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Poetry Competition Winners Announced!

September 18th, 2020

First, thanks to Sharon for last week’s post. It’s reassuring to realise that there are still slots out there for shorter pieces. You’re never going to be able to give up the day job writing for this market, but it can provide a lucrative side-line. And if you find yourself stalled – for whatever reason – on a longer piece, you can always turn to letters or a quick filler and hope your block will have cleared by the time you get back to it.

Now…quick drumroll… here are the winners of our 2020 Poetry Competition. In first place we have Alison Reed with Tango For Two; in second place Judith T Drazin with Tea, Toast and Temperance and in third place Roger Elkin with You Bring Me Bouches-du-Rhone. I’m not going to go into detail here as I’ve given my general views on this year’s entries in a previous post. But I can assure you that the three winners are brilliant – please go and read them on our Competitions Page. Keep checking there too because our latest Flash Fiction Competition will soon be open for entries.

I know that a lot of you will have had holidays disrupted this year, either cancelled or put on hold until next year. So, it’s probably been a difficult year for budding travel writers. On the bright side I’m noticing a wave of articles covering well-known resorts that might normally have been shouldered aside in favour of more exotic destinations. The difference? The pieces look at what they’re like when they’re not heaving with tourists – the ‘new normal’ to be enjoyed there.

Alternatively, there are a lot more ‘staycation’ pieces. In the past your damp and breezy visit to the east coast of Scotland might not have been too enticing for an editor. But now if you plan a piece properly, trying to be specific rather than too general and highlighting the quirky, then you’re in with a chance. Think golf courses, gastronomy and gardens; or castles, monuments and battle sites; or wildlife and extreme sport. But don’t try to include all of them together or you’ll end up with a piece that sounds like that essay you were always asked to write in September when you returned to school: What I did in the holidays.

If you are interested in travel writing then you might like to look at TripFiction. They say: You love books, right? And travel? Well, you’re in the right place to find thousands of great books set around the world, all with a firm sense of the place the author has set them in. It might be a novel, a memoir or a travelogue, but each one will transport you to the destination you’re interested in, whether that’s ahead of a trip you’re planning, while you’re already there, or just to pique your literary curiosity, from the comfort of your favourite reading place on a dark winter’s night.

But in addition to listing travel books they also provide reviews on them – and you can review those you’ve read. You can suggest books to add and there is a virtual book club for those who sign up.

At the moment they’re running a competition which asks you to write a short story, a travelogue or a personal memoir but the important thing is that it must have a very strong sense of place. It should be 750-3000 words long, the entry fee is £5 per piece and the closing date is 15th November. Prizes range from £50 to £300 plus publication on the TripFiction website. Full entry details can be found here.

My guest next week, Jacqueline Jaynes, will already be familiar to you from previous posts. But she’ll be giving her usual sensible advice – this time about getting into the right routine when working from home.

Author: Diana Nadin

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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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