Sunday, September 22, 2019

Bray Poetry Competition - The Winner

I'm obviously delighted to have won the Bray Poetry Competition 2019 and to have read the poem at the Culture Night event in Bray on Friday 20 September. Thanks to the organizers who did such a fine job of organisation, notifying those long- and shortlisted and publicizing those and the results. 

Thanks also to the judge, Nessa O'Mahony, for picking out my poem from the more than 200 entered. These competitions are judged anonymously and when entering I replaced two local Sligo placenames  in the original with more generic placenames just in case.

Well done to those on the long and short lists and especially to the other prizewinners, Mark Ward who got second and the joint thirds, Evan Costigan and Catherine Ann Cullen.

I've entered lots of competitions and judged one or two. There are those who talk about a "competition poem", as if a particular style or form is more likely to win. I don't really accept that, having seen the variety of winners in various competitions over the years.

My Bray winning poem was sent out previously twelve times, to competitions and journals and only got longlisted once before. All this means is that it didn't meet the standards of all those other judges which is quite understandable. If you believe a poem is good enough, keep sending it out. I did enter two other poems in the Bray competition and they failed utterly. A special mention of Catherine Anne Cullen who had two poems in the final shortlist of six - quite an achievement!

Having won this competition the poem isn't eligible for most other poetry competitions but is available to submit to journals and magazines as long as it is not published online. Bray have a policy of not publishing winners on their website to allow this.

Bray Literary Festival 2019 takes place next weekend, 27-29 September and the full and varied programme is well worth checking out online.

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