Every adult when I was growing up, “What ya’ll know about this?” Lol
“To be loved and be loved in return.”💃🏽🎼🎵🕺🏾
Heey, it’s Throwback Thursday 💃🏽🕺🏾
Yecheilyah’s 4th Annual Poetry Contest 2021
This year’s theme is love. The difference between this year and our first year is this is not only about self-love or romantic love. You can certainly talk about self-love or the love of your life, but you can also talk about the love for family, the love for a hobby or career path, truth, history, and so on.
The grand prize this year is HUGE, so I am looking for some dopeness. If the poem doesn’t move me, I’m not accepting it, so bring your A-game. This is year four, and we are not accepting anything less than our best so let’s goooo!!
Here is a snippet of a poem from author and poet Jayla John on love. Let it inspire you!
“What love touches heals. What love reaches feels. What love bows to kneels. Love glances at sewage and turns it sacred. Love turns slander into praise. Love is a sacred storyteller. Love destroys all castles, drains all moats, rubbles royalty and thrones. Love answers. Prayers. Poetry. Passion fires. Love revolts. Love constantly births. Lets go. Remembers. Wakes your embers. Love is not romantic blindness. It is searing vision. Love sees. Love kills what is already dying, diseased, polluted, corrupted. Love makes all things new. Love is not in you. You are in love. And all of this is love.” – Jalya John, Author of Freedom.
Thursday, April 1st – Tuesday, June 1, 2021
*If your poem is ready, go ahead and submit it!*
Winners Announced: Wednesday, September 1st and 6th 2021*
*The 2nd-4th Place Winners are announced 9/1 with the Grand Prize Winner announced on 9/6.
- The poems submitted must be original work. This means that the poems must be written by you. If we find a poem that resembles any previously published poem in any way that poet will be disqualified from the competition. Please send the poem as a Word Doc attachment, 12p font with your name on the document.
- The poem must not be previously published in a book or anywhere online (including your blog)
- The contest will be judged based on writing, style and how closely the poem adheres to the theme. This year’s theme is LOVE. Keep in mind this isn’t limited to romantic type love. You can also write about love for family, love for the creator, love for a passion or hobby, self-love, e.g.
- All poets are welcomed to enter regardless of race, religion, political views or location. All poems must be written in English and there will be no shipments of books outside of the U.S. If a poet wins this competition and their residence is outside of the U.S., any prize requiring shipping (if any) will be awarded in digital form. Ex. Ebooks instead of paperbacks.
- All poets must be at least 18 years of age to enter.
- There is a $5 Entry Fee to enter the competition. This will help go toward the sponsoring of the prizes for the winners (See Below). If you are a member of the email list your fee is waived. If you would like your fee waived, sign up HERE and email your poem to enter. Anyone who subscribes only to unsubscribe before the competition is complete (any time before the winners are announced) will be disqualified for the win. Any subscription that has not been made before 11:59pm EST on June 1st will be disqualified.
- Authors of the winning poems grant Yecheilyah of Yecheilyah Books LLC and Literary Korner Publishing the right to publish their winning poem on her blog located at www.thepbsblog.com. Permission is granted upon entry of the contest for publishing to The PBS Blog. The poets retain all rights and copyrights of their own work.
- Multiple entries to this contest are allowed. If submitting multiple poems there is a 2-poem max.
- Entry is taken as acceptance of ALL of these guidelines.
Click THIS link to pay the entry fee.
Or Click on THIS link and subscribe to Yecheilyah’s email list.
This will automatically give your name and email address.
*If you are already subscribed to my list you are halfway there! Just email me your poem*
Once you’ve paid the entry fee OR subscribed to the list, please send your poem(s) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submissions are accepted NOW through June 1st 2021.
Winners are announced September 1st and 6th, 2021 on The PBS Blog and across social media.
Video submissions are welcomed! This is a chance for you to get creative.
2nd, 3rd, 4th Place Prizes
- $25 Amazon Giftcard nested inside a specialty gift box. The card has no fees and no expiration date and is redeemable towards millions of items storewide at Amazon.com (ecards for International Winners)
- Signed Copy of I am Soul OR My Soul is a Witness + Matching Bookmarks (ecopies for International Winners)
- Writing Journal and Diamond Pen
- Poem Published to The PBS Blog at thepbsblog.com (exposure to over 3100 subscribers)
- Interview on The PBS Blog at thepbsblog.com (exposure to over 3100 subscribers)
- Social Media Promotion Across All Platforms (IG, Twitter, FB)
1st Place Winner / The Grand Prize
The first-place winner receives everything under 2-4th place with an exclusive publishing package courtesy of Yecheilyah Books LLC’s publishing arm Literary Korner Publishing. Yes, you heard me right! I will finance the publishing of your next (or first!) poetry ebook. As the grand prize winner, you get the following (in addition to everything else):
- Book Cover Design (ebook only)
- ISBN Assignment
- Digital Format for e-readers such as Kindle
- KDP Set-Up
- PreOrder Set-Up (Optional)
The most exciting thing about this prize is I will work with you one-on-one every step of the way so you can know what to do the next time you want to publish a book. I am not here to fish for you. I am here to teach you how to fish so you can keep eating.
Deadline to Submit is 6/1/2021
If you know me, you know I love me some Alicia Keys. This not really a throwback throwback but it’s my jaamm.
When I was a teenager, my cousins joked that I had discovered the cure for AIDS. It was their way of saying I was smart because I read a lot.
I even overheard my mother telling my aunt I was special. I got offended because I thought she meant special as in slow.
That’s because when I was a kid, I thought I was stupid.
In grammar school, I was a terrible student. I got straight Fs in the early years. And when we had to take the IOWA Test, I started to get held back. I can remember going to summer school as early as third grade, and I failed sixth grade twice. I failed seventh grade too, but someone had mercy on me enough to add my name to the eighth-grade roster, and that is how I entered the eighth grade.
I honestly cannot tell you what happened. I never learned the details. As far as I was concerned, it was a miracle.
Once in the eighth grade, they routinely removed me from class to go with the Special Ed teacher. My specific area of difficulty was math.
Whenever that teacher came to the door, all five of us would get up and walk out, and everyone knew what for. It was embarrassing, and I felt ashamed.
If I was so terrible at school, how did I graduate with honors with an armful of Creative Writing awards? And how did I end up in ILCA?
ILCA is short for International Language Career Academy. It was a program at my high school where students had to take four years of language instead of two, and all their courses were advanced except for the electives.
By my junior year of High School, I was not only enrolled in all honors classes, but I was also taking courses at Robert Morris College in downtown Chicago.
I would go to school during the day and then hop on the Green Line and go to college at night.
At the time, I was a member of the UMOJA Spoken Word Poetry club, trying out for track, and the only member of the yearbook team.
My schedule was crazy.
I was also on the drama team, where we wrote and performed plays at school assemblies.
At one of these plays, I recited my poem, “Black Beauty.” It was the first time I had ever shared my poetry with the public.
But let me back up just a bit.
I never explained how I went from Special Ed for math to taking advanced math classes…and passing.
My eighth-grade teacher discovered I knew how to write, so they built my assignments around writing.
I excelled so much that I passed math, graduated with honors, and was placed in an advanced High School Program.
There’s an old saying, usually attributed to Einstein, that goes something like:
I was this fish. I used to think I was stupid.
Something in my brain just did not click. I didn’t even learn to ride a bike until I was nine years old.
At the time, The Robert Taylor Projects were considered the poorest urban community in the United States, second only to Cabrini Green. We did not ride bikes. We made tents out of dirty bedsheets, seesaws out of bed railings, and rollercoasters out of shopping carts.
Ain’t nobody have money for bikes.
And even though I’m a full adult now, I still get anxious about math and count slower than most.
People think I’m book smart, but the truth is it wasn’t until I focused on what I was good at (my purpose) that I started to do well.
It was never about being smart, but I was also not stupid. I just needed to find what worked for me, even if that meant I had to work harder than others.
Passion is connected to purpose. Those things you love to do (with or without payment), has a lot to do with what you are called to do.
Some of you are struggling with something, and it’s not because you are stupid or slow or incapable.
It could just be because you are a fish, trying to climb trees because that’s what everyone else is doing.
Find you some water.