The Kent and Sussex Poetry Society Open Competition, 2021

THE PRIZE WINNERS IN OUR 2021 OPEN COMPETITION HAVE NOW BEEN POSTED HERE

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO ENTERED.

OUR JUDGE RISHI DASTIDAR ENJOYED READING YOUR WORK, BUT HAD TO SELECT ONLY SEVEN PRIZE WINNERS FROM ALMOST 2500 ENTRIES.

We look forward to welcoming your poems in our 2022 competition, which will open in October. Watch this space!

 

85 responses to “The Kent and Sussex Poetry Society Open Competition, 2021

  1. Pingback: Kent and Sussex Poetry Society Open Competition 2021 - OWC

  2. Clifford Ball

    Sorry here’s my poem. It’s about my life growing up on the Isle of Sheppey with my brother Nick.

    From the age of three, he had to wear crude iron callipers due to Perthes disease, a painful condition that affects the hips.

    For the next five years I pushed him around the island in a succession of second-hand prams pushchairs and home-made barrows.

    Here’s my poem:

    Here’s my poem. It’s about my life growing up on the Isle of Sheppey with my brother Nick.

    From the age of three, he had to wear crude iron callipers due to Perthes disease, a painful condition that affects the hips.

    For the next five years I pushed him around the island in a succession of second-hand prams pushchairs and home-made barrows.

    Here’s my poem: Here’s my poem. It’s about my life growing up on the Isle of Sheppey with my brother Nick.

    From the age of three, he had to wear crude iron callipers due to Perthes disease, a painful condition that affects the hips.

    For the next five years I pushed him around the island in a succession of second-hand prams pushchairs and home-made barrows.

    Here’s my poem:

    The smell of the meadow, the warmth of the sun,
    The sheep in the distance, another day won
    The scent of the sea, wafting in on the breeze,
    The beautiful blossom, adorning the trees

    The beauty of summer, long halcyon days
    The shimmering sun in the heat and the haze
    The strains of a skylark, so high in the sky
    So daintily flirting, to challenge the eye.

    The trickling of water, alone in the brook
    The young baby rabbit, just taking a look
    The cry of the lapwing, far out on the isle
    The muffling of voices, so soft and beguile

    The mushroom emerging, still covered in dew
    The glories of Kent, are so many, not few
    Garrison Point, a place of great joy
    The passing of tugboats, thrills many a small boy

    The customs, the pilots, the huge tankers too
    Such things were exciting, to name but a few
    Steamships, small coasters, bucolic Thames barges
    The tugs just like shepherds, safeguarding their charges

    The Kestrel, the Kennet the Kent and the Kite
    These four Knight’s tugs were the top of the flight
    The alleys, the pig bins, the fields and the beach
    More glamorous pastimes, were far out of reach

    The prams and the pushchairs, so battered and bruised
    Many a reader, will now be confused
    But Nick was in irons, for several a year
    He faced it with courage, and never with fear

    He walked with great pride, with a smile on his face
    I pushed him and bruised him, all over the place
    Whatever befell him, young Nick was not fazed
    Open-mouthed people, stood silent and gazed

    I often would wonder, what’s inside his head
    It was onwards and upwards, keep pushing ahead
    The smell of the meadow, the warmth of the sun
    Simple sweet pleasures, that cannot be won

    The wail of the foghorn, so sad and forlorn
    The joys and the pleasures, of Sheppey at dawn

    The fifties are gone, and I’m starting to bawl
    We had very little, but we sure had it all

  3. Clifford Ball

    Here’s my poem. It’s about my life growing up on the Isle of Sheppey with my brother Nick.

    From the age of three, he had to wear crude iron callipers due to Perthes disease, a painful condition that affects the hips.

    For the next five years I pushed him around the island in a succession of second-hand prams pushchairs and home-made barrows.

    Here’s my poem:

    The smell of the meadow, the warmth of the sun,
    The sheep in the distance, another day won
    The scent of the sea, wafting in on the breeze,
    The beautiful blossom, adorning the trees

    The beauty of summer, long halcyon days
    The shimmering sun in the heat and the haze
    The strains of a skylark, so high in the sky
    So daintily flirting, to challenge the eye.

    The trickling of water, alone in the brook
    The young baby rabbit, just taking a look
    The cry of the lapwing, far out on the isle
    The muffling of voices, so soft and beguile

    The mushroom emerging, still covered in dew
    The glories of Kent, are so many, not few
    Garrison Point, a place of great joy
    The passing of tugboats, thrills many a small boy

    The customs, the pilots, the huge tankers too
    Such things were exciting, to name but a few
    Steamships, small coasters, bucolic Thames barges
    The tugs just like shepherds, safeguarding their charges

    The Kestrel, the Kennet the Kent and the Kite
    These four Knight’s tugs were the top of the flight
    The alleys, the pig bins, the fields and the beach
    More glamorous pastimes, were far out of reach

    The prams and the pushchairs, so battered and bruised
    Many a reader, will now be confused
    But Nick was in irons, for several a year
    He faced it with courage, and never with fear

    The pushchairs were thrashed, and their axles were bent
    A replacement from Walker’s, a common event
    But fear not dear reader, for prams wide and narrow
    I took off their bodies, and fashioned a barrow

    So Nick was okay, and his transport secure
    We sped off together, on many a tour
    One day for a treat, I pushed Nick to the Swale
    My body was aching, through rain, shine and gale

    Passing through Queenborough, and several more miles, the trip to the bridge was more grimace than smiles
    But everything’s worth it, no matter the toll
    We saw Swedish steamers, a wonderful goal

    With cargoes of wood pulp, and logs straight and bent
    Their journey was over at Ridham in Kent
    Great paper it made, at the end of the day
    The mills down at Kemsley, were making the hay

    So much excitement, for two little boys
    These were our playthings, we didn’t need toys
    The Richard Montgomery, sunk off of Sheerness
    Will she blow up, there’s some that say yes

    Lain there for decades, in menacing slumber
    If she goes up, we’ll be part of the Humber
    But back in the fifties, the ship was a draw
    There were Trips Round the Wreck, but not for the poor

    Last trip of the day, the skipper would shout
    The white Silver Star, would slip gently out
    With children and parents and sunshine galore
    The Wreck would be eerie, a mile from the shore

    The Carnival, Zulus, Big George and the bands
    Candyfloss, flags and balloons in our hands
    The Regatta, the rowing, the long Greasy Pole
    The Miller, the Sweep, the tasty cheese role

    The summers were long, the sky always blue
    The seaside was close, and the Glasshouse was too
    The marshes sublime, and dotted with flowers
    The Glen was a picture, and this was all ours

    The jetty, canal, and old Bluetown pier
    Were playgrounds for us, for many a year
    The rust on the railings, the gaps in the boards
    The fishing, the cockling, we were not lords

    The moat and the barracks, a garrison town
    The hotels and pubs, there were hundreds around
    The soldiers, the sailors, the airmen and more
    Would pub-crawl through Bluetown, a great run ashore

    The Flood and the rescue, for us so exciting
    The North Sea for parents so cruel and so biting
    The mud and the slime, and the rot that it left
    Saw many a victim, cold wet and bereft

    The trappings of war, this that and the other
    Such wonderful places, for me and my brother
    Pillboxes, fortresses, magazines too
    So much adventure, and so much to do

    The Covered Way, rifle and gunnery range
    The tow plane approaching, the noise would soon change
    The target for practice a bright orange flare
    The ack-ack exploding, loud bangs in the air

    Anderson shelters, outside in the yard
    Sandbags of hessian, to thwart the bombard
    Khaki canteens brimming over with water
    Billy cans bully beef, spam we could slaughter

    A boom in the Thames to foil enemy ships
    The coal pier, the dockyard, the barracks for trips
    Tank traps and moats, to hinder the foe
    The fallout from war was all over the show

    Cartridges, bomb-sites, mooring buoys many
    These were our playthings, for us two a penny
    Sweets were on ration, but we didn’t care
    Our simple pleasures, were free in Kent air

    A a trip with the barrow, to Halfway and back
    Was better than many, a sweet little snack
    Westminster gasworks, its fire and its heat
    A sneak through the gate, we would often repeat

    The fire and the furnace, the searing hot smoke
    The dust and the roar, as it turned into coke
    The clanking of wagons, on industrial scale
    A magical place, fond memories prevail

    The flames and the fumes, and the thunderous noise
    So much excitement, for two little boys
    Back on the barrow, with joy overflowing
    It was off to the dairy, and fast we were going

    The bottles a clinking, would draw us from far
    Our rapture was bursting, the door was ajar
    The machinery whirring, the sound of the gears
    The churns full of cow’s milk, had seen better years

    The long rows of gold-top, like soldiers a march
    Two boys stood there spellbound, as stiff as of starch
    The foreman’s a coming, we must scarper quick
    But that was not easy, for my brother Nick

    His irons were heavy, and cumbersome too
    A rapid escape, he just couldn’t do
    But the foreman was kindly, he knew who we were
    He let us go slowly, not making a stir

    So it’s back on the barrow, for my brother Nick
    And I am his chauffeur, I’d better be quick
    His leg as a bowsprit, a real Cutty Sark
    We were sailing back home, from that innocent lark

    For five painful years, Nick battled his ills
    He never complained, and he never took pills
    Nick baffled the medics, he didn’t use sticks
    At such a young age, with those crippling sore hips

    He walked with great pride, with a smile on his face
    I pushed him and bruised him, all over the place
    Whatever befell him, young Nick was not fazed
    Open-mouthed people, stood silent and gazed

    I often would wonder, what’s inside his head
    It was onwards and upwards, keep pushing ahead
    The smell of the meadow, the warmth of the sun
    Simple sweet pleasures, that cannot be won

    The wail of the foghorn, so sad and forlorn
    The joys and the pleasures, of Sheppey at dawn

    The fifties are gone, and I’m starting to bawl
    We had very little, but we sure had it all

  4. ckhutchinsjunocom

    Hello. I shan’t bother you after this, but I forgot to say I had no problem with a deadline with two other contests I entered in England that also have January 31, 2021 deadlines.

    Thank you for your time.
    Christina

  5. ckhutchinsjunocom

    I am confused. I logged on at 3:10 on January 31st to send my poems, and the contest was closed. I checked yesterday, and I did not find a time on the guidelines and assumed it was by local time, wherever that was or by the Pacific time zone. Please advise.
    Thank you!
    Christina

  6. Anonymous

    Thank you 🙏

  7. Rachel Bilton

    Hi,
    Does the 40 lines rule include the empty lines between when you finish and start a new verse, or is it just max 40 lines of actual written word? Thanks!

  8. Anonymous

    Do we get a confirmation email concerning our entries as I have just submitted mine but have not yet recieved an automated response.

  9. Anonymous

    from Nigeria payment not processing

  10. Ekanem Racheal A

    FROM NIGERIA TRIED, BUT UNABLE TO PAY

  11. Emricke Dheinsa

    Hi
    I have a poem of 40 lines, original and unpublished. I plan to include a quotation not mine at the end of the poem. Is it acceptable?

  12. SM

    Hello

    I have submitted my entry and details but I haven’t received an email confirmation as of yet. I wasn’t sure how soon after submitting receipt would be confirmed?

    Many thanks,
    S

  13. Anonymous

    Hi, Can the entry be sent as a PDF? I don’t have Word but have Google Docs

  14. Bethany

    Hi! Was just wondering if particular styles are favoured? I prefer writing in a traditional style (like iambic pentameter and stuff) but didn’t know if it should be modern as lots of places seem to prefer that now?

  15. Ieva

    Good evening, I wanted to ask when will winners be announced-before 20th April?
    Thanks. Best wishes!

    • Hi, we don’t have a fixed date for this, but we’ll aim to inform the seven prize winners in time for them to read their poems at the Zoom meeting on 20th April. The winners’ names will then be published on the website on or shortly after 20th April.

  16. Hey, I have submitted my write-up to the provided mail followed by the transaction ID. However, I have not received any automatic mail. So, how do I know whether my submission is sent to the right receiver?

  17. Broken

    Beyond my site,
    Where have sight,
    Broken where fight,
    My bodies heart.

    Unwise I look like,
    When it’s time of broken,
    All my devote was strike,
    No ways is what broken always said.

    From me is like fast,
    My eyes strangely turn
    My body had cast,
    Broken I in, is not fun.

    Perturb my way,
    Broken in the day,
    Enjoy what I laid,
    In the place where had said.

    Beside my bodies it’s rest,
    Broken time will come for text,
    Never indefegigable and rest,
    You may soon in, with richest vest.

  18. Ciara White

    I’ve tried paying twice this morning through Paypal but the secure browser doesn’t seem to be working.
    I’ve checked my account and the payment doesn’t seem to have been made. I thought it might be my laptop but see someone else has said they’re having trouble making payment today too so will hold off trying again until I hear it’s working and secure.
    Thanks,
    Ciara

  19. Hi I not able to make the payment
    Pls help

  20. Hello there,

    I have paid the entry fee for the upcoming competition via PayPal, however I have not received a confirmation/reference for this in order to submit?

    I tried contacting the above email, however there is an automated reply stating that the email is down for maintenance. Will this affect people’s ability to submit?

  21. Winnata Irene Kotler

    Hi, I have a question, some of my poems have been used in short films but have not been published as pieces of poetry, would those still be eligible?

    Kind regards,
    WIK

  22. Hello,

    I read your guidelines but cannot see anything mentioned about the copyright of submitted poems to the open poetry contest.

    I’ve got a few poems that I intend to publish by the year-end so it really matters for me whether I retain the copyright over the poems I submit.

    I understand that the Kent and Sussex Poetry Society could publish my poems in their folios and that is alright with me.

    Please advise,
    Hopeful

  23. Is the title included in the 40 lines or does the line count begin on the first line of the poem?

  24. Kay

    Hi – are there rules on the use of profanities in a submitted poem?

  25. Tina Mistry

    Hi
    I would like to enter this competition but had a query on the entry guidelines. I have a poem which i have online in my blog and also on a poetry website. Is it ok to enter these poems please?

  26. Christian Stapleton

    Hi,
    I’m 17, is it okay for me to enter my poem?

  27. My poems are on nature
    The sun stirred like the empty cloaked dorm A silent eagle held in my hands the bird was clapping in celebration of a new world.
    Mornings sun rouse like old life. Opening in front of me bleeding raw sore towering like a hot volcano erupting like a spot pussy with molten hot liquid mornings sun rouse through the dark red lens of life pouring blood through new raw veins pulling the old away through the sun’s womb.

  28. Vinita

    Hi,
    If the poem has been published in an online journal, will it be eligible to enter the contest?

  29. Sarah

    Hello,
    Are there any guidelines regarding self publishing after submission to the competition? I am hoping to self publish my book of poems in mid March, but would love to submit one of them for this competition. Would this be an issue?

  30. Pingback: Kent and Sussex Poetry Society Open Competition 2021 – international call for entries – The Poetry Shed

  31. Fay Clark prenga

    I wrote a poem the other night about Dover where I lived until I was taken into care. Im not very good as I left school at 11 and had to teach myself how to read and write but poetry has helped me learn over the years and I only entered to get some feed back as Iv never shown anyone any of my poems before and I have written loads.
    Its probably atrocious compared to the standard that other people are writing poetry at, but its worth entering to learn and have fun.

    • All poetry is worth writing, and all poets should feel free to enter the competition. Our judge has no preconception of what the winning poems should look like, or say…. Good luck!

    • george free

      Hi Fay, the first positive step is that you are prepared to have a go at writing poetry. Some of the finest poets and artists in history had backgrounds that were dreadful but inside they had the belief and determination to overcome any obstacles in their way to produce some great works. The more poetry you write the better you become. I have written only one poem myself but I have re-written the same poem about thirty times. I have been trying to refine my poem so that it will at least be competitive in a poetry competition.
      Kind regards
      George

  32. Hi, if it was posted to a personal Instagram page to share with friends, does this count as “published”?

  33. When it says unpublished does this include social media posts?

  34. Pingback: Writing opportunities - January 2021 | Lightbox Originals

  35. Pingback: 300+ Writing Contests You Need to Enter in 2021 - Kotobee Blog

  36. Bill Dodd

    When will the results be announced?

  37. Deborah

    Hi team, I’m also wondering if it’s open to non residents please? I live in Melbourne, Australia.

    Many thanks 😊

  38. Lucy Nelson

    Is this competition open to people living in London?

  39. Deborah DCruz

    Hi Team, I live in Australia … is this competition open to non-UK residents please?

  40. We don’t have the capacity to publish books. Sorry

  41. james lawless

    how can I submit a book to you

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.