Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 27, 2013

No Fee Re-Mix Poetry Contest – $500 and Anthology

Remixing the World’s Problems Challenge (for a chance to win $500)

BREAKING NEWS!! I’ve updated two very important things for this challenge. First, I’ve upped the top remix gift to $500. Second, I’ve extended the deadline a couple months to May 15, 2014. So click here to get a copy of the book– then, read it and get remixing.]]
Yesterday was the official release date for my debut poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). It’s been exciting, but I’m even more excited about the next projects. This post is about one of those next projects: the Remixing the World’s Problems Challenge.
The basic concept is that I want poets (and non-poets) to try their hands at remixing the poems in my Solving the World’s Problems collection. The inspiration comes from pop and dance music, which routinely offers remixed versions of the original songs. Some sound similar to the original; others are grand departures.
For me, this challenge is a great opportunity to collaborate. I hope that’s an intrinsic benefit for you as well, but one lucky person will receive the extrinsic benefit of $500. Basically, it’ll be a gift (a rather generous one) from me to whoever writes the remix I love the most.
Need some ideas for remixing poems? Here are a few:
  • Fit a poem to a traditional form (haiku, triolet, sestina, etc.)
  • Use bits and pieces of a poem (or poems) with your own words
  • Write a call and response poem
  • Mash up multiple poems in the collection (or one of mine with one of yours)
  • Reorganize a poem (or poems) in the collection
  • Redact in an interesting fashion that changes the meaning of the poem
  • Or go the popular “megamix” route

Really, there’s any number of ways to go about remixing the poems, and the more “out there” the better.
That said, here are a few rules:

  • You must use my poems from Solving the World’s Problems as a starting point. In fact, you must indicate which poem (or poems) you’re re-mixing in your submission.
  • Any words that are not mine must be yours. No mixing my poems with Walt Whitman or Anne Sexton or any other poet (living or dead) who is not you–as cool as that may be.
  • Include your name, the title of the poem (or poems) you’re remixing, and the title of the new piece–along with your contact information.
  • Send an e-mail to with the subject line: Remixing the World’s Problems. If you don’t use the correct subject line, I may not open your message. So it’s important that you follow this guideline.
  • I’d prefer no attachments, but I understand if certain remixes require them. Just make sure you follow all the other rules, so that I know you’re not sending me a virus.
  • Challenge is on to May 15, 2014. I want to give everyone plenty of time to read the poems and work on remixes.
  • The best remixes will be shared on my blog and may even end up in an anthology if there are enough cool submissions.
  • As mentioned above, the author of my favorite remix will receive a $500 gift from me.
  • Enter as often as you wish, but I’m guessing the best remixes will be as thoughtfully crafted as the originals.
  • Challenge is free. No purchase necessary.

But wait, you may say, don’t I have to buy your book? Not necessarily. You could:

  • Borrow a friend’s copy (suggest the book to your rich friend)
  • Check it out at your library (request your library purchase the book–it’s on Amazon)
  • Find it in a bookstore (have your local independent bookstore get copies from Press 53)

If you don’t want to go those routes, then you probably would need to buy a copy, I suppose. But you might want to grab a copy anyway after reading the nice reviews on Amazon or the good reviews on Goodreads.
Also, folks can order a signed copy directly from me for $20 (includes shipping). Just send me an e-mail at
No matter how you get to the poems, I hope you’re able to take part in this fun challenge. Who knows? Maybe you’ll see something in a poem I didn’t. In fact, I’m hoping you do.

Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor for the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of the new poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He edits books, creates blog posts, writes a column for Writer’s Digest magazine, changes diapers, curates the insta-poetry series for Virginia Quarterly Review, manages a fantasy football team, dances around with his daughter, makes books with his boys, enjoys watching movies with his wife, and loves eating potatoes (whether they’re fried, boiled, mashed, or baked). Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.
Check out a few other posts related to this collection:

Talk tomorrow,


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