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As well as enjoying some brilliant poetry from ‘Connections’ the reading event in the Poetry Cafe last week, we also launched the first ever Paragram Poetry Competition.

We have now published two anthologies (available to buy at The Bookshelf, www.behindthehighstreet.co.uk,) one with open submission that attracted writers from all over the world and buoyed by that success we decided the time has come to hold a poetry competition.

FINAL 2013 competion flyer

As Paragram exists to get writers published and performing their work, we decided that this had to be part of the prize. All short listed poems and prize-winning poems will be published in a chapbook, plus we are offering a commission to our next anthology and a cash prize for the lucky first and second placed poets. Naturally, having had such a good time last week, we will organise another reading evening, hopefully at the Poetry Cafe again as it is central and has such a great atmosphere, when everyone will be welcome to hear placed and short-listed poems performed.

We have appointed an adjudicator who will read all entries. Adrienne Dines is an experienced judge regularly adjudicating at influential events such as the Winchester Writers’ Conference and the Elmbridge Literary Festival, to name but two. She is a novelist, a poet, tutor and mentor for all genres of creative writing. We are very lucky that she has agreed to fit our competition into her busy schedule.

We decided to theme the competition and looked to an Emily Dickinson phrase for inspiration – ‘…a certain slant of light…’. This offers many interpretations from sci-fi to murder, romance to the natural world, time-slip to historical yarn, from the weird to the wonderful. It lends itself to poetry in all forms and we are looking for wide and varied interpretations of the phrase. We would prefer the phrase itself not to form part of the text or title of entries as we see it as a starting point for a journey of the senses, memory or imagination.

Now for the nitty gritty –
Theme – poems to be inspired by (not use in text) ‘…a certain slant of light…’ Entry Fee –  £4 for 1 poem; £7 for two; £10 for three (all funds to cover prizes, basic publicity and publication set-up and costs of the reading event). Closing date – midnight 31st August 2013
Payment by PayPal to paragrammers@gmail.com
Submission in the body of an email to paragrammers@gmail.com with Slant of Light in the subject line
Length – no longer than 40 lines including spaces between stanzas
New writing – entries should be new writing and not have been published in hard copy or electronically, not have been entered into other competitions or be translations.
Results will be published on http://www.para-gram.com
Prizes –
1st place
£100, publication in chapbook, commission for 3 poems in next Paragram anthology, performance at Paragram reading event;
2nd place £50, publication in chapbook, commission for 2 poems in next Paragram anthology, performance at Paragram reading event;
3rd place – publication in chapbook, commission for a poem in next Paragram anthology, performance at Paragram reading event;
Publication  of the chapbook will be November 2013
Commissions those winning commissions will be asked to complete their writing for a publication in 2014
Reading Event –  planned for early 2014

Anyone wishing to enter who does not have access to a PayPal account should contact paragrammers@gmail.com to arrange alternative payment.