Poetry competitions: ins and outs

A couple of posts ago, I was pleased to report that my poem, ‘Towards a Safe Return,’ was short-listed for the Wolverhampton Literature Festival (WoLF) poetry competition.  My copy of the anthology arrived in Monday’s post.


It comprises the five winning and forty short-listed poems on the theme of ‘Out of Darkness’ (a tribute Wolverhampton’s city motto, Out of darkness…cometh light).  There were almost 700 entries from over 600 entrants.  As shortlists go, it’s a long one, but I’m pleased nevertheless that my poem was among those chosen by competition judge Emma Purshouse.  I’ll insert a mugshot (of my poem) at the end of this post.

Competitions aren’t every poet’s cup of tea; for those that do partake, there’s the question of whether to go for the ‘biggies’ or the less prestigious/smaller/regional competitions, which option might give the best chance of success, and the motives for entering in the first place (CV credentials, publication, validation, etc).  I’m more likely to enter a competition if I have a poem that fits/suits a theme or to one judged by a poet I admire.  Angela Carr and Robin Houghton have written their own ‘takes’ on the subject.

The results of the Cafe Writers’ competition are out, I see, which means that the two poems I entered are now available for submission elsewhere (see how I turned that around)!  So I’ll be casting my eye down Angela Carr’s monthly round-up of competions, submissions and opportunities in search of the ‘best’ place to – er – place said poems.

Close to the deadline, I entered one poem for The Interpreter’s House ‘Open House’ competition.  Why there?  To support a magazine that has gone from strength to strength under the joint editorship of Martin Malone and Charles Lauder Jnr, it’s a magazine I enjoy reading (and one that has twice published poems of mine).


As promised, here’s my WoLF competition poem:


9 thoughts on “Poetry competitions: ins and outs

  1. A fab poem, Jayne – I wish I had written it. I love the formal layout without rhyme that you have used ( I expect there’s a name for it, but I’m uneducated in literary style) and the stanzas paint a wonderful series of pictures as read. Good luck for a good final outcome.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the poem very much Jayne with its calm tone as the lines unfold, the itemising of different ways of travel, the bird’s swooping flight and the coming to rest. The whole can be seen either as a lyrical account of time and place or as a metaphor for human life. I’m not surprised it was short-listed. Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your poem is a satisfying read through time & place – love the ghosts consulting their watches, and the houseleeks on the roof. You give us a panoramic trip – almost as if via a flying drone with camera. And like John said it suggests the journey of life. Strong title.


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