There is very little difference between our two poetry contests, both of which are detailed at http://poetrycontests.exactpages.com
Margaret Reid closes on June 30; Tom Howard on September 30.
Margaret Reid offers $5,550 in prize money; Tom Howard has $5,800.
Margaret Reid does not accept prose poems, that is poems that look like pages from a novel and NOT pages from a book of poetry. On the other hand, Tom Howard will accept prose poems (or storoems, as they're sometimes called).
Despite the small differences, Tom Howard is by far the more popular contest. We often receive DOUBLE the number of entries for Tom Howard. One reason, of course, is that Tom Howard is open for a longer period of time.
Originally, the contests had different judges. Recent contests, however, have both been judged by Professor Konrad and myself. Accordingly, we have decided to close a loophole. This will be the last year in which it will be possible, if you enter the same poem in both contests, to be in the running to win a cash prize in both contests. And if you won a cash prize in a past contest (say you came third in Margaret Reid 2009), this will also be the last year you may enter the same poem in the other contest (the Tom Howard in this case) and be in the running for another cash prize. If unsure which poem won a cash prize in which contest, you'll find full lists of past winners at http://www.winningwriters.com
I detail seven poetry submission errors in my little booklet "Poetry Pitfalls or What Makes Bad Verse Worse (Essential Writers' Guidebooks)" now on sale for 99 cents at Amazon Kindle.
Two of these seven errors involve language. For example, the Winning Writers site on which our winning entries are published is open to all. Schoolchildren are encouraged to visit this site. Therefore, using unacceptable language in your submission will automatically route your entry to the reject bin. (And the same of course applies to other contests that have websites open to all comers).
Another language problem is the use of false rhymes in submissions of traditional poetry. Rhymes depend NOT on the spelling of a word, but solely on the way it is pronounced. You can rhyme "band" with "hand" but NOT with "wand".