My thanks have to go to the veritable fount of all writing competition knowledge, Paul McVeigh, whose Facebook page (when I was a local there) I religiously and studiously scanned for any snippets of writerly news, competitions, talks, retreat information and book signing dates (his debut book ‘The Good Son’ was released this year to much acclaim and having read it myself I can vouch for all positive feedback – it’s a heck of a good read and is also shortlisted for the Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize 2015).
So anyway, Paul’s page is where I found the link to the Hysteria Writing Competition 2015. And here it must have been that I decided to not go for the Short Story category or the Flash Fiction category (I’ve never written a pice of FF in my life and it scares me to bejeezus) and instead plump for the Poetry category. If I had to say why I’d probably say it was because I’d recently – April-time – had the results back from my Formal Assessment in Art of Poetry (part of the first ‘year’ of my Creative Writing degree with the Open College of the Arts) and had been cock-a-hoop with my score of 75% (a First) and so buoyed by comments my tutor had made during the course and the enthusiastic comments the examining body had made on my Formal Assessment, I felt compelled to try my poem’s legs out in the real world.
I’d forgotten all about it to be honest. Because I’d had a couple of poetry competition entries turn and bite me on the butt. I hadn’t won, shortlisted or even come close as far as I could tell, but both ‘competion sponsors’ had posted me – proper Royal Mail and everything – a letter enclosing the poem I’d written telling me that if I stumped up a pricely sum (one was £199) then I could have my (non-winning) poem published in some kind of anthology. I didn’t read on to find out what it was called – both ‘invitations’ were duly assigned to the recycling bag.
It put me off entering any more poetry competitions to be honest. And I’d forgotten about the Hysteria one completely.
So it came as a delighful surprise to be told I’d shortlisted amongst the ten in the poetry category, and even more chuffed to learn that my poem (‘Calling of the Wedding’) is already going to be included in the forthcoming Hysteria 4 anthology published this November and each shortlisted writer gets a FREE copy of the book! THIS is how poetry competitions should be organised, people – THIS is the one you should be entering if poetry is your bag. I shall certainly have another bash next year.
Seems I’m a poet
Altho I din’t know it