Those persuasive vanity poetry contests have been written and written about almost ad nauseum. The basic advice is: Don't do 'em. You all know the standard format - publication in cocktail party anthology - invitation to star studded prize presentation - membership of exclusive gold badge poetry club - framed award certificate - blue ribbon - silver pin - etcetera, etcetera.
If you're anything like P-i-R and you want to take a sideways swipe, here's a tip - send in your spoof poem and keep the debit card for something more useful than an anthology of stream of consciousness teenage angst and run of the mill dross called 'Wandering Clouds' or 'Silver Linings'.
By the way 'The Wordsworth Concise English Dictionary' is P-i-R's tip as the best value for money book a budding writer can buy. His rather battered copy contains 156,000 definitions and only cost a smidgen.
P-i-R's 'spoof' (so-called after the game 'Spoof' invented by comedian Arthur Roberts 1852 - 1933) is entered in this year's world famous vanity contest and will be 'judged' (their word not mine) in early January 2008.