The countdown to becoming a successfully unemployed writer continues with only 16 days 6 hours and 55 minutes remaining at the time of this post. Yesterday I took an important step (not the MOST important step, but a good one) in the journey. I entered a contest. I don’t know why, but it leaves that old song “On a Wing and a Prayer,” in my head. That’s certainly how it feels. Even if I don’t win, I think these butterflies aren’t going to wear off until after the first year of submissions.
I’ll be returning to my home in the Pacific Northwest (I’m not sure if Idaho counts toward the PacNW but it doesn’t feel like it right now in the midst of snowshoe weather). While home on vacation, M made me aware of the ARS POETICA contest on Bainbridge Island for writers in something like a three or four county adjoining region. What better way to start 2015 – my writing year – than to enter a contest in my hometown area? Then I read the criteria:
- No more than 30 lines.
- That includes the spaces between stanzas.
- We mean it.
Okay, they didn’t actually say the last one. Still, most of my poems (blank lines included) are just over the 30 mark. Let me rephrase – some of my BEST poems are just over the 30 lines criteria. UGH! The entry fee covered up to 30 entries so I did the Walmart thing and made sure I got the most bang for my buck. Not knowing if there was a theme or how the contest originated, I did a miniscule amount of research (“miniscule research” – not a recommended strategy).
Turns out there are several poems by that name but the one that seemed most famous or historically significant was by Horace in ancient times. In summary – he wrote it about writing poetry and drama. So I thought I’d stick to similar themes.
It was difficult but I selected the following:
What do you think? They’re short (it’s the rules) so you can read ’em quick. Tell me honestly if you think I have a shot. Honest and productive criticism is also much appreciated.