"Seven bums and fourteen legs,
a brazen ecstasy which begs
the question some of us are asking -
is Peter Goulding multi-tasking?"

Martin Parker, Editor, Lighten Up Online

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Binnacle Ultra Short Poetry Comp

The binnacle of success?

Dear Monica,

Thank you for your submission to our Seventh Annual Ultra-Short Competition. We at The Binnacle have received nearly 900 entries this year and are, as usual, very pleased about the quality of the submissions. We apologize for the extended delay in replying to your submission/message, and we would like to take this opportunity to explain a few things about the competition and how it is progressing.

First, we would like to reassure you that this is not at all a vanity competition. We have several judges scrutinizing all entries
carefully: they will select approximately fifty to sixty works to include in this edition. (I will serve, as always, as
arbiter.) Several of these fifty to sixty writers will receive cash prizes, and all the works included in the edition will be much admired.

Second, we would like to give you an idea of what our time-line will be. The judging is finally in progress, and we hope the judges will draw their conclusions by June 15. As such judging is no simple matter, we need to be patient. After the notifications are completed (see #3) and the file is complete, we will begin production. The production of the volume takes a good deal of time. As the volume is hand-produced in an alternative format, it takes months to produce. Though we aim for mid-October, we usually do not complete production until mid- or late-December.

Third, we want you to know how you will learn if your work has not been selected. Though we would love to be able to contact all the writers and explain why each work will or will not be included, such notification, given our staff and commitments, is impossible. Instead, we offer you our update page at http://www.umm.maine.edu/production-updates.html, which will list the winners and honorable mentions. If you are not listed on the site, your work will not be included in the edition. Chances are, however, you will publish it sooner or later.

Fourth, all entries included in the edition and not designated as winners shall be considered honorable mentions. Once all the selections have been made, we will contact each winner and honoree to make sure that all our information is complete and up-to-date. Then we will get to work on the production of the edition.

Once again, thank you for your interest in The Binnacle. We believe that anyone willing to bear his or her work/soul/heart to others is a winner. Whether or not you are chosen for inclusion in this specific edition, we congratulate you on your efforts.

Isn't that a nice thought, particularly from a competition that was free to enter? It will be a pleasure to be rejected by such a nice bunch of people.
(Incidentally, my home email address is in my wife's name - hence the 'Monica'.)


  1. Very impressive. Pity more competitions don't do as much.