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Home » Writing Poetry » Entering Contest Competitions

Ways to improve your poetry. Post your techniques, tips, and creative ideas how to write better.
5/6/2010 11:10:31 AM

Linda-Marie SweetHeart
Posts: 2
Entering contest competitions will increase the productivity and progress of any writer or poet. From my own experience of many years accepting challenges of contests has broadened my range and scope of both poetry and short stories...
I suggest doing this as a valuable tool to learn and grow in your writing life..luv.. "Sweetheart"
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5/6/2010 11:22:01 AM

Chris D. Aechtner
Posts: 47
I agree with you Linda-Marie, especially since there are poets here who say that if they have 'writer's block', looking at the contests helps to inspire a new surge of writing.
There can be a downfall( yes of course, I HAVE to add my own spin lol). I think some people enter too many contests too quickly, and end up quickly patching together a bunch of quantity over quality. Chris.
edited by DeLicht on 5/6/2010
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5/6/2010 11:29:17 AM

Carolyn Devonshire
Posts: 1
Chris, I'm sure you're right about quantity over quality. Sometimes, however, contests close inside 24 hours and those who want to enter have to act quickly. Perhaps we should encourage contestants to take their time by allowing more entries? That does make the judging even more difficult, however. I'm always scratching my head and often looking to other Soupers for help in judging. I appreciate any feedback you can offer on this dilemna. (And I'm among those who probably enter too many contests too quickly.) Love, Carolyn
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5/6/2010 11:35:52 AM

Chris D. Aechtner
Posts: 47
Carolyn, your poems are wonderful to read. I was only trying to make a small point. You have made several good points in return. Yes, people run out of time because they are busy, and the contest might be of great interest to them. My own poems can be terrible even if I am not rushing into contests lol. I am not one to talk.
I just notice how sometimes very skilled poets write their worst stuff when trying for a contest....I was just wondering if they are just rushing too quickly, entering too many contests. In the end, the contests are just for fun anyway.
edited by DeLicht on 5/6/2010
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5/6/2010 12:13:33 PM

Andrea Dietrich
Posts: 7
Interesting comments here. I think a lot of poets already have poems on hand that they use in the contests, Christopher. about half of mine are of that variety and have never been posted here before, much less entered in a contest. I see some poets even using poems that they already won awards for in other contests! Actually, I take back what i said originally. I never wrote "haiku" before coming here, and now I have entered about 15 haiku/senryu contests and those are ALL brand new because they were most of them based on pictures. I have found that challenges inspired more than 50 percent of the total sum of all my writing these past ten years! Without them, I never would have acheived as much I did in my short time writing poetry. If you can call ten years short. It seems like just yesterday sometimes! I think the solution is easy to ensure people have time to create a new poem. Just don't use fast deadlines!! I"ve noticed lately that, except in the haiku contests, a 35 limit contest is taking nearly a week or more to fill! andrea
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5/6/2010 12:45:03 PM

Chris D. Aechtner
Posts: 47
@Andrea. Ahhhhh, so the truth comes out. Some people enter contests with old poetry! J/K.
Well, I bet some of those 'older' poems are some of the better ones? Hmmmm, I only write 'live' for the contsest, because I thought maybe I would be cheating myself. But if the Mormons do it on occassion, it can't be a sin right! Hahahaha! J/K again. By the way, the Elders who drop by are very fun to talk with....they have given up on our town, so they drop by my place often. Chris.
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5/6/2010 1:18:31 PM

Joe Flach
Posts: 15
Guilty as charged. I can't help myself. As soon as I am presented with a new challenge I can't wait to sit down and see what words spill out of my head. With me, my best poems are often those that I compose within minutes while taking a shower or walking the dog or... For me, if I sit down and try to intelligently think it out, compose it, play around with it, perfect it, I get drivel. I go the first instinct, gut feel route. But, hey, that's just me. As a result, I find I am one of the first entries in the contests I enter. Some I think are pure genius and others I think are pure junk - but that is how I write. For me, the challenge is to come up with the theme. Having a theme presented to me takes that impediment away and off to the page I go. Sometimes I feel like my mind doesn't even know what my fingers are typing until it sees the words on the screen. Okay, so I am weird. And I am guilty of quickly entering the contests. And this has resulted in quantities I would not otherwise have achieved. But, and this is the crescendo, I am having a blast!!!!! Thanks to all.
edited by jflach on 5/6/2010
edited by jflach on 5/6/2010
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5/6/2010 5:35:15 PM

Anthony Amero
Posts: 4
I have found entering contests has improved my breadth and quality. I enjoy having to become inspired on the spot, so to speak. I didn't use to enter contests until I joined here and do not enter too many due to time constraints, but I do enjoy the challenge. I both modify old ones to fit or create new ones, depends on what's called for. Love this site and the people I have interacted with. And I appreciate the comments.
Tony
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5/6/2010 9:34:45 PM

cecil hickman
Posts: 4
well preety much all of my poems are written within about 3 to 15 minutes,every one is new that I have posted here in the past year, inspired by either a contest or something else,,i enjoy all the contests even if I do not submit to all of them,,...I have found for me the more I labor over a piece the worse i make it,,I account all of my writings to my muse that hangs next to my computer,,she is not real to anyone else but me,,and me alone,,,,I know the contests held here at the soup has improved my writings a great deal along with all the reading I do that others post,,I do get behind alot on my rereading others posts and I do sincerely apologise for that,,,,,,Blessings..Cecil
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5/7/2010 6:45:08 AM

Broken Wings
Posts: 13
I like to enter and sponsor contests for the learning experience. When I place, in the contest, I am very pleased, but the true reward is in creating something beautiful for self, and to share. I have seen myself, growing as a poet, because of this site and its wonderful members. And I truly appreciate the challenge of the contests, making us try perhaps a form, we would never have thought we could master.
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5/7/2010 7:52:36 AM

James Fraser
Posts: 32
When i joined the Soup, i was amazed at the poetry standard that the contests drew. I never in my wildest dreams thought that i would do well in any of them. But over the months, my writing grew to a level that was appreciated by substantial poets such as Raul Moreno and Brian Strand. They, and Carolyn Devonshire have helped big time, as with many others. I am glad i found the Soup, there are so many wonderful people on here. Keep writing >> James
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5/7/2010 9:05:22 AM

Chris D. Aechtner
Posts: 47
The comment I left in the beginning of the thread was something I could have left unspoken. Many people write poetry on the spur of the moment anyway, so they benefit even more from the contests. I am amazed at the awesome poems entered into the contests. I was referring to poets who I believe are far more talented than I am, who seem to coincedentally write rushed, sub-par pieces when it comes to contests. Who I am to judge this process anyway? I personally really enjoy the contests here....and maybe that is the whole point--to simply enjoy the contests. From now on, I will just keep my big mouth shut on the matter lol. Chris.
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5/7/2010 9:42:21 AM

Andrea Dietrich
Posts: 7
About the contests, I just assumed a lot of people were using old poems sometimes in the contests. I could never write a poem in fifeen minutues, unless it were a shortie fun type of poem or etheree or haiku. I take anywhere from one hour up to SEVEN for a sonnet when i am trying to do a super good job. I guess my muse is a perfectionist muse. Has to be precise and rarely spur of the moment. Chris, if you look at people's contest entries, you will often see that they are coming from posts that were orginally made months ago here at the Soup!! It's a common practice, not just my Mormon cheating ways. hahahaha. YOu are so funny. And off I go now to see an R mated movie, but I won't be having any coffee, especially not java. heeheehee. LUv, Andrea PS This is a great way for non premium members to actually blog, you know it? You are not premium yet, right? Good "blog" you started, that is sure what it feels like to me, just another place for a great blog!
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5/7/2010 9:51:14 AM

James Fraser
Posts: 32
Chris, you are more than entitled to air your thoughts, and i will continue to read them. Have a great day, James.
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5/7/2010 4:15:59 PM

cecil hickman
Posts: 4
yes I agree whole heartedly ,,anyone and everyone should voice there thoughts always,,,Blessings..cecil
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7/17/2010 4:39:46 AM

James Marshall Goff
Posts: 4
I agree with all said here! for contests, sometimes what Joe said is the most fun for me...if I am instantly inspired and the words to my work spark magic, then I'm happy/happy... truthfully, approx. 2-3 poems of mine out of the 38 member contests I have entered have been old posted poems...this is usually because (in my mind!) they are perfect for the contest theme! for me, haiku and couplet is easy...and my free-verse sometimes travels to far outer space!! I need to work on some of the more challenging (again, for me!) forms to stretch my growth...jimbo
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