WOL competition: and the winner is ...

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What strange beasts poetry competitions are! I set this one not knowing quite what to expect; not too many rules – an upbeat subject and the stipulation that it shouldn’t be written from a first person perspective. My reasons? A surfeit of downbeat themes and to make poets think outside their own familiar box, figuring that creating other characters and situations might give greater rein to the imagination.

The breadth of styles and subject matter certainly didn’t disappoint – from the traditional form to complete freedom of expression. I guess it’s an illustration of what makes WOL work so well – variety and the ability to encompass all styles and subjects.

There were 21 entries, but strangely, (very strangely in fact!) only 11 voters! I’m not going to attempt to guess the reasons for this, but I admit it did leave me somewhat puzzled!

So, who did you vote for?

In 3rd place, with eight points was Tigerella Warrior by Laura Taylor, a tale of triumph over adversity and the redeeming force of love. “Even though there is an underlying sadness about this - happiness shines through in strength and survival!” … “Poignant - good imagery . . .”

In 2nd place, with 11 points was Betty in a Windy Sunset by Harry O'Neill, a celebration of feminine beauty and its power over the male psyche. “Exhibits great joy! Love it.”  …“I just loved the joy in it.  It oozed love, of the happy, carefree kind.”

And in joint 1st place, 12 points each, were:

in arms not meant, by Ann Foxglove, an intriguing take on the happiness love brings – wherever it is found. “Lovely words, lovely rhythms and so gentle.” … “A lovely read and what a lovely reading.”


Love On Pearl Harbour Night by Kealan Coady, a touching narrative of promises made, lost hope and joyous reunion. “This has charm and beauty... Love really does conquer all!” … “totally charming.”

The rest of the votes were spread fairly evenly, showing the diversity of styles and tastes on the WOL blogs. My thanks to everyone who took part, whether entering, commenting or voting. I hope someone else will now respond to the challenge of setting the next WOL comp, with whatever theme and rules they feel appropriate – over to you folks!

◄ John Burnside wins TS Eliot prize

Rappers battle with performance poets at Brighton ►


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Lynn Dye

Tue 17th Jan 2012 14:58

Congratulations to all the winners! :o)

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Laura Taylor

Mon 16th Jan 2012 12:41

Oh and yes PLEEEASSSE do a follow up - I bloody LOVE these comps!

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Laura Taylor

Mon 16th Jan 2012 12:39

Woo, blimey, I got placed - first time ever! :D Cheers all :)

Big congrats to both Kealan and Ann - worthy winners indeed!

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M.C. Newberry

Sun 15th Jan 2012 12:48

Congratulations to the winners!

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Harry O'Neill

Sun 15th Jan 2012 11:43


<Deleted User> (7075)

Sun 15th Jan 2012 09:15

Hi all, yes a most enjoyable comp. Well run Anthony. I have suggested before a system of voting employed by other comps (e.g. MAG) whereby you have to actually vote to be considered for a 1st, 2nd or 3rd place. It is hoped that this 'ties in' the entrant to the competition more. Usually someone would enter a comp and then forget about it until the results are released. (I know I did, sorry)


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Ann Foxglove

Sun 15th Jan 2012 08:08

Oh wow! How exciting! Yes, Kealan and I have decided to join forces from now on - we're going to call ourselves KealAnn, a bit like Jedwood only different! (Jesting of course! ;)

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Sat 14th Jan 2012 22:42

Félicitations tout le monde !

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Rachel Bond

Sat 14th Jan 2012 22:06

well done winners.

kealan you can pay me that £10 for my vote later x

laura, great poem, deserved win x

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Sat 14th Jan 2012 20:49

Congratulations Ann/Kealan! I love these comps - have enjoyed seeing the different takes on the theme.

I took Ann's poem to be about illicit love - but maybe I was mistaken.

I'm also loving the fact that WOL comps are now deemed newsworthy! Yay - I'm gonna crack open some bubbly!

Thanks for organising it Anthony. I'm looking forward to the next one. Are Kealan and Ann going to agree on a theme I wonder? xx

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Dave Bradley

Sat 14th Jan 2012 20:29

Well done Ann and Kealan, Harry and Laura - well deserved. And many thanks to you too Anthony.

I've run a couple of these and the low turnout and wide spread of voting fits the pattern. The interest is far wider, though, than those who get around to voting. I do hope Ann and/or Kealan do a follow-up

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