Our Guest Judge Is 
The Immediate Past
Kansas Poet Laureate Eric McHenry

The purpose of the contest is to recognize the work of an outstanding poet and to promote that poet's career, but it is also the major fundraiser for Songs of Eretz.  Our goal is to raise enough funds to exceed covering the operating expenses of holding the contest and publishing the Review, so that contributors to the Review may continue to receive honoraria for their work and so that the offerings of Songs of Eretz and our promotion of poetry may expand and grow.  In the most unlikely event that the contest does not take in enough funds to cover the entire $1,000 award (this has never happened), a reduced award will be offered, or the contest may be canceled and all donations refunded at the discretion of the editor.  The contest staff, editor, and judge are paid last and only if funds are available. 

Why You Should Enter:  We humbly suggest that you enter the contest only if:  you support Songs of Eretz and its mission, enjoy our week-daily offerings, would like to see us expand and grow, and/or would appreciate having your work critiqued by our Editor and as a BONUS would enjoy having a CHANCE to win the award and have your work read by our judge.  If your motivation is primarily to win and/or to have your work read by our judge, you are almost certainly going to be disappointed, and rather than upset a friend we would actually prefer that you give our contest a pass.  While every poem entered will be read and critiqued by our Editor, only those poems selected by the Editor for the finals will be read by the judge, and only one poem (or set of poems by the same poet) out of many will win.  Typically, fewer than 5% of the poems entered will make it to the finals, and the chance of winning will be only a tiny fraction of 1%.

Why You Should Enter Early--And Often:  Every poem you enter will be read by and receive comments from our Editor on a rolling basis--we do NOT wait until the end of the contest to respond.  If none of the poems in your first batch advances in the contest, you will have the distinct advantage of the Editor's comments to consider as you prepare your next batch.  Even if you intend to (or can afford to) enter only once, you will receive your answer earlier and much sooner if you enter early, as most people (let's face it!) procrastinate and overwhelm us with submissions toward the end.

Email Contact List:  
If you submit to the contestwe will count you as one of our supporters, and your email address will be added to our contact list.  This means you will receive periodic updates from Songs of Eretz and solicitations when we hold other contests and do our fundraising--all of which you are free to ignore. If you have any objection to this, then this contest is NOT for you--do NOT submit.

Important Definitions & Exclusions (skip this section at your peril):  
A "submission" is a batch of up to five poems submitted during the same hour.  BOTH UNPUBLISHED WORK AND REPRINTS ARE WELCOME (except for work previously published in a Songs of Eretz venue).  Poetry of any genre and length will be considered. 

A "poem" is a SINGLE piece of verse.  If your poem is really a numbered series of poems, each numbered poem in the series counts as ONE.  If you are not sure, query first.

Poems previously submitted to a Songs of Eretz venue, whether accepted or rejected for publication, are NOT eligible.

Collaborative work (a poem composed by more than one poet) is NOT permitted.

Simultaneous submissions ARE permitted.

Work pending publication elsewhere is NOT permitted.

Past or present Songs of Eretz Frequent Contributors are NOT eligible to participate.  Frequent Contributors are up-and-coming poets hand-picked by the editor--their names appear (or once appeared) on our masthead.  Other poets who frequently contribute are NOT Frequent Contributors and ARE welcome to participate.

Past Songs of Eretz Poetry Award Contest winners and past and current Songs of Eretz staff members and guest contest judges and their immediate families are also NOT eligible.

Failure to follow these simple instructions may result in your submission being disqualified at the discretion of the Songs of Eretz Staff.

To submit, first go to to send your twenty dollar minimum donation for each batch of up to five poems.  Use for the recipient's address.  

IMPORTANT:  Include your name and the title(s) of your poem(s) in the comment section.

Next, email up to FIVE poems, each poem IN A SEPARATE EMAIL (one poem per email), to  

MOST IMPORTANT:  Each Subject Line should read:  "Contest Submission [Title of Poem]".  

Your poem should appear in the body of your email--DO NOT SEND ATTACHMENTS.  If for reason of special formatting you feel an attachment is necessary in order to present your poem properly, query first.  

Cover Letter:  Include a cover letter IN THE BODY OF EACH EMAIL with following information:
- The poem's publication history (unpublished or prior publication history)
- If yours is a simultaneous submission or not (simultaneous submissions ARE accepted).
- How you discovered the contest.
- Your contact information:  PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR CITY & STATE (& country if you reside outside the USA).
Please do not include anything else (such as your bio, credits, or any explanatory material or notes).  Submissions that include such additional information will be automatically disqualified.  If you feel your poem requires an explanation, revise it until you feel it does not.

Response Time and Feedback:  
Enter early and enter often!  Unlike most contests, entries will be read and responded to on a rolling basis, usually within a few days of submission--we do NOT wait until the contest is closed to respond.  Every poem will be read and receive personal feedback from the editor--from a few kind words to a mini-critique.  Only poems that make it to the finals will be read and receive personal feedback from the judge.

Every previously unpublished poem submitted will be considered for unpaid publication in Songs of Eretz Poetry Review.  

The winning entry will be published (or reprinted) in the Review as a special feature.

One of your poems may win, or more than one of your poems may be declared a winning "set."  If one (or more than one) of your poems is offered a spot in the Review, you will be asked for (and expected to provide) your bio, publication credits, and a "poet's notes" statement--but PLEASE wait to be asked for these items.  The wording of your bio and notes may be subject to gentle editing, but there is no limit as to length.


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