The Alabama Writers Conclave is one of the oldest writers organization in the US. It was founded in 1923 and has been going strong since then. The Conclave include fiction and non-fiction writers, poets, journalists, publishers, patrons, and teachers, and among its functions, it hosts a competition to select the governor-appointed Poet Laureate of the state of Alabama.
Nominees do not specifically have to be from Alabama to compete, as there are Conclave members from many states who are represented. The position of Alabama Poet Laureate is honorific. There is no compensation, which means that the honoree doesn’t get a cash prize, but simply the satisfaction of winning.
In order to enter, a candidate must be at least 21 years old and a resident of Alabama who has lived in the state for 10 years. He or she must have at least one book of poetry published by a commercial or small press within, must be available to travel and give presentations, and must have produced amazing work and have contributed significant service to the development of the literary arts.
Nominations must include:
- Completed nomination form (attached), signed by nominator and nominated poet that include a binding statement that the poetry sample is the nominee’s and the materials submitted are true and complete.
- A cover letter from the nominator of no more than two pages providing the following information: name and a short biography of the nominated poet and a summary of significant awards and published works.
- The poet-nominee’s resume.
- A summary of no more than one page indicating why the nominator considers the work of the nominated poet to be of the highest quality.
- A work sample of no more than ten poems. Submissions may not exceed 15 continuously numbered 81/2” x 11” pages (one side), no less than 12 point type. Please provide copyright information where appropriate; all submissions become part of the public record. Both published and non-published poetry may be submitted. All submissions must be typewritten or computer generated. Materials hand-written will not be accepted.
The President of Alabama Writers Conclave will appoint a Poet Laureate Nominations Committee who will review applications and present a candidate for election at the annual meeting in July. The governor of Alabama will then appoint the selected candidate in a ceremony.