Continuing the series of Frequently Asked Questions about the West Virginia Writers, Inc., Annual Writing Competitions.
QUESTION: The Short Poetry category has a limit of 20 lines or fewer. Does a "line" (in the count) consist of a new line no matter how short it is? Or does a sentence count as a line even if it extends on to the next line?
ANSWER: For lines of poetry, our interpretation is actual lines of text on the page, regardless of length. (Spacing lines between paragraphs do not count, though.) Some might argue that the lines should refer to actual sentences even if those sentences crossed onto new lines. However, not all poems use punctuation or even traditional phrasing, so we have to count them by lines of text. This is one of those points that I think is arguable, but we have to set some sort of basis from which to operate. Short poetry and Long poetry tend to get equal numbers of submissions, so there's little advantage to picking one over the other anyway.