Poems will be split into two categories, “Social Justice” and “Indiana History.” One winner will be chosen from each. Additionally, there will also be two finalists chosen from each category. All six poems—each winner and the finalists—will be published on The Wabash Watershed, the official website/web magazine of current Indiana Poet Laureate, George Kalamaras.
First Prize winners in each category will receive an award of $100. Second and third place in each category will receive $50 each. In the unlikely event that quality of submissions is lower than expected, fewer than these six prizes may be awarded.
There is NO entry fee. Because of the need to continue promoting poetry in our state, Indiana Poet Laureate, George Kalamaras, is offering up a portion of his honorarium to fund these prizes and honor winning Indiana poets with recognition both through publication and monetary awards.
The submission period for this year’s prize competitions is June 1, 2015 through July 1, 2015. Entries must be previously unpublished* and must be original work written in English by a current resident of Indiana. Current students and employees at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne are not eligible, nor are former students of George Kalamaras.
George Kalamaras will serve as one of the initial screeners. In order to ensure his objectivity, please do not submit a poem you have cause to believe he might be able to identify. If he identifies a poem as belonging to someone he knows, the submission will be withdrawn from consideration.
Finalists will be sent to an outside judge for final decisions.
*What is eligible as unpublished work? We at The Wabash Watershed define “unpublished” as work that has not been published by an online or print publication and is not currently accepted for such publication.
Two Submission Categories: Social Justice and Indiana History
This year, we are offering prizes in the two categories of Social Justice and Indiana History. What do we mean when we say social justice and history? We do not necessarily mean poems should focus literally on either social justice or historical imagery and/or events—though we certainly welcome poems that do this. Language itself can also be examined in terms of social considerations and history. Thus, you may also focus on what these words mean to you and how social factors or history shape language.
Further, what do the words social justice represent to you? Are there systemic forces that allow and/or prevent acceptance? How do these forces shape your perceptions of social justice? Think of all the arenas that can fall outside of expectations that could be socially examined—including, but certainly not limited to, race, class, gender, and sexual orientation. The same can be examined with poems of Indiana history? Who writes history? What is the difference between history and anecdote? Are there systematic forces that allow or suppress certain histories from gaining prominence? How do social justice and historical issues interact with your notions of community and what that means for you as a resident of Indiana?
These are only a few examples, but we hope you see that there are many and varying definitions for our two categories of Social Justice and Indiana History. While we love equally poems about and images of the French and Indian War, the Indiana fur trade, the history of Indiana’s steel industry, and poems that speak out against racism, sexism, and other injustices, we also encourage you to explore for yourselves what it means either to be socially aware or historical and what that means for you as a resident of Indiana.
Submission Guidelines—PLEASE READ THOROUGHLY
Contestants may submit both to the “Social Justice” and “Indiana History” categories, but may submit only one time to each category.
Please submit 1-3 poems (or a total of 100 lines of poetry for the entire submission) in any one category to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submissions must be in one document and must either be in PDF or Microsoft Word .doc or .docx format, with only one poem per page. Do not send each poem as its own individual document.
Please put your name and poem category—“Social Justice” or “Indiana History”—as the subject heading of the email.
In the body of the email, please include the following information in this format:
Website (if applicable)
Title of Poem 1
Title of Poem 2
Title of Poem 3
DO NOT include your name or any identifying information anywhere on the attached document with your poems.
Simultaneous submissions are okay. Entries may be under consideration with another publisher, but we ask that you please contact The Wabash Watershed immediately if a submission is accepted for publication elsewhere, so we can withdraw it from consideration. If you are one of the finalists—and your poem appears on The Wabash Watershed—The Wabash Watershed acquires first rights, and you may later reprint your poem with the acknowledgment (of course) that The Wabash Watershed was the place of first appearance.
Entries will be accepted from June 1, 2015 until 11:59:59 PM EST on July 1, 2015.
All entrants should receive notification of the results via email by July 31, 2015.
Please understand that we cannot accept submissions that do not adhere completely to these guidelines.