President’s note: When we decided to host our Inaugural Poetry Contest this year, we weren’t entirely sure what to expect in terms of the submissions we might receive, or the number. As our contest judge, Debbie Okun Hill, wrote in our October blog, the quality of submissions was outstanding, and I think it reflects on the quality of persons who took a chance and submitted to our contest.
Our contest winner, David Stones, is one such fine person. Not only has David generously returned the proceeds from the 1st place award back to our organization, but he also surprised us recently by attending our October monthly meeting. What a pleasure to meet our contest winner in person!
For our November blog post, it made sense for us to ask David to write some encouraging thoughts about poetry writing in general, and about entering poetry contests. David has obliged us with a small vignette of his personal poetry experiences , which we’re so pleased to share below.
Once again, to all those who submitted, we thank you for entering our contest. We hope you find David’s piece encouraging, and we urge all poets to make time for entering poetry contests, and most importantly, make time for some poetry writing!
Renee M. Sgroi
I won my first poetry contest in grade four. I was a nerdy and shy British lad just learning to let my pen do some talking. My creative efforts earned me an entire nickel, which I hastily flipped into 15 tooth-destroying, soot coloured candy spheres fittingly and lovingly known as Black Balls. Never had candy tasted so sweet. I had put some words on a page, won praise and got paid for it. I was exhilarated…and I was hooked.
That was a few years ago. I’m mostly retired now, still putting pen to paper, still shipping my work around, albeit on a limited and strategic basis. Poetry contests provide great opportunity for artistic gratification, quality/ professional feedback and, who knows, even a few bucks now and then. I really encourage my fellow poets to give them a try. It’s always a little daunting to have your work judged, to say nothing of sobering, but the rewards sure outweigh the tension.
So hearty congrats to the Brooklin Poetry Society on your inaugural poetry contest. Thanks for acknowledging Landscapes…and a bigger thanks for bringing back for me that delightful sense of grade four exhilaration.
David Stones, Brooklin Poetry Society Inaugural Poetry Contest Winner