Segullah is currently running a poetry and visual art contest free to enter this year. Segullah is an online literary journal and blog designed to encourage literary and artistic talent, provoke thought and promote greater understanding and faith among Latter-day Saint women and other women of faith. They “publish insightful writings and images which explore life’s richness and complexity while reflecting faithfulness to the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
For more info on how to submit to literary magazine and journals, read my Submission Tips here.
I wondered how and why this contest came to be, so I asked staff member Terresa Wellborn a few questions to find out. See my interview with Wellborn and a link to their contest guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about the Segullah contest.
WELLBORN: You can find all contest info via this link: https://segullah.org/contest/.
All submissions are invited to answer this year’s theme: “If You Only Knew…”
Guidelines and contest rules are outlined below.
- Contest rules: poetry, prose, and visual art*
- Tips from our general submissions: creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and visual art
- Copyright policy, style guides, and essay helps
- Submit online through this link
*Visual Art Contest Submission Info:
- May be related to the 2019 contest theme, though this isn’t mandatory for visual art entries.
- Original, unpublished pieces in any visual art media that have not won awards elsewhere.
– Send photographs of images only in compressed JPG files (use a site like the free compressjpeg.com to reduce all your images before submission)
- Limit of up to 10 items in a portfolio for consideration.
- Artist submitting the first place winning image in the Visual Arts category will receive $100 as the prize, and the image will be featured on the Segullah site.
HOPKINSON: How/why was Segullah originally started?
WELLBORN: Our mission statement & origins:
Segullah is a literary journal and blog designed to encourage literary and artistic talent, provoke thought and promote greater understanding and faith among Latter-day Saint women. We publish insightful writings and images which explore life’s richness and complexity while reflecting faithfulness to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our aim is to highlight a variety of women’s perspectives within a framework of shared beliefs and values. While not an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Segullah upholds its established leadership, doctrines and standards.
In Hebrew segullah signifies a cherished personal possession that is set apart and diligently cared for; it is a term the Lord has used with affection to describe His covenant people (Exodus 19:5, Psalms 135:4), and one we use here in remembrance of the blessings and responsibilities we receive in relationship with Him.
Segullah, originally a print journal, was born in 2005 from a writer’s group of friends that united in their goal to encourage and showcase literary talent, as well as to provoke thought and promote greater understanding and faith among Latter-day Saint women. In 2007 the blog was created as a daily online companion to the print journal that features a wider variety of writings, perspectives, and ideas within a framework of shared beliefs and values that explore life’s richness and complexity while reflecting faithfulness to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In addition to the blog and journal, now published exclusively online since 2013 (a quarterly), Segullah sponsors an annual contest in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and visual art.
HOPKINSON: Who is your target reader audience?
WELLBORN: Women of all ages; women of faith (whatever their faith may be).
HOPKINSON: What do you wish you’d see submitted, but rarely comes in?
WELLBORN: We are looking for poems that are both well crafted, with original expression and vivid imagery. Poetry should lead the reader somewhere unexpected, enlarge our understanding of ourselves and the world and invite re-reading in order to discover deeper meaning.
We are seeking poetry submissions written by LDS women (or more generally — women of faith) which address subjects in harmony with our mission statement.
To be more specific:
What we like:
- Original, concrete language and images
- Strong verbs and nouns
- Subtlety; use of implication and juxtaposition
- Unique voice
- Sound (internal rhyme, consonance)
- Well done forms (use of enjambment, near rhyme)
- Honest and authentic, yet still faith-promoting (adhering to Segullah’s mission)
What we avoid:
- Poems that sound like hymns or primary songs
- Didactic (don’t preach or testify)
- Prosaic (it shouldn’t sound like an essay with line breaks)
- Poems that try too hard to sound “poetic”
- Obscurity and abstraction
- Exclamation points
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite lit mags/journals?
HOPKINSON: Where can folks send submissions?
WELLBORN: Via this link:
If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
WELLBORN: Via email: to Segullah poetry editor at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
DEADLINE: January 31, 2019
ENTRY FEE: None (Waived for 2019)
THEME: “If You Only Knew…”
NOTES: Open to Latter-day Saint women and women of faith
PRIZE: $100 per genre, plus publication online
FORMS: Poetry, prose, visual art