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Hopes and Dreams: The Pulitzer Prize Guidelines

Hopes and Dreams: The Pulitzer Prize Guidelines

It always helps an author in his or her quest to market books to earn credentials and win accolades since reputation and creditability for a writer is important And the Pulitzer :Prize for American writers is about top of the line and seems like only a remote possibility for most of us. However, what most “ordinary” writers don’t know is that the competition is open to all American citizens, including indie authors who self publish on platforms such as lulu.com and Amazon KDP. So, all you really risk when you enter your little masterpiece is your $75.00 entry fee and a few minutes of disappointment if you don’t win. But like the proverb goes “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” So go for it, indie poet or author, if you think you wrote a masterpiece, because you never know, for I personally had an “ordinary” English teacher at community college once who won the coveted prize.

All the categories and guidelines are simple. There are five main categories; Journalism, excellence in community service, Drama, Music and Letters. Most of us as poets and indie authors would have an interest in entering a submission under the category of Letters which is divided in the categories of Fiction, Non-Fiction, Biography, and Poetry. Poetry must be submitted as a collection in a book length manuscript. The book must be submitted on or after January 1 in the same year that it is published. Their preferred deadline for submission is June 4, but they accept submissions on up to October 1 of the same year in which it is published. The website address for your book submissions is https://bdmentrysite.org, and be prepared to write three essays when you log in; a short biography about yourself, a detailed description of your book, and the objectives you were trying to achieve by writing your book. Finally, your book must be published by an American publisher or a foreign publisher that has an American editorial presence. The prize for the winners in the Letters category is $15,000. So, go for it indie authors, and lets put our indelible mark on history. The 2021 winners are going to be announced on June 11 this year, and I will be blogging about the poetry winner.

The Pulitzer Prize was instituted in 1917 by Joseph Pulitzer who was the publisher of the New York World and who was himself a naturalized citizen of the United States from Hungary. The prizes are administered at Columbia University by 20 juries of 5 people for each category to choose the finalists, and 17 people make up the board who choose the final winners.  The names of the finalists who did not win the prize are also announced publicly which is also a great honor for any writer. Now keep in mind that this is a long term goal, so be patient, and I am going to tell you exactly what I told myself regarding realizing such a lofty dream, ‘Lottsa luck old girl!’ It’s a long shot I know, but great things can be done by people who are willing to take long shots such as my lowly community college English teacher. She was such an inspiration!

Poets and writers don’t forget to enter our own DailyWisdomWords Spring poetry contest today and be honored by us, your friends and poetry peers.

Shirley Satterfield
Shirley Mandel Satterfield is a Baltimore girl from way back who was raised in the rough and tumble world of a steelworkers family and writes Christian poetry, memoirs and nonfiction. She has lived to survive a life fraught with domestic violence, child abuse, and mental illness and writes to help others to survive the same kinds of things. After becoming a radiology technician, she went on to serve in the U.S. Army and later on in life attended Averett University in Danville, Virginia as a nontraditional student earning two B.A. degrees in English and journalism and was awarded the Ember Award for Excellence in Poetry by the campus literary magazine. She was also named correspondent of the Day by the Richmond Times Dispatch for a letter she wrote to the editor concerning the importance of compassionate treatment and the acceptance of the mentally ill by society.
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