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10 April 2008

Making a competition submission, steps 2-100

OK, so the entry fee has been paid, and you qualify as 'overseas' (ha, Belgium to England) so you can enter via email. So now what? Oh yes, the poems. You need to select some poems.

You want a range, because it's subjective; you know the name and work of the judge, but you don't know what kind of poetry she goes for. Best to submit as wide a range as possible. So you get 6 poems but the 6th doesn't really work so you get another one.... But after reading that one about 100 times, you decide it is too American; the cultural references may not resonate with a British reader, and too there's the problem of anything American these days -- you wouldn't believe the things some people say, when they think that we're Canadian! So scratch that. Scramble around through your pile of work-in-progress poems for a suitable replacement. Pick something softer, a bit ethereal. Read it over. There, that's better. Now set the language to English-UK and run it all through the spellcheck. Put all the U's in. Now print it all out and read it again. Tweak a word here, a comma there. Print out again and read and edit again and then again, until you're sick of it. Read it again. Are you totally sick of it? Has it stopped making sense? Good. It's just about ready.

Now carry it around in your handbag for a few days.

Repeat as needed.

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