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NISA BrainStorm Poetry Contest 2019

Open Minds Quarterly’s 17th annual BrainStorm Poetry Contest is open!Poster for the poetry contest , different colour shapes and flowers [Text in the post]

First prize $250 • Second prize $150 • Third prize $75

PLUS Two draws for a free 1-year subscription to Open Minds Quarterly or a copy of In New Light

Below, you will find all the rules and regulations for our 17th Annual BrainStorm Poetry Contest, a small fundraiser organized by NISA/Northern Initiative for Social Action for Open Minds Quarterly. The contest is open only to people who have lived experience of mental health challenges, internationally.

To enter the contest online, begin by reading through all the rules below and then click here to submit online. While we encourage entrants to use our simple and secure online form, we know some writers need other submission options. If submitting online is a formidable barrier for you, click here to download the entry form to submit via mail. 


To be eligible, each entry must:

  • be written in English;
  • be accompanied by one entry form for every three poems entered;
    arrive with your entry fee;
  • not have any names or identifying marks. Put your name only on the
    accompanying entry form;
  • be typed;
  • if mailed, be printed on 8.5” x 11” or A4 paper, one poem per page;
  • be no more than 30 lines in length;
  • not include any drawings or images;
  • arrive at NISA by Friday, March 8, 2019, 11:59 p.m.;
  • arrive by surface mail, hand delivery or through the online submission form (no faxes or e-mails);
  • be original, unpublished work.

Entries will be ineligible if:

  • poems have already been published or accepted for publication by Open Minds Quarterly or elsewhere;
    entry fee payment is returned due to insufficient funds;
  • the rules listed above are not followed.

Disqualified entrants will not be notified of disqualification.

NISA staff and board members are ineligible for entry.

Entry Fee
The entry fee is $12 for up to three poems. Do not send cash in the mail. Cheques or money orders must be made payable to NISA or Northern Initiative for Social Action; credit card payments can be sent via to, and please include your payment confirmation with your mailed entry form.

Click here to submit online now. 

Click here to download the entry form to submit in the mail. 

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