Calamus Poets Society


Poetry Contest - $500 Grand Prize

Picture of Rustic Bowl on Steps

Every year we will award a $500 Grand Prize. Place certificates will be awarded to second through tenth place.

Free to Enter

The contest is completely free to enter and membership is free also. Just sign up and start submitting your poetry.

Several Catagories to choose from:

  • Gay Male
  • Lesbian
  • Transgendered (male to female)
  • Transgendered (female to male)
  • Bisexual (male)
  • Bisexual (female)
  • Living with HIV

Our Members are Our Judges

Unlike most poetry contests with a panel of formal judges, our members are our judges. During the course of the year, January through October, our members may submit poems to the contest online. As part of our critique process, other members will rate these poems. About two months before year end, the contest will be closed. The top twenty-five poems in each catagory will become finalists and will then be voted on by members and a grand prize winner will be chosen.

Contest Rules:

The terms "Society," "we," "us," and "our" refer to the Calamus Poets Society.
  1. The contest shall begin on the First of January for the year. The first contest shall begin on January 1st, 2006.
  2. To enter, you must register and become a member, which is free. You must have reached your fifteenth birthday before becoming a member. Only poems submitted online by members in good standing are eligible for entry. If your membership is terminated or suspended under our terms and conditions, your contest entries shall become null and void.
  3. Members may publish poems including contest poems under pseudonyms, which is the custom in the writing industry. (Note that our membership terms and conditions require members to privately disclose their legal names to us, but not publically.)
  4. Poems must comply with acceptable content as outlined in our terms and conditions.
  5. After becoming a member, you may submit poems for consideration, choosing a specific catagory for each poem. Your poems may receive rating and feedback from other poets. Poems will be rated on a scale of one to ten, with ten being best. You may edit your poems to improve them. Once edited, the ratings are cleared and begin again. You may also rate poems by other poets, but not any of your own poems.
  6. Poems may be of any reasonable length, however, the web server will only accept a maximum size of 32K (which is about twenty-five pages depending on the formatting). Poems are subject to the inherent formatting limits of text areas of web pages.
  7. Members are limited to entering a maximum of one hundred poems per year.
  8. At noon central time on October 31st, the poetry contest for that year will be closed and all contest poems will become non-editable. (Entries received after that time will automatically roll over to the next year's contest.) Once the poetry contest is closed for that year, all poems receiving at least seven reviews with ratings greater than five will be advanced to the semi-finals. If less than twenty-five poems in a catagory make it to the semi-finals, the minimum rating shall be dropped until at least twenty-five poems are selected.
  9. Once in the semi-finals, the poems shall be sorted according to the following criteria to narrow it down to a maximum of twenty-five poems in each catagory for the finals: 1) an average of the twelve highest reviews, 2) an average of all reviews, 3) the number of reviews, 4) the earliest original entry date and time, 5) the earliest last edit date and time.
  10. Once in the finals, each member shall be given a maximum of five votes in each catagory, and may cast a maximum of one vote per poem. The voting will begin on November 5th at noon central time and continue until December 31st at noon central time. Members may change their votes until voting is closed. The poems from all catagories shall be combined into a single list and shall be sorted in order by the number of votes received. The grand prize of $500 shall be awarded to the poem with the highest number of votes. In the event of a tie for the grand prize, the tie shall be broken by ranking criteria as follows: 1) an average of the twelve highest reviews, 2) an average of all reviews, 3) the number of reviews, 4) the earliest original entry date and time, 5) the earliest last edit date and time. In the unlikely event of a tie after these criteria are applied, the money shall be divided equally among all grand prize winners. Certificates will be awarded to second through tenth place. Ties for second through tenth place shall not be broken and multiple certificates may be issued for each place. The Society shall have until February 1st of the following year to send the prizes to the winners.
  11. The Society shall make every attempt to have the web site available for contest entry and for voting, however there may be periods of time where the web site is busy or unavailable. Neither the contest period nor the voting period will be extended, so members are encouraged to enter and vote early.
  12. For a list of winners, please check the web site, as winners will be posted. Members will also be updated with the status of the contest upon each login.
  13. In the event of any controversy or should any situation arise not mentioned in these rules, the Society shall make a final and binding decision.
  14. Void where prohibited by law.

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