Tag Archives: Fleur Adcock

Competition news

I have been asked by the organisers to share the following with you.

Closing at midnight this coming Friday, 20th May: Live Canon single poem competition. £1000 first prize. Guest Judge: Rebecca Goss.
Enter here https://livecanon.submittable.com/submit

Closing at midnight on Monday 4th July: Coverstory. Details here https://coverstorybooks.com/2022/04/19/coverstory-books-2022-international-poetry-competition/?fbclid=IwAR07HfoeolB961aUpjv9X8jLc8N3BUPiRKA_Pm1tFRVns2X5RlPU3nj-VDc  Results announced by the end of August, 2022. Max 60 lines. 

Closing at midnight on Sunday 10th July: The McLellan Poetry Prize is awarded as part of the annual McLellan Arts Festival on the Isle of Arran. With eight prizes including a first prize of £1,300; second prize of £450; third prize of £150 and 5 commended poem prizes of £50 each,  the McLellan Poetry Competition provides a major opportunity for aspiring poets to gain recognition.
This year’s judge, Hollie McNish, will present the prizes in person at a special festival event on Sunday 28th August 2022 on the Isle of Arran, to which all prizewinners will be invited to read. Entries close at midnight on Sunday 10th July 2022. Full details and entry forms can be found at Arran Theatre and Arts Trust | Poetry Competition.

The best advice I can offer is this poem by the incomparable Fleur Adcock.

The prize-winning poem

It will be typed, of course, and not all in capitals: it will use upper
and lower case
in the normal way; and where a space is usual it will have a space.
It will probably be on white paper, or possibly blue, but almost
certainly not pink.
It will not be decorated with ornamental scroll-work in coloured ink,
nor will a photograph of the poet be glued above his or her name,
and still less a snap of the poet’s children frolicking in a jolly game.
The poem will not be about feeling lonely and being fifteen
and unless the occasion of the competition is a royal jubilee it will
not be about the queen.
It will not be the first poem the author has written in his life
and will probably not be about the death of his daughter, son or wife
because although to write such elegies fulfils a therapeutic need
in large numbers they are deeply depressing for the judges to read.
The title will not be ‘Thoughts’ or ‘Life’ or ‘I Wonder Why’
or ‘The Bunny-rabbit’s Birthday Party’ or ‘In Days of Long Gone By’.
‘Tis and ‘twas, o’er and e’er, and such poetical contractions will not be
in the chosen poem. Similarly cliche´s will not abound:
dawn will not herald another bright new day, nor dew sparkle like
diamonds in a dell,
nor trees their arms upstretch. Also the poet will be able to spell.
Large meaningless concepts will not be viewed with favour: myriad is
infinity is becoming suspect; aeons and galaxies are in some doubt.
Archaisms and inversions will not occur; nymphs will not their fate
Apart from this there will be no restrictions upon the style or tone.
What is required is simply the masterpiece we’d all write if we could.
There is only one prescription for it: it’s got to be good.

Source: Adcock, Fleur (1983) Selected Poems, Oxford: Oxford University Press