Frequently Asked Questions
Q. I live in Australia (India, South Africa, etc). Am I able to enter this contest?
A. All Christians are able to enter all our poetry contests, no matter where they live.
Q. Do my poems need to contain religious subject matter?
A. Not usually. Our contests are for poets who are Christian, but Christian poets are free to enter poems on the subjects of their choosing. The only exception is when the contest rules specifically require religious themes.
Q. What about the Special Categories for rhyming poems?
A. The usual rhyming categories do not require Christian content. However, some of our contests include a category for "Traditional Rhyming Poetry." This category always requires a Christian theme. Unless otherwise stated, it is the only category which requires religious content.
Q. Why don't you acknowledge receiving my contest entry?
A. Some of our contests receive hundreds of entries and it's just not possible to acknowledge each entry. We would need to hire someone just to write responses, and we feel this would be a poor use of our limited resources.
Q. If my name is not on my poem, how do the judges know who to award the prize to?
A. Our contest registrar opens the entries when they arrive and puts a numerical code on each poem which links it to the correct entry form. This way the judges do not know the names of the entrants, but after the winners are selected our registrar is able to identify the winners.
Q. Your entry fees mention US dollars and Canadian dollars, but I live in India (Saudi Arabia, Brazil, etc). How do I pay my fees?
A. Please pay in equivalent-to-USA dollars unless you are a Canadian citizen. We accept personal checks from Canada, USA, Great Britain and Australia. (The best way to do this is to determine the currency conversion rate and write your check for an amount equal to $20US.) You may also send cash (US cash is available almost anywhere) and enclose it with your entries—being certain to fold paper around the bills to hide them from detection.
Q. I submitted a poem to Poetry.com and it was published on-line, but I was not paid for it. Can I enter this poem in your contest?
A. We require that your poem to be removed from Poetry.com before being entered in our contest. This is true for all submissions to Utmost—to our contest or to our gallery. We do not accept work that is available for reading elsewhere on the Internet. However, if your poetry was published in a book produced by Poetry.com, Noble House Publishers, etc (and published nowhere else) you are permitted to enter it in our contest.
Q. Do I lose copyright to my work if it wins a prize?
A. No. We reserve the right to post your winning poem on our web site, but that is our only right. All other rights—including the right to sell the work elsewhere—remain with the author.
Q. What happens to poems that do not win a prize?
A. They are destroyed immediately following the awarding of prizes. There is no reason for us to keep them.
Q. How many people enter the contest? What are my chances of winning?
A. From year to year the number of entries varies widely. We have never had more than 500 entries, but we have had as few as 65. Your chances of winning are related to the quality of your poetry, not to the number of entries. Fewer people enter our Novice Christian Poetry Contest (run annually from March 1 – August 31), so if you are concerned about the number of contestants (and are an unpublished poet) this contest might be for you.