The Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition
Very exciting news: I have been asked to judge a poetry competition! The Sentinel Literary Quarterly is a fabulous London-based magazine dedicated to publishing world literature: everything from poetry to plays, essays to reviews. Every quarter, they hold a poetry competition with a top prize of £100, to seek out and reward great writing. And I’m very pleased to announce that for the latest contest, they’ve asked me to be their poetry judge.
The contest is open to all — you can enter regardless of age, experience or your location in the world. The only rules are these:
* Poems must be 40 lines or less
* They only accept submissions in the English language
* Poems must be typed
* Identifying marks must not appear on the poems themselves
* You have to include an entry fee of £3 per poem — OR take advantage of a discount: 5 poems for £12.
What could you win?
* The first prize poem wins £100 and publication in Sentinel Literary Quarterly
* Second prize is £60, and third prize £40 — plus publication in Sentinel Literary Quarterly
* A further twelve highly-commended poems will also be published in the magazine
There are more details of how to enter, how to present your poems and what you can win here, at the competition’s homepage. The closing date is THURSDAY 25TH MARCH 2010 so get scribbling!
What will I be looking for?
As the contest’s judge, I’ll be looking for a variety of things in the winning poems. Firstly, a strong and original voice — any subject, however old and tired, can be reinvigorated by a fresh perspective, an engaging voice. I’ll also be looking for excellent wordsmithery — not necessarily anything flashy, but signs that the writer knows what language is all about, and how to weild it. I want ideas that make me think “damn, I wish I’d thought of that!”, and turns of phrase that excite and inspire me.
I know that so many of you ONS readers have the power to write work like this — I definitely think you’re all up to the challenge, and hey, I know none of you would say no to a free hundred quid, right? So I hope you’ll all get yourselves to the contest page and enter your work. This is a great contest: there’s no theme, and apart from length, no formal contraints. I’m excited to sift through what I’m sure will be a melting pot of themes, ideas and voices. Make sure yours is part of it!
Find out more about the contest, and enter, here. Good luck!!
NB: Please note YOU CANNOT CONTACT ME DIRECTLY regarding entries to the contest, or I won’t be able to judge your work fairly and you’ll have to be disqualified. You’re welcome to tell me you’ve entered, but you can’t tell me anything more than that — if I have even a vague idea of which poem is yours it could totally upset my judging. If you have queries about what you can/can’t send or anything else to do with entering the contest, you need to go to the contest website and iron out the problem with them. Sorry!