a part of your submission

· Artists should upload digital copies of 1-3 art pieces into Submittable (each named the title of the artwork)

· Artwork may be in any medium (i.e. painting, drawing, textile, photography, digital, collage, mosaic)

· Artwork should exemplify your artistic style and the medium(s) in which you might illustrate a winning poem

· Artwork must be family-friendly, with no explicit or overly adult imagery

· Artwork will be judged blind by 3 peer artists—do not include your name or other identifying material in your attached artwork submission

· Artwork will be judged based on the following criteria: craft, family-friendly appeal, and thematic awareness

· Questions? Email poets.semn@gmail.com.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts & cultural heritage fund.

CONTEST ENTRY RULES

1. There are two divisions: Grades 6-8 [Junior Division] and Grades 9-12 [Senior Division] No Entry Fee.

2. Submissions must be the original work of the student. Poems that have been published and/or have won previous awards are still eligible for this contest (excluding poems that have previously won awards through the Manningham contest specifically).

3. All students in Minnesota who are attending public, parochial, home, or private schools are eligible for submission.

4. Only one entry per student is allowed.

5. The poem is to be typed or computer-generated. No handwritten copies will be accepted.

6. Complete a signed statement: This is my original work, with the student’s signature. Poems may be electronically signed, or signed and scanned, but the signature must be present.

7. No poems more than 50 lines long.

8. Please no large print, illustrations, unusual typefaces (Gothic, script, etc.) or colored fonts. Be considerate of your judges. They love to see your work, but it needs to be in the prescribed format to make their work more efficient.

PRIZES: The winners in each category will receive:

$50 for first place

$30 for second place

$20 for third place

All winners will receive a complimentary membership for the League of Minnesota Poets for that year. Winners will also be invited to attend and read their winning poem at the League’s Spring Convention. Registration will be paid for the League if attending.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the winners in both age divisions.

Nationally recognized poets judge the contest.

The top ten poems selected at the Minnesota state level will be submitted to the National Manningham Contest; where they will have the opportunity to receive publication at the national level and earn cash prizes.

Poems selected at the state level will be published in the Moccasin Members Publication.

League of MN Poets