Literary Hook: Take advantage of National Poetry Month with contests

In past columns, we have looked at organizations that further the development of writers by offering opportunities for publication as well as fellowship. As noted, the Illinois State Poetry Society is one such organization. Following are some more specific details regarding contests and other events sponsored by the Illinois State Poetry Society.

Illinois State Poetry Society contest

“The Illinois State Poetry Society—14th Annual Contest. Categories: 1. free verse, 2. formal verse, 3. humor.

“Prizes are $50, $30, $10. Maximum length, one page. Submit two copies of each poem, first copy with name, address, e-mail and category in upper left corner; second copy with category but without identification.

“Entry fee: Non-members, $5 for up to 3 poems, $1 for each additional poem. No previously published work is accepted. Poems not returned. Out-of-state judge for each category.

“Submissions sent snail mail to Marilyn Huntman Giese, 2572 Westminster Lane, Aurora, IL 60506. Winners’ names posted in ISPS Web site: Deadline, postmarked Aug. 30, 2006.”

Helen Schaible contest

“Helen Schaible Shakespearean/Petrarchan Sonnet Contest: Submit two copies of either a Shakespearean or Petrarchan sonnet, which has not yet been published, address on one sheet in right corner, but no identification on second copy.

“Prizes are $50, $35, $15 and 3 special recognitions. There is no fee. Winners noted by Oct. 30, 2006. No entries returned. Enclose a SASE for winners’ list. Mail entries, postmarked by Sept. 1, to Tom Roby, Apt. 2702, 1212 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60605.”

Sacred Heart Convent readings

Illinois State Poetry Society also will host readings at the Sacred Heart Convent in Lisle, for the residents of assisted living at 2:30 p.m. the first Saturday of each month. In addition, ISPS will present monthly readings at Brewed Awakening coffee shop on the last Sunday of each month at 12:30 p.m., 19 W. Quincy St., Westmont, Ill. For more specific information about these events, access

Local happenings

Closer to home, Barnes & Noble of Rockford announces two open mic nights: April 7 and April 14, starting at 7 p.m. This event is open to local poets.

Since April is National Poetry Month, it’s nice to know there are venues locally and statewide. Take advantage!

Christine Swanberg is a local author and poet who has written several books of poetry and formerly wrote a column called “The Writer’s Garret” for this newspaper.

From the April 5-11, 2006, issue

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