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Proposals for the 2018 O, Miami Poetry Festival open on Monday, August 21, 2017 and close on November 3, 2017.

All submissions are read by staff. Due to volume, we are unable to comment on submissions.

Please follow all instructions closely.
Ends on November 3, 2017

2018 Festival RFP Guidelines

O, Miami Poetry Festival is currently accepting proposals for projects and events to occur during the next O, Miami Poetry Festival: April 2018.

Please Read All The Way Through These Guidelines. They are filled with tips and suggestions for success, especially the FAQ. 

The Festival

The mission of O, Miami is for every single person in Greater Miami to encounter a poem during the month of April. O, Miami was founded in 2011. Since then, we’ve produced over 100 projects designed to bring poetry to new audiences in Miami-Dade County. The festival has been featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, National Public Radio, Dwell, Huffington Post, Miami Herald, The Paris Review, and many others.

What To Propose

  • An Event
  • A Project


Every festival project and event does at least one of the following:

  • Implements a novel method for creating encounters between Miami’s population and poetry
  • Creates a new audience for poetry
  • Empowers a group of Miamians to share and interact with poetry


The project/event must…

  • Conform to the festival’s mission
  • Occur during the month of April 2018
  • Have a target audience in Miami-Dade County

Hint: The project should pay attention not only to its potential live audience, but its potential audience in the digital world after the festival is over.


All proposals must be received by midnight on October 13, 2017. Winners will be notified on a rolling basis. We may also schedule interviews with potential project managers before making a final decision.


What is your selection criteria?

  • Adherence to O, Miami's mission
  • Creative Merit
  • Feasability
  • Impact

Is it OK to propose mixing poetry with other artistic genres?

Yes! Many of our most successful projects and events have combined poetry with dance, art, film, music, etc.

Can I propose an event at which I am the featured reader?

You can, but chances are we won’t accept it. The goal of O, Miami is to create new audiences for poetry, so we look for projects that have a spirit of service built into them. Think about it this way: we're a Miami festival, not a festival that features poets.

Can I propose an event or project I’ve already done before, or am currently doing?

Yes. Generally speaking, we support original ideas, but we are open to adapting existing events and projects to the festival. What we’re NOT looking for is ongoing events, unless there is something new and special in the proposal. For instance, if you host a monthly open mic night, unless there is something that makes the April edition of your series very different from the other ones, we will most likely not accept it.

Can I propose more than one idea?

Yes. Propose as many ideas as you like; however, each one will require a separate submission.

How much does the budget factor into your decision-making?

Feasibility is a part of our consideration. Your primary objective should be to create a budget that realistically reflects the scope of your project. We understand some worthwhile projects just can’t be done cheaply. What we don’t want to see is a budget that doesn’t reflect the scope of its project. The majority of our projects cost less than seven hundred fifty dollars, though we have produced projects that cost over $10,000.

Can you give me examples of previous projects and events you consider successful?

Yes! And for more documentation of events and projects, watch the videos on our website and check out the photos on our Facebook page.

  • Poems on rooftops so airplanes can see them
  • Poems in prescription bottles at Jackson Memorial
  • Fake street signs with original poems on them
  • Poetry labels sewn clandestinely into random pieces of clothing at thrift stores
  • Poems translated into Braille and mailed to Miamians
  • Poems gold-leafed onto urinals
  • Poems read out of a roving Ferrari on Miami Beach
  • A recreation of the Situationist practice of the dérive in a Miami neighborhood
  • Limited edition chapbook created by youths at a juvenile detention center
  • Poems displayed on banners throughout Everglades National Park
  • Poems, in English and Spanish, on drink coasters distributed to bars
  • A community-wide call to residents to write poems on the subject of “That’s so Miami”
  • A video project that asked pedestrians to read poems on the spot

Do I have to live in Miami to propose a project/event?

No, but it helps. We’ve accepted projects from people in Sweden, England, New York, etc. Some of these projects did not require the designers to be physically in Miami in April. Other project managers covered their own travel costs, and for others, travel was part of the approved budget.

I’m not familiar with Submittable. Can I submit some other way, like by snail mail?

No, sorry. Having all the submissions in one digital place is essential to our process of selection.

About Us

O, Miami unites literature and people through a partnership with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. We are produced by University of Wynwood, Inc. To learn more, visit

About Knight Foundation

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote informed, engaged communities and lead to transformational change. For more, visit

O, Miami invites you to help us create: And Donald Justice for All, an online archive of responses to the life and work of Miami-born poet Donald Justice.

Donald Justice (1925—2004) is the most important Miami-born poet, living or dead. A winner of nearly every major literary award, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Bollingen Prize, the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry and grants from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, Justice is one of the most important poets of the 20th Century. He was also an influential and beloved teacher. During his time at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, Justice taught many of today’s most important living writers.

The goals of the creation of the archive are: (1) to celebrate the legacy of Justice as an important national literary figure and Miami historical figure; and (2) to create a free pedagogical tool for the general public that uses Justice as its inspiration.

Here are ways you can contribute content:

  • Film or record yourself reading a Justice poem (If it's a video, you can simply send us the YouTube or Vimeo link)
  • Film or record yourself telling your favorite personal anecdote about him (or the best piece of teaching advice he gave you)
  • Write an imitation of a Justice poem
  • Write an original lesson plan for students using Justice's poetry as a focal point
  • Translate a Justice poem into another language
  • Make a drawing, illustration, or painting inspired by a Justice poem
  • Compose a piece of music inspired by a Justice poem    
Additional guidelines:
  • Submissions with derogatory language or hate speech will be rejected
  • If you're responding to a Justice poem, please make sure the title is included
  • You may submit as many times as you like
By submitting you agree to allow O, Miami to post your work online and credit you as the author. All submitters retain the rights to their work.