I received an email Monday, prior to the public press release, that announced the winners of the 2009 Wisconsin Academy annual poetry contest. (You can see the list of winners on the Wisconsin Academy website.) I’m not on the list.

This contest is the first one I’ve entered. Even though I didn’t win anything, it won’t be the last. In fact, I’ve sent submissions to two other contests since. It seems contests have an advantage to the writer over a direct submission. There’s no direct rejection letter, no form letter, no politely worded dismissal — just a list of winners made public. If you didn’t get a winners’ notice or your name’s not on the list, you didn’t make it. You just have to keep submitting. One will hit.