A poem I wrote a few months ago, A Night on the Town, received 1st Honorable Mention in the Marie Barton Memorial Poetry Award contest at the Arkansas Writers’ Conference yesterday. At the moment, I don’t remember what the contest prompt was, but I think it made reference to something along the lines of “write a poem with a theme of ‘night.'” 1st Honorable Mention is fourth down the line from First Place, Second Place, and Third Place, if memory serves.  I have no idea how many entrants were judged in the contest.

Inasmuch as I consider myself a poet only to the extent that I occasionally write a poem (but I am not a ‘serious’ poet), I was pleased to have ‘placed’ in the contest.  My prose, though, is what I hope might shine.  My short story, Funeral Money, didn’t place. I don’t remember that prompt, either. Today, three more contests in which I have entries will be announced: Gouda Hash (a silly whimsical poem that I suspect has no chance of winning); A Lesson in Allegiance (a short story written specifically for the contest, themed on “patriotism,”), and Cameron Bay, a short story I wrote for a another contest but did not submit to that other contest.

I found it interesting that most contest awards included up to six ‘winners.’ The contest sponsored by the Village Writers’ Club had only three winners; First Place, Second Place, and Third Place. The contest chair commented about that; “we asked that each contest name three winners, with additional honorable mentions, but they said ‘no’ and named only the three.” (Or words to that effect.)

Fifty people entered the event’s twenty-six contests, contributing more than 450 entries (if the notes I made yesterday during the awards announcements were correct).  The names of several entrants were read over and over and over again, suggesting to me these folks both write well and know what the sponsors are looking for in submissions. I’m not sure I am likely to continue to submit entries; I have mixed feelings about it.

The read-arounds, though, were interesting. I rather enjoyed reading Sliding Toward the Edge yesterday. I may read The Story of Steve today. Or I may not.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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One Response to Contestables

  1. jserolf says:

    Congratulations, John!!!

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