Winning Writers Awards $1,000 to S. Michael Wilson for Best Humor Poem

From the Winning Writers Website,

S. Michael Wilson of Phillipsburg, New Jersey is the winner of the fifteenth annual Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest sponsored by Winning Writers. 4,834 contestants competed from around the world.

Winning Writers is pleased to announce the results from its fifteenth annual Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest. S. Michael Wilson of Phillipsburg, New Jersey won first prize and $1,000 for his comedic poem, “Dick Candles”. 4,834 contestants competed from around the world.
Jendi Reiter, final judge of the Wergle Flomp contest, said the winning entry stood out because it, “didn’t stop with the initial joke premise, but creatively expanded on it, at just the right length. The humor builds as the speaker’s language becomes more florid and sensuous, moving from embarrassment to excitement as he imagines different scenarios for making use of these phallus-shaped illumination devices.”
Second prize of $250 went to Christina Myers of Surrey, British Columbia, for, “Tampon Bullet, Direct Hit”. Reiter compared this poem to, “a modern-day ‘I Love Lucy’ clips reel, with one after another cringe-making and relatable moment of social gaffes. From the feminine product projectile that hits her junior-high crush in the chest, to losing her shirt in the car-wash vacuum when a cute guy walks by, our heroine is still a winner as long as she can laugh at herself.”
Ten honorable mentions of $100 went to Danny Caine, Sarah Crowe, Laura Docter, Michael Forester, Ralph Gagliardo, Debra McQueen, George Northrup, Michelle Reiter (no relation to the judge), Garry Somers, and Vicki Wilke. The prizewinners are published online. The judging was assisted by poet Lauren Singer. $2,250 was awarded in total, making this one of the largest competitions in the world for humor poems.
The Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest is sponsored by Winning Writers. Submissions for the 2017 contest are accepted online now through April 1, 2017. There is no fee to enter. For more information, please see
About Winning Writers, Inc.
Winning Writers was founded in 2001 to provide expert literary contest information and resources to the public. In addition to the Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest, it sponsors the Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest, the Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest, and the North Street Book Prize for self-published books. Winning Writers is one of the “101 Best Websites for Writers” (Writer’s Digest) and one of the “100 Best Websites for Writers” (The Write Life). Learn more at and join our 72,000+ Twitter followers at @winningwriters.

Avatar Review: Is “Not Bad” Good Enough?

Avatar iPhone wallpaper

Image by xploitme via Flickr

Just posted a review of Avatar over on the MovieSucktastic blog.

In some ways it is less a review of the film than it is a review of other reviews of the film. But then again, sometimes the reception a movie receives is more telling and/or interesting than the film itself.

Check it out to see what I mean, and feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts.

And yes, I kept the 3D glasses.

Avatar Review: Is “Not Bad” Good Enough?

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The President’s Vampire by Robert Damon Schneck

In the past, I have often found that many books and anthologies on unexplained phenomena and bizarre events are either sensationalized accounts with vague descriptions and no concrete details, or dry and uninspirational regurgitation of other source materials with more footnotes than original material. So it was with great pleasure that I discovered Robert Damon Schneck‘s book The President’s Vampire.

Schneck’s approach is far from exploitational. His attention to detail and devotion to searching out the truth behind the sensational and unverified leaves no doubt to the author’s curiosity or credibility. Exhaustive and well-documented historical research is devoted to every subject, even when possibly debunking an even more remarkable aspect to a story. But neither is his writing boring or overly-clinical. Schneck’s academic yet personal approach to his subject matter does not hide an almost uncontainable passion for the unusual and unexplained phenomena he writes about, and more importantly, it does not detract from how fun and compelling his writing is.

Most chilling and disturbing is the final chapter, Bridge to Body Island, an examination of a friend’s recollected close call with Ouijaa supernatural bogeyman. Many authors would present the tale on its own with perhaps a few embellishments for dramatic effect. Schneck, however, tells the story (which is genuinely creepy and unsettling) and then proceeds to examine the possible explanations for the events that took place, including research into possible real-world connections. His historical and scholarly comparisons and explanations are as captivating as the story itself, and do nothing to prevent readers who have used a Ouija board in the past from losing sleep.

That is where Schneck’s approach to such Fortean tales as God Machines and Presidential Pardons for Vampires is a step above other authors in the field. He might not hold a flashlight under his face while leaning over the campfire to tell a spooky story, but that is because more often than not, the facts are far more disturbing. Robert Schneck delivers them, and thankfully so.

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Judge Shelves Catcher In the Rye Knock-Off

Judge Shelves Catcher In the Rye Knock-Off – Arts & Living News Briefs Newser

J.D. Salinger is not only one of the most reclusive authors, he is also one of the most litigious. He is very protective of all of his works, but by far his most closely guarded literary contribution is the classic Catcher in the Rye.
 Salinger has never allowed anyone to touch this classic novel, despite the desires of many to adapt it to film and/or television. Of course, this is partly due to Salinger’s boycott of any kind of adaptation of his works, a conviction that stems from his disapproval of the 1949 film My Foolish Heart, the silver screen version of his short story Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut. Years later, he went so far as to block an Iranian version of Franny and Zooey (Iran does not recognize US copyright laws) from being screened at a film festival in America.
Of course, his protectiveness doesn’t just extend to film. He has sued often in the past, whenever publishers have threatened his privacy or his copyrights. He successfully stopped an unauthorized biography with extensive reprints of personal letters, although much of the content he wanted to protect ended up in the public records of the court transcripts.
This time around, a Swedish author has come out with a book entitled 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye. Salinger’s lawyers argued that the book went beyond commentary or homage, as it borrowed heavily from the original exploits of Holden Caulfield. Salinger scored a victory, as the federal judge agreed and ordered the book shelved.

Monster Rally in Paramus, New Jersey

It looks like I will be appearing at the Paramus Public Library on June 14 as part of BooksNJ 2009.

An event designed to promote local authors and the joys of reading, BooksNJ 2009 will feature a stable of over sixty authors, as well as readings, panels, and children-specific activities.

Arlene, the organizer of the event, has assured me that she will be placing me alongside another author that specializes in ‘weird and unusual’ materials, so I’m assuming I won’t be sharing a table with Steve Doocey.

I’ll be posting more info as it occurs, but you can also check out the event’s official website.