There’s a panoply of writing contests just around the corner, so if you’re in need of motivation, you have two to three weeks to dust off that poem or rework a short-story you’ve been banging away at. If your poetry is in the experimental vein, you might want to consider mailing your work to Vallum, the deadline is June 30, 2010. However if you suffer from timbrophobia (fear of stamps) you can email those experimental poems to Existere, a literary magazine that’s currently accepting submissions for the Fall 2010/Winter 2011 issue with a deadline of July 01, 2010. If you’ve just finished writing your poems and they have a prosy look about them, send them to PRISM’s prose poetry competition. Then there’s always the Lush Triumphant Contest (their deadline is this upcoming Tuesday the 15th) or if you’re not too keen on contest fees send something to the relatively new This Great Society. They’re currently accepting submission for the theme of “Pop.”
Most importantly, submit, submit, submit!
If you are at the stage where you need to supercharge your inspiration, I can think of no better recommendation than Betsy Warland’s Breathing the Page. It’s an exceptionally playful and insightful look at all aspects of the writing life. I bought a copy two days ago and I’m already well over halfway through it. In fact, I would have finished it by now, but there are so many gorgeous passages that I’ve had to read again and again. For example on the topic of Embodiment, Warland writes: All the formal and narrative elements of poetry and prose originate in our bodies. Like the heart, our sense of time expands and contracts. An initial walk to a writing hut in the forest seems three times longer in contrast to our return along the now more familiar path. Warland’s style weds philosophy with philanthropy, a caring attention to matters of the heart. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.