Archive for category Poetry

Call for Poems about Britain

The Emma Press is after your poems about life in Britain. They are looking for “poems about customs, rituals, festivals, holidays, celebrations and regular events that take place in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, on a micro level (what one person or one family might do) as well as on a larger scale.” Successful submissions will be included in an anthology about customs and rituals in Britain.

A maximum of three poems may be submitted and in order to submit you must be a member of the Emma Press Club. As far as I can see, this means that you have to have bought one Emma Press book in the calendar year you submit (& I think this can be an e-book costing £3.50) and this entitles you to enter submissions for the entire year. So it doesn’t appear to be any more expensive than paying a competition entry fee – and you get something back for that fee!

The closing date for submissions is 26th March 2017 and I suggest you read the full terms and conditions.

The customs, rituals and events of Britain is a very wide brief – why not grab a pad and pen and brainstorm some ideas?

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Poems about Birmingham Wanted

In February 2017 Birmingham will be hosting ‘Verve’, its first ever Poetry and Spoken Word Festival, organised by Waterstones and the Emma Press.

To get things started a poetry competition has been launched for poems on the theme ‘Birmingham’.

So start thinking poetic about things like Spaghetti Junction, Edgbaston Cricket Club, the Bullring, the Jewellery Quarter, New Street Station etc. etc. Maybe you live in the area or maybe you’ve done the tourist bit or perhaps been here on business – whatever your connection to the city, there’s lots of inspiration to get your teeth into.

The only problem is I’ve left it a bit late to tell you about this. The closing date for the adult section of the competition is September 11th 2016 and for the children’s section it’s September 30th. But a short deadline is good – it forces the brain cells to perform!

Full details of the competition are on the Verve website.

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Popshot Magazine

Whilst browsing in WHSmith the other day I came across Popshot Magazine for the first time. It’s a well-presented, quality magazine containing poetry, short stories and illustrations. And best of all, anyone can submit work!

Popshot describes itself as “an illustrated literary magazine that publishes short stories, flash fiction, and poetry from the literary new blood”. On the website are examples of pieces that have previously been published.

Popshot is published twice a year in April and October. There are no specific writers’ guidelines on the website and the next submission period opens on the 1st December 2015. Potential contributors are asked to sign up to a mailing list in order to receive details about this next submission period.  Probably worth doing if the magazine appeals to you.

Popshot is also looking out for illustrators.

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Pens of Erdington Creative Writing Competition

Pens of Erdington, a writing group close to the area where I live, is running a creative writing competition. Entrants can send a poem and/or a short story to be in with a chance of scooping the £100 top prize.

The competition has an open theme and is split into two categories; adults and under-16s. It will be judged by Jan Watts who was Birmingham Poet Laureate 2011/12. The closing date is 5th November and winners will be invited to a prize presentation event.

Full details of the competition are on the Pens of Erdington website.

And talking of competitions, there’s still chance to get yourself in the draw to win a year’s subscription to Writers’ Forum magazine. It’s simple to enter and all the details are on my previous blog post – but don’t delay, the competition closes on 29th September 2015.

As with all competitions, you’ve got to be in it to win it!

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Two Poetry Competitions

Poempigeon is running a free competition on the theme ‘Awakenings’. Poems can be any form and any length. To enter, register on the site and upload your poem. Closing date is 30th April and the prize is a £25 Amazon voucher.

The thing I like about Poempigeon is that it’s an interactive site, so other poets can read and comment on your work. Everybody likes a nothing-to-lose freebie, so, even if you don’t usually write poetry, why not have a go?

Carillon is running a sonnet competition (any style, any subject) to raise money for Worldwide Cancer Research. Entry fee is only £2 and 80% of the entry fees will be shared among three winners (each getting a minimum of £25 but could be much more). The winners will also receive a subscription to Carillon. Closing date 1st August 2015. All profits will go to the charity.
Carillon also accept submissions of articles, stories, fillers and writing news.  Payment is a contibutor’s copy of the magazine.

Finally, I’d like to say ‘thank you’ to everybody who took the time to comment and congratulate me on my shortlisting.  It never ceases to amaze me what a warm and friendly lot writers are, despite us all competing with one another for ever decreasing markets.

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I Passed My PTLLS Micro-Teach!

Today I did my micro-teach session on the PTLLS course (Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector) and I’m pleased to say that I passed!

I had a thirty minute session to fill, which at first sounded daunting but in reality, it is a very short time to teach anyone anything, especially when faced with a class of non-writers (i.e. my PTLLS classmates, none of whom are ‘into’ creative writing). I chose Haiku as my topic because it’s a simple, short form of poetry which can be ‘learned’ quite quickly.

Working in three small groups, my learners brainstormed a list of words from pictorial prompts which I provided and then they fitted the words together to create a 17 syllable, 3 line (5, 7, 5) Haiku. We heard them all read out and they were very good.

I’ve now got to write-up the experience for my PTLLS portfolio and am going through the peer review forms I received after the session. One lady (for whom English is not her first language) wrote, “I am now thinking of joining a Creative Writing class” and another, “It made me realise I actually could write a Haiku, which I didn’t believe at all when you first introduced the subject.”
So I’m chuffed to think that I may have inspired two non-writers to have confidence in their creative ability!

Finally I pointed the class in the direction of the PoemPigeon website, where anyone can post poetry and/or leave comments. The site also runs occasional competitions.

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ReadKirklees Writing Competition

Many thanks to my (non-writing) friend, Alison, for sending the details of this competition to me.

ReadKirklees are looking for poetry or prose (up to 500 words) with the theme ‘On Your Bike‘.

There are three age groups, 11 and under, 12 – 17 years and Adult. The first prize in each age group is £50 in book vouchers, second prize is £30 in book vouchers and third prize is £20 in book vouchers.

The closing date is Friday 11th July and entry is FREE – so no reason at all not to have a go!

Full details are here.

As you may know, Kirklees is in Yorkshire (where I come from) and there’s another Yorkshire writing competition with a July closing date.

The Friends’ of Morley Literature Festival Short Story Competition closes on 1st July 2014.

This competition has an open theme and up to 3,000 words are allowed (average word length of previous entries has been 1600, so it’s quality not quantity they are after).

Entry to this competition is FREE too!

And, having previously won this competition and met the organiser,  I can personally vouch for its integrity. All the entries are assigned a number to keep them anonymous and then read by a panel who each independently score them for a range of criteria. The top-scoring handful are passed to Gervase Phinn who selects the first, second and third prize winners.

First prize is £50, second prize £30 and third prize £20. There’s usually a nice prize presentation event too.

See here for how to get your entry form.

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