Birthday candles number seventeen isolated on white background

As we approach the new year, thoughts turn to the number 17 — especially as it relates to that age in our lives. Frank Sinatra sang “when I was 17…” in “It Was a Very Good Year,” Janis Ian sings about it in “At Seventeen,”  Arthur Rimbaud’s poem “Novel,” explores what happens at 17, and poet Larry Levis wrote “The Poet at Seventeen.”  The seventeenth year in most of our lives — the passage between childhood and adulthood — was eventful, and offers rich material for poetry and prose.

PROMPT: Tell us about when you were 17  in a poem (any reasonable length) or prose piece (300 words or fewer — this word limit also applies to prose poems). We encourage you to write about specific incidents/memories rather than offer general reflections.

WHAT: Submissions can be original or previously published poems or prose. You retain all rights to your work and give Silver Birch Press permission to publish the piece on social media. We are a nonprofit blog and offer no monetary compensation to contributors. If your piece was previously published, please tell us where/when so we can credit the original publisher.

WHEN: We’ll feature the poems and prose in the Silver Birch Press ME, AT 17 Poetry and Prose Series on our blog starting in January 2017. We’ll also feature the work on Twitter and Facebook.

HOW TO SUBMIT: Email one poem or prose piece to as an MSWord attachment — and in the same file include your name, contact info (including email address), one-paragraph author’s bio (written in third person), and any notes about your creative process or thoughts about your piece. Please put all this information in one MSWord document and title the file with your last name (and only your last name). Write “17” in subject line of email. If available, please send a photo of yourself at 17  — and provide a caption for the photo (where, when, what).


To help everyone understand our submission requirements, we’ve prepared the following checklist.

1. Send ONE MS Word document TITLED WITH YOUR LAST NAME (e.g. Smith.doc or Jones.docx).

2. In the same MS Word document, include your contact information (name, mailing address, email address).

3. In the same MS Word document, include a one-paragraph author’s bio, written in the third person. You are encouraged to include links to your books, websites, and social media accounts — we want to help promote you!

4. In the same MS Word document, include a note about your poem/prose or creative process written in the first person (this is optional — but encouraged).

5. In the same MS Word document, include a caption for your photo (including where, when and/or date taken).

6. If available, send a photo of yourself at any age as a SEPARATE jpg attachment (not in the MS Word document). Title the photo with your last name (e.g., Jones.jpg). Also send a current photo to accompany your bio.

7. Email to — and put “17” in the subject line.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Tuesday, January 31, 2017