Sunday, June 14, 2009

Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Awards

Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Awards
Start: Tuesday, July 14, 2009 - 7:30pm

The Guild Complex is pleased to announce the 16th anniversary of the Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Awards (GBOMA) for poetry. Twenty semi-finalists will be selected from open submissions. These 20 poets will perform their work in front of an audience on Tuesday, July 14. Poets must be 18 years of age or older by the date of the reading and a legal resident of Illinois to enter.

The winner will receive a $500 cash prize.

Submission guidelines:
• Work must be previously unpublished.
• Only one submission per poet – no exceptions please. (If you can’t decide which poem to submit, ask a friend to help you decide, but not the Guild Complex.)
• Submissions must be typed in a legible font, no less than 12-pt. type size.
• Submitted poems must be performed by the poet in 4 minutes or less. You will be timed. For the pleasure of the audience and that your work may be heard and enjoyed, please edit your poem to fit comfortably within the time limit. Poets who read work that is too long or read very fast to fit the time limit historically have not done well in the competition. (The audience is the judge, and they will judge on their listening experience.)Those poets who go beyond the 4 minute limit will not be eligible to advance in the competition. No props or musical accompaniment are allowed.
• The poet who wrote the work must be the poet who performs the work.
• The poet absolutely must be available to read on Tuesday, July 14. If you are not going to be in town, please do not submit. This is a performance competition.

Please send submissions to:
Guild Complex
P.O. Box 478880
Chicago, IL 60647-9998

or electronically to with the subject line GBOMA.

A $5 entry fee should accompany each submission. (Because of the tight economic times, we have cut the entry fee in half this year. The submission fee helps to assuage our costs for the venue and the cash prize.) Electronic payment is available through paypal on the Guild Complex website:

Please DO NOT send submissions c/o the Chopin Theatre at their address. The Chopin is our venue, not our organization. Any poems delivered there WILL NOT be included for consideration. Also, hand delivery is not possible.

Please note: the Guild Complex is a small shop, so following the instructions carefully raises your chances of having your work arrive successfully. E-mails can get lost – especially if the subject line is not marked as directed above. An acknowledgment e-mail will be sent for all submissions that are received by the deadline and have paid their submission fee.

Poets should include their contact information -- name, address, telephone number, email address and the title of the poem – on a separate sheet. (If you’re sending an e-mail, please attach your contact information separately from the poem.) Please DO NOT put your name on the poem. Submissions must be post-marked by Monday, June 29, if sent through the postal service. Electronic submissions must be time stamped by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 1. Notification of semi-finalists will be sent on Monday, July 6. Remember, the competition is Tuesday, July 14.

Again those key dates are:
• Monday, June 29: last chance to send your poem through the mail.
• Wednesday, July 1: last chance to send your poem by e-mail.
• Monday, July 6: Notification of semi-finalists.
• Tuesday, July 14: Competition.

Reading location:
Chopin Theatre
1534 W. Division (intersection of Division, Ashland and Milwaukee), Chicago, IL
Reading begins promptly at 7:30 p.m.

We wish good luck to everyone. Please spread the word. You may contact us with questions @ or 877.394.5061. (E-mail will get the most prompt response.)

For those who wish to attend the performance – which are always amazing – we will request an admission fee of $5 for adults, $3 for students, children under 12 are free. (Please note that many of the poems have adult content.) The Guild Complex presents 95% of our readings free of charge. A few times a year, we ask for admission to help us underwrite additional costs for that particular reading. We know these are tough economic times. No one will be turned away.

The Guild Complex