Want your words to reach millions of people?

Goodreads May 2014 e-newsletter announces winning poem

Goodreads May 2014 e-newsletter announces winning poem and poet

It is very attractive. Even tempting. Imagine that you are a poet and “more than 20 million people” read one of your poems. That is equivalent to everyone in the state of New York reading your single work of poetic vision and craftsmanship. That is the claim of the monthly poetry contest promoted by Goodreads and the ¡Poetry! group.

The contest rules are simple. All you need to do to enter the monthly contest is to post your poem in the monthly feed of the group. [1] Each month the contest receives hundreds of poems [2] — enough to fill a large print anthology book. I have contributed twice, [3] [4]  but have not won a contest. The May finalists — four of them selected by the judges — were posted on April 29, 2014 [5] for readers to vote on their favorite poem of the contest. [6] On May 14th, a Goodreads e-newsletter arrived in my inbox announcing the poetry contest winner for the May contest. Congrats to the winner!

Yet, there is a part of me that is a bit sad. Not because I did not win. But because I almost deleted the email. In order to read the winning poem, I had to scroll all the way to the very bottom of the e-newsletter. And then I wondered — how many of the 20 million recipients actually read the poem? Even if one percent of the people who receive the e-newsletter actually read that poem — it is still more readers than any published literary journal or magazine in America can reach in a single month. That is impressive.

[1] The June 2014 Goodreads Newsletter Contest, accessed May 14, 2014, https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1818448-please-post-your-poem-for-the-june-2014-goodreads-newsletter-contest
[2] 384 poems to be exact. That is the total number of poems submitted for the May 2014 Goodreads Newsletter Contest, accessed May 14, 2014,  https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1769435-please-post-your-poem-for-the-may-2014-goodreads-newsletter-finalists
[3] I contributed the 148th entry for the May 2014 contest (accessed May 14, 2014): https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1769435-please-post-your-poem-for-the-may-2014-goodreads-newsletter-finalists?page=3#comment_96303966
[4] Also, the 104th contributor for the March 2014 contest (accessed May 14, 2014): https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1690565-please-post-your-poem-for-the-march-2014-goodreads-newsletter-contest?comment=92342509&page=3#comment_92342509
[5] If I remember correctly, there were supposed to be six finalists, but two were disqualified, accessed May 14, 2014, https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1802873-please-vote-for-the-may-2014-goodreads-newsletter-finalists
[6] For the next two weeks, finalists wait and/or self-promote their way to the top spot and winner of the contest, accessed May 14, 2014, https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1802873-please-vote-for-the-may-2014-goodreads-newsletter-finalists

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