Archive for category Poetry
On holiday in Bishop’s Castle, Shropshire, I discovered the Poetry Pharmacy run by Deborah Alma. It’s part cafe, part poetry bookshop, part events space and part therapy; the latter via an appointment with the Poetry Pharmacist.
We’d been walking as part of the Bishop’s Castle Walking Festival and needed coffee and cake when we found the Pharmacy. It doesn’t do the usual lattes, cappuccinos etc. Instead the waitress recommended one of the different coffee blends and then delivered a glass flask of black coffee plus a jug of warm, frothy milk on the side. Similarly, she recommended a tea blend for my husband. We sat for a long time in the quiet, peaceful space, leafing through poetry books and magazines which centred around the calmer side of life. Afterwards, I treated myself to a copy of The Emergency Poet edited by Deborah – and, unusually, the book was cheaper in the Pharmacy than on Amazon. It’s a volume full of poems designed to destress and improve the reader’s state of mind. I will be sharing some of the poems with my Shared Reading Group soon.
Still on the subject of poetry, I’ve come across three competitions open for entries:
The Winchester Poetry Prize for poems on any subject and in any form or style. First prize is £1,000. Entry fee is £5. Closing date is 31 July 2022. The judge is Jo Bell, whom I recently had the pleasure of interviewing about her role in compiling the book On this Day She: Putting Women Back into History One Day at a Time for an article in The People’s Friend magazine.
The Writers Bureau Platinum Jubilee Poetry Competition. This is FREE to enter but you need to be quick: closing date is 31st May 2022. The prize is publication on The Writers Bureau’s website and a course or place on a Zoom workshop of the winner’s choice.
Ironbridge Poetry Competition 2022. This competition welcomes poems on any and every subject. First prize is £300 and the closing date is 31 July 2022. The judge is Simon Fletcher, who is widely-published as a poet and lives in Shropshire. He’s also the manager of Offa’s Press.
Here is a free to enter competition which is completely relaxed about the format and genre of entries.
Entries can be written (up to 1,000 words) or recorded as a video (up to 2-minutes in length).
The story can be about childhood, life or from your imagination but must be original and from a previously unpublished writer. The entry can be written as a short story, poem, screen/theatre play or can even be sung.
The competition closes on 30 June 2021 at 11.59 AM
The prizes sound pretty good. According to the competition website:
The winners will receive a suite of prizes to support them in their journey into the industry. Including workshop sessions with either leading screenwriters or editors, publication of winning stories on standard.co.uk, and VIP access to the festival. The winning pieces will be performed as part of the Stories Festival by well-known writers.
As usual don’t forget to read all the terms and conditions before entering and Good Luck! This sounds like a great opportunity for someone just starting their writing journey.
Following on from last week’s post about the Sunday Times Crime Writing Competition, here’s another free writing competition to get your teeth into during lockdown.
Poetry on Loan are asking for poems of up to 20 lines on the theme of either ‘The Unexpected’ or ‘Vision’.
Poetry on Loan promotes contemporary poetry through public libraries in the West Midlands and the competition is open to anyone who lives, studies or works regularly in the area.
The closing date is 1st September 2020.
The prize is a paid performance as part of a Poetry on Loan event. However, it’s not known how long it will be before libraries can run events again, therefore if a performance can’t be arranged before May 2021, the winner will receive a cash prize of £75 instead. The winner of the junior section of the competition will receive WHSmith tokens.
Full details of the competition can be found on the Poetry on Loan website.
If you don’t have a connection with the West Midlands, why not write a poem anyway so that you’ve got ‘something in the bank’ to send out next time a suitable competition comes up?
Sunday November 11th 2018 marks 100 years since the end of World War 1. There will be many events to mark this important occasion and to thank those who lost their lives for us. These include 10,000 people marching past the Cenotaph in London (ballot applications to be part of the march close 12th August) and mass church bell ringing across the nation.
Poets are also playing their part in the 100 days leading up to the centenary of the Armistice. Every day a 100-word piece of writing, known as a centena, will be published by the Imperial War Museum. In each piece, the first three words are repeated at the end, as the conclusion. Each centena will focus on an individual who lived during the First World War and the impact the war had on that person. The aim is to look at people from every part of society. Katie Childs from the museum told the Sunday Times, “By releasing a centena each day, I hope that we are able to demonstrate the very different experiences of the First World War, and the impact it had on people and places long beyond the Armistice.”
The first centena was published on Sunday 5th August and was written by Angus Grundy from the perspective of Leopold Lojka. Lojka was driving the car carrying Archduke Franz Ferdinand when he was assassinated. Ferdinand’s murder led to the First World War. The second centena is by Therese Kieran and is about a Belgian embroider who spent the War in Ireland. I find today’s centena by Miranda Dickinson particularly moving. It’s about a bride married during her new husband’s 48 hour leave from the army. He returns to the front line and she goes to pose for a wedding photograph alone.
These pieces of writing are a fitting memorial to those who lived through such turbulent times and perhaps they’ll inspire some of us to get creative before November 11th 2018.
The word Brexit can elicit strong reactions from the calmest, most even-tempered of people but it rarely inspires poetry. Now is your chance to convert your own feelings on the UK leaving the EU into verse.
Holland Park Press is running a Brexit poetry competition. It doesn’t matter on which side of the fence you stand or even if you’re still sitting on that fence. You can write about what being a European means to you, you can be angry or you can play devil’s advocate. The important thing is to touch, inspire or even frustrate the judges with your poem.
First prize is £200 and the winner and runners-up will be published online.
Poems can be up to 50 lines long. Entry is free and the closing date 31st December 2018 – so there’s bags of time to perfect your masterpiece! Don’t forget to read the full terms and conditions.
The Sunday Times are asking for poems to commemorate the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
There is no prize but the winning poem will be published in The Sunday Times the day after the wedding, on Sunday May 20th.
There’s also no length or style/format stipulation – so you poets can have fun creating whatever you like! But be quick, entries must be received by Tuesday May 15th.
Email poems to email@example.com or send by snail mail to Royal Poems Competition, The Sunday Times, 1 London Bridge Street, London SE1 9GF.
I’ll be hoping to open the paper on May 20th and see a poem by a name I recognise. Good Luck!
A well-crafted poem is a beautiful thing. Unfortunately I’m not clever enough to create one but I know that several of you are capable of writing beautiful and clever poetry.
Here are two opportunities to get your skills noticed by a wider audience:
- Tony Williams, the poetry editor of English: The Journal of the English Association, invites you to send up to six, previously unpublished, poems plus a 30-word bio to firstname.lastname@example.org. Selected poems will be published in the journal. There is no payment but the journal has a large global readership who will see your bio. Poems on teaching/classrooms are particularly wanted before 31st May 2017. There is no deadline for poems on other subjects.
- The Emma Press has a call out for submissions for poems about travel for an anthology titled In Transit: Poems about Travel. The anthology will be produced in collaboration with the Centre for Travel Writing Studies at Nottingham Trent University. ‘Poems may describe journeys undertaken on foot, by bicycle, motorcycle, wheelchair, ambulance, bus, train, plane, boat or other mode of transport.’ The deadline for submissions is 28th May 2017 and In Transit is scheduled for publication in April 2018. Full details can be found on the Emma Press website.
Happy poetry writing!
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?
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.
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.