Competitions and self doubt.

sepia I entered a poem in the Kernowek Lowender Literary competition this week. It’s actually the first writing competition I have entered in since 1990 and my first poetry competition.

The theme was Smugglers and Sinners, and there was a 100 line restriction. So I went with A Smuggler’s Reply, learnt more about the national pastime of Cornwall (smuggling) than I thought was possible and created what I think was a reasonably good poem; at least technically.

Prior to entering I couldn’t find any of the past winners poems, so I had no idea whether the competition was traditional poetry, bush poetry, modern free verse or a mix.  It was to be awarded by Max Fatchen, a well known literary personality but he passed away this year. So I am thinking that with his name attached there is a considerable degree of skill involved/expected.

I’m still at that stage where I have no real feel for whether the work is of a good standard.  I am becoming technically more proficient – this poem was written in iambic tetrameter and I feel is perhaps my most polished to date.

I sent off a Speculative Fiction poem last month to a paying market and in hindsight and with comments from my writers group I can see where I could have made it a much better poem.

But in the end I enjoyed writing it and I enjoy reading it which is more than I can say for some of my short fiction of late.

Anyway wish me luck. 


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