New Digital Poetry Prize: The Attys

On Thursday, the Guardian announced a new digital poetry prize, the Attys, to be launched from the Canadian-based social reading site Wattpad.

The prize is named after Canadian novelist and poet Margaret Atwood, who joined Wattpad’s community of nine million writers and readers in June. Atwood will be judging the prize, for which competitors must enter a single entry, or 10 poems as a collection, each demonstrating a different poetic form.

“Poems can be submitted from anywhere, and we anticipate that some entries will be written on mobile devices,” said Allen Lau, co-founder of Wattpad. “We want to create a digital-first opportunity for poets to share their work and for audiences to discover the genre [and we] are excited to see how the world connects over poetry.”

Prizes will range from $1,000 (£640), to Nexus 7 Android tablets,  to feedback sessions from the Booker-winning author Margaret Atwood herself. Every entrant will be entered into a random draw for a chance to be immortalized as a character name in Margaret Atwood’s upcoming novel, MADDADDAM – the third in her Maddaddam series: Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood. The winner can use his or her own name — or someone else’s, as a gift. They can be: A God’s Gardener Saint; the name of a pub; the name of a pet snake; the name of a Maddaddam team member!

“I’m very honored to have [The Attys] named after me. Poetry is at the core of each language, and language itself is at the core of our humanity,” said Atwood. “May you enjoy composing your own poems, and enjoy reading the poems of others! These are very ancient pleasures; by sharing in them, you are sharing in our own deep history.”

Submissions close October 31st, and all entries can be submitted here.

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