Winners! The #yarn5 Contest!

In celebration of National Poetry Month and in honor of YARN’s fifth year of publication, we held a poetry contest this April calling for any and all riffs on the number five. Our guest judge, super-agent, YA author and YARN Alum, John Cusick, had the tough task of picking the winning poems. We were lucky enough to receive fifty entries to the contest, and the entire poetry team was impressed with the quality of the entries. So many creative takes on the #yarn5 theme!

Without further ado, the Runner-Up is an untitled poem by Larry Fogel, which Mr. Cusick said “was a close runner up. At first this piece seems so simple, but the last line made me gasp, experiencing both the young girl’s expectation and dad’s love.”

Pick a number, any number

I hold my hand behind my back,
all five fingers stretched out,

If you get it right
I’ll do anything you ask.

My daughter looks up at me
Eyes bright, full of hope.

Three, she says.

This poem has won these fabulous prizes:
* A print edition of Cusick’s “Cherry Money Baby”
* The opportunity to have MORE of his/her work published on YARN

Image courtesy of Sergei Golyshev (

Image courtesy of Sergei Golyshev (

And a HUGE congratulations also go out to the WINNING entry, “My Clock Has No Hands,” by Leigh.  Mr. Cusick said “Her repetition and swirling imagery blend into a gorgeous piece about creation, artistic expression, and memory. Several lines will stick in my memory for a long time.”

My Clock Has No Hands

No one I know of speaks straightly; usually straitly but that’s the most. Five days is all I have; the gift—every day to live a dream. Today, it’s music and writing. Tomorrow, I draw and dance;

My clock has no hands.

Like an aimless beggar I peddle my thoughts and my words, my heart open and vulnerable no matter how much I hug myself and hold her inward. At least I have color and I have sound;

My clock has no hands.

I see you as you were, young, shy and sweet, squinting against your tomorrows and smiling with milky whiteness. Could we run with the wind? Would we? Tomorrow hasn’t happened; yesterday still can;

My clock has no hands.

I am who I want to be; there are no fetters in my mind. I can hear the faint clicking of falling pieces in a child’s kaleidoscope. Oh, there are boundaries, but I will place them where I will, after all

My clock has no hands.

Yesterday will become tomorrow. Today, I watched it arc over me in a graceful curve; I wait for your knock on the door. Hope does not spring eternal; it meanders. I let my heart graze wherever she goes;

My clock has no hands.

The wild headiness of roses and the heartbreak of wisteria. The breathlessness of orange blossoms and the danger of jasmine—and with it all I will ensnare you. I see your face in my clock because

My clock has no hands.

This fantastic poem has won the following prizes:
* A 10-page critique from super-agent John
* An audio book of Cusick’s “Girl Parts”
* The opportunity to have MORE of his/her work published on YARN

THANK YOU again to all who entered and to all our readers who helped spread the word about #yarn5. We couldn’t have done it without you. And happy National Poetry Month!

(Psst!  You can read ALL the awesome entries HERE.)

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It's a brilliant thing to have a place where you can read fresh original short stories by both seasoned YA authors and aspiring teens. YARN is a great tool box for growing up writing. - Cecil Castellucci

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YARN is an award-winning literary journal that publishes outstanding original short fiction, poetry, and essays for Young Adult readers, written by the writers you know and love, as well as fresh new voices...including teens.

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