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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > March 2017 > SOME FINE ROMANCE


Judge Alison Chisholm highlights the winning entries from our ever-popular Love Poetry competition

Love poety competition Winner

Some subjects have an inbuilt problem when they are set as competition themes.

They include war, the sea, animals, death, seasons… and especially, love. The reason, of course, is that they are the universal themes. They touch us all, so we all write about them. That’s the problem. Trying to find something new to say on these subjects is extremely difficult; but many entrants achieved some sort of originality and therefore created a fascinating set of poems to read.

Inevitably material misses the mark. Some poems had nothing new to say, and nothing inspiring in the delivery. A poem should be too short to bore the reader, but lacklustre work can be very tedious. The good news is that few poems fell into this category. In fact, there were some brilliant ideas expressed in interesting ways, and when these elements came together only poor crafting or inadequate revision kept them out of the shortlist.

Poems eliminated themselves through weak structuring of content or sentences, incorrect application of set form, absence of punctuation (without a sound artistic reason for its omission), clumsy wording, poor lineation in free verse pieces, and problems with rhyme and metre in traditional forms.

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Make this the month you make your dreams real and start becoming a writer in the Get Serious issue, with advice on: • How a change of attitude will help you, and the wider world, take your writing seriously • How to stay motivated past the difficult mid-novel slump • Money matters: Are you charging enough for your freelance writing? PLUS How to make sense of your royalty statements Cover star Jake Arnott tells us about finding the stories and characters that society overlooks and we explore the style and technique of forensic crime superstar Patricia Cornwell Get your work out there with opportunities to get published and competitions with more than £60,000 total prize money in 20 packed pages of Writers' News. All this plus our definitive guide to writing festivals, courses and other events for 2017