No Spring Chickens

Don’t you hate it that the young get all the chances? That there are so many poetry awards for people under 18, under 25, under 30? What if you spent the first part of your life not writing poetry but gathering material for poems that only came later, when you had a bit more time to reflect?

Well, now it’s your turn. The Stare’s Nest is sponsoring a competition for older writers to get their moment in the spotlight. The brand new Fledgling Award celebrates debut pamphlets and collections by poets over the age of 40. And I’m delighted to say that the judge is none other than Martin “too old for a Gregory, to young to die” Figura!

So these are the rules:

  1. Eligible books must be the first solo book of poetry (whether a pamphlet or a full collection) from a poet who was 40 or older at the date of first publication.
  2. The book must be in English and published during 2014 or 2015.
  3. The poet must be a resident of the United Kingdom.
  4. Poets can enter the competition themselves, or be nominated by a friend or by their publisher. But discuss it, so I don’t end up with multiple copies of the same book! Self-published books are fine.
  5. Closing date is 15th May 2016 – we hope to announce results in July
  6. The filter judge is me, the top 10 shortlisted books will be read and judged by Martin
  7. The prize is £100 plus a suitable trophy, yet to be determined
  8. To enter, send a copy of the book (with a cheque for the entry fee of £5 payable to J L Sutherland), plus your date of birth and your contact details, to me at the following address:

Judi Sutherland, Willowfield, Darlington Road, Barnard Castle, Durham, DL12 8HN

Good luck, poets of more discerning years! This is your chance to shine.