Short Form Contest FAQ

What does short form mean?
A poem or excerpt of 250 characters or less, counting spaces and punctuation.

Do characters include spaces?
Yes, characters include spaces and punctuation.

Does the title count as characters?
Yes, if you choose to include one.

My submission is under 250 characters including spaces, letters, and punctuation… what can I do?
Try retyping your entry manually, as copy and pasting may be adding extra invisible characters.

How much does it cost to enter?
Nothing, entry is free!

How many times can we submit?
One entry per contestant. Multiple entries will be disqualified. If you are having problems submitting, you will not be disqualified for resubmitting the same piece.

I’m having trouble submitting. Should I receive a confirmation?
If you are using mobile, try switching to a desktop computer. After submitting, you should see a confirmation window. You will not be disqualified for submitting the same poem more than once.

Can international writers participate?
The contest is open worldwide.

How old do you have to be to enter?
All ages are welcome to participate.

What is the prize?
Multiple selections will get their submission made into a graphic and shared on the @buttonpoetry and @litbowl Instagram pages in the summer/fall.

Can the entry be previously published?
Submitted work must be original writing and not violate copyrights. We are looking for new, unpublished work, but will accept if the writing has been self-published and/or does not violate any copyrights.

If the writing has been on my Instagram already, can I submit it?
Yes, as long as it does not violate any copyrights and Button and LitBowl have permission to post.

Is there a preferred form, topic, or prompt?
Topic/genre is completely open and up to the author. Must be 250 characters or less.

Can the submission contain curse words?
Yes, we will not censor any entries.

What language does the entry have to be in?
Primarily in English, but we will accept words and phrases in multiple languages. The judges all read and write in English.

When will we find out the results?
Button/LitBowl will only be directly contacting selected writers. Selections will be published to Button Poetry and LitBowl’s Instagram accounts in summer/fall 2021.

Do we lose the rights to our work if submitted?
No! You are only agreeing to grant Button Poetry and LitBowl rights to publish your original work across the internet.