Poetry competitions

Why can I never get myself together enough to enter poetry competitions? I suspect it’s something in my noddle. I get the entry forms, online or otherwise, and I think, “That sounds like a comp worth entering”, and then time passes and I realise I’ve missed the deadline. It happens every year. This year I’m definitely entering the Edwin Morgan comp (details on the Vital Synz website). Possibly.

I’ve judged a few comps in my time, however. Some were quite daunting, but one I had a lot of fun with was a recent one for children, writing poems inspired by Robert Burns. I judged the upper primary age group – over 200 entries in this category. It was a real pleasure, and the winner and runner-up were obvious even on the first reading.

Maybe I should approach all comps in this light – that I’m going to give the judges a lot of pleasure through reading my entries? But then again, maybe not.


About sunnydunny

Poet, publisher, gardener
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4 Responses to Poetry competitions

  1. Rachel Fox says:

    Everyone’s being a bit quiet on this one…either scared to moan or loath to brag!

    I’m always really pleased when people and poems I like win or get placed (Morgan Downie and Anna Dickie just recently with the National Galleries one…Barbara Smith too with the Wigtown) but I’ve given up entering them myself for the moment (too many reasons to list and some of them a bit convoluted). You have to choose what you do with the amount of energy you have free for poetry…and right now entering competitions (or indeed sending to magazines/journals etc.) is not something I devote any time or effort to. Maybe I’ll try some again in the future.

  2. BarbaraS says:

    Well best of luck Colin. It's a lot to do with luck and also spreading yourself around. Lately what I've been doing is just sending them off and forgetting about them, a little like sending balloons into the atmosphere and just hoping that a favourale wind catches them & brings them somewhere interesting 🙂

  3. Colin Will says:

    Rachel: I know what you mean. The personal energy issue is important, plus I’ve found lately that pain is very distracting.

    Barbara: I used to send out to mags very regularly, but I’ve only sent one poem out this year. Too many other calls on my time, but the writing is still happening.

  4. Crafty Green Poet says:

    I have entered two competitions this year which is a lot for me. I do intend to enter more though but like you i just seem to let the deadlines drift past….

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