poetry/performance contest for Illnois poets: Brooks Open Mic Awards
- SUBMISSIONS OPEN for the 14th ANNUAL GWENDOLYN BROOKS OPEN MIC AWARDS
Must be postmarked by Monday, June 16. Performance is Wednesday, June 25.
Who was a stronger female voice than Gwendolyn Brooks? Ms. Brooks founded this award at the Guild Complex 14 years ago, and when she was alive, she wrote the check out of her own pocketbook. (Yes, grrl's do like retro words like pocketbook.) A group of semi-finalists will be selected from the full pool by a judge whose identity will be revealed at the event. The semi-finalists will perform in heats for the audience, who will then select the GBOMA champion. The winner receives a $500 check on the spot. (We know tax incentives are nice...but what about cash earned with poetry? Much cooler.)
You must be 18 years of age and a resident of Illinois.
You may submit ONE poem only. This poem must be written by you. The poem must be able to be performed – by you – in FOUR minutes or less. Poems that go longer will be disqualified. (You will be timed the night of the performance.) We recommend that you edit any piece to fit comfortably within this time frame. Reading a poem at the speed of those radio disclaimers at the end of car commercials generally does not play well with the audience. The audience has to hear you to love you. (Editing is often your friend.)
Your name SHOULD NOT appear anywhere on the poem. We judge the competition blindly. If your name is on the entry, you will be disqualified. On a separate sheet of paper that you should include with your entry, please list your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address. We will notify winners by phone or e-mail. If you submit by e-mail, please clearly separate your contact information from the piece. We will cut and paste your entry to a clean sheet of paper for the judge.
A $5 entry fee should accompany each submission.
You may enter in one of two ways.
#1: Go to the Guild Complex website – www.guildcomplex.org – and click on the "Competitions and Awards" link at the top right hand of the website. When you are taken to the next page, the guidelines for GBOMA are listed if you click “Read More” under the Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Award title. Click on the DONATE NOW button, which will take you to PayPal – you must have an account – and pay the $5 entry fee. Then, send your submission to info(at)guildcomplex.org (replace (at) with @)
with the acronym GBOMA in the subject line. (We get a ton of mail to this address, so it’s important that you put GBOMA in the subject line so we don’t miss your entry.)
#2 Send your printed out submission to Guild Complex, P.O. Box 478880, Chicago, IL 60647-9998, ATTN: GBOMA. A $5 check or money order -- no cash please -- should be written to Guild Complex. Your submission must be postmarked by Monday, June 16. Any late submissions will not be accepted. There is no address to which you may drop off your submission. It must be mailed or sent electronically. Please DO NOT try to drop off submissions to the Chopin Theatre. They are the performance venue only and will give you a strange look when you try to hand them your poem, but be nice to Zygmunt and Lela because we like them.
Should your poem be selected for the semi-finals, you MUST be able to perform on Wednesday, June 25, at the Chopin Theater. (Semi-finalists will be notified by Saturday, June 21.) Please DO NOT submit a poem if you will not be available to perform. (We get a couple of these situations every year. You are taking the spot of someone else, and you will be disqualified. It's really bad poet etiquette.)
As far as performances, you may not use any props. And you must stay within the 4 minute limit. If you have any questions, please call the Guild Complex, 1.877.394.5061, and leave a message on the voice mail. Please be sure to leave your telephone number slowly and clearly so we can hear it. and we'll call you back.
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