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Click HERE for results of previous competitions.
Chief Judge: Daniel Riding
Daniel Riding is a published poet, children’s author and artist, currently living in Liverpool with his husband and two very demanding cats, Raja and Oliver. Daniel has always loved playing with words and telling magical and fun stories, so it is no surprise that he ended up as a poet and writer. When not writing and drinking copious amounts of tea, Daniel is also a bookseller which, after writing, is one of the best jobs in the world.
RULES: Please read carefully
Envelopes should be sent to:-
Southport Writers’ Circle Poetry Competition
60 Dinorwic Rd,
Please DO NOT send entries by recorded delivery or send any other material such as return/receipt postcards as this will be disregarded.
Online entries CLICK HERE
It’s not just verses, and its only mostly romantic writing. All welcome to share!
It is always a pleasure to read through the stories that so many people decide to send, in the hopes that their little pieces of inspiration will gain the light and recognition that they deserve. The quality of many entries deserved such recognition, though it has to be mentioned the importance of reading the rules for any competition, which sadly some people fell afoul of this year (don’t put your name on every page of an anonymous entry!).
We had stories about every topic going – romance, war, shopping, robots, babies, time travel, chocolate and many more. Entries came from Germany, France, and Spain as well as a good concentration from the south of England. Of course, shortlisters can only go so far, and any love they have for particular favourites in the sifting has to be put aside for the final judge to have her say. We were fortunate this year to have an award winning novelist join us and we respect her final opinions.
Chief Judges Report – Carys Bray
It is not especially hard to decide whether a story is enjoyable and satisfying – as readers, we do this all the time. It is, however, hard to take a group of satisfying and enjoyable stories and pick a winner. I recognise that another judge, on another day, may have looked at these stories and placed them in a different order. The stories below intrigued and surprised me, and I enjoyed reading each of them.
1st Place: Peace and Quiet by Louise Wilford
First place goes to this well-written and intriguing short story that invites an active, interrogative response from the reader and concludes with an enjoyably sinister twist.
2nd Place: The Spae Wife by Julie-Ann Rowell
Second place goes to this evocative, historical short story that makes beautiful use of sensory language and explores themes of prejudice and judgement in an isolated community.
3rd Place: Closer to the Edge by Robert Kibble
Third place goes to this tense short story in which the writer examines the line between cruelty and humour while achieving a satisfying combination of action and introspection.
Highly commended: Equinox by Marianne Whiting
This highly commended historical short story explores themes of shame and sacrifice, reaching a powerful, understated conclusion.
Commended: The Angel and the Bridge by Norman Kitching
This commended story empathetically tackles big themes: guilt, betrayal and the kindness of strangers.
Commended: The Real Fake News by Paul Barnett
Resonant and timely, this commended short story contains some lovely images and has echoes of Orwell’s 1984.
We are returning to action on the 10th of January, with many a fine scribble to welcome in the new year. Made a a resolution to write more this year? Join us! We offer much friendly encouragement as ever.
Also: Thursday the 24th will be our much anticipated Short Story 2018 Awards evening. Some of you know the winners already, but it will be made official then.
See you soon!
Hello! The last two meetings of 2018 are going to be excellent. They are open to all comers, being Guest Speaker Ian Hall on the 13th Dec , then our annual mince pie fest and joyful Christmas Readings on the 20th Dec. Bring along anyone you like to come and enjoy the fun 🙂
We come back then on the 10th January, ready for all those New Year resolutions.
On the 25th October, there will be chills and shivers in our annual scary week. All are welcome to bring some spine tingling horror for all those fraidy cats amongst us to enjoy.
First prize: £150 Second prize: £80 Third prize: £30
Closing date: 31st October 2018
Online entries CLICK HERE
Chief Judge: Carys Bray
Carys Bray’s debut collection Sweet Home won the Scott prize and selected stories were broadcast on BBC Radio Four Extra. Her first novel A Song for Issy Bradley was serialised on BBC Radio Four’s Book at Bedtime and was shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards, the Association of Mormon Letters Awards, the Waverton Good Read Award, the 15 Bytes Book Awards and the Desmond Elliott Prize. The novel won the Utah Book Award and the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award. It was was selected for the 2015 Richard and Judy Summer Book Club. Her second novel The Museum of You was published in June 2016.
Optional – Paper saving single-spaced entries encouraged.
Send postal entries to:
Short Story Competition
Online entries CLICK HERE
We are getting terribly emotional at SWC, with an evening dedicated to expressing our feelings in a variety of different work. There will be a talk from Dennis Conlon, writing activities and discussions about the best way to show the reader how you feel.
Free to enter, see you there!
To read the winning poems, Click Here
Organiser Notes –
Another year, another set of difficult decisions. In the role of Chief Judge we were graced by the talented and prolific Alison Chisholm, whose opinion is very much respected in the world of poetry (and is also an ex-member of SWC!). The International part of the competition did not fail to surprise us again, with entries from France, Germany, and South Africa. The shortlisting was a hard process with so many excellent entries, but somehow we got it down to the final filter of twenty or so. The downside of an anonymous system also struck, as the 1st Prize winner also turned out to be the Humour Prize winner. I’m sure you will agree though, that both poems are worth of taking the prizes, as well as the 2nd 3rd and Commendeds. For those who did not make the final cut, we hope to see your work again next year, as in such a tight competition, anyone could swing it next time!
Judges Report from Alison Chisholm –
My big problem was with the humour section. The hilarious pieces were badly crafted. The beautifully crafted pieces weren’t funny. I’ve ended up picking a poem that has some wry touches of humour among pretty dark layers, and is without doubt the best contender for a humour prize. The results, then, are:
Your Call is Important to Us
by David Mark Williams
The repetition and delicious images work well, and while there is clear humour in the recognisable frustration of the repeated announcement, there are neat undercurrents to show this is not just a poem about an annoying phone call, but has a much deeper significance.
By David Mark Williams
Anyone who has ever spent a sleepless night will identify with this poem. It uses imagery with precision, and it’s an object lesson in how to craft a free verse poem in which slant rhyme and lineation are applied beautifully.
By Elizabeth Horrocks
Another free verse poem, this takes an original subject and clothes it in finely crafted free verse. The route from innocence to Mammon is charted perfectly.
Allowing the Light
By Sheila Aldous
This piece, written in response to a recent tragedy, can hardly fail to touch everyone who followed the story.
By Jenny West
This brilliant evocation of family life is image-rich and enormously appealing. The only thing wrong with the poem is its lack of punctuation, which is such an important factor in the poem.
Edges of Autumn
By Lynne Taylor
On This Summer Day
By Sue Kauth
The Edge of Alderley
By Elizabeth Horrocks
On the 21st of June we are welcoming noted poet, Alison Chisholm to dispense her literary wisdom on our Annual Poetry Competition 2018 adjudication evening, where we will find out the winners and listen to some prize-winning poetry. All welcome.