Editor Interview: Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest

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Q: Describe what you publish in 25 characters or less.

A: Humor poetry

Q: What other current publications (or publishers) do you admire most?

A: Journals: Solstice Lit Mag, New Millennium Writings, Barrelhouse, Fence
Publishers: Yes Yes Books, Graywolf, Alice James Books, Sibling Rivalry Press, Saddle Road Press

Q: What sets your publication apart from others that publish similar material?

A: The Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest at Winning Writers is one of the largest cash prizes for humor poetry. We are distinguished by our openness to all taste levels from G-rated light verse to bawdy satire, and our commitment to politically conscious judging (no prejudicial or punching-down humor).

Q: What is the best advice you can give people who are considering submitting work to your publication?

A: Read the past winners and the judges' essays! Don't assume that light verse is easier to write; it's harder.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: The best way to answer this question is by reading our judges' essays on the winners' page from each year.

Q: What do submitters most often get wrong about your submissions process?

A: Sending the wrong genre or theme because they didn't read the rules carefully (e.g. serious verse for a humor contest).

Q: How much do you want to know about the person submitting to you?

A: No, we are committed to anonymous judging, and would like entrants to leave their names off the attached files with their poems.

Q: If you publish writing, how much of a piece do you read before making the decision to reject it?

A: For the first-round screening, we can usually tell from the first few pages for prose, or stanzas for poetry. We read pretty much all of our finalists.

Q: What additional evaluations, if any, does a piece go through before it is accepted?

A: There are generally 3-4 rounds of judging, the first 1-2 by screeners (named on the contest page), the final rounds by the final judge.

Q: How important do you feel it is for publishers to embrace modern technologies?

A: I'm very much in favor of technology for contest submissions. Online entries save money, time, and paper, and services like Submittable can help entrants keep track of all their submissions in one place. The book reviewing and bookstore gatekeepers are unfortunately still prejudiced against e-books and POD. As more prestigious presses turn to these options, it will level the playing field for all authors. That isn't happening as fast as I'd like.

Q: How much do you edit an accepted piece prior to publication?

A: We never edit except for cleaning up a stray typo (and entries with too many typos are eliminated from the contest). We feel it's important for the prize to be awarded to the entry as actually submitted, not a different version that we helped to improve. That keeps it fair for the other entrants.

Q: Do you nominate work you've published for any national or international awards?

A: We nominate for Best of the Net. One of our other contests' prizewinning essay was accepted there in 2017.