Potomac Review, the literary magazine of Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland, will accept submissions to its biennial poetry contest until Monday, February 1. Submissions of up to three poems totaling no more than five pages can be made this weekend online, though the entry fee of twenty dollars must be sent via mail.
The winning poet, announced on February 15, will receive one thousand dollars and publication of her winning work in Potomac Review. All entries will be considered for publication in the print magazine and on the journal's Web site.
So, where does that entry fee go? Why does the journal run contests at all (the poetry prize rotates annually with one in fiction)? Information about the inner workings of Potomac Review is available on the journal's blog, where a member of the editorial staff makes a case for holding contests. Here are a few key bits from that post:
"Contests are a way for us to prove to our funding source that we can make money. We use them to give back the money they provide for printing, mailing, and staff support."
"I personally like the anonymous nature of contests. Anybody, published or unpublished, can win. My associate editors like the absence of cover letters. Several have told me it frees them to read with an open mind."
"So I realize that everybody is offering a contest, but I think poets and writers should give it a shot. Take a chance and support your favorite magazines. If you were ever going to subscribe to us, why not submit a few poems and roll the dice."