Guidelines for NFSPS BlackBerryPeach Prizes for Poetry: Spoken & Heard - Sponsored by the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (NFSPS)
The annual BlackBerryPeach Prizes for Poetry competition blends "stage" and "page" poetry, giving equal weight to performance and poetics.
Please read the following carefully. Not following ALL guidelines disqualifies a
Entry fee is $10.00 for NFSPS members and for
anyone 21 years of age or or younger (at the time of submission); it is $15.00 for all others.
Members of state poetry societies affiliated with NFSPS are
members. Click here to see if your organization is an NFSPS
All fees are payable at
Submittable.com with a credit card or PayPal account.
- Submissions will be accepted between January 1 and March 15, 2018, using the Submittable.com online system, which will
be accessible only during that time.
- An electronic switch will open the
Submissions function in the first minute of January 1, 2018, and close it
automatically at midnight Pacific Standard Time on March 15, 2018.
- Make sure you know your local time
relative to Pacific Standard Time in the United States. International
contestants are advised to submit no later than March 14, 2018. Indeed, we urge every
entrant to submit early so that our committee will have time to contact you if
we spot anything amiss with your submission.
- Open to all poets writing and speaking in English.
- To enter this competition, you must have a Submittable.com account. If you currently have one, you may use it to enter the competition. If you do not have an account, use the online sign-up to get your free, personal, and permanent account. Signing up is simple and your account is instantly usable. Visit nfsps.submittable.com/submit for further information.
- First place winners will not be eligible to compete in the year following their win.
Follow the general guidelines below as well as the specific guidelines for the text and audio portions of your submission. Be sure to also read the specifics on the upload page.
Once you have uploaded the files, you cannot make edits. You will be notified automatically that your entry has been received. Once the contest is over, the files will be securely archived, and you need not go back to withdraw them.
GENERAL SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:
- Online submissions only (through Submittable.com).
- Open to all poets writing/speaking in English.
- Original work by a single author.
- Only one entry of four poems per
contestant, please. Multiple entries
will disqualify all submissions from that contestant.
- No identification. There must be no author
identification anywhere on the audio files or in the transcript; no
biographical information that could disclose your identity. Do not include your name as part of either
audio or written file name. Substitute a
fictitious name if your real name is in a title or poem; if you win, you can
put your real name back into the work before publication.
- Be sure both audio and document files are ready on
your computer or mobile device before you begin the submission process, because
the online entry operation will direct you to upload them in tandem.
AUDIO GUIDELINES: Submit one audio recording of
your four poems in .mp3 or .WAV format.
If you choose .WAV, we recommend you record in stereo using at least
24-bit, 96 KB/second.
- Procedure: For
each poem, say the poem number and its title, then pause for a few
3-minute time limit for each poem begins the moment you start speaking again.
At the end of each poem, pause for about 20 seconds before announcing the next
- Voice only: No
musical or percussion accompaniment during competition. Winners can add music, finger snaps,
dance, etc. during performance at the convention or in subsequent recordings,
as long as the music is original and/or not protected by copyright.
- No video files: Videos will be disqualified. If you are announced as a winner, you will
have the choice of being filmed at the convention or submitting a video you
have made yourself. If you use props,
background music, etc. during the video filming, please observe the copyright
restrictions mentioned above.
TRANSCRIPT GUIDELINES: Must contain your four
poems in the order they are performed on the audio file. Acceptable file formats for the transcript
include .doc and .docx (MS Word) and .pdf.
- Transcript Fonts and Spacing: Type
poems in 12-point Times New Roman or similar type font and black ink. Colored
text and script, fancy or unusual fonts will not be accepted. Single-space your
poems and start lines at the left margin, unless you are clearly using spacing as a poetic device. Insert a page break between each poem. Title each poem.
- Pagination: Pages of transcript numbered at lower right
corner, one poem, one column per page.
Poems may be continued on a second or third page, but do not put two
poems on the same page.
- Auxiliary pages (Dedication,
Acknowledgments, Cover letter, Bio, etc.):
Do NOT include these in your initial entry. If you win, you will be
asked for a brief biography and will have ample opportunity to include the
other elements during the editing phase.
- Editorial input: Because the chapbook will contain the work of at least three poets, the BBP3 Chair and/or chapbook editor will determine its design,
including cover and supplemental text.
- While we honor your First Amendment right of free
speech, be aware that any profanity used must be necessary to the literary
integrity of the poem. Our judge will
view the gratuitous use of profanity as a crutch for shoddy craftsmanship or as
a cliché that has
lost its shock value.
- The NFSPS will not give prizes for, nor publish, work
that perpetuates derogatory stereotypes.
Nor will it accept work that is obscene, prurient or sexually graphic,
hate-mongering, or abusive of any social, racial, ethnic, religious, or gender
- Cash awards. First place $1,000, Second place $500, Third place $250.
- Publication by NFSPS of a perfect-bound
6"x9" chapbook containing, at the editor's discretion, the four poems
from each of the three prizewinners, to be marketed through Amazon.com.
- Videos of the winning performances will be posted on YouTube. The NFSPS website will post links to the
YouTube presentations and to Amazon.com for chapbook purchase.
- 25 free copies of the chapbook for each winner to sell at the 2017
NFSPS Convention or to keep for personal use.
- Invitation to perform winning work during
the 2017 NFSPS Annual Convention, to be held May 30-June 2, 2018, in Denver, Colorado. Contestants may opt to
film their performance at the Convention or submit their own video for showing
at the Convention and posting on YouTube.
- First Place receives $300 travel stipend,
if attending the Convention.
- Complimentary registration for the entire
convention. Complimentary dinner on the day of performance. (Winners are
responsible for the balance of their convention costs, e.g., meals and lodging,
and for any guests they bring.)
- Complimentary one-year membership in an
NFSPS-affiliated state poetry society of the winner's choosing and in NFSPS.
- Book release at the NFSPS annual
convention. While a winner is present at the convention, he/she may sell books
directly and/or in the convention book room and will receive all proceeds from
- Up to seven Honorable Mentions will
receive NFSPS certificates; their names and cities of residence will be listed
in the chapbook.
JUDGING AND NOTIFICATION OF
entries will be reviewed for compliance with guidelines and overall quality by
the competition committee.
- Up to 100 entries will be sent, without
identification or acknowledgments, to an independent judge, who will remain
anonymous until the results are announced.
- Entries are judged blind (identified only
by machine - generated number) using a rubric that includes such factors as
enunciation, clarity, speed, and suitability of tone to text.
- Three winners and up to seven honorable
mentions will be selected. Decisions are
Notification of Winners. All entrants will be notified of results by email. Winners will be announced in the NFSPS newsletter, Strophes,
available at www.nfsps.com.
For additional information,
click here to email Joseph Cavanaugh, BBP3 Chair.