Join Free! | Login    
   Popular! Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry
Where Authors and Readers come together!


Featured Authors:  Diane Hundertmark, iAlan Greenhalgh, iSheri Hoff, iGeorge Cunningham, iKaren Epp, iMaryanne Raphael, iRoxanne Howe-Murphy, i

  Home > Publishing > Articles Popular: Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry     

John Howard Reid

· + Follow Me
· Contact Me
· Books
· Articles
· Poetry
· News
· Stories
· Blog
· 481 Titles
· 270 Reviews
· Save to My Library
· Share with Friends!
Member Since: Feb, 2008

John Howard Reid, click here to update your pages on AuthorsDen.

Featured Book
Maryland Lost and Found...Again
by Eugene Meyer

Award-winning journalist Eugene L. Meyer directs a tour across the "Free State" that is part love letter, part oral history, part obituary. He explores what makes Marylan..  
BookAds by Silver
Gold and Platinum Members

Contest Questions, Judges and Rules
by John Howard Reid   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Posted: Wednesday, January 07, 2009

  Print   Save    Follow    Share 

Recent articles by
John Howard Reid

214.93 Dollars. Is This a Record Price?
TITLES TO AVOID How to use Hollywood Classics Title Index
BAD TITLES 2 more outsiders
BAD TITLES: 3 To Avoid
RIGHT NAMES and titles for stories, poems and novels
Give YOURSELF an Edge!
Exactly the right title for your book, poem or story?
           >> View all

"Write Ways to WIN WRITING CONTESTS: How to Join the Winners' Circle for Prose and Poetry Awards" is now available in a New, Expanded Edition for only $12.50.


One of the questions I’m frequently asked at writing conferences is whether it’s permissible to quote a few stanzas from a poem, or a paragraph or two, from a published book in a contest entry.

The general answer is “yes”, provided the quote does not take up a large proportion of space. For example, if the poetry line limit is 50 lines and the quote takes up 8 of those lines, the answer is definitely “No!” If the story is limited to 1,000 words, and the quote totals 100, the answer is again a definite negative.


As a general rule, the total proportion of quotes in a contest entry should not exceed 3% of the total word count. So you are looking at around a 30 words quote maximum in a 1,000-word essay, or 3 lines maximum in a 100-line poem. 

The next question asked is, “Must permission be obtained to quote from a copyrighted work?”

The general answer is again “No!” Copyrighted songs are the most significant exception. Quoting even a single line from a popular song without permission, could bring the wrath of ASCAP down on your head. At one stage a few over-zealous ASCAP members wished to make even the listing of a song’s title subject to royalty, but this move was seen by the majority of members as self-defeating. But quote even one line, and you could land in trouble!

Of course it should be remembered that how rules (either specifically written down or generally assumed) are enforced, is entirely a matter for the contest organizers – most of whom delegate this responsibility to the judges. I have met judges who completely disregarded the contest’s written rules in their deliberations. I’ve also run across judges who made up their own rules, and rejected entries out of sight simply because they transgressed their own personal convictions.

In my book, "Write Ways To WIN WRITING CONTESTS", I quote in Chapter Six from the judge’s report of one the world’s most prestigious poetry contests, which annually attracts around 7,000 entries. While the judge concedes "there were some splendid comic poems," she adds that it was "hard to prefer them to the more somber poems about Alzheimer’s, suicide and loss." Needless to say, not even the slightest whisper of the judge’s predeliction appeared in the contest’s rules. In fact, the rules openly stated that all themes and genres were welcome. No hint whatever that all humorous verse, no matter how inspired, would be regarded as instant fodder for the reject basket!

It always amazes me that for less than the cost of a single entry fee, hundreds of entrants could have saved their money, their time, their hopes and aspirations just by heeding the warning in a single, three-line paragraph in my book! (And it's a book that's crammed full of other invaluable advice as well!)        

Web Site: John Howard Reid

Want to review or comment on this article?
Click here to login!

Need a FREE Reader Membership?
Click here for your Membership!

Popular Publishing Articles
  1. Being a Children's Book Author in Today's
  2. You and a Writers Conference
  3. Learning Twitter for Authors
  4. How to Write the Novel to Publishing Stan
  5. Get Published - Narration - First or Third
  6. Using the Web
  7. 5 Things a Professional Manuscript Editor
  8. Ten Reasons
  9. Get Published - Know Your Markets
  10. Writing Tips From Ernest Hemmingway

Calling All Authors---How to Publish with Your Eyes Wide Open by Valerie

Revealing Publishing Myths, Misconceptions, and Realities for Published Authors and Writers Who Dream of Becoming Authors..  
BookAds by Silver, Gold and Platinum Members

Free Download - TrendSiters - Digital Content and Web Technologies by Sam Vaknin

Essays dedicated to the new media, doing business on the web, digital content, its creation and distribution, e-publishing, e-books, digital reference, DRM technology, and other re..  
BookAds by Silver, Gold and Platinum Members

Authors alphabetically: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Featured Authors | New to AuthorsDen? | Add AuthorsDen to your Site
Share AD with your friends | Need Help? | About us

Problem with this page?   Report it to AuthorsDen
AuthorsDen, Inc. All rights reserved.