Melissa Studdard and Chelsea Dingman Win the 17th Annual Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest Sponsored by Winning Writers

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Melissa Studdard and Chelsea Dingman are the winners of the 17th annual Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest sponsored by Winning Writers and co-sponsored by Duotrope. This contest awarded $5,000 in cash prizes, including two top prizes of $2,000. Studdard's poem "Migration Patterns" won the Tom Howard Prize for a poem in any style or genre, and Dingman's "Psychogeography" won the Margaret Reid Prize for a poem that rhymes or has a traditional style. 5,516 entries were received from around the world. The top 12 winners and honorable mentions are published at winningwriters.com.

Melissa Studdard and Chelsea Dingman

Melissa Studdard and Chelsea Dingman are the winners of the 17th annual Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest sponsored by Winning Writers and co-sponsored by Duotrope

"Migration Patterns" is a magical-realist poem in which natural wonders ally with the speaker to overcome the cramped, killing logic of border guards and colonizers.

Winning Writers is pleased to announce the results from its 17th annual Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest, judged by Soma Mei Sheng Frazier with assistance from Jim DuBois. Melissa Studdard of Cypress, Texas won the Tom Howard Prize of $2,000 for a poem in any style or genre, for "Migration Patterns". Chelsea Dingman of Edmonton, Alberta (Canada) won the Margaret Reid Prize of $2,000 for a poem that rhymes or has a traditional style, for "Psychogeography". 5,516 entries were received from around the world.

"Migration Patterns" is a magical-realist poem in which natural wonders ally with the speaker to overcome the cramped, killing logic of border guards and colonizers. Frazier commented, "Things that will make or break a poem: rebellion. Unbending optimism. Prescriptions of song as panacea...This is a poet who pulls off, with grace, what so many of us ache to write—to manifest—but don't quite dare."

"Psychogeography" is a measured elegy that employs repetition to convey an intergenerational pattern of bereavement, exile, and gaps in the historical record. Frazier called it "a poem that renders the heavy constraints of a line unit palindrome as weightless as a prima ballerina executing inimitable turns and techniques."

Ten Honorable Mentions of $100 went to Allison Adair, Jamie Morewood Anderson, F.J. Bergmann, Madeline Cole, Lupita Eyde-Tucker, Monique Ferrell, Margaux Griffith, Kathryn Merwin, M.V. Montgomery, and Tamara Sellman. The top 12 poems and judge's comments are published on the Winning Writers website.

The 2020 contest is now open through September 30, 2020. Top prizes have increased to $3,000 apiece and $200 for Honorable Mentions. See guidelines and enter online.

In addition to the Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest, Winning Writers sponsors the Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest, the North Street Book Prize for Self-Published Books, and the Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest (no fee). Writer's Digest has named it one of the "101 Best Websites for Writers" (2015-2019). For daily contest news and tips for writers, join our 129,000 followers on Twitter.

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