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Old 02-06-2018, 02:38 PM
Michael Juster Michael Juster is offline
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Default Hapless American needs Britsplaining

Would it be fair to call the weekly Spectator poetry competitions "the largest and most competitive" of the newspaper poetry competitions in the UK?
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Old 02-06-2018, 02:56 PM
Matt Q Matt Q is online now
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No, since the Spectator is a magazine not a newspaper.
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Old 02-06-2018, 03:16 PM
Matt Q Matt Q is online now
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I'm only aware of two mainstream (i.e., non-poetry) magazines that run competitions in every issue: The Oldie (a monthly publication) and The Spectator (a weekly). The New Statesman (another weekly) used to have one, but their competitions stopped last year. I don't know which of the two gets the most entries, but likely someone else here does.
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Old 02-07-2018, 10:11 AM
Max Goodman Max Goodman is offline
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Bill Greenwell, who stops by now and again, is something of an expert and historian of the comps. Though his main focus is the New Statesman, he would almost certainly have an answer to this question. A PM might reach him. A post in the Deep Drills Spectator forum might get an answer from someone even if Bill doesn't see it.
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Old 02-07-2018, 01:11 PM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is offline
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I'm not sure what you mean by "most competitive." Personally, I always found it easier to win in the Speccie than the Oldie, but that may just be because my style happens to be more to the taste of the Speccie editor and not because there are more people competing for each spot.
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Old 02-07-2018, 02:22 PM
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Maryann Corbett Maryann Corbett is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Goodman View Post
Bill Greenwell, who stops by now and again, is something of an expert and historian of the comps. Though his main focus is the New Statesman, he would almost certainly have an answer to this question. A PM might reach him. A post in the Deep Drills Spectator forum might get an answer from someone even if Bill doesn't see it.
Bill is also on Facebook and may be reachable that way.
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Old 02-08-2018, 11:09 AM
Rob Stuart Rob Stuart is offline
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Regular entrants in these competitions will know that the winners are almost entirely drawn from a pool of a few dozen people, about half of whom are Sphereians. Perhaps there are hundreds of people who submit stuff regularly but never get anywhere, though I doubt it.

The size of the postbags must vary considerably according to how appealing individual competitions are, and it's further complicated by lots of us submitting multiple entries under different pseudonyms so that we can't be seen to have won two (or more, in some cases) prizes in the same comp.

I'd guess the average entry is 20-40 individual pieces of work, but it would be interesting to know for sure. I wonder how these Brit comps compare with the one in The Washington Post?
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Old 02-08-2018, 06:56 PM
David Anthony David Anthony is offline
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Interesting comment.
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Old 02-08-2018, 08:18 PM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is offline
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Pat Myers, the judge of the Washington Post, often mentions on Facebook how many submissions she receives. Psuedonyms are not tolerated, and no one bothers with them since there are no cash prizes and the only payoff is the "glory" of winning. Everyone is entilted to submit up to 25 entries in any given contest, though only a handful of people submit that many. Anyway, it's not unusual for there to be around 2000 or more entries, which probably means around 200 people submitting. She publishes anywhere from 15-45 winners (roughly). Generally the bulk of the winners are people who have won at least once before, though each week there are also some "first offenders" who have never won before. They keep pretty good statistics, and I think there have been something like 3000 individual winners over the past 20 years or so. Entries are judged blind.
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