Posts Tagged Poetry
Back to normal now all the excitement of the book contract is over. I have two competitions for you:
Wolverhampton Literature Festival Poetry Competition 2023
“Send us poems on whatever subject you like. Surprise us, enthrall us, astound us, but make sure you send your entries in before December 31st 2022!”
Entry fee is £4 and first prize is £400 plus there is a special, extra, prize available for those living in the WV postcode area.
Full entry details are on the Pandemonialists’ website.
Skylark Soaring Stories Competition
This one is for children’s writers and is run by the Skylark Literary Agency.
The competition is for new stories aimed at either middle-grade (8-12-years) or YA readers (ages 13+) by un-agented and unpublished writers. The judges are from Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster and Harper Collins.
First prize will be a one-hour one-to-one editorial critique of your finished manuscript. There are second- and third-place prizes of a half-hour one-to-one on your submitted chapters and synopsis.
Entrants must submit a one-page synopsis and the first three chapters or 4,000 words of a novel (whichever is shorter) by 24th December 2022. See the Skylark website for further details.
Hit or Miss?
If short stories for adults are more your thing, you might fancy dipping into my new coffee break story collection: Hit or Miss? 33 Coffee Break Stories. Can you spot which stories were successful in securing magazine publication or competition success and which failed to land on the right desk at the right time?
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?
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?
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.
Here’s something for those of you who are not neck deep in NaNoWriMo.
Emma Wright from the Emma Press has been in touch to tell me that they are currently looking for poetry submissions.
They would like poems on the following subjects:
- Best friends (female) – closing date 16th December 2013
- Motherhood/Fatherhood – closing date 16th December 2013
- Homesickness and exile – closing 5th January 2014
For those who are successful, there is a one-off payment of £20 per poet.
The website contains a lot more information about the type of poem that is required and how to submit. It’s well worth a look – it might trigger those writing juices. Full details can be found here.
“When you write poetry, imagine looking through a small window. Focus on just one aspect of the scene,” advised Alison Riley on a recent ‘Poetry Stroll and Write’ which I stumbled upon whilst on holiday in Castleton, in the Peak District.
As I’ve said before, I am not a poet but anything remotely writing orientated always grabs my attention, so whilst my husband took himself off for a walk, I joined the poetry session.
Alison was full of good advice.
Whenever I attempt a poem I immediately start worrying about its form – rhyming? free verse? sonnet? etc. Alison suggested that I forget all of this and instead let myself go with some free writing about what was around us.
“Don’t worry about form or rhyme,” she said. “That can all come later.”
I managed some disjointed phrases about the mountain rescue van parked nearby. It definitely wasn’t poetry but Alison reckoned that with a bit of polishing it could become a reasonable poem.
Alison then showed us the poem ‘Resolution‘ by Jo Bell. It’s about Castleton at New Year and, sitting there in the quaint old village where it was written, it was extremely evocative. I began to feel that maybe I too could write a poem and, back in our rented cottage, I did. It’s about the ‘coffin route’ from Edale to Castleton (before there was a church in Edale, the corpses had to be carried over the hill into the next town for burial) – at the moment it’s just a rough version in my notebook but maybe one day I’ll dare to bring out into the light of day…
Thanks for the inspiration, Alison!
Alison Riley organises the Derbyshire Stanza of the Poetry Society.
It was a good meeting at my writing group last week. There weren’t many of us but everyone had brought something to read and had also written it with a market in mind, including Woman’s Weekly, People’s Friend, National Women’s Register short story competition (restricted to NWR members only, unfortunately) and a Writers’ News competition.
But Iona had also written a beautiful poem that was looking for a home. It was a moving verse about a soldier trying to find peace. I liked the poem because it was accessible. It rhymed (and none of the rhymes were forced) and the language was easily understood. This led onto a discussion about whether poems should or shouldn’t rhyme and how some, much praised, poems are often difficult to understand.
I rarely write poetry (because I’m not much good at it) but when I do attempt the odd verse I automatically make it rhyme and try to give it some sort of recognisable meter. More often than not it tells a story too – I find purely descriptive poems difficult. But my poems usually end up sounding rather childish and I don’t know whether this is because of the rhyming or just a reflection of my poor writing.
Of course, not all free verse is difficult to understand, I’ve just discovered ‘You’re Beautiful’ by Simon Armitage – have a read, it’s wonderful.
What do you think makes a good poem? Should it have a recognisable form and meter or should the poet be free to compose however he or she wishes?
And just in case you’ve come over all poetic, I’ve found a free to enter poetry competition. Blue Mountain Arts is offering prizes of $300, $150 and $50. You can enter by email as many times as you like and the closing date is June 30th 2012. Full details are here. Interestingly they state, “Poems can be rhyming or non-rhyming, although we find that non-rhyming poetry reads better.”
Write Exposure has launched its first monthly competition. There are 3 categories – short fiction (up to 1200 words), flash fiction (up to 250 words) and poetry. Entry into each category is £4 or you can enter all 3 for £9.
The winner will be showcased on the website for a month along with 3 other ‘honourable mentions’.
Prize money depends on the number of entrants. I couldn’t find it on the website so I contacted Cheslyn Baker, who is running the competition, to find out the ‘formula’ that would be used to calculate the prize. She told me that it would be 25% of the total entry fee received in each category.
The theme for the competitions will change each month. For November it is “I know your face” and the closing date is 30th November.
Please read the full details here before you enter.
In most competitions we never know what percentage of the entry fees was paid out in prizes so this competition is being transparent in that respect. It is also being open about its judging. It will be using a panel of 3, one of whom is a ‘citizen’ judge and any of us can apply to sit in that third seat. See the website for details.
What does anybody think about prize money being 25% of the pot? Is it fair? Can we (the entrants) actually reach a fair conclusion on this question when so many other competitions only advertise a fixed prize rather than a percentage?
There is a lot of work in running a writing competition – including a large amount of administration as well as the actual reading and judging of entries. 100 entries would be required to win £100 – and I’m sure that a lot of competitions offering a prize of £100 receive more than 100 entries so maybe 25% is realistic.
By coincidence I came across another competition recently where the prize money is dependent on the number of entrants. Words Magazine is running a ‘winner takes all’ competition for short stories of up to 2000 words. Entry fee is £3 – so if 100 people enter the prize will be £300 (Closing date is December 31st).
Best of luck if you decide to enter either of these!
Alex Black contacted me last week and asked if I’d give a mention to the poetry competition that his company, PrintExpress.co.uk, is running. So here goes:
- Entry is free!
- First prize is £150
- Poems can be on any theme and up to 45 lines long
- Entry is via email
- Closing date is November 30th 2011
Full details can be found here
So with nothing to lose in entry fees or postage, even a non-poet like me might enter!
The New Writer doesn’t have the glossy finish of Writing Magazine or Writers’ Forum nor does it have pages of adverts. I think the magazine has a cosy, friendly feel. The Spring 2011 edition included features on ‘First of a Million Kisses’ by romance writer Sally Quilford, ‘Travel Writing Perks’ by Roy Stevenson and ‘Make it Short & Snappy’ by me (!).
The magazine is open to unsolicited articles and features (for which it pays a small amount). Poetry is also accepted but fiction is restricted to guest writers, subscribers’ stories on a given theme and competition entrants.
The New Writer runs an annual Prose and Poetry Competition with 5 categories:
- Micro fiction – up to 500 words (2 entries for £5 or 3 entries for subscribers)
- Short stories – 500 to 5,000 words (1 entry for £5 or 2 entries for subscribers)
- Single poems (2 entries for £5 or 3 entries for subscribers)
- A collection of 6 – 10 poems (£12 entry)
- Essays, articles and interviews on any writing related subject – up to 2,000 words (1 entry for £5 or 2 entries for subscribers)
The annual closing date is 30th November and the prizes are:
Micro Fiction: 1st prize £150, 2nd £100, 3rd £50.
Short Stories: 1st prize £300, 2nd £200, 3rd £100.
Single Poem: 1st prize £100, 2nd £75, 3rd £50
Poetry Collection: 1st prize £300, 2nd £200, 3rd £100.
Essay/article/interview: 1st prize £150, 2nd £100, 3rd £50.
If all this has whetted your appetite then you can obtain a free back issue by sending an A4 SAE to the address shown on the website here (scroll to the bottom of the page for the offer).