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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > July 2016 > Poetry competition winners

Poetry competition winners

Judge Alison Chisholm highlights the winning entries from our Open Poetry Competition

When a poetry competition is open as to both form and subject, writers have an opportunity to select the best piece they have written recently and know that, as long as it does not exceed the line limit, they have a poem that can be entered. So open competitions tend to attract work of the highest quality. Nobody has to feel their way in an alien form, or dash off a hasty entry because there’s nothing in the current body of work that will fit in. Instead, the finest unpublished poem has its chance to dazzle.

With every topic under the sun available for treatment, it’s always surprising when familiar themes recur in an open competition. This one attracted numerous entries that were descriptions of the natural world. Every poem that fell into this category had merit, but some stumbled because they had nothing new to offer, and simply rehashed known information. The nature poems that added something extra – a flash of insight, a description of particular brilliance or a quirky touch of originality – worked beautifully.

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