Monthly Contest Rules and Information

•  SAPA embraces traditional values and does not accept for reading or publication poems containing obscenity, profanity, vulgarity, explicit sexual content, political views, or racism.

•  Contests are open only to dues paid members. Two contests are offered each month: an assigned topic contest and a "Poet's Choice" contest. Members may enter either or both contests (members are not required to enter contests).

•  Only one poem, (original work of the poet) may be entered in each contest.

•  28 lines or less is the rule for both categories with the exception of assigned forms requiring more or fewer lines. (Poems over the line limit will be disqualified). One line titles DO NOT count as lines. Two line titles, subtitles, and extra spacings use lines and must be counted. Lines longer than 60 characters in width must be broken to fit page parameters (4 x 7 inches), and this may cause the poem to exceed the line limit. Poems are set in 11 point Times New Roman. Reasons for the line limit are: (1) Poems with more than 28 lines usually require two pages, creating a larger, more expensive book. (2) Long poems use too much time during readings. (3) Consideration for the judges who volunteer their time to read and judge these poems.

•  A poem is not eligible if it is entered in any contest running concurrently or has won a previous award in SAPA, PST, or NFSPS contests. Previously published poems are not eligible for SAPA, PST, and NFSPS contests (and many other contests that members may want to enter).

•  Contests are under the supervision of the contest chairman, who selects the judges and the topics (with member input). The judge's decision is final.

•  Poems are sent without names to a qualified judge (a different judge each month), who judges both contests for a given month. The judge returns the poems to the contest chair to be matched with file copies.

•  In both contests, certificates are awarded for first, second, third place, and 1st honorable mention. The first place winner in both contests not only receives a certificate, but also (pre-Covid) received a revolving Poet of the Month trophy, which must be returned at the next month's meeting. (Who knows where those trophies are now!)

•  Poems entered in the monthly contests may be published in our annual anthology or on our Web site. By entering the contests, members automatically grant us permission to publish their poems, unless we are notified otherwise. It will be each member's responsibility to inform the publications chair and the Webmaster about any poem that should be excluded from publication.

Important Note: Plagiarism is the ultimate offense for a writer. If any poem is found to be plagiarized, the poet is automatically prohibited from ever again entering any SAPA contest and may be expelled from SAPA by a simple majority vote of the members.