Feeling competitive?

I have ordered all sorts of delicious pamphlets and poetry collections that I’ll get my hands on next week including the last two Anon, some Oystercatcher press and some Pighog press. In the meantime, for the more competitive-minded among you, here is a quick list of competitions with relatively urgent deadlines:

1) A John Lennon Poetry competition with Carol Ann Duffy as head judge. This competition requires a poem inspired by Lennon’s life and is split into three categories: Performance poetry (to be composed and performed in Liverpool by its writer), Paper poetry (to be submitted by email). There is also a school poetry competition.  The details are above, with the deadlines in September.

2) Poetry Competition in association with the Sentinel Literature Festival. The deadline is 20 August 2010 and, sadly, submissions are by post only. There are quite substantial monetary rewards and also the opportunity to read at the Festival at stake. First Prize: £250.00; Second Prize: £130.00; Third Prize: £70.00

3) I have a tendency to be poetry-centric, so to diffuse this, Look! Earlyworks Press is running a flash fiction competition, the closing date is soon: 30 June 2010 so get going! Entries must be under 100 words including titles.

4) The Keats-Shelley award also has a deadline on 30 June. You can enter either with an essay on Keats, Shelley and their circle, or by submitting a poem. Full details on the website.

5) As we’re on June 30th deadlines, the ridiculously adorable Leaf Press are running a ‘Write about Writing’ competition and are looking for submissions tackling one of these themes: where you write; fitting writing into a busy schedule; writing resources; editing; publishing successes and failures.

If all else fails, try submitting to The Rejected Quarterly, or buying it. It’s not a competition but it sure as hell is original:

Knowing how good traditional literary magazines are at their job, TRQ allows them to do the first level of weeding for us. Whatever they want, we don’t want. That’s why we require our writers to submit at least five rejection slips from other publications along with each manuscript. No other literary journal maintains such strict standards.’

John Lennon Poetry Competition