If you’re wondering what the heck Morning Pages are, I can do no better than direct you to Simon Whaley’s blog here and I’ll be writing more about it soon – when I’ve been doing it for a bit longer!
I had a visit this morning from the lovely Ninette – writer and fellow blogger – who came for breakfast (!) and managed to find my house without getting lost, which is a major achievement (but she was helped by a strategically-placed pink balloon!).
One of the things we talked about, was writing competitions and how they can, sometimes, be rather ‘unfair’.
I had a recent experience of this, when I entered a poetry competition, which closed at the end of May. See what you think:
A few days after the closing date, I was surprised to receive 31 anonymous poems, written by fellow entrants, which the organisers emailed to me and invited me to choose my ‘first’, ‘second’ and ‘third’ placed poem.
When I queried this, the organiser pointed me to the rules on the site (which I must admit, I hadn’t read properly!) which stated that Round 1 of the judging process would involve ‘entries being judged anonymously by competition entrants’ to produce a shortlist which would be judged by the official judges.
I’d never heard of this kind of judging and it raised all kinds of questions in my mind! Who decides which entrants receives which poems? (I was sent 31 but presumably there were more entries than that – all entrants didn’t receive all poems); what if no-one votes for my poem because the entrants who’ve received mine, don’t bother to vote – or only get as far as reading half the poems they’re sent, before they vote? what if some of the entrants know each other (they could be from the same writing group?), recognise the poems and vote for each other? It just seems really unfair! (and not transparent!)
I wrote back and said sorry but I didn’t have time to read, judge and vote for 31 poems and that I was also worried about the process. Needless to say, I think it very unlikely that I will win anything in that competition – but I won’t be entering anything run by that organisation again!
On a different note, a competition that I also entered – and that was, I’m sure, impeccably judged – was the Swanwick competition and the results are now out, here.
I didn’t come anywhere but I do recognise a few names amongst those placed and shortlisted, so well done to you all.
I was hoping to win my course fees back but hey, never mind – I’m still going to Swanwick next month!
And finally, The British Red Cross have a free-to-enter writing competition and are asking for stories or poems on the theme of ‘searching’ to help mark Day of the Disappeared. Closing date is 18th July and the maximum word count is 500.