At the beginning of the year I decided that, instead of submitting to magazines, I'd enter a few poetry competitions. I've never really got into the competition thing, but I have some friends whose names seem to pop up on every shortlist and winners' list, and I thought I'd have a go.
I spent several weeks agonising over which poems to send where, reordering words, fiddling with commas, changing titles and changing them back again, and eventually sent off entries to five competitions. And it seems it was worth it, as I'm really chuffed to discover I have won or been placed in three!
My poem 'Dead Things I Have Seen While Walking' was placed joint fourth in the Kent and Sussex Open Poetry Competition, judged by Catherine Smith. The winner was Janet Sutherland, with her amazing poem 'Braided Wire'. You can read all the winning entries, and the adjudication report, on the Kent and Sussex website, and I am very proud to be placed among such a fabulous group of poems.
'My Glass Father' was placed third in The Plough Prize, judged by Philip Gross. First prize was won by Vicki Morley, and second prize by Millie Guille - two fantastic poems. Once again, I am honoured to be placed in the company of such great work!
And in the Guernsey Literary Festival's Open Poetry Competition, judged by Gwyneth Lewis, my poem 'Demeter's Lament' won first prize, with 'Monsoon' coming joint third, and 'The Cliff' coming fourth. Second prize was won by Gabriel Griffin, and the other third prize by Fiona Ritchie Walker. All the winning poems in this competition will be featured on Guernsey's buses and at the airport, so I am absolutely delighted!
Many thanks to the judges Catherine Smith, Philip Gross and Gwyneth Lewis, and to the competition organisers.
I guess after this flurry of excitement I'd better get back to working on the new collection and the MA!