FIVE (5): an unFold Poetry Contest

Click here for more visual examples of how wide the range of FIVE (5) is.
Click here for more visual examples of how wide the range of FIVE (5) is.


  • No entry fee
  • $50 cash prize

It’s that time of year again: unFold Poetry Contest time–and this year marks unFold’s fifth anniversary!  After five years of bringing you Twitter poems from all over the world, the prompt for this year’s contest couldn’t be anything but FIVE (5).

How close must you stick to the prompt? Let’s just say you have a LOT of rope. For example, our Editor in Chief put together a set of 25 photos with the concept of FIVE (5) on Flickr. Some are literal interpretations of the prompt; others get there through free-association (JS left comments that might clue you in to some of the less-obvious associations). In other words, you may use five (5) to influence poetic content in any of its:

  1. associations
  2. permutations
  3. explanations
  4. exaggerations
  5. transmutations (changing from one form or state into another)

You can also use five (5) in form and not necessarily content, for example in any of these five (5) ways:

  1. cinquain
  2. pentameter
  3. 5-word lines
  4. 5-syllable lines
  5. 5 rhymes (not necessarily at the end of lines)

This year’s contest will be judged in two phases, just like last year’s. Our poetry editor Rose Auslander will select the 10 shortlist poems which will then be posted on the unFold blog mid-June. The winner will be selected by Gian Lombardo, Professor at Emerson College and Editor in Chief of Quale Press.

The winning poem will be announced when we post a YouTube video of the poem on 1 July 2014. The winning poet will receive a $50 cash prize.*

There is NO ENTRY FEE. To submit:

  1. Read at least ten of our published poems at or to familiarize yourself with our editorial preferences.
  2. Deadline = 10 13 June 2014 (midnight, Eastern Standard Time)
  3. In the body of an email, send up to three “FIVE (5)” poems to with “contest” in the subject line.
  4. Be sure to use your word processor’s word count tool to check your character count. We cannot accept poems over 140 characters (including spaces/line breaks – each line break takes three spaces).
  5. In your email, be sure to include:
  • your name & pen name
  • a link to your bio
  • your Twitter handle, if applicable
  • the title of an unFold poem or name of an unFold poet that you enjoy

Whether or not you enter the contest, we hope you’ll pop by the unFold Twitter stream this summer to help us celebrate unFold’s 5th year of bringing micro-verse to the Twitterverse.


*Cash prize in exchange for non-exclusive rights to promote and publish the poem in all media and to use it on promotional merchandise, which may be sold to raise money, such as for the production of unFold anthologies.

One Comment on “FIVE (5): an unFold Poetry Contest

  1. Reblogged this on unFold and commented:

    A brief editorial announcement: our annual spring poetry contest is on. Cash prize this year:-)


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