With its condensed form and layers of emotion, poetry is a great way to convey love in all its forms — romance, love of parents or children, brotherly love, patriotism, love for a pet or friend.
The Herald-Mail invites readers to compose and enter love poetry in our first poetry contest. Our topic is love. Entries may be about any aspect of love — love lost, love found, love spurned, sexual attraction, love fulfilled, even a broken heart.
Poems should not exceed 32 lines in length. Poetry must be either emailed (preferred), typed or legibly written in ink. If we can't read it, we can't judge it. Poets may enter no more than two poems.
Contest entries may rhyme or follow rhythmic structure, or may be free form. Judges will assume nonstandard grammar, capitalization and spelling are mistakes unless poets indicate it is intentionally used.
Editors reserve the right to correct erroneous grammar, capitalization and spelling or alter line breaks for publication.
All poems must be original compositions of the person submitting, have a title and be written in English. People entering the 2012 Love Poetry Contest of The Herald-Mail must reside in Washington County in Maryland, Franklin or Fulton counties in Pennsylvania or Jefferson, Berkeley or Morgan counties in West Virginia. Employees and their immediate family members are not eligible to enter.
Poets give The Herald-Mail exclusive first printing rights to all poems entered in this contest. No poems will be returned, so poets should retain copies.
The poet's name, age, daytime phone number and town of residence should be legibly written on the back of the poem or on a second sheet. Contest entries must be received at The Herald-Mail by Wednesday, Jan. 30.
A winner and two runners-up will be declared in each of four age categories:
- Children, ages 8 and younger
- Tweens, ages 9 through 12
- Teens, ages 13 through 17
- Adults, ages 18 and older
Winners will receive a beautiful certificate and have their poem published online and in the Lifestyle section of The Herald-Mail on Sunday, Feb. 10. Poems by runners-up will be published online.
Send entries to firstname.lastname@example.org, subject: Love poem. Or mail to The Herald-Mail, c/o Lifestyle, P.O. Box 439, Hagerstown, MD 21741.
For more information, call Chris Copley at 301-791-6177.