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Grand Tournament IV Rules

Grand Tournament 2015 Rules

To commemorate the Four Year Anniversary of Writing Knights Press events, we are preparing the Fourth Annual Grand Tournament. Words belong to everyone and pieces must work on the page as well as on the stage. The Grand Tournament is designed to find the best writers AND performers in the global poetry scene.

First Round – On the Page
1. Entries will be accepted between March 7, 2015 and June 6, 2015. Any entrants sending before or after these dates will be reminded of the deadline and their submissions discarded.  All entries should be sent to Subject line of emails should read "Grand Tournament 2015".
2. Entrants should compile a sample manuscript between 275 and 325 lines long including stanza/paragraph breaks. Page settings should be on documents set at 6" x 9" with all margins set at 1" with 12 point Times New Roman font.  Manuscripts not in these parameters will be returned to the entrant and asked to be reformatted. 
             a. Any combination of poetry and prose (fiction, nonfiction, etc) will be accepted. Just remember, if you advance to the second round, you will have to perform your entry.             b. Concerning stanza breaks and lines between poems: put only ONE blank line between pieces. Do NOT go to the next page to start the next piece. The blank lines between stanzas, between poems and from the titles of pieces count as one of your 275-325 lines. Title lines of your pieces also count as one of your 275-325 lines.

Title of Piece
          << blank line between title and poem
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Sugar is sweet
And so is chocolate
          << blank line for stanza break
Chocolate is brown
So are some dogs
Kittens are fuzzy
And so is Chewbacca
          << blank line for end of poem
Title of next piece
3. Preferably, material provided should be unpublished or at least not published during the last 12 months. 
            a. Previous contestants are welcomed and encouraged to enter the tournament, however;
            b. No previous pieces entered to the Grand Tournament will be considered. 

4. The manuscript should be sent as an attachment in .doc (Microsoft Office 97-2003) file format ONLY. Files in any other format will be discarded unread (if you submit .docx we'll just have you resend it the right way).
            a. The file should be named “Grand Tournament Entry”. There should be NO identifying notations inside the entry of the identity of the writer, this includes lines in the pieces themselves.
            b.Exceptions can be made in the cases of ghazals (or other poetic forms of this nature) where the poet is expected to “sign” their work. However, the poet should make an effort to disguise their name. Example, “Azriel” could be disguised as “as real.”

5. In the body of the email include: Name (Pen Name and Legal Name), Address (email and snail mail), phone number, and the list of pieces included in the manuscript. Do not include the list of pieces in the manuscript attachment.

6. Manuscripts will be scored 0-10 by the five judges.


Second Round – On the Stage
Cover A of Graffiti Wisdom
by 2012 Winner Skylark Bruce
1. The writers of the top five scoring manuscripts will be invited to perform their submissions at the Grand Tournament July 25, 2015 at an undisclosed location in North East or East Central Ohio. 

2. Only one prop will be permitted per performer.
            a. Approved props include, but are not limited to: masks, walking sticks, stage blood, riding crops, scarves, whips under 3 feet long.
            b. Any mess created by the performer or prop must be cleaned up, or the performer will be disqualified.
            c. Not approved props include, but are not limited to: musical instruments, other people, non-service animals, apparatuses of a strictly sexual nature (stimulation devices, gags, fuzzy handcuffs, etc).

3. Performances will be scored 0-10 by the five judges.
4. The highest combined score of the manuscript and performance rounds will win. If there is a tie, the performers in contention will be given a 1 minute lightning round performance to decide the winner.


Nothing, but Skin
by 2013 Winner Quartez Harris
1. The winner of the Grand Tournament will be offered a full length, perfect bound book deal with Writing Knights Press. This offer does not expire.
2. The four runner up competitors in the Second Round will be offered a chapbook deal with Writing Knights Press.
3. Honorable mentions from the First Round may be invited to submit chapbook manuscripts.
4. Judges will be asked to pick one or two pieces from each manuscript for consideration in The Squire: Grand Tournament IV Anthology.


Notes to Potential Entrants
1. The performance will be held in a location to be named later. There will be no video conferencing or competing. If an entrant qualifies from the manuscript round and they are unable to be at the event by 7pm July 25th they will forfeit all possible contest winnings.
2. Competitors in the Second Round who have merchandise are invited to sell it at the Grand Tournament event. Individual consignment agreements will be brokered between the poet, the organizers and the venue.
3. Traveling poets cannot be explicitly offered room and board. Arrangements may be made, but this will be on a case by case basis and are not guaranteed.

4. Scoring of this event is anonymous, but entrants who would like to see their scores and the judges notes may ask to do so AFTER the Second Round has completed.
5. Family members, romantic partners, and current or former Writing Knights Press staff or current event judges are ineligible to compete.
            a. Past judges, their family members or romantic partners are eligible to compete as long as they are not disqualified in another way.


Cover B of Graffiti Wisdom
by 2012 Winner Skylark Bruce
1. This year’s judges will be the same from the Page (manuscript) and Stage (performance) rounds. 
2. Last year’s winner, Nkechi Edeh, 2013 Champion Quartez Harris, and 2012 Champion Skylark Bruce, will be three of the judges, and the only judges revealed before the event itself.
3. Judges will score anonymously from each other and from the contestants in the Page and Stage rounds.
a. Scores in the Page round will be sent to the Event coordinator as they are tallied.
b. Scores in the Stage round will be kept secret until all five competitors have been scored.
c. It is up to the Judges’ sole discretion how they will score the contestants.

4. Judges will be requested, but not required to submit a piece for The Squire: Grand Tournament IV Anthology.


1. All Entrants and Judges will receive a free copy of The Squire: Grand Tournament IV Anthology.
2. All Finalists and Judges will receive a free copy of the winning full length book produced.
3. Entrants will be able to buy additional copies of The Squire: Grand Tournament IV Anthology for a reduced price.
More details will be added as needs arise.
Any questions, comments, or suggestions may be sent to Any complaints, gripes or bitches can be directed to your usual venting board. We only accept constructive criticism.


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