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John Howard Reid

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An Important Tip for Poets Entering Competitions
by John Howard Reid   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Friday, October 09, 2009
Posted: Friday, October 09, 2009

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Right now, I'm in the middle of judging poetry entries for The Annual $5,350 Margaret Reid Prize for Traditional Verse, and I've noticed something that I failed to mention in my book, "Write Ways To Win Writing Contests". Well, I guess you can't cover every happenstance, but this is important.

Your entry in a contest is judged as a whole, not as a collection of individual parts. For example, if you submit, eight haiku, each of the eight haiku must be of outstanding, prize-winning quality. If six of the eight are superb and two are of lesser quality, your entry as a whole will fall straight into the reject basket.

On the other hand, if you omitted the two lesser works, and submitted just the six strokes of genius instead, your entry will soon be on its way to the winning list.

This stratagem is equally important for other verse. Delete any weak stanzas, throw away any forced rhymes or any other effects that seem strained.

For prose works, remove unnecessary asides, sub-plots and comments that detract from the overall effectiveness of your story, article or essay.  

Web Site: Short Story Contest

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