The Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest



The Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest: $1000 for one glorious poem

Sponsored by TNQ editor Kim Jernigan and family in celebration of the man who sparked their love of poetry, this contest is for poems written in response to an occasion, personal or public-poems of gratitude or grief, poems that celebrate or berate, poems that make of something an occasion or simply mark one. We are interested in light verse and in verse more sober, in the whole spectrum of tones and occasions. One of Nick's own poems, which we think captures the broadness of his (and our) sense of 'occasion', is pictured at left. For a bit lengthier background on the genre, you can also turn to Amanda Jernigan's funny and thoughtful essay on poems and occasions, linked below. Both originally appeared in Issue 100 of TNQ.

We will award a grand prize of $1,000 to the poem judged most worthy. Another $1,000 in prize money will be distributed as the judges fancy. However the prize money falls, the best of what we see will be published in The New Quarterly, at our usual rates, and posted on our website.

Entry fee: $40 for up to 2 unpublished poems, $5 each for additional poems. Submissions include a one-year Canadian subscription (or subscription extension) to The New Quarterly, and may be accompanied by a brief paragraph describing the event that occasioned the poem. 

Eligiblity: Entrants must be Canadian or currently residing in Canada. Entries may not be previously published, accepted, or submitted for publication elsewhere. There are no restrictions on length or number of entries, so long as the appropriate fees are paid. Entrants anonymity will be carefully preserved throughout the judging process. Every entrant will receive notification via email that his or her entry has been received. The decisions will by made by August 31; winner(s) and finalists will receive notification by letter. 

Extended Deadline: February 28, 2014 March 14, 2014

More on poems and ocassional verses

"Yes, Honey, I can See You": On Poems and Occasions by Amanda Jernigan

More occasional verse by Nick Blatchford


Having technical difficulties? We're happy to help.
email: contests [at] tnq [dot] ca
phone: 519-884-8111 ext 28290

Entry Form:
(you will be redirected to a confirmation/payment page when your entry has been successfully uploaded)

please note: this contest is only open to Canadian residents or Canadian citizens living abroad.

Subscription Details:

Each entry fee includes a 1-year Canadian subscription for the entrant or a friend. If you are already a subscriber, we'll apply it as a subscription extension unless you tell us otherwise.

* international addresses will require additional postage.

The entry fee for The Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest is $40 for up to two poems; $5 for each additional poem

Though we prefer that you make your payment using our secure online payment system, we can accept cheque payment by mail or credit card payment by phone. Please select your preferred method of payment. You will be redirected to a page with payment instructions after you submit your form.
Please separate poem titles with a semicolon.
Please send each poem in a separate .doc or .rtf file (NOT .docx please!) , as each will be judged independently. Save each file as the title (or partial title) of the poem (example: poem_about_fruit.doc). Your document should contain NO headers or footers (we will insert page numbers for you). Please include a word count at the bottom of the document (there is no word limit). Please ensure that your name does not appear anywhere on your document, as it will be judged blind.
You may use this field to add a 2nd file, if you wish
If there's anything more you think we should know about your entry (if you've entered more than once this year, you've temporarily changed the names, etc), this is the place to tell us.