Jacob Polley makes T S Eliot Prize shortlist

Cumbrian poet Jacob Polley is one of ten poets shortlisted for what Andrew Motion once called ‘the prize most poets want to win’. Polley is in the frame for his latest collection, The Havocs, due to be published by Picador on 8 November.

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Word Market Nature Writing Competition

Ulverston’s Word Marketeers are looking for nature writing in the form of poems, short stories and non-fiction. Poetry judge is Neil Curry, and Marian Veevers adjudicates the prose. The prizes are £25 book tokens in a range of categories.

Read the rules and get an entry form>>

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Cumbrian writers in the Portico

Keith Richardson, Chris Wadsworth, and Sarah Hall are all shortlisted for the prestigious £10,000 Portico Prize. They face stiff competition from the likes of Simon Armitage, Joan Bakewell, A.S. Byatt, Jackie Kay, Jeanette Winterson, Val McDermid, and Jane Rogers – and a long wait until the final winners are announced in late November.

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Maryport LitFest Poetry Competition

The deadline’s looming and there’s a £150 prize to be won for poems on the 2012 festival theme of ‘Gods and Ancestors’ (to be interpreted freely …) £5.00 buys you an entry of up to three poems for judge Grevel Lindop’s (pictured) consideration – but only if you get them in by 15 October.

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The Biographers’ Club Tony Lothian Prize

If anybody out there thinks they’ve got a biography in them, here’s an award for uncommissioned greenhorns. The £2,000 Biographers’ Club Tony Lothian Prize is for the best proposal by an unpublished, first-time biographer. Read more>>

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Titanic Creative Writing Competition

It’s 100 years since the Titanic went down, and Cumbria Libraries are fairly going overboard with events and activities to mark this centenary – the latest of which is a flash fiction competition organised in association with Word Market.

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Basil Bunting’s coming home

The Third Basil Bunting Poetry Award will take Bunting back to his roots. The Award ceremony will be held in the Cumbrian booktown of Sedbergh to coincide with the next Write Idea festival.

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Mslexia short story writing workshops

Mslexia has a series of excellent writing exercises on its website, devised by Sarah Salway in support of the magazine’s short story competition, which closes on 19 March.

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Words by the Water competition deadlines looming

You have until 10 February to send in your entries to two competitions being organised as part of the Words by the Water Festival of Words and Ideas in Keswick this March.

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Ear ear

In collaboration with Edinburgh-based Maison Vee’s jewellery, Maryport-based The Journal and Original Plus Publications has announced the free-to-enter Silversmith Poetry Competition.

But not that free. All poems have to be about earrings. Read more>>

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Mslexia Women’s Short Story Competition 2012

“There’s no recipe for a good short story – in fact, they need to be unexpected, surprising. The most familiar material can be surprising if it’s seen freshly.”

So says Mslexia competition judge Tessa Hadley. To see if you can surprise her, read more>>

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More winnings in Warwick Bridge

Poet Terry Jones’ decision to give up his lecturing job at Carlisle College in the summer, to devote more time to his writing, has paid off.

He bagged the prestigious £5,000 Bridport Poetry Prize a few weeks ago, and now he’s won first and second in another couple of competitions. Read more>>

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Words by the Water competitions open for entries

Two competitions organised in association with Keswick’s Words by the Water festival – the Mirehouse Poetry Competition and the Notting Hill Editions Essay Writing Competition – are open for entries.

The closing date for both is 10 February, and linked events are included in the festival programme in March. Read more>>

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