Poetry Adjudication

Good news! SWCIPC 2017 has been judged! We will be contacting the winners shortly and having an award evening on the 6th June at the usual venue to officially announce results after the usual checks and so forth have been done.

Why not come down and listen to judge Carole Baldock’s wise rulings and maybe pick up some tips for future poems?

Poetry Competition Closed

Thank you a lot to all the many who entered, but sadly the comp is now closed for entries this year and the shortlist stack is being prepared ready to be mulled over by our chief judge Carole Baldock.

Results will be publicly available from late June, however if circumstances require extra judging time, we would appreciate patience. Each year we get entrants who get a bit excited by the thrill of the race and try to spur us on, but we would like to assure those people in advance that it is all being sorted and worthy winners will be announced when the time is right.

Annual Events 2017

Will be updated with weekly themes and other events as time goes on.



Last day for subs



Joan Nicholson Judging – Carol Fenlon





Southport Festival  – Creative Workshop, Atkinson, Saturday, 11.30am


 Alt Chair


Alt Chair


Alt Chair


 Theme – Darkness Lies


Theme – Angels Cry


 Theme – Devils Laugh


 Poetry Comp Award Night (TBC) Guest Judge – Carole Baldock


Theme – Lions Roar


  Summer Open Mike (TBC)


 Theme – Ravens Call


 Theme – Plumbers Bill


 Theme – Born to Kill


 Theme – Lovers Lament


 Them – The Time is Spent


 Theme – Hope Rises


 Theme – War Divides


 Theme – Endless Bliss


 Theme – In The Dark


 Theme – Nobody Waits


Autumn Open Mike/Workshop (TBC)


 Theme – Through the Gates


 Theme – First to Win


 Theme – Love Begins


 Theme – Feeling Mellow


 Theme – Running Yellow


 Theme – Wrong Way Round


 Theme – What’s That Sound?


 Theme – Dancing Queen


 Theme – Making a Scene


 Theme – Birds Flight


 Theme – Out of Sight


 Theme – Have No Fear


Christmas Readings! Last one of the year


First one back!














Last day for subs

Southport Festival – Creative Workshop 6th May

On Saturday the 6th of May, 11.30 AM, why not join us in the Theatre Bar of the Atkinson, where we will be setting up one of our infamous creative writing workshops as part of the Southport Festival?

We are taking taking requests for activities, but many of the old favourites will be returning, such as Insta-Poem and Reverse Story. Come down and exercise your literary muscles, or maybe just come dip a toe in the water and enjoy some speedily made-up entertainment!

Poetry Launched!

The 2017 Poetry comp is now official, being judged by none other than Orbis’ own star editor, Carole Baldock. Want to impress? Get your entries in now!

Also! Coming up, Valentine’s Verses night on the 16th and some last minute scheming for upcoming Workshops…

Southport Writers’ Circle Annual International Poetry Competition 2017

Online entries CLICK HERE

First Prize: £150, Second Prize: £75, Third Prize: £25

(In addition: £25 Humour Prize)


Carole Baldock is proud owner of 3 children (all in good working order); 2 cats (need slight attention); a BA Hons; a pamphlet, BITCHING, and a collection, Give Me Where to Stand (Headland). Books also include Writing Reviews and How To Raise Confident Children. She has contributed theatre reviews to The StageWhatsonstage etc, and is Editor of Orbis, a renowned international literary journal of over 40 years’ standing, which now incorporates her other magazine: Kudos (‘for people who prize writing’)

RULES: Please read carefully

  1. Poems should bear no identification of the poet.  Humour entries should be marked with an ‘H’. Humour entrants are not disqualified from winning main prizes.
  1. Please enclose a separate A4 sheet of paper with your full contact details and list of titles submitted.
  1. All entries must be typed on A4 paper, in English (dialects allowable), and must be the original, unpublished work of the entrant.
  1. For internet entries, please include PayPal ref. number in body of email OR put the story(ies) names in the comments box when paying. Also please use basic formatting in any of .doc, .docx, rich text or .odf file types when attaching your file to the email. Any .pdfs, sidebars, headers, footers or unusual layouts may result in your electronic entry being rejected.
  1. Each entry should be accompanied by the appropriate fee of £3 per poem or four poems for £10. Cheques/Postal orders should be in sterling and payable to: SOUTHPORT WRITERS’ CIRCLE.
  1. A maximum of 40 lines per poem is allowed.
  2. The closing date for entries will be 30th April 2017. Winners will be informed in June, general availability of results thereafter.
  3. Please keep a copy of your poem(s) as manuscripts cannot be returned.
  4. The adjudicator’s decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding receipt of individual entries or payments. Entrants who enclose an S.A.E will receive a copy of the adjudicator’s report (if available). No application form is required.

Envelopes should be sent to:-

Southport Writers’ Circle Poetry Competition

3 Hereford Road,


 Please DO NOT send entries by recorded delivery or send any other conformational material such as return postcards.

Online entries CLICK HERE

SWC International Short Story Competition 2016 Results

2016 Story Competition Roundup

This was an excellent year for entries and the shortlisters had a lot of trouble sifting out the final batch from the hundreds received. This year’s most distant entry was from Australia, with Cyprus being the next closest, the majority coming from the south of the UK. The favourite themes this year were ‘Ghosts’ (inevitably), ‘War’ and of course ‘Unlikely Romance’ which always gets our hearts pumping.

Of course a year of SWCSSC cannot go by without a spot of controversy, this time in the form of a very short entry that was practically a poem, but was accepted as a type of flash fiction after much debate.

In the end though, no matter a stories credentials or history, our Chief Judge has the last say and this year it is respected sci-fi author Robert Scott-Norton who has agreed to fill those heavy boots and tell us who has the honour of rising up from the literary mire to win this year’s comp.

To Read Winning Entries Click Here

Chief Judge’s Comments – Robert Scott-Norton

Third Place – The Dissolution by Theresa Curnow

A single setting. A man and his mother, and something bad outside the boarded up windows. A dead father who needs to be buried. This is bleak, yes, but the writer held my attention through this darkness. The characters were simple and true. There is no happy ending here; the story tracks on to its inevitable conclusion—but that scarcely matters.

There is an almost forgivable mini exposition dump towards the end that unbalanced things for me, but that ultimately doesn’t detract from an enjoyable read.

Second Place  – Maria’s Curse by Charles Warren

There’s a quest and a knight and a beast—there’s always a monster to be slain. In this tale we have a story within a story and it just about gets away with it because the author brings colour to the setting and characters. I felt like I was there, listening to the old woman recount her story. Description is handled well, with a strong sense of time and place created.

The final reveal is perhaps inevitable. The old woman archetype at play here was never going to be up to any good. And there’s a slight issue with pacing, I suspect due to the story within a story conceit. Those quibbles aside, this stood out from the pack as a strong runner-up.

First Place- An Act of War by Valerie Thompson

This had me from the first line. ‘Everyone was frightened, except me.’ OK, with such a strong hook, there’s every risk that the story fails to deliver, but the author delivered an impactful tale that drew me in immediately.

There’s a war. People are scared. What happens when the enemy gets a little too close for comfort? And what if you’ve got others in your care? Children?

It takes a young girl to solve the problem and her solution is all there in the story, but it still came as a surprise. The author obviously has a great understanding of feeding the plot.

With such a strong premise, the author had a great foundation for a tale that explored the ideas of losing hope and innocence. Language was tight and flowed simply and clean. Descriptions were evocative and characters brought to life with an effortless ease. Just enough of a sketch to make these characters breathe.

An Act of War is a worthy winner for this contest.

Short Story Judged!

Just to let you know that the short story comp has had its final judging and the last bit of admin is being done, so the results will be available soon.  Thank you to all who entered, keep an eye out and you might get a winning email in the next few days, just in time for Christmas 🙂

Edit – Results now available from the link on the right —>