Prairie Poetry

What Does It Take?

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To Get Published:
Every month we read between 40 and 70 poems that have been submitted. A poem that is published will have been read roughly 6 times, including once aloud. We would like to publish only 3 poems in a month. In 2004 we usually published 5 or 6 in a month, but did publish as many as 7 for a total of 59 poems in 10 editions.

To Be Nominated For A Peer Award:
All poets who have ever been published at Prairie Poetry are invited to participate and nominate up to three favorites every month. Functionally this means that those for whom we have email addresses, in 2004 about 70% (161) of all of our authors, might participate. 66 authors participated at some point in the 2004 monthly nomination process.

The editor never participates in the monthly nomination process. He had his say in who would be published that month in the first place.

At the end of December the number of nominations for each poem are calculated. (It is worth noting that no poem has ever been published that did not receive at least one nomination from another poet other than its author.)

To Become A Peer Award Finalist:
We try to limit the finalists to about 9 - 13, depending on how the nomination numbers go.

The following criteria are applied to the poems with the largest number of nominations:

Do we still have a current email address for the nominee? If not, the poem is excluded.

Which poems received the most votes, compared to other poems, throughout the year? For instance, one poem may have out-shone the other poems in the month it was published but not have done as well compared to other poems in the rest of the months. In which case it may not be a finalist. Similarly, a poem that finishes second in nominations in a given month may well receive enough nominations, when compared to all the poems in all the months, to become a finalist.

If two different poems by the same author each have enough nominations to become finalists, the poem receiving fewer nominations is dropped from the list of finalists. Our feeling is that having two poems among the finalists unnecessarily dilutes an author's opportunity to win a Peer Award.

To break ties in completing the selection of finalists, we look at whether an author nominated his or her own poem that month. If they did not, we add a nomination to the poem's total.

To Win A Peer Award:
The list of Peer Award Finalists is emailed to all Prairie authors at the end of December. They are asked to select their top three poems. Peer Awards are given to the authors/poems selected by the largest number of their peers.

Either three or four awards are given every year, depending on the number of finalists and the number of authors participating in the selection process. To break ties in completing the selection of winners, we look at whether an author selected his or her own poem. If they did not, we add a selection vote to the poem's total.

To Win The Friend's Prize:
Winners of the Friends Prize are chosen in January from among the Peer Award winners by those who have made a monetary to the prize during the preceding calendar year. All those who have contributed to the value of the prize (as listed on the Awards Page) are invited to participate whether or not they are a Prairie author and whether or not they have an eligible poem.

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Marc duPlan