Call for submissions: 2017 Button Poetry Video Contest

For the second year in a row, Button Poetry, producers of arguably the most popular English-language poetry channel on YouTube, are holding a video contest. Submissions opened on August 1, but I just got wind of it. You have until September 15 to submit. I’ll paste in the details from Submittable:

We are thrilled to announce our second annual open-submission video contest! Our chapbook contest will be happening in winter this year (opening November 15th).

Over the past years, we here at Button have realized the limited nature of filming at poetry tournaments and slams. There are so many other ways to record and present poetry beyond a slam setting, so we decided to give people around the world the chance to step up on the digital stage and share their work.

Submissions to the Video Contest will be open from August 1st to September 15th. All videos submitted will be considered for publication, not just the winner and runners-up.

We are looking for work that crosses borders or effaces them completely, work that enters into larger social conversations, work that lives in the world, work with a strong, unique voice and palpable energy.

Open to EVERYONE age 16 and older!

Prize: The winner’s video 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.

Entry Fee: $7 (or $12 for two videos)

Special Discount: Youth (ages 16-20) and international submitters can submit single video submissions for a discounted price of $5.

All entrants will receive 15% off any purchase from the Button Website.

Timeline: The contest will open on August 1st and close at 11:59 PM CST on September 15th.

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 — this will be dealt with after videos have been selected for publication). 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 may need to be taken down from other locations on the internet.

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

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.

Note: You MUST own the complete, transferable rights to ALL elements of the submission, including text, audio, and video.

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.

Collaborative poems are fine.

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

Click through to submit.

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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