Lengthy Poem Contest

in memory of Christine Gawn Wick

Welcome, welcome,
we’d like to welcome you.
Welcome, you’re welcome.

Welcome to

We are most pleased to now offer
300 U.S. dollars
to a single winner of a
Lengthy Poem Contest.

Three finalists publish on
in April,
followed by several days of Fan Voting.

Winner will be announced on May Day.

2024 Lengthy Poem Contest
is now underway.

Submission for the
2025 Lengthy Poem Contest
will open September 1st of 2024
and remain open until January 1st, 2025

Enjoy the inaugural contest
enjoy the 2022 contest
enjoy the 2023 contest

Bona-fides, Traffic, Publications
Meet the contest judge Paul-Newell Reaves

Your work must include line breaks, no prose poems.

Must be at least 120 lines, not counting the title, partitions between stanzas, or paratextual elements– such as epigraphs or dedications– while no longer than, roughly, chapbook length.

Due to reasons of our internet publication and its daily posts, best to divide the work into parts or sections of some sort, though this is certainly not a strict requirement. Parts should be separately titled, numbered or otherwise differentiated from one another. Uninterrupted works will still be considered.

Poem cycles will be considered.

Should be a clear thread connecting the work. May help establishing such a thread to include a defense, or argument, or some thoughts before or after the poem. This may be published, at your prerogative, alongside the rest of the work.

Send your best work. You will write better, soon.

Describing taste for poems is a mostly futile endeavor, so here are contest judge Paul-Newell Reaves’ favorite poets, along with three poets that he does not appreciate.

W.B. Yeats for his epiphanies; Elizabeth Bishop for her softness; Kahlil Gibran for his philosophizing; Jane Shore for her characters; T.S. Eliot for his grandiosity ; Lauryn Hill for her meta-narratives.

Does not appreciate:
Wallace Stevens;
W.S. Merwin;
Edmund Spenser

click here to find out
What He Looks For in a Lengthy Poem

A.I. Policy:
[if you take pride in writing, skip this section]

You can try out A.I. for our contests, if you truly worry your writing skills are too flimsy. But you should probably trust your own abilities more.

I trained LLMs in creative writing, so not only will I probably recognize their work, I’ll even give you some hints:
A.I. doesn’t generate original ideas– that’s the fundamental premise of the software, it rips off stuff that’s already been published– so you’d definitely better come up with your basic conceit by hand. As to the work itself, in order to make A.I.’s writing remotely interesting, stylistically, you must be very specific about which authors’ style you want the software to write in. Pick two or three writers you enjoy reading, and put their names in the box along with your concept. Most importantly, revise the automaton’s work– and I’m not talking about typos.

That’s almost the entirety of the writing process, really– creating your concept, reading your favorite authors for inspiration, then the extensive revision– if a bot will get you over your initial writing block, I guess that’s a good use for the tool.  Just don’t be satisfied with mediocrity. Your readers certainly won’t be. (and with that fun, little worm in your brain– the bit about mediocrity, you know, that the work could always be just a little bit better if you only change one thing more…– A.I. won’t save you all that much time, percentage wise.)

Writing is a joy– an outlet, a passion– and if you’re using A.I. for contests for only our meager prizes, good luck with your life and the state of your soul…

We do not read blind. Actually, we’d like to know a little bit about you, so please include a cover letter in your submission email.

Our proudest moments are the opportunities to present under-published authors. If you have none or few prior publications, be sure to tell us.

Please include the title of your work above your poem.
Please include a line count.
Please include a phone number, should our replies be lost. In no way will it be distributed or published.

Email all you wish us to consider in a single downloadable document–
PDFs are difficult to transcribe to our site, so are not preferred–
MUST include the subject line “Lengthy Poem Contest”
— to
PNRenterpriZes[at]gmail[dot]com requires only Electronic Rights– including Electronic Archival Rights– and Author maintains all Future Rights.

We adhere strictly to CLMP contest code of ethics.

Please do not submit if you have any affiliation with contest judge Paul-Newell Reaves.

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