Video Contest FAQ

Button Poetry Video Contest
Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you so much for your interest in our Video Contest! We get many, many submissions and questions. Please read the FAQs below carefully. To see the current status of the video contest, please visit our Video Contest page.

Please be aware we cannot give information about results or the next contest ahead of our official announcements on social media, so if you are looking for updates regarding winners, etc., please be patient!

If you still can’t find the answer to your question after reading through the FAQs page, please contact contest@buttonpoetry.com with your question. Be aware that you may get an auto-responder pointing you to this FAQs page. No worries, just reply to that response to reach our support team.

Contest prizes, eligibility, and rules

When is the Video Contest? Jump to Top

Submissions are typically open for one month. In 2018 the video contest ran from August 1 through August 31, 11:59pm PST.

Please Do Not contact us seeking updated rules or contest dates before they are posted!

Prize Jump to Top

The winner’s video along with the videos of 5 runners-up will be featured across Button’s social media. The winner will receive a $500 honorarium and the runners-up will each receive $100. Additional entries may also be recognized and published.

All entrants will receive 20% off any purchase from the Button Website.

Entry Fee Jump to Top

  • $8 per submission
  • $6 per submission for Young Writers (ages 18-21)
  • $6 per submission from International Entrants (outside the U.S.)

Please, only one video per submission. Multiple submissions are welcome, but must be submitted and paid for separately.

Eligibility Jump to Top

These eligibility requirements are typical of our video contests in the past. Always check the Video Contest page for the most up to date requirements. If nothing is posted there, you must wait until the next contest is announced for updated requirements.

  • Age: You must be 18 years or older to enter (sorry!).
  • Language: We welcome any poetry performance or poetry short film in any language, as long as non-English videos come with English subtitles.
  • Previous Publication: Videos that have been previously published elsewhere are eligible, with the understanding that any selected video may need to be taken down from other locations on the internet.

Please Do Not contact us seeking updated rules before they are posted.

Submission Rules Jump to Top

These are typical submission guidelines for our video contests, but may change slightly year to year. For up to date rules, always check the Video Contest page for the most up to date rules. If nothing is posted there, you must wait until the next contest is announced for updated rules.

  • Where to submit: Videos are submitted via an online submission manager linked from the Video Contest page
  • Video Length: Videos must be 1-4 minutes in length. No less. No more (exactly 4 mins is max).
  • File Size: File size may not exceed 1GB.
  • Submission Format: Most common video file-types are accepted. Check the online submission manager if you aren’t sure your video format is accepted.
  • Rights: You MUST own the complete, transferable rights to ALL elements of the submission. This includes but is not limited to text, audio, video, and images.
  • Collaborative Poems: Collaborative poems are fine!
  • Video Quantity: Only one video per submission. Multiple submissions are welcome, but must be submitted and paid for separately.
  • Please note that submissions which do not meet these rules may be disqualified.

Please Do Not contact us seeking updated rules or contest dates before they are posted!

Do you run any other contests? Jump to Top

Yes! Button Poetry also runs an chapbook contest. The chapbook contest typically runs around the end of the year. You can visit the Video Contest page at https://buttonpoetry.com/chapbook-contest/.

Submission FAQs

How is the contest judged?Jump to Top

Here is the complete contest process:

  • Judges: Members of the Button Poetry staff and a carefully selected group of artists and judges will review all submissions to determine the winner, runners up, honorable mentions, and any other videos we may be interested in running.
  • Timeline: The duration of judging will depend on the quantity of entries we receive, so we’ll keep folks posted on our social media about the contest. Please expect it to take a few months, however, as we want to give your submissions the attention they deserve!
  • Contest Updates: We will make contest updates and announcements on social media. Please be patient as there are many submissions to go through!
  • Honorable Mentions: If you would like to be considered as an honorable mention in the following categories, please note your eligibility in your submission form. Categories include: International Entry (outside the United States) and Young Writers (ages 18-21).
  • Contact: You may always reach us with questions: contest@buttonpoetry.com

Submission Tips and Suggestions Jump to Top

  • SOME TIPS & SUGGESTIONS:
  • Contact Email: The email address and name you use for your submission are what we will use to contact you. This is how we will let you know the status of your submission as the contest progresses.
  • Video Quality: While video and audio quality will be one factor in the judging process, the quality of the poem and performance themselves will be weighted much more heavily. That said, if possible, please use high-quality audio and video.
  • Mobile Filming Tip: If you’re filming this yourself on a smartphone or similar, then try to do it inside, somewhere that’s well-lit, and without background noise. Consider turning your phone horizontal while filming!
  • Live Recording Tip: If you’re using a video of a live performance, like an open mic or slam, take care with the audio. Try to be closer to the performer so they can still be heard over the audience.

How do I write the cover letter? Jump to Top

Writing a cover letter is part of your submission. We suggest searching the web for tips if you’ve never written one before. Here is a good starting place: https://twhpoetry.wordpress.com/2015/03/07/cover-letter/

Can my video be a montage of images rather than/in addition to me performing? Jump to Top

You don’t need to film yourself for your video, and creative videos including elements like a montage of images is fine. If you would like to see examples of past entries for ideas, please visit our YouTube channel’s 2017 Contest Playlist.

Technical and Legal Issues

Do I retain rights to my submitted video(s)? Jump to Top

We understand your concern in clarifying the rights around this contest. The terms and conditions of the contest give Button Poetry non-exclusive rights to use, publish, and reproduce the submitted works (typically used for promotional ads, etc.). This means that you may still publish your work elsewhere, and we have no claim on royalties associated with those other publications.

If your submission(s) are selected to run on our channel then we will send you a separate contract. This does establish exclusive rights for the video product submitted (i.e. not the text of the poem or other videos using that text).

Can I publish the poem in print after submitting? Jump to Top

The video product is the main focus for this contact. It can run in print as well, as long as you retain the rights to use that text in the video product.

May I submit my video if its on another website/YouTube channel? Jump to Top

Videos that have been previously published elsewhere are eligible, with the understanding that any selected video may need to be taken down from other locations on the internet.

Your video can stay up on other YouTube channels and websites as long as they don’t have exclusive rights to your video. To be sure, we suggest you confirm with other publishers that they don’t have exclusivity or restrictions on the usage of the video on their end.

Will you publish my video even if I don’t win? Would I get royalties? Jump to Top

We often publish additional submissions beyond the winners on our channel, but there’s no guarantee. For YouTube payout info, please see our YouTube FAQ.

I’m late! Will you still accept my entry? Jump to Top

Unfortunately, we do not accept any late submissions. We do however strive to hold yearly video contest and hope you will try to submit your work in the future!

Can I submit via email/outside of Submittable? Jump to Top

Unfortunately, we do not accept any submissions that aren’t submitted through the Submittable website. That said, we strive to hold this contest each yaer and hope you will try to submit your work in the future!

Can I get my fee refunded if I chose the wrong fee or want to withdraw my entry? Jump to Top

Unfortunately, we neither can issue refunds for incorrect entry fee selection or withdrawn entries.

If you have further questions about erroneous submission, please contact Submittable technical support at support@submittable.com.

How can I resolve a payment issue? Jump to Top

If you have trouble with payment, you must contact Submittable technical support at support@submittable.com. Submittable handles all the payment for the video contest.

I’m having trouble uploading a file/with some other aspect of Submittable’s site. Jump to Top

You can contact Submittable’s tech support, support@submittable.com