April is National Poetry (& Poetry Writing) Month — and the Horror Writers Association is celebrating with a call for submissions of poetry to their next anthology, the HWA Poetry Showcase V! Deadline is end of April 2018. Guidelines appear down below.
I’m on the jury vetting the entries alongside Mercedes Yardley and editor Stephanie Wytovich. You do need to be member of the HWA to be accepted, sure — but…If you’re a pro horror writer, you should join the Horror Writers Association and you’ll get many benefits, beyond the exclusive opportunity to publish in books like this one — from mentorship in a community of like-minded weirdos, to free ebooks and participation in the Bram Stoker Awards.
I’ve been a member since the late 1980s and it is an honor to be a part of their latest creative venture. I’ve also been a featured poet in one of the past Showcase volumes, and I can vouch for the whole series of them, which you can still purchase on amazon.com for peanuts — get the whole bundle of them. So if you’re not a writer, I highly recommend you check the HWA Showcase out for some great reading and celebrate the power of poetry on the dark side.
GUIDELINES FOR HWA POETRY SHOWCASE VOL. 5
The HWA is proud to announce that it will call for submissions from its members for the Poetry Showcase Volume V beginning April 1. Stephanie Wytovich will be the editor for the volume. This year’s judges, along with Stephanie, will include Michael A. Arnzen and Mercedes Yardley.
Only HWA members (of any status) may submit. The reason for this can be found in the word “Showcase.” The HWA is very proud of the tradition of poetry in the horror genre and of the HWA’s support for poetry. This volume is designed to showcase the talents of HWA members which is why it is now limited to members. We will verify membership and if a non-member submits he or she must obtain some level of membership prior to the final cut for the volume to be considered.
The rules for this year’s volume will be similar to previous years:
1. No more than 35 lines. Each author or group of collaborators on a single poem may only submit one poem. Speculative and dark verse is welcome but it should have a “horror” slant.
2. No fancy formatting, dual columns, lining of poems in the center of the page, poems that require strange configurations to look like an image and similar formatting. This may certainly be pretty but are very difficult to translate to a single page for publishing. Poems should be submitted in .rtf, .txt or Word formats.
3. Any form – free verse, metered, rhyming, haiku, Tanka etc. – is acceptable. But, if you do use a more traditional form, please remember that poor writing, overly heavy reliance on cliché and imitation will significantly reduce any chances of acceptance. We need good poetry. For example. George (Lord Byron) Gordon already owns the phrase “She walks in beauty, like the light.” Evangeline Walton and many others have overused the phrase “She Walks in Darkness.” Stay away from these type of archetypal clichés. HWA members are good writers for a reason; they write well. Your poetry needs to be written well and you would want to be if published.
4. English only please.
5. No previously published works or simultaneous submissions.
6. Rights will revert on publication with the HWA retaining the right to use the poem in relation to promoting the volume.
7. The HWA will give you the choice of a $5.00 payment or a hard bound copy of Volume V.
8. HWA will also provide accepted authors with an e-copy of the Volume.
9. HWA will most likely also provide a discount code to authors to purchase additional copies.
Submissions will open April 1 to celebrate National Poetry Month. Submissions will close April 30 at midnight Pacific. Submissions will be made through the HWA’s Submittable pages. Our hope is to have a decision on the poems that are accepted and the top four poems of the Volume before the end of May with a publication date sometime late in the upcoming Summer.
The past three volumes of the Poetry Showcase have been top Kindle sellers. This is a chance of getting your work in a “bestseller” and to help the HWA celebrate and promote the contribution of poetry to the genre.
Good luck, and keep your eyes peeled for the release of this book later in the year. If you’d like something to prompt an idea, try my online prompt generator, Diabolique Strategies!