Archive for November 6th, 2012

Fourth Annual Spirit First Poetry Contest (No Entry Fees)

6 November 2012

Fourth Annual Spirit First Poetry Contest

Deadline: January 31, 2013

Accepted Themes: Meditation, Mindfulness, Silence, or Stillness
First Prize: $175
Second Prize: $125
Third Prize: $75

NO ENTRY FEES to enter!

Complete guidelines:

Spirit First is pleased to announce its fourth annual meditation poetry contest. Poetry submissions may be of any length and any style but must have a theme of meditation, mindfulness, stillness, or silence. Poems may reflect any discipline, any faith, or none. Poems must be previously unpublished.

Please do not enter more than three submissions. Sending more than three poems will lead to those poems being disqualified.

Please submit your poems by email unless you do not have access to the Internet. Poems will be accepted by U.S. Postal Service for those who do not have Internet access. All others are requested to be emailed. Poems sent by U.S. Postal Service will not be returned. Poems must be received by January 31, 2013.

Please submit your poems all in one file or inside the body of an email (rather than three poems in three separate files). Please be sure to include the author’s name, address, telephone number, and email address. There is no cost to enter this contest. Submissions must be received no later than January 31, 2013.

Winners will be announced no later than April 30, 2013, on the Spirit First website at Winning poems will be published on the Spirit First website and the Spirit First blog, and in a Spirit First newsletter (authors retain full rights to their poems).

How to submit:

By email: send to

By U.S. Postal Service (for those without Internet access), send to the following address:

Spirit First Poetry Contest
PO Box 8076
Langley Park, MD 20787

We look forward to reading your poems!

Visit the website:


Needle in the Hay Writing Comps

6 November 2012

Needle In The Hay is a creative writing competition that runs weekly and monthly awards for participants in a variety of genres and categories.

The aim of the site is to encourage writers to participate by offering more frequent incentives then the traditional annual writing award. The funds for the awards come from my own pocket and the kind donations of others.

Entrance to all awards is free, however some awards may have eligibility criteria. Check the Awards and Guidelines  pages for more details.


On December 1, 1955, aboard a bus in Alabama, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat.

Conducted before a handful of people in an age without internet,

this refusal of authority sparked a civil rights movement that steered the course of American history.

The ROSA is the inaugural award for Needle In The Hay.

In honour of Parks, you are encouraged to write a story of no more than 1000 words

dealing the theme “Non compliance in the 21st century.”

Entry is open to everyone.

While there are no genre requirements,  

consider the theme carefully before making your decision.

ROSA  Award

Announced: Nov 6th 2012

Submission Deadline: Dec 1st 2012

Short List: Dec 3-8 2012

Winner Announced: Dec 9th 2012

Word Count: 1000

Prizes: $300 (Winner)

Eligibility: Open to everyone


To submit to an award send an email to with the following:

Name of the Award in the subject line.

Your piece as an rtf or doc attachment, or a link to a shared document on google drive etc.

A cover image that includes the title and the author’s name. Think of it as a book cover. You won’t be judged on it’s quality. It can be as basic as the title and byline on a blank background.

The awards page as more details on upcoming awards and their selection criteria.

General Rules

All pieces must be originals written to the criteria of the award.

Authors retain copyright of their pieces.

The Selection Process

From the pool of submissions a short list is selected and made available on the site. Readers are encouraged to comment on their preferred submissions in order to sway the vote.

The winner will be selected by a panel of judges based on quality of work and commentary of the readership.

Reading and Commenting

Needle In The Hay relies on an active readership to select winners for each award.  As a reader, you can contribute by viewing the submissions in the current short list, then commenting and sharing in favour of the ones you like.

Constructive criticism is also encouraged, provided the criticism is sandwiched between two positive comments. The Ed abides by this rule and so should you.


Judges are generally selected on an invitational basis. If, however, you feel you would make a good judge for an upcoming award send a brief email outlining why. You don’t have to be working in literature,  just an interesting \ relevant person with something to give to the community.