How to submit to our 2024 poetry contest

It’s National Poetry Month, and our readers are invited to submit original poems in a special TBAYtoday contest.

A stack of books on a wooden porch swing.

Think you’ve got what it takes to turn this newsletter into a poem?

Photo by Karolina Grabowska via Pexels

Calling all readers: In honor of National Poetry Month, you’re officially invited to enter TBAYtoday’s poetry contest.

This contest is open to all, and the rules couldn’t be more simple: Turn our Wednesday, April 3 newsletter into a poem.

We’ll clarify. Using only the words that appear in this newsletter, craft an original poem of up to 75 words. Unlike an erasure poem, the words do not have to appear in the order they’re found — mix and match how you please. Any English word appearing anywhere in today’s newsletter is fair game, including the ones you’re reading right now (we’ll throw some fun ones at you: Red. Ambivalent. Fungi.). If a word appears once, you can only use it once.

The rules:

  • Submit your poem here by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, April 14.
  • Include a title + author’s name in your submission. Titles are an exception to the rule, and do not need to pull words from the newsletter.
  • Poems, excluding title and author’s name, must be 75 words or less.

The fun stuff:

  • While we’ve placed a pretty big limitation on your poem’s words, the form + direction is up to you — and we can’t wait to see what you all come up with.
  • The Editorial team behind TBAYtoday will narrow submissions down to a group of finalists based on style, originality, artistic quality, and creativity. Finalists will be announced in an upcoming newsletter, and we’ll ask our readers to vote for their favorite poem. We’ll feature the winner’s poem in a newsletter during the last full week of April.
  • Pro tip: To make the process easier on yourself, we recommend printing out today’s issue, highlighting the words you find most interesting, and crossing them out as you include them in your poem.
  • Don’t forget to keep track of your articles (words like “the” or “and”).

Happy writing, Tampa Bay.

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