Posted in Arts & Culture

Happy Birthday Roald Dahl

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Roald Dahl had the power to make anything possible, hooking his readers and transporting them on the most amazing adventures. Born on the 13th September 2016, today would have been his 104th birthday. His parents Harold and Sophie Magdalene named him after the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, who four years earlier was the first man to reach the South Pole. Born in Llandaff, Wales he was one of five children, but tragically lost a sister and his father at an early age. He was privately educated at boarding school: St Peters and Repton referring to his school days in his writing.

As a young adult he worked for an oil company traveling to Canada and East Africa. The out break of World War II sent his life in a different direction when he joined the RAF, age 23. But his flying career came crashing down in September 1940, and he would spend six months recuperating from several injuries to his back and head. Not defeated he went on to return to action, and even supplied intelligence to MI6.

He had five children with his first wife American actress Patricia Neal, but they divorced after 30 years of marriage. He remarried Felicity Crossland and they remained together until his death on the 23rd November 1990. Felicity continues to fuel her husbands legacy with the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre and Roald Dahls Marvellous Childrens Charity

During his lifetime Roald Dahl wrote 19 novels, 13 short story collections, 12 scripts, 5 poetry collections and 9 works of non fiction. So thankyou Roald Dahl for your contribution to literature. And a big ‘Happy Birthday!’

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com
Posted in Arts & Culture

Be Inspired by Spoken Word Poetry

If I Should Have a Daughter by Sarah Kay

I consider myself a prose writer not a poet, but spoken word poetry touches me in a way little else does.

So what is spoken word poetry?

Put simply, it is what it says on the packet: poetry constructed with the sole intention of being spoken. It can of course include written page poetry performed outloud, but there are subtle differences. Both forms concentrate on the aesthetics of word play, but whereas the written form focuses on the aesthetics on the page, the spoken form focuses on phonoaesthetics (the aesthetics of sound). So take a listen to spoken word poetry and you will quickly notice how different the oral language, expression and emotion are portrayed.

I want to create spoken word poetry: where should I start?

  • Before attempting to create spoken word poetry, take the time to watch various performance poets, look online and attend spoken word open mic nights. Scrutinise their poem and the way in which they perform them: look, listen and feel their creation.
  • As with any piece of writing begin with an idea or topic, ideally something you feel strongly about, as you will need to express yourself passionately in your spoken word performance.
  • Brainstorm your idea and jot down, words, phrases, feelings, emotions and sensory associations.
  • Now start to write your poem rich with vivid imagery. Use repetition to exagerate and extend an image. Create a voice and persona that will capture the poems uniqueness. And feel free to use rhyme as an element of entertainment. Remember your poems soul purpose is to be heard not read and use of grammar is a lot less restrictive.
  • Like all forms of writing, your spoken word poem will need editing and proofreading.
  • And finally read your poem out loud. In fact perform your poem throughout the creative process to hear how it sounds, adjusting and experimenting with your performance. Stand with an air of confidence and assertiveness (this will also help with voice projection). Draw your audience in with eye contact. Make use of facial expressions and enunciate to feed your audiences senses.
Posted in Arts & Culture

Creative Writing Competitions 2020 Part 1

Image by DarkWorkX from Pixabay

Christmas shopping is in full swing and 2019 is preparing to bow out to 2020.

A vibrant enthusiasm always lingers in January air and with it the belief we can succeed. Get ahead of the game and prepare for a substantial creative writing year with a full diary of competitions and events. Take a look at this collection and click on the links for competition details. Please feel free to comment and add to the list.

JANUARY

Arundel Festival Theatre Trail Writers Competition – www.dripaction.com

BBC International Playwriting Competition – www.bbc.co.uk

Big Moose Prize – www.blacklawrence.com

British Haiku Awards – www.britishhaikusociety.org.uk

Caine Prize for African Writing – www.caineprize.com

Calibre Essay Prize – www.australianbookreview.com

Exeter Novel Prize – www.creativewritingmatters.co.uk

Fish Short Memoir Contest – www.fishpublishing.com

Gemini Magazine Poetry Contest – www.gemini magazine.com

Gulf Coast Writers Association – www.gulfwriters.org

Iowa Review Awards – www.iowareview.org

James Knudsen Prize – www.bayoumagazine.org

Kay Murphy Prize for Poetry – www.bayoumagazine.org

Kent and Sussex Poetry Society Open Poetry Competition – www.kentandsussexpoetry.com

Magma Poetry Competition – www.magmapoetry.com

Mogford Prize for Food and Drink Writing – www.mogfordprize.co.uk

NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge – www.nycmidnight.com

Plough Prize – www.theploughprize.co.uk

Retreat West First Chapter Competition – www.retreatwest.co.uk

San Francisco Writers Conference – www.sfwriters.org

Terry J Cox Poetry Award – www.regalhousepublishing.com

The Roswell Award – www.lightbrigerproject.org

Tony Hillerman Mystery https://us.macmillan.com/minotaurbooks/tonyhillermanprize

UK Film Festival Scriptwriting Competitions – wwwukfilmfestival.com

FEBRUARY

Arc Poem of the Year – www.arcpoetry.ca

Bumblebee Flash Fiction Competition – www.pulpliterate.com

CBC Non Fiction Prize – www.cbc.ca

Crime Writers Association Margery Allingham Short Story Competition – www.thecwa.co.uk

Daisy Pettles Writing Contest – www.daisypettleswritingcontest.com

Exeter Writers Short Story Competition – www.exeterwriters.org.uk

Flash 500 Short Story Competition – www.flash500.com

Hippocrates Prize – www.intercompetition.com

Kathryn A Morton – www.sarabandebooks.org

Malahat Review Novella Prize – www.malahatreview.ca

Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction – www.sarabandebooks.org

Michael Waters Poetry Prize – www.southernindianareview.submittable.com

National Flash Fiction Day Microfiction Competition – www.nationalflashfictionday.co.uk

Northern Writers Awards – www.newwritingnorth.com

Omnidawn First/Second Book Poetry Contest – www.omnidawn.com

Snowbound Chapbook Award – www.tupelopress.org

Southampton Review Non Fiction Prize – www.thesouthamptonreview.com

Spotlight First Novel Competition – www.adventuresinfiction.co.uk

William Van Dyke Short Story Competition – www.ruminatemagazine.com

Willow Run Poetry Book Award – www.hiddenriverarts.wordpress.com

Writers Union of Canada Short Prose Competition – www.writersunion.ca

MARCH

Axe to Grind Flash Fiction – www.darlingaxe.com

Bridgend Writers Circle Open Short Story Competition – www.bridgendwriters.org

Cinnamon Press Poetry Pamphlet Prize – www.cinnamonpress.com

Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Competition – www.baen.com

New Welsh Writing Awards – www.newwelshwritingawards.com

Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest – www.tnq.ca

Enizagam Literary Awards – www.enizagam.org

Fitzcarraldo Editions Essay Prize – www.fitzcarraldoeditions.com

Fourth Genre Steinberg Essay Prize – www.msupress.org

Gordon Burn Prize – www.gordonburnprize.com

International Rubbery Book Award – www.rubberybookaward.com

Lindesfarne Prize – www.ljrossauthor.com

Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction – www.nelliganprize.submittable.com

42 Miles Press Poetry Award – www.winningwriters.com

APRIL

Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize – www.upittpress.org

Bath Short Story Award – www.bathshortstoryaward.org

Bulwer Lytton Contest – wwwbulwer-lytton.com

C Michael Curtis Short Story Book Prize – www.hubcity.org

Cowles Poetry Book Prize – www.semopress.com

Craft Short Fiction Award – www.craftliterary.com

Lorraine Williams Poetry Prize – wwwthegeorgiareview.com

Magpie Award for Poetry – www.pulpliteraure.com

Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize – www.marshhawkpress.org

Momaya Press Competition – www.momaypress.com

Oberon Poetry Prize – www.oberonpoetry.com

Omnidawn Broadside Poetry Prize – www.omnidawn.com

Orison Books Poetry and Fiction Prizes – www.orisonbooks.com

Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest – www.winningwriters.com

MAY

Atlanta Review International Poetry Competition – www.atlantareview.com

Bath Novel Award – www.bathnovelaward.co.uk

Bristol Short Story Prize – www.bristolprize.co.uk

CBC Poetry Prize – www.cbc.ca

Eden Mills Writers Festival Literary Contest – www.edenmillswritersfestival.ca

Frome Festival Short Story – www.fromeshortstorycompetition.co.uk

Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans – www.iowareview.org

Leapfrog Press Fiction Contest – www.leapfrogpress.com

Martin Crawford Awards – www.belfastbookfestival.com

Questions Writing Prize – www.questions.com.au

Raymond Carver Short Story Prize – www.carvezine.com

Sows Ear Poetry Review Chapbook Contest – www.sowsearpoetry.org

Stan ad Tom Wick Poetry Prize – www.shorescripts.com

The Hal Prize – www.thehalprize.submittable.com

Writers Digest Self Published book Awards – www.writersdigest.com

JUNE

Boulevard Poetry Contest – www.boulevardmagazine.org

Room Creative Non Fiction Contest – www.roommagazine.com

Short Fiction Prize – www.writersdigest.com

Goi Peace International Essay Contest – www.goipeace.or.jp

Eyelands International Short Story Competition – www.writers-online.co.uk

A Midsummer Tale Narrative Writing Contest – www.writers-online.co.uk

McLlelan Poetry Prize – www.poetryproseandplays.com

James White Award – www.jameswhiteaward.com

I hope this list gets your writing year off to a creative start and I will add to it in the new year as competitions open.