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John Howard Reid

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Member Since: Feb, 2008

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Blogs by John Howard Reid

Poetry News
7/8/2011 1:40:19 AM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]

Welcome to Tom Howard Contest News. These Newsletters keep you up to date with the Margaret Reid Prize for Traditional Verse, The Tom Howard Poetry Contest for Verse In All Styles and Genres, and the Tom Howard Short Story, Essay and Prose Contest.

At the moment, only the Tom Howard Poetry Contest remains open. See full details below. This contest will not close until September 30, 2011.

The Short Story Contest will re-open on July 15. Full details in our next Newsletter.

The Margaret Reid Contest will re-open on November 15, 2011. The winning and commended entries for the Contest just closed will be announced on December 15, 2011. Of course, cash winners will be contacted and receive their awards six weeks or so before this date, so please ensure that you let me know if you change your email address.

"What makes a poem (or a story) a potential prizewinning entry?" is easily the question I'm most frequently asked at writers' conferences. I've always maintained that opening and closing lines in a poem or story deserve the writer's closest attention. "Is it worth remembering?" is the engaging opening line in David J. Rothman's "Goodbye to Greenpoint" (number 4 in the anthology SAILING IN THE MIST OF TIME: Award-Winning Poems).

"Nandi sits alone, untended," Sally Odgers writes in "Spinning Pearls" (number 89 in the above anthology).

"It had been easy once," Noble Collins tells us in "Old Hawk" (number 57).

"The day you left, now so long ago," Mari Grana recalls in "Three Sonnets to a Love" (number 24).

A question often makes an effective opening line: "Did you hear the argument / I had with our Today?" Dee C. Konrad asks in "Trouble with Time" (number 51).

Eye-appealing descriptive openings also instantly engage a judge's attention. Take Mimi Moriarty's evocative opening to "Homemade Wine" (number 39): "In autumn when leaves / turn brown, reveal crushed / limbs, then drop like stones / stammering to the ground..."

Of course, as in the examples above, it is sometimes necessary to build your opening sentence over two or three lines. My translation of Jose Silva's "Night", for example, (number 55 in the anthology SAILING IN THE MIST OF TIME: Award-Winning Poems) commences "A night,/ a night full of murmurs and perfumes,/ of the music of wings".

That reminds me that I've yet to mention my new book: A Salute To Spanish Poetry: 100 Masterpieces from Spain & Latin America rendered into English verse

For copyright reasons, I should mention that our anthologies such as "Sailing in the Mist of Time" will NOT be available in Kindle or other electronic editions, but will continue to be sold in traditional print formats only.

This year, the prize pool for the Tom Howard Poetry Contest has been increased to $5,550 (including a First Prize of $3,000). Entry fees have not been raised.

To enter your poems in our current Tom Howard Poetry Contest, you will find full information at OR And, as said above, although the prize-money has been increased, entry fees do remain at $7 for every 25 lines (or part thereof). Prose poems will be accepted, of course, but due to the extra length of the lines, you should count each line in a prose poem as two lines for entry fee purposes.

Unlike almost all other poetry contests, we impose no limits on the number of lines or number of poems you may submit.

For full details, you can also visit the home page of and click on the Tom Howard Poetry Contest at the top of the screen.

As implied above, you'll also find plenty of rousing titles and attention-getting poems in our previous anthologies of winning entries from the Tom Howard Contests such as the anthology from which I quoted above, SAILING IN THE MIST OF TIME: Award-Winning Poems in which (despite Amazon's qualification) no less than 108 (not 50!) award-winning and commended poems are gathered together in a large-format, 196-page book!

Other recommended anthologies are ACROSS THE LONG BRIDGE: An Anthology of Award-Winning Poetry (this is also available in a very attractive hardcover edition) which contains 133 winning and commended entries and TRAVELING: An Anthology of Award-Winning Poetry which contains 58 winners from the Tom Howard Contest, plus 10 additional poems.

Finally, I'd like to recommend my own book, Write Ways to WIN WRITING CONTESTS: How To Join the Winners' Circle for Prose and Poetry Awards, NEW EXPANDED EDITION. If you've been wasting your time and money sending out great stories and magnificent poems to Contests that immediately place them in the reject basket, here's an essential book to help you select the RIGHT CONTESTS to put you in the winners' circle.

For example, there are a number of prestigious Poetry Contests that NEVER award prizes to traditional rhyming verse, even though they imply in their rules that such forms are acceptable.

And yes, you can peruse and buy a Kindle edition by clicking this link: Write Ways to WIN WRITING CONTESTS

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More Blogs by John Howard Reid
• Names and Titles, Questions Answered - Thursday, November 10, 2011
• Win (Vincere) the 2009 movie - Saturday, September 17, 2011
• New Light on Movie Bests - Sunday, August 21, 2011
• Which cover do you prefer? - Friday, July 29, 2011
•  Poetry News - Friday, July 08, 2011  
• 6 Books in Top 18 Bestsellers at Amazon Kindle Today! - Saturday, October 30, 2010
• Movies Magnificent Hits the Number One Spot at Amazon's Kindle Store - Saturday, October 02, 2010
• Bestseller Number One in Performing Arts! - Thursday, September 23, 2010
• Popular Pictures of the Hollywood 1940s - Saturday, September 11, 2010
• Who Says Poetry Is Dead? - Wednesday, September 01, 2010
• "B" Movies, Bad Movies, Good Movies in Top Ten - Sunday, August 22, 2010
• 10 Books in Top 50 at Amazon Kindle Today! - Sunday, August 15, 2010
• On with the Merryll Manning motley! - Thursday, July 22, 2010
• Revising "Merryll Manning On the Rim of Heaven" - Thursday, July 08, 2010
• Merryll Manning Halfway - Saturday, February 20, 2010
• Almost Time for Another Newsletter - Saturday, January 30, 2010
• Always happy to receive encouraging reviews - Tuesday, January 19, 2010
• Progress Report: A Salute to Spanish Poetry 100 Masterpieces from Spain and Latin America - Tuesday, January 12, 2010
• A Salute to Spanish Poetry: 100 Masterpieces from Spain & Latin America - Monday, January 04, 2010
• What To Write Next - Monday, December 28, 2009
• Poetry for Poets - Thursday, December 17, 2009
• What Makes a Successful Poet? - Wednesday, December 16, 2009
• Naming Names - Sunday, December 13, 2009
• Margaret Havill Reid Poetry - Wednesday, December 09, 2009
• What Do Editors Do? - Sunday, December 06, 2009
• Love & City Dreaming - Friday, December 04, 2009
• MARK and JOHN - Thursday, November 26, 2009
• Psalms - Monday, November 23, 2009
• Classic Movie Posters - Thursday, November 12, 2009
• Poetry Contest Closes for 2009 - Sunday, October 04, 2009
• Weird Book-Buying - Sunday, August 02, 2009
• Traditional Verse? - Saturday, June 13, 2009
• Red Pencils at the Ready! - Wednesday, June 10, 2009
• Solomon's Song of Songs and Proverbs - Saturday, March 21, 2009
• Merryll Manning writing times - Friday, November 21, 2008
• Contests and Competitions - Wednesday, November 12, 2008
• A Frantic Week! - Sunday, November 09, 2008
• Silent Films & Early Talkies on DVD - Thursday, May 29, 2008
• Works in Progress - Friday, February 29, 2008

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