Oxford writer wins 22nd Annual Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest

Published 1:44 pm Monday, September 4, 2023

Winning Writers recently announced that Beth Ann Fennelly of Oxford has won first prize with $2,000 in the 22nd Annual Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest for her comedic poem “Epistle to My Lord Concerning My Sons’ Future Spouses,” about a saccharine-sweet mother who hopes her daughters-in-law will feed her boys well…just not as well as she does.

In addition to the cash prize, Fennelly also received a two-year gift certificate for the services at Duotrope, co-sponsor of the contest, which had 6,304 poets participate from around the world.

Fennelly teaches in the MFA program at the University of Mississippi.

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Jendi Reiter, final judge of the Wergle Flomp contest, said, “The difference between winners and almost-winners often came down to the originality of the subject matter. With sybaritic imagery and delicate hypocrisy, the praying mother in this poem nurtures her sons with one hand and claws back their autonomy with the other.” Lauren Singer assisted with the judging.

Second prize of $500 went to Ellie Black of Oxford – apparently now the humor poetry capital of America – for “On Being the Glamorous Blonde Villain from All Those Nineties Kids’ Movies,” a poem that pokes fun at familiar movie tropes while also critiquing how we indoctrinate the next generation into mistrusting independent women.

Third prize of $250 went to Josh Baumgart of St. Louis, Mo., for “A Sex Therapist’s 50 Ways to Please Your Lover (Paul Simon),” a playful song parody that recommends breaking out of an intimacy rut before you break up.

Ten honorable mentions of $100 went to Matt DG, K. E. Flann, Taliesin Gore, Stella-Ann Harris, Patrick Heneghan, Rob Holtom, Mark Jackett, C. E. Janecek, Riley McNutt and Ashlen Renner. The top 13 poems and the judges’ comments are published at winningwriters.com.

The 2024 contest is open now through April 1, 2024. Entry remains free. $3,750 will be awarded. See the guidelines and submit online.

In addition to the Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest, Winning Writers also sponsors the Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest, the Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest, and the North Street Book Prize. 

All of these contests are recommended by Reedsy. Winning Writers has been named as one of the “101 Best Websites for Writers” by Writer’s Digest in 2023.