Contest Rules & Regulations
The contest is open only to consumers/survivors of mental health services* internationally. It aims to eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness by showcasing the talents and creativity of individuals living with mental illness.
The contest opens Friday, January 2, 2015 and closes at noon on Friday, March 13, 2015. All entries must be received before 4 p.m. on March 13 and payment must arrive with entry. Entries will not be returned. Eligible poems will be blind-judged by a consumer/family panel.
Poetry about the experience of mental illness is welcomed; however, all subjects are acceptable. Poems are judged on poetic merit: originality, creativity, how well it changed or provoked readers’ thoughts, how well it was written, the effective use of imagery and sound devices, writing mechanics, and whether the poem maintained a sensation after it was read — the latter a critical factor in the final round of judging.
The top-three winning poems will be published in an upcoming issue of Open Minds Quarterly, NISA’s literary journal, and publicized during Mental Health Week in May 2015. Winners will receive three copies of the issue of Open Minds Quarterly in which their work appears. The top-three winners will also receive monetary awards: $250 for First Place; $150 for Second Place; $75 for Third Place. Entries receiving Honourable Mentions may be published in subsequent issues of Open Minds Quarterly. The judges’ decisions are final. Monetary prizes will be awarded in Canadian dollars.
Authors retain the rights to their writing and, after the contest, are welcome to submit their poems to Open Minds Quarterly for regular review.
To be eligible, each entry must:
be written in English;
be accompanied by an entry form (for every three poems entered);
arrive with your entry fee;
NOT have any names or identifying marks (put your name only on the accompanying entry form);
be printed on 8.5” x 11” or A4 paper, one poem per page
be no more than 30 lines in length
not include any drawings or images
arrive at NISA by Friday, March 13, 2015, 4 p.m.
arrive by surface mail, hand delivery, or through the online submission form (no faxes or e-mails).
Poems are not eligible if:
they have already been published by or accepted for publication in Open Minds Quarterly.
the rules listed above are not followed
entry fee payment is returned due to insufficient funds.
NISA staff and board members are ineligible for entry. Disqualified entrants will not be notified of disqualification.
There are two fee options. The online entry fee is $12.00 for up to three poems. If you are mailing in your entry, the fee is $15.00. Do not send cash in the mail. Cheques or money orders must be made payable to NISA or Northern Initiative for Social Action; credit card payments can be sent via PayPal.com to firstname.lastname@example.org, but please include your payment confirmation with your mailed entry form.