Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Just what I needed!

Me with the lovely Levi Tafari
I mentioned my fine plans of submitting vast numbers of poems and stories for publication in Out There). inevitably this has lead to an unprecedented number of rejections. I know it's all about the law of averages / diminishing returns / Sod but it still requires broad shoulders.
My prize was presented by David Lonsdale from 'Heartbeat'

So I am delighted that, after more than 90 rejections and failures this year, I can report a few successes: and chief amongst them is that I just scooped first prize in the Sefton Celebrates Writing Festival's Adult* Poetry Competition.

The poem's about the death of a (fictional) librarian. I was horrified to learn that Sefton Council (a near neighbour north of Liverpool)  is threatening to close most of its libraries and I think some of the fears for libraries generally leaks into the poem - which will be on Sefton Arts website but isn't yet.  I'm not sure how I'll get round the subject matter at work, but I won more than a week's wages so I don't care if I get some flack for seeming to kill off a colleague.

What was groovy about the award ceremony was that I got to meet the inspirational Levi Tafari. An 'urban Griot' of Jamaican and Liverpool heritage, he performs a lot in schools and has powerful, accessible messages about the beauty of diversity and the importance of being yourself: knowing who you are and what you stand for. I'll have to think more about this, but it was a timely encounter for me. It reminded me that I used to believe what you need comes to you if you are open to it.

* By adult I don't mean filth... It's just called that to distinguish it from the Children's Poetry Competition. But I will be coming back to filthy poetry in a future post.


  1. Nice one, Clare! Well deserved.

  2. Hey, that's brilliant! Congratulations, and hope you have a great time spending the money. So much nicer when you've won it for writing and not grafted for it in the usual way.

  3. Thanks for all your comments. Yes, Fran, I had a great time spending the money ... on my £392 MOT bill.. *shakes fist*

  4. Congratulations on a prize well-earned, and especially on your tenacity and not giving up after all those rejections! Must make the prize even sweeter still...looking forward to reading it when it's up!