First, congratulations to ALL of the poets who entered this year’s contest and to those who sent us the required information in case of a win! You certainly did not come to play! My judges and I have read and reread and read again! Some of your poems had us reading out loud and going over each line. Thank you so much for pouring out your heart and soul.
We have read EVERY single entry MORE than once!
We had not one, not two, but three sets of eyeballs on this thing!
The poems were so good that we are STILL choosing a few of the poems that didn’t place to feature in our debut online magazine!
How it Works
Tomorrow, August 23, 2018, we will profile our 4th place winner, Friday, our 3rd place, Saturday our 2nd place and then finally, Sunday AND Monday we will be featuring our Grand Prize Winner and learning more about the poet and the winning poem.
Below are the names of the winners and the names of their poems. Remember, over the next few days, we will be profiling each of them separately so make sure you are staying glued. You’ll learn more about them and read their poems.
Our Runner-Ups will Receive:
Publication in our Magazine, Promotion on this Blog and SM, Special Author Spotlight
CONGRATS ARE IN FOR
4th Place (3rd Runner-Up)
Kiyana Blount for Clouded Container
3rd Place (2nd Runner-Up)
Nia Elise for Self-Love
2nd Place (1st Runner-Up)
Nailah Shami for Loving Myself Full
Our Grand-Prize Winner will Receive:
$50 Amazon Giftcard nested inside a specialty gift box, no fees, no expiration date, and redeemable towards millions of items storewide at Amazon.com
Signed paperback copy of I am Soul poetry book by Yecheilyah Ysrayl
1 Writing Custom Designed Journal and matching pen to encourage your writing journey!
Publication in our online Magazine
Publication and Promotion on this blog and SM, email list, and across social media
Special Individual Blog Promotion + Interview
ANOTHER DRUMM ROLL
OKAY OKAY! 🙂
*1st Place, Grand Prize Winner*
Jahkazia Richardson for
What If I Knew My Worth
CONGRATULATIONS ALL OF YOU!!
BUT WE ARE NOT DONE…
WE STILL HAVE A FEW POEMS THAT WILL MAKE IT INTO OUR MAGAZINE!
POEMS OUR JUDGES ALSO FOUND AMAZING:
S.R. Graham, Love in its Simplest Form
Olayemi Ifeoluwa, On Self-Love
Khaya Ronkainen, Running Brook
You will get to read their poems soon. Stay glued for details on the mag debut.
A Word from Yecheilyah…
I just want to say that I am so proud of these poets. It’s something refreshing and authentic about reading someone’s words and seeing the beauty of the person without having seen their faces or knowing much about their life. When we decided on the winners we didn’t know what these writers looked like or what their lives were like, just their words on the page. When their photos and bios came in it was heartwarming for me personally. We did not intend to choose all women for our finalists. We were so focused on the poems (they had us studying child!) that we didn’t stop to think about race or gender or any of that. Personally, I think that’s what I enjoyed the most about this contest. It was all about the heart and what spoke to the judges the most and I cannot wait until you get to read their poems! Here’s to many more contests to come. Let’s do it bigger next year! Yess.
I can’t leave without extending a special thank you to all of the women who made this contest possible:
Thanks beautifuls! Guys, please be sure to support their work. They are all so powerful in their own right. Click on their names to visit their sites.
Host, 2nd Annual Poetry Contest
Runner-Ups, our sponsors will be in contact with you shortly on your gifts!
The rest of you, be sure to return to learn more about our winners.
Thursday, 8/23 – Kiyana Blount
Friday, 8/24 – Nia Elise
Saturday, 8/25 – Nailah Shami
Sunday + Monday, 8/26-27 – Jahkazia Richardson
Hey Guys, don’t forget about these exciting happenings!
Poetry Contest Finalist
The 2nd Annual Poetry Contest is not over people! We received so many wonderful entries and we are revealing our finalists and grand-prize winner soon! Stay glued.
I am Soul Blog Tour
The I am Soul Blog Tour continues on Monday! Be sure to check in to see whose blog I am visiting next and what poem I’ll be featuring.
Even Salt Looks Like Sugar
Foster youths are one of the most disadvantaged groups in the United States. According to the National Foster Youth Institute, nearly 20 percent of those who age out of the system end up homeless, and nearly 60 percent of young men who grew up in foster care have been convicted of a crime. Being in foster care, separated from their families, also takes its toll on children: Twenty-five percent of kids in the system will suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
How does Wanda reconcile her feelings about her foster mother’s attempt to control her life?
Remember to preorder “Even Salt Looks Like Sugar,” the eBook at just $0.99 on Amazon and mark this book as ‘to read’ on Goodreads. Proceeds go to fund next year’s poetry contest! This short novel releases 10/2. (the page number on Amazon is wrong btw. It’s longer than 47 pages but still a short read. The actual page number should be showing up shortly)
Wanda wants nothing more than to escape the oppressive upbringing of life with her abusive foster mother. Miss Cassaundra manipulates the system by bringing lost children into her home turned whorehouse and collecting the money. Wanda knows what it’s like to be abandoned and has no doubt that Abby is Cassaundra’s next case. When an opportunity arises that could save them both, Wanda must find a way to get the paperwork that will secure their freedom. But Cassaundra’s got eyes everywhere and no one can be trusted when even salt looks like sugar.
(come on people…its free to mark as to read…that’s right, simply tap that finger on the link…yes, that’s it. You got it lol.)
Wow, what a ride!
…and we are still riding! It’s not over people! Not until the winner is crowned…
Special thank you to everyone who has participated in this contest in some way. Everyone who submitted poems shared the post on social media, volunteered to sponsor or judge, and just overall supported this endeavor. As the headline suggests, this is only my 2nd year hosting this contest. My hope is that each year it gets better and better and that we are capable of offering you more every year. I am excited to say that we are on track with that!
Last year, we received amazing support and crowned an amazing poet as our grand prize winner. CLICK HERE to read last year’s winning poem and to meet last years poet!
This year, we have leveled up big time!
2nd Annual – 27 poems, 16 contestants
I made some mistakes last year but everything is a learning experience and we wouldn’t be here if there wasn’t a first! So big ups to everyone who helped, sponsored, hosted, judged and participated in that modest but most excellent contest last year!
I took those lessons from last year, noticed the mistakes I made, and applied them to this contest and still, there’s much to learn. Which is why me and my team are already thinking of improvements for next year! We hope to do it even bigger by offering you more publishing packages. Eventually, we’d very much like to progress to offline open mic opportunities as we get better. The sky is not the limit here people!
As a reminder, we are announcing our grand prize winner and runner-ups on Wednesday, August 22, 2018. For a reminder of what is at stake, be sure to revisit the entry guidelines and prizes post HERE.
Poets, be sure to check your email (Spam or Junk folders) and submit the required information at your earliest convenience.
The rest of you, be sure you are following this blog and my social media handles (below) to stay in the loop and to be reminded of our crowned winner. Which King and Queen will take home the grand prize?
p.s. I have another surprise to announce later today. Right now I am going to catch some zzzs. See you in the am! (U.S.A. EST am that is lol)
When I started my self-love journey, at 30, I didn’t even know it was a thing. I didn’t know that other women had started self-love journeys too, many of them starting in their 30s. I also thought, when I started, that I was headed to a specific place. “I’m on a journey of self-love,” I’ll tell people. They probably just rolled their eyes. I was acting like I was on my way to the spa or something. Like after three weeks of prayer and meditation I would arrive. That suddenly, after a month of Sunday’s I would be so aware of myself that insecurity and uncertainty would never find me again.
Over one year later and I am still finding myself, still learning myself, still fighting off insecurities and uncertainties. Almost two years and I am still developing that deeply personal and spiritual understanding of myself. That’s because self-love is a process, a journey, not a destination. It’s not some place you come to after three prayers and an inspirational quote. It’s something that develops over time and that only gets stronger as you age.
Ever wonder why elderly men and women have such a “I don’t give a damn,” attitude?
It’s not that they don’t care about anything. It’s just that they’ve been on this Earth long enough to have such a deeply personal understanding of who they are that they will not allow anyone else to tell them about themselves, neither do they care what others think of their actions. It’s important for you to know that you will not get to the place they are immediately. Just like they had to go through the years, you will have to go through them too so you shouldn’t rush the process. It could take years to truly heal from trauma, heartache, depression, self-hatred or whatever spirit is stopping you from fully loving yourself.
This also means that in this process you will have to be intentional, deliberate, and disciplined about re-examining who you are as an individual. And you must be very, very honest with yourself. Without honesty, you are doing yourself a great disservice and you are headed for self-destruction. A life built on deception will eventually crumble. You can’t heal by covering the wounds with more crap. You must expose the wound and allow healing to take place. This can’t happen if you’re just going to lie to yourself.
Before you commit, understand that Self-love is a long-term commitment of learning and knowing yourself. It happens in stages and can take years.
Now, go write a poem about Self-love or Self-Care in some way and enter it into my 2nd Annual Poetry Contest! We are SIX days out. Don’t miss the chance to win money, a beautiful notebook and pen, publication, promotion, and books!
What does self-care mean to you? What does it look like to you? What do you think of when you hear self-love? How can we take better care of ourselves?
CLICK HERE to read through all the entry rules and guidelines and then email your poem to yecheilyah(at)yecheilyahysrayl(dot) com. Also remember this is a free entry contest so there’s no entry fee to enter. But hurry! Time is running out!