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April 18, 2018

Sweek Poetry Contest #SweekPoetsSociety

UPDATE: WINNERS ANNOUNCEMENT

WINNER: Monday Lunchtime

Feedback:

“I enjoyed this for its powerful emotional punch and conciseness. The title pairs well with the content of the piece, too.”

This is a clever little poem! I love how Monday Lunchtime becomes a pub that equals a cemetery. Nice layered metaphor (and done by the end of the first line)! If you were to revise this: I’d think about how cemeteries are immediately and always associated with bodies—is there a way to remove bodies and turn it into something less expected? 

FEEDBACK FOR OTHER SHORTLISTED PARTICIPANTS:

Don’t Evade the Divine Moonlight by Ashley Middleton

“Cleverly and beautifully written. Fantastic imagery.”

The villanelle—what an ambitious form! This poem oscillates between pentameter and tetrameter, the sound flows, and it’s nice that some lines don’t end in a complete thought. It’s hard to tell what’s happening in this poem though—I think it could benefit from more specificity and some less familiar, less expected associations (e.g. “crimson streams”) so that when the repeating lines land together at the end the reader will feel and understand more of the transformation and arrival. You might know of this poem already, but I highly recommend studying Bishop’s “One Art”: it’s a great example of a villanelle that plays with the refrain lines and really builds and lands its arrival.

Bipolarity of Nothingness by Ashley Middleton

“The lyricism in the poem’s rhymes was beautiful. And I particularly enjoyed the closing line.”

This poem has a nice momentum to it.  I think it could be revised to be more vivid, to have much more of a unique life. Some of the descriptions are familiar, use cliché associations; “on a chessboard called life” (life is a game of chess); perhaps chessboard could become something less familiar, stranger, and just as specific. The last line of the poem explains what the previous line states. Here I’m thinking of that classic teaching tool “show don’t tell”—the poem sets the scene to watch the self’s performance—what if we saw, felt, heard, something in it instead of being told what it means?

A Self Portrait by Scarlettmedz

This poem has potential. The adjectives and adverbs weigh it down, and it would be much better without most or all of them. Tip: Try to use specific verbs that do the work of the adverb (for instance, there is no need to say “slam hard” because slam does the work of hard. The same goes for “flash brightly”—to flash is to “shine in a bright but brief, sudden or intermittent way” (definition from googling). And as for adjectives, they can be just as bad as they are good, and when used too much, the reader must swim through the language to try to picture the actual description. Also, think of ways to turn some of the cliché associations (eyes like diamonds, Cupid’s bow) into less familiar and more unique ones. Some of the lines in this poem explain what was said right before (“Dark folds upon folds” tells the reader that nothing can be seen). Important tip: Before submitting poems, always reread and fix typos (“bumpd” “filled it”).

Came. by Devna Pandya

“Sharp, biting language made this an entertaining read.”

This is a courageous poem to write, and a difficult subject to write about well. It could be revised to become more unique and unexpected. Some of the descriptions are familiar, use cliché associations; “I sold my body,/ Not my soul.” The first three lines explain to the reader what lines 4 through 7 show quite well. “Pushed a dime between the legs  (“the” —> “my”)” shows all of this, but in a much more specific and less familiar way. 

Also, what if each line didn’t end in a complete punctuated thought? I’d play with the line breaks—the poem could become more surprising. Lastly, there’s extra punctuation (specifically commas—where they’re not grammatically needed—that interrupt the pace and flow).

Springtime in Treblinka by Augustus Wind

The specificity of this title grabbed me, the rhymes flow well, and I appreciate that each line doesn’t end with a complete thought. This poem could be revised to become more unique and unexpected. In the beginning, hell is “colorful and vibrant”—this could be more specific (maybe some detail of Treblinka or an image, sound, etc. that the reader could experience?). Some of the descriptions are familiar, use cliché associations and phrases: crisp blue skies, hopes and dreams, muffle the screams, all good things come to an end. How could you describe these in a less familiar, stranger, more specific way that’s unique to how you, the author of the poem, experience and perceive?

If We Were Messenger Bird by AbigailMarie

A lovely metaphor that remained consistent throughout the piece gave it a beautifully moving quality.”

This poem has a nice logic, but it’s a little tricky to follow—especially at the start of stanza 4 (“signed me” —> signed by me?). The “we” is a bit confusing as well. I think it could also be revised to be shorter, and could explain less to the reader. Maybe it could even swerve away from the birds and into an experience, memory, etc.

Lost in Reality by Anastasia Shepherd

” […] excitingly mature and deep understanding of the nature of life and its development.”

This poem has an interesting logic. I think it could benefit from another title—one that’s not so familiar, maybe something specific that the poem represents. As is, this draft feels like it’s explaining a world and the processing of it to the reader, but without giving the reader a window or any specific descriptions or experiences at all. I think it could benefit from a complete revision (in the literal sense, “to see again”) that includes specific images, senses, moments, etc.

Irrevocable Love (Just a Dream) by Ahana Hom Roy

“It captured the reality of longing post-heartbreak.”

The strength of this poem is in the description of the moment-by-moment details and actions. When it’s not doing this, the poem is doing a lot of explaining to the reader (this is making me think of that classic teaching tool: “show don’t tell”). Some descriptions are given twice, but need to be said only once (e.g. “thousands of bodies” implies a crowd; a sigh is an audible thing, so “out loud” doesn’t necessarily add meaning). Some of the descriptions are familiar, use cliché associations and phrases: drink away your sorrows, fallen in love, force a smile, slideshow of memories, making new memories, claim the stars, blanket of stars, pitch black. How could you describe these in a less familiar, stranger, more specific way that’s unique to how you, the author of the poem, experience and perceive? I think this poem could be much shorter. I recommend playing with the line breaks—some lines might be more interesting if they give a little more information before ending. Also, one of the most common motifs is to have the narrator realize at the end that the experience was a dream. If you do decide to keep this ending, I’d recommend rethinking the title because it spoils it from the start. Tip: Always reread for typos before submitting work (“atleast”).

Time Out by Sean

“Strong, consistent style and vivid imagery.”

I think the most interesting part of this long poem is in the Saturday section. I think the whole poem might exist somewhere in there and just needs to be rewritten and revised. A number of the descriptions are familiar, use cliché associations and phrases: thudding of your heart, losing time, fighting a losing battle, slipping through your fingers, memories fading (memory of memories fades), losing track of the days, heart pound. How could you describe these in a less familiar, stranger, more specific way that’s unique to how you, the author of the poem, experience and perceive? I also think this poem could be much, much shorter (as is it repeats a lot of information throughout, but not necessarily in a way that brings surprise or transformation). I think it could benefit from a complete revision (in the literal sense, “to see again”) that includes specific images, senses, moments, etc.—more like the moment that occurs in Saturday, when the broken clock is taken down.

 

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Time for the most awaited writing competition! We are thrilled to announce the first Sweek Poetry Awards!

With almost two months of open submissions and an unlimited number of entries per person, we hope to receive a waterfall of poems, ready to reveal your poetic view of the world around you.

 

CONTEST SUMMARY

 

    • Word limit: 10 – 2,000 words
    • You can publish either one poem or a whole collection (if it does not exceed 2,000 words in total)
    • Global 
    • Previously published work is allowed
    • Open topic for poetry only (you poems can be on anything you want)

 

  DURATION

 

Submissions open: 18th of April – 25th of June @23:59 CET

Jury period: 9th of July – 6th of August

Winners announced: 15th of August

 

  PARTICIPATING LANGUAGES

 

English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Polish, Indonesian

 

  PRIZES

 

🏆 Grand prize: $100

🏅 Popularity prize: will get a special badge

🎁 Shortlist (10 titles) will receive feedback from the juries, will be featured on Sweek and be awarded a badge; It will be also published online via Milk Press (*read more in the ‘Partners’ section)

 

JURY MEMBERS AND PARTNERS

 

Partners

The Poetry Society of New York  this is a non-profit that aims to promote poetry by organising various projects and events. PSNY will provide jury members as well as publish the winners online via Milk Press

  

 

Jury Members

Beau  Christopher Taplin – is an internationally recognised author and social media sensation. Following a formative education at Melbourne Rudolf Steiner, Beau found some success as a songwriter before turning his passions to poetry and prose. His works include ‘Worlds Of You’ and ‘Bloom’.

 

 

Tara Skurtu – an American poet and translator based in Romania. She is a two-time U.S. Fulbright grantee and recipient of two Academy of American Poets prizes and a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship in Poetry. Her recent poems appear in Salmagundi, the Kenyon Review, and Poetry Review. Tara is the author of the chapbook Skurtu, Romania and the full poetry collection The Amoeba Game. She teaches creative writing in Bucharest.

 

 

Rachel R. Noall published her first collection of poetry, Play On Words, in December of 2017. She is currently a MA candidate at The University of Denver’s Creative Writing program and is the Editor-in-Chief of an art and literary magazine called From Whispers to Roars.

 

 

Papercrumbs by Erin Van Vuren – Erin is a published writer from Southern California. She is most well known for her world-renowned poetry. Before her success on social media, she worked as a professional speaker and a journalist as a young child. Her life’s mission is to bring hope and inspiration to the world through her art.

 

 

Writings of Vinati – Vinati Bhola is an internationally published poet from India. She’s a lawyer who falls back on poetry to keep up with the monotony of everyday life. Living by the motto ‘be a wildflower, grow wherever your heart beats’, she represented India in the “Dear India” campaign in Dubai and launched her first collection of English poems Udaari, which is an unbridled downpour of love, madness, chaos, and calm. The book is available on Amazon.

 

 

HOW TO PARTICIPATE

 

Step 1: Download the Sweek app or use our website:

Website: https://sweek.com/

Android app: http://bit.ly/SweekforAndroid

iOS app: http://bit.ly/SweekforiOS

Step 2: Create an account or log in.

Step 3: Upload your poem by going to ‘My stories’ and ‘Start a new story’.

Step 4: Publish your poems with the tag #SweekPoetsSociety in the tags section in Story Details.

That’s it! Don’t forget to share your work with friends and family to get more readers!

Video tutorial on how to publish a story on Sweek!

 

  RULES

Read these guidelines carefully before joining this writing competition!

    • You need to be 13 years or older to participate. Younger participants need their parents’ permission.
    • To participate, the entry must be tagged #SweekPoetsSociety in story details.
    • The poem or pamphlet cannot have more than 2,000 words. If you upload a collection of poems, they will be judged as a whole, not on an individual basis (then each poem should be published as a new chapter). In case you want each poem to be judged separately, please upload each as a new story.
    • Only poems submitted before 25/06 @23:59 CET will be accepted.
    • It is a poetry contest. Prose will be disqualified.
    • Poems do not have to be newly uploaded on Sweek (you can participate with previously published work).
    • The poems do not have to be exclusive, meaning they can be already uploaded somewhere else.
    • Participation in the contest is totally free of charge.
    • The entry has to meet Sweek community guidelines.
    • The submitted work must be created by you. You can also write with a friend if you want to, but in case you win, the prize will be shared.
    • You can participate with multiple entries. There is no limit per person.
    • The winner of the popularity prize will be determined by the number of likes.
    • You can edit your entry until the submission deadline. After the deadline, you can no longer modify anything until the winners announcement (this will lead to disqualification).
    • You can win only one cash prize.
    • Spamming on Sweek or falsification of your followers will lead to disqualification of your story with a prior warning.
    • Sweek reserves a right to disqualify any entry that breaks the community guidelines, contains plagiarised or explicit content.
    • The cash prize will be transferred via Paypal (Sweek bears the transfer costs). If the winner is based in Europe, the cash prize can be arranged via a bank transfer. In case there is no option to create a Paypal account, we can arrange the prize via a gift card or a bank transfer for which the costs are split. We are not responsible for currency conversion rate at the time of transferring the cash prize.
    • Participation in the contest constitutes acceptance of the official rules stated above.
    • The contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Facebook.