‘Morning Pages’ And A Morning Visit

Look at all that writing! By hand, early in the morning..!

Look at all that writing! By hand, early in the morning..!

In an attempt to get some ‘control’ over my writing (lack of it being a main source of ‘The Stress’), I have been religiously writing my Morning Pages for the last 8 days.

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!

Swanwick Competition

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.

Ninette, me and Bonnie the dog

Ninette, me and Bonnie the dog

This entry was posted in Bonnie, Competitions, Poetry, Short Stories and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to ‘Morning Pages’ And A Morning Visit

  1. Tracy Fells says:

    Oh I wish I’d known you were meeting Ninette as would have asked you to say Hello from me! Thanks for sharing Swanwick results – I recognise quite a few names too. I was a bit miffed this week by competition results where same writer won more than one prize. OK nothing in rules about this but to me always seems hard on other entrants when same name appears more than once … or am I just showing my frustration for not coming anywhere!

  2. Tracy – do you know Ninette?! Sorry, I didn’t know! (it’s a small world!). I agree, it’s a bit disappointing to see the same name more than once. I think that should be a rule in competitions – no-one can win more than one prize. Again, it’s just about being fair. (I am a Libra – only just, on the cusp – so I like balance and fairness!!)

  3. I can definitely understand you not wanting to read all those poems. I think I’d have a hard time reading and judging a dozen, let alone 31. It’s good that you stuck to your guns and decided what you do and do not want from a writing competition. 🙂

  4. Di Castle says:

    Hi. I use Julia Cameron’s morning pages technique most days but not necessarily in the morning. I forgot to mention it in my previous post. Looks like you are back in the land of the ?living or should I say writers. Well done.

  5. Wendy Clarke says:

    You should be paid to read those poems! Don’t blame you for not doing their job for them.

  6. Ninette says:

    Lovely to see you yesterday. Great to chat about writing over breakfast! I’m going to give the morning pages a try when I get back to Italy. 🙂

  7. I wouldn’t mind if my name had been there twice:)) Shows they must be good. Also, don’t blame you for not being the judge, without being asked as well, what a cheek…. **** when you do your links, there’s an option to tick a box saying open link in new window. Then you don’t send people away from your blog Helen. Not being cheeky, just pointing out…. xx Lovely photo.

  8. philippabowe says:

    Good news about the morning pages. And bad news about that competition – sounds well dodgy, was it a paying comp? And I guess you’re hesitant to, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong in naming and shaming, so other people can be warned about such practices and avoid them.

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