Literary Contests for Emerging Black Poets and Writers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware

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Africana Homestead Legacy Publishers (AHLP) has established two annual literary contests. The Africana Homestead 2004 Poetry Contest and the Africana Homestead 2004 Short Story Contest will promote the works of amateur poets and writers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware who honor the historic or present-day black experience in those states. Individuals or co-authors may enter the children, youth, or adult categories and submit their entries by June 30, 2004. AHLP will publish an anthology of the works of the winners and honorable mentions and give awards to the top three finalists in each age group.

"I write poetry--" or "I write short stories--" "How do I get published?" are two of the most frequent inquiries that people ask the publisher and editors of Africana Homestead Legacy Publishers (AHLP). To help emerging, amateur writers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware achieve their publication dreams, AHLP has established The Africana Homestead 2004 Short Poetry Contest and the Africana Homestead 2004 Short Story Contest. These new annual events will also highlight the historic and present-day black experience of residents in those states.

Individuals or co-authors may enter one of three categories, Children, Youth, or Adult. The children's category is for those under age 12 on June 30, 2004. Youths must be under age 18 and adults age 18 or older on June 30, 2004.

In the poetry contest, authors may submit short or long poems. Each short poem entry must not exceed 30 written lines. This may be one poem or a collection of short poems. The length of each long poem entry must not exceed 180 lines. The short story submissions must not exceed 7,500 words. Entrants must submit two copies of their work and one cover sheet with their name, address, phone number, and e-mail address. Individuals may request a copy of the contest rules by mailing a postcard or letter to AHLP, P.O. Box 2957, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034-0265 or sending e-mail to editors@ahlpub.com.

Poetry and short stories may be any type or style. The subject must be any aspect of the historic or present-day black experience in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or Delaware. AHLP will only accept an entry if it is the author’s original work that is unpublished, not submitted elsewhere for publication or broadcast, not accepted elsewhere for publication or broadcast, and not entered simultaneously in any other competition. This includes all previous versions of the work.

The contest judges will be literary professionals from academia and the publishing industry. All judging will be blind and the decision of the panel final. They will assess the entries on originality and the sense of the writing craft.

In each category AHLP will award contest winners a cash prize and a trophy or plaque. Children's prizes are $75 for first, $50 for second and $25 for third. Youth will receive $150 for first, $100 for second and $75 for third. The adult prizes are $300 for first, $200 for second, and $100 for third. The awards will include certificates for those entrants who earn honorable mention.

AHLP will announce the winners of the poetry contest the first week of October 2004 and will post the names of the winners and titles of the winning entries on its website, http://www.ahlpub.com, by October 31, 2004. The announcements of the winners of the short story contest will be the first week of November 2004 and their names and titles of the winning entries will appear on the website by November 30, 2004. AHLP will notify the winners of the contest by mail. Each winner may earn only one major prize. If a winner has more than one submission, they may earn honorable mentions for their other works.

Africana Homestead Legacy Publishers will publish the entries of the winners and those who earn honorable mention of both contests in separate anthologies. AHLP will release the poetry anthology December 1, 2004 and invite first, second, and third place winners to read their work at an awards ceremony in April 2005, which is National Poetry Month. The short story anthology will be released February 1, 2005 and company will invite the first, second, and third place winners to read their work at an awards ceremony later that month. The retail price of the books will be $25 and prize winners will receive one complimentary copy.

While publishing has become easier due to technological advances, many aspiring writers do not understand how to navigate through the publishing world. Carolyn C. Williams, publisher and Executive Editor, states that AHLP will also use these annual contests to help educate those who want to be published. In keeping with that mission, AHLP will give a step-by step guide on publishing to all entrants.

Authors may submit as many entries as they wish with the appropriate entry fee. For the poetry contest the fee is $10 for adults and $5 for youth and children. The fees for the short story contest are $15 for adults and $7 for youth and children. AHLP and contest entry fees will fund the prizes. The deadline for submission of entries is June 30, 2004.

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Carolyn C Williams
AFRICANA HOMESTEAD LEGACY PUBLISHERS
856-220-4234
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