Button Poetry 2016 Video Contest

Button Poetry, the hugely popular (for poetry), performance-oriented YouTube channel, is welcoming submissions for its first-ever video contest. Their Submittable page has all the details.

We’re incredibly excited to launch the first-ever Button Poetry video contest! Over the last year, we’ve increasingly realized the limited nature of our film work: we can only really film poets in specific physical spaces where we’re present each year.

We intend for this to be the first of many opportunities for people around the world to get on the ever larger digital stage for poetry.

Prize: The winner’s video (or a re-filmed version of the poem) along with the videos of 5 Runners Up will be featured across Button’s social media. The winner will receive a $250 honorarium and the Runners Up will each receive $100. Winner and runners up will also be invited to perform at Button Poetry Live in Saint Paul, MN!

Entry Fee: $6 (or $15 for up to four videos); all entrants will receive 15% off any purchase at the Button Shop.

Timeline: The contest will open on July 15th and close at 11:59 PM CST on AUGUST 31ST!

Eligibility: The competition is open to poets worldwide age 16+ (NOTE: poets under 18 would need a signed parental/guardian release form before being run). We will accept any poetry performance or poetry short film in any language (as long as non-English videos come equipped with English subtitles). Videos that have been previously published elsewhere are eligible, with the understanding that any selected video will need to be taken down from other locations on the internet.

What We Like: We value energy and voice and force, work that crosses borders or effaces them completely, work that enters into larger social conversations, work that lives in the world, work with calloused hands and a half-empty stomach. We think poetry is and ought to be part of our everyday lives and culture.

Guidelines: Submit one or more videos (1 to 5 minutes in length, <1GB) via our online submission manager. Most common video file-types are accepted.

Tech: While video and audio quality will be one factor in the judging process, the quality of the poem and performance themselves will be weighted much more heavily. That said, if possible, please use high-quality audio and video. If you’re filming this yourself on a smartphone or similar, try to do it inside, somewhere well-lit, without background noise, etc. If you’re using a video of a live performance, for example from an open mic or slam, take care with audio. If we particularly love a poem and decide we want to run it but the quality we received is not usable for the channel, we will discuss options with the poet for refilming a video of it.

Collaborative poems (group pieces) are fine, though be particularly careful on audio with those.

Process: Members of the Button Poetry staff will review all submissions to determine the winner, runners up, and any other videos we may be interested in running!

For questions, email contest@buttonpoetry.com.

NOTE: Make sure to choose the proper fee amount for the number of videos you’re submitting, or your submission may be declined!

Click through to Submittable to submit your work. Videos on the Button Poetry channel regularly get at least 10,000 views, so this is a great opportunity for poetry filmmakers to reach a larger audience. And judging by the positive reactions to a couple of Motionpoems-produced videos on their channel, their audience is highly receptive to poetry film proper, not just performer-focused videos.

Dave Bonta

Dave is the founder of Moving Poems, and posts videos for his own poems (along with lots of other stuff) at Via Negativa. Here’s a bio.

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