Amateur Poetry Contest 

It's always best to be cautious when entering writing contests, particularly when the word "amateur" is involved--often guaranteeing that the participants know little or nothing about the writing industry.

However, if you're looking to a poetry contest for fame, fortune and glory, a group called The Talent Literary Guild is holding an Amateur Open Poetry Contest. There is no entry fee. Poems may be written in any style on any subject, but must be limited to 20 lines or less. In all, there are 50 prizes, including at $1,000 grand prize. Contest editors may elect to publish the winning poems in a pamphlet and send it to all entrants with a list of the winners.

We're still wondering what an "amateur poet" is. Does the adjective refer to the status of the poet or the quality of the poetry? At the risk of sounding like a scolding auntie, do remember to check up on the rights to your poem before you enter the contest. Better to ask now than regret later. We suggest e-mailing your questions to organizer Thomas Grey at greyband@excite.com.

If you want to throw your hat into the ring, enter the contest at www.freecontest.com or send a snail-mail copy of your poem to Free Poetry Contest, 1257 Siskiyou Blvd., PMB 4, Ashland, OR 97520.

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