From First to Worst (The Alder Fork Poetry Contest)

Shortness of breath is a problem for an athlete.
Shortness of life is a problem for a human.
Timidity snakes the wisest teacher
and makes his work impossible.
Satisfaction is elusive
and knowledge hides in the cupboard
afraid of the damage it can do.
In the simplest of minds
anything is possible.
But you don’t run away
even when there is a chance.
While others think and contemplate
you comprehend.
It’s a rare gift.
It’s an unusual find.
And you should be proud.

Peter Snow

Call to the Poets

Yes I wrote that poem in a very short period of time. But that shows you that anyone can be a poet! Today I am announcing the first ever The Alder Fork From First to Worst Poetry Contest.  This is just an opportunity for you aspiring writers, and those who do it for fun or to relieve stress to reach a wider audience.  Anyone is eligible to enter and may enter up to three poems for consideration.  Poems can be on any topic or idea, the sky’s the limit. They will be judged by a panel assembled and headed by me.  We will be looking for originality, creativity, and a super secret criteria involving imagery, word use, sub text, and a bunch of other mumbo jumbo.  This isn’t some kind of scam, all submitted materials will remain your property and will only be reprinted (if selected) on The Alder Fork Blog and Podcast. All uses will be discussed with the winners prior to occurring.

Why am I doing this?

I just want to give writers a chance to have their writing be read by more than just their friends and family.  I have the means to reach a fair number of people and I like to us it to share the work of under appreciated people.

What do you get for winning?

The top three entrants will be printed in a special edition of the blog and will be read aloud on the podcast.  I will provide short bios of each writer and information about how more of their work can be found.

The Grand Prize winner will be given the opportunity to present a poem a week for 3 months on the blog (including the chance to discuss the meaning and process of writing), and be interviewed on the podcast, if possible.

How do you enter?

Well to enter you need to assemble your 1-3 poems in a word document (preferably) in the following format:

All text in 12pt. font (unless you need to use larger for a specific stylistic purpose but please don’t do the whole thing in a ridiculously large or difficult to read font)

1st page: Your Name, Email, Title of Poem(s) in their order, Brief description of you and your writing (250 words). This will not be used in judging.

Subsequent pages:Your poems, Title in bold followed by text.

Attach that file to an email and send it to

Each received poem will be given an assigned number and then copy/pasted to a separate document without any connection to the author’s identity (for the sake of fairness).  Each judge will then receive a copy of all the poems which they will judge and return to me. Once I determine the winning poems I will reconnect them to their authors for the announcement.  As I said the contest is completely free, but you can only enter a maximum of three poems.

The contest is open until Groundhog Day, February 2nd, and the winners will be announced by the end of February right here on the blog and on the first February edition of the podcast.

Good luck and good writing!


6 Responses to “From First to Worst (The Alder Fork Poetry Contest)”

  1. Faye Adams Says:


    Do you require unpublished poems? Or, may they have been published or previously won a prize?


    F. A.

    • ponpilate Says:

      As long as there are no issues with me using the poem on the blog and podcast if it wins, I have no problem with previously published and/or prize winning poems.

  2. Faye Adams Says:

    Thank you so much. I will share your contest information with our Missouri State Poetry Society Chapter, “On the Edge”, in De Soto.

  3. Don’t Forget to Write « The Alder Fork Says:

    […] the first ever The Alder Fork From Worst to First Poetry Contest. All the gory details can be found here. In the spirit of providing you with inspiration I am including the following poem. It is called […]

  4. Exciting News, Be Heard « The Alder Fork Says:

    […] a release date at the end of February, maybe coinciding with the announcement of the winner of the poetry contest. Don’t forget to enter that by the way. What I need today is some more public input.Please […]

  5. White Collar Criminals « The Alder Fork Says:

    […] White Collar Criminals By ponpilate Friendly reminder about The Alder Fork From First to Worst Poetry Contest.  The entry deadline is less than a week away. Details here. […]

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