Poetry Project

Be a Part of Our Next Project!

We are looking for original poems written by exonerees and innocent prisoners still fighting for their exoneration. You can submit as many poems as you like. Every submission will undergo blind review by our panel of judges. Each poem selected for the audiobook will receive $25 and the poet will receive an additional one-time $25 payment for granting Pruno Project the exclusive worldwide right to her or his poetry.

Our panel of judges will evaluate each poem on a number of criteria. After all poems have been evaluated the judges will select the poems to be recorded for the audiobook. Our narrator will record each poet’s biography. In addition, we’d like to record each poet talking about their writing and the meaning of their poem, for inclusion in the audiobook.

For more information about the evaluation process click here.

To submit your poetry for consideration, please send your poem to poetry@prunoproject.com. Please include the following information with your poem:

Your Name

Your Innocence Project Affiliation

Number of Poems Submitted

Title(s) of Your Poem(s)

Year Your Poem(s) Was(Were) Written

The submission period ends on July 31, 2017 at 11 p.m. Pacific time. Any submissions after the deadline will not be accepted.

If you have any questions, please check our FAQs and if your question isn’t answered, please send an email to poetry@prunoproject.com

We are incredibly excited about Pruno Poetry and we can’t wait to read your poems.


1. Who will record my poems? Each poem will be recorded by professional voice talent of our choosing. We hope to have a few celebrities lend their voices to the project, just as we did with Pruno Audiobook.

2. Will I be able to record my poem? No. Our plan is to use only celebrity voices to increase interest in the audiobook.

3. May I submit more than one poem? Yes. If you submit more than one poem, please include the title and year the poem was written for each poem submitted. You do not have to submit them separately, but please include the number of poems being submitted in the email so we will be aware of multiple entries.

4. Will you select more than one poem from a poet? It’s possible. If you submit more than one poem the judges may select more than one of your poems for publication.

5. How much money will I be paid for my poems? You will be paid for each poem selected for publication. You also will receive royalty payments based on net sales of the poetry audiobook. Here’s how it will work:

Example 1: You submit five poems and one poem is selected for publication. You will receive $25 for the selected poem and $25 as the author of the poem, for a total of $50.

Example 2: You submit five poems and three poems are selected for publication. You will receive $75 for the three selected poems ($25 each) and $25 as the author of the three poems, for a total of $100.

Note: The payment of the $50 or the $100 are contingent upon you granting The Pruno Project LLC an exclusive, worldwide license to publish your poems.

6. What if I don’t want to grant Pruno Project and exclusive, worldwide license? This is your choice, but without the license your poems will not be published in the audiobook and you will not receive payment for your poems and you will not receive royalty payments.

7. I’m not affiliated with an innocence project. May I still submit my poetry? You may, but we need some proof that you are a bona fide exoneree. If your case is listed in the National Registry of Exonerations, that will suffice.

8. My case is pending and I have not yet been exonerated. May I submit my poems? You may, but we need some proof of your affiliation with an innocence project.

9. Will I receive any royalty payments? As with our other book projects, we will share our royalties with the poets. As a group, exoneree poets will receive half of our net royalties.

10. What are “net royalties”? The publishing company pays us a percentage of each sale. We subtract marketing and projection costs and what’s left are net royalties.

11. What if I’m not yet exonerated. Will I still receive royalty payments? As with our other book projects, only exonerees are eligible for royalty payments. Once you have been exonerated, your name will be added to the exoneree poet list and you will share in those royalties. We is no accumulation of royalty payments during the period when you are not an exoneree.

12. How much does each exoneree poet receive in royalty payments? The amount will vary based on the royalty payments from the publisher and the marketing and production costs related to the poetry audiobook. It also will depend on the number of poems published. Each poem will receive an equal share of the net royalties allocated to exoneree poets. For example, if there are ten poems, each poem will receive one-tenth share or 10%. If a poet submits two poems, that poet will receive 20% (20% for each poem). We considered how to equitably allocate the royalty payments and we believe using a per poem basis is the most equitable allocation scheme.

13. May I attend the recording session for my poem? Of course. As soon as the recording session is scheduled we will send you an invitation to attend. Unfortunately, we cannot pay your travel and lodging expenses. If you cannot travel to the recording session, we will make every effort to allow you to listen in by phone, but sometimes the cost to do this is prohibitive and we do not want to add unnecessarily to the production costs because that will lower the royalty payments for everyone.

14. How is judging a blind process? Only the project’s administrator knows your name and the title of your poem. The administrator will assign each poem an ID number. The judges will know each poem only by ID number. They will review, evaluate, and rank each poem without knowing the name of the poet. All communications with the poets will be done by the administrator.

Rating System

Each poem will be rated on a 100-point scale. There are ten evaluation categories, each with a maximum allocation of ten points:

1. Beauty, power, education, or entertainment

2. Message and interest

3. Technical excellence

4. Rhyme and/or meter

5. Assonance and alliteration

6. Form and flow

7. Choice of words and readability

8. Overall impact

9. Originality

10. Polish and expertise