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Poetry (20 lines) Long List

Poetry (20 lines max): Long List (Top 20)

Top 20 Poetry Entries
(titles listed in no particular order)

Death Hasn’t Touched You Yet

How Do You Measure Almost

I Saw a Grasshopper Poo

In the Bathroom

The Newsagent, The Gardener, and The Railwayman

Rocking Chair Song

Tiddlers

Sunrise Run Club

Native Title

In Comic Relief

Turned

No Guarantees in a Truth

How every day begins (your whole life)

The Old Milking Cow

The Bat Cave

Lunch

Sandwiched

Swan’s Wings

The thing under my seat

Willingness to be seen

Congratulations to those talented 20 who made the long-list. The standard of entries was really high, lots of brilliant work. There were 604 entries in total (including Bursary and 50% Discounted categories).

The announcement of the shortlist of 10 will happen on the News page next week. So, pop back to see which poems made the cut. 

The NEW Plaza Poetry Prize (60 lines) is open to enter. Judged by Tim Liardet. 1st prize: £1,000. Deadline: 29th Feb 2024.

SFF: First Chapters: Winners

Top 4 SFF: First Chapters
(titles listed in ascending order)

Sorry for the slight delay in posting. We were waiting on permissions to name the winners on the News page.

All the comments in quotation marks below are from our judge, Ben Clark, Director of The Soho Agency.

Highly Commended: Smile When I Wake by Laura Stephens

Smile When I Wake is a very well-written literary mystery, reminiscent of Kazuo Ishiguro. With a character-driven plot, it stands out from other dystopian science fiction (that often focus on the moral, political, environmental etc. impact of developing tech) in turning the lens to the psychology and struggles of the ordinary person. Full of intrigue and suspense, it wonderfully subverts common themes of life after death, second chances, and of course, love and relationships, against the subtle and well-developed backdrop of a realistic, near scientific future (in which the world isn’t ending – hooray!).’

3rd place: Mazurka by Robert Tateson

Mazurka was a really fun pitch to read. The concept of nano carbon turning into a black-market commodity is both clever and frighteningly realistic – it’s a smart play on eco-anxiety and a fun way to play with the ‘what if’s’ about our carbon future. The world the characters live in is brought to life by the writing and the anchoring to beautiful, remote places around the world. I particularly enjoyed the science elements and would love to see that developed further. With such a strong, clean concept – the writer could elevate their writing by reducing narrative elements to those only essential to story development or world-building, and focusing more acutely on character development.’

2nd place: A Carnival Ago by Sherry Cassells

‘This is a really interesting approach. The writing is vivid and gorgeous, it is the beating heart of the novel. It is literary in tone, cleverly conveying the claustrophobia and menace of the asylum from page one. The author also does well to create suspense and intrigue, leaving the reader with page-turning questions. Who is Alice? What is the White asylum? Who is the protagonist and why he is there? There is a true sense of their oppressive surroundings and the psychological impact this is having on the characters.’

1st place: Twice Gallowed by Alex Emms

Twice Gallowed was the clear winner. It’s a very original take on intergalactic science fiction – the pitch lures you in immediately. The writing was excellent – the world-building, tethered to the Wild West, made the science fiction elements feel grounded, rich, and believable. The characters truly leapt off the page – you could really see the interactions dancing behind your eyes and the emotions felt raw and immediate. I even had sympathy for an immortal bounty hunter, which is no small feat. The story runs smoothly and you often forget your reading – this is set up really well with the main character dying in the opening pages. A really original opening. It feels visceral and like an interesting world is quickly established. Reminded me in part of Stephen Kings Gunslinger series.’

Congrats to all the winners. They will be presented with their prizes and certificates at our awards ceremony in 2024. The winner gets a mentoring session with Ben Clark in the New Year.

Thanks to all those who entered. We can’t make this opportunity to discover new talent and get new writers published without your help.

SFF: First Chapters: Shortlist (Top 10)

Top 10 SFF: First Chapters
(titles listed in no particular order)

Cradle of Oblivion

Diffusion

Tiger and Thistle

Mazurka

The Professional Mule

Smile When I Wake

A Murder in the Elephant Quarter

A Carnival Ago

The Magic of Fixing Broken Things

Twice Gallowed

Congrats to those who made the Top 10. There were 104 entries in total (including Bursary, and 50% Discounted categories). 

The announcement of the winners will happen on the News Page next week. So, pop back to see which stories make the final 3.

SFF: First Chapters: Long List (Top 20)

Top 20 SFF: First Chapters
(titles listed in no particular order)

Everybodies

Iron Curse

Air Skates

The Hunt for Momma Linda

Hauler

Envoy

Metal Casing

Sand and Blood

Tales of Starcross

Behind the Golden Mask

Cradle of Oblivion

Diffusion

Tiger and Thistle

Mazurka

The Professional Mule

Smile When I Wake

A Murder in the Elephant Quarter

A Carnival Ago

The Magic of Fixing Broken Things

Twice Gallowed

 

Congrats to those who made the Top 20. There were 104 entries in total (including Bursary, and 50% Discounted categories). 

The announcement of the shortlist of 10 will happen on the News Page next week. So, pop back to see which stories make the final 10.

Audio Poetry: Winners (Top 3)

Top 3 Audio Poetry Entries

The following comments in quotation marks are all from our judge, TS Eliot Winner, Anthony Joseph.

‘It was a real honour to judge the Plaza Audio Poetry Prize. One of the familiar tropes within contemporary poetry is the distinction, even argument, between the spoken performance and the written word. This line is increasingly, and thankfully becoming tenuous, as the poems here show, as they achieve a balance between sound and the page, as Kamau Braithwaite suggested poems should do, making ‘word sculpture in the ear’, returning poetry to its origins in the oral tradition while showing an intelligent engagement with form and the possibilities of language.’

3rd: The Leather Year by Ashlee Paris-Jabang (ENG)

‘A powerful, new consideration of the Windrush narrative which considers the difficulty of finding roots in exile. Its delivery moves between the delicate and the sonorous. Each word earns its place.’

2nd: The Scallcrows by John D.Kelly (N. IRE)

‘There’s some complex and considered use of sound here, a lyrical quality to the line, and a nuanced use of a Irish carrion crow metaphor which makes the poem both personal and universal. A poem which really rewards repeated listening.’

1st: The Men at My Fence by Julie Sheridan (SCO)

‘There is a assured, euphonious quality to the performance of this poem. The poet’s use of rhyme and rhythm – especially in its use of internal rhyme – matches content to form, while the extended metaphor of intrusion and resistance gives it power, cohesion and shape.’

Congratulations to the 3 poets who made the final cut. We’d also like to highly commend Tom’s Pouch of Cure-stones by Paul McMahon (IRE).

To build on the moderate success of this competition – we will be running The Plaza Audio Poetry Prize again next year, with poet, writer and broadcaster, Paul Farley, as judge. Deadline: June 30th, 2024. So, plenty of time to get writing to record your work. This is a great opportunity to break into audio-publishing.

The NEW Plaza Poetry Prize (20 lines) is open to enter NOW. Judged by Rory Waterman. 1st prize: £1,000. All those who entered Audio Poetry can email us for a 50% discount link: simon@theplazaprizes.com

Audio Poetry: Shortlist (Top 10)

Top 10 Audio Poetry Entries
(titles listed in no particular order)

The Ministry for Loneliness

The Scallcrows

Backdating My Love for You

The Hitmen of the Gods

The Glen Miller Story

The Men at My Fence

Moon

The Leather Year

Morning Song

Tom’s Pouch of Cure-stones

Congratulations to the 10 poets who made the long-list. The standard of entries was really high, lots of brilliant work. There were 319 entries in total (including Bursary and 50% Discounted categories), which was pretty good for a new concept comp.

The announcement of the shortlist of 10 will happen on the News page next week. So, pop back to see which audio poems made the cut. 

The NEW Plaza Poetry Prize (20 lines) is open to enter. Judged by Rory Waterman. 1st prize: £1,000. All those who entered Audio Poetry can email me for a 50% discount link: simon@theplazaprizes.com

To build on the moderate success of this competition – we will be running The Plaza Audio Poetry Prize again next year, with poet, writer and broadcaster, Paul Farley, as judge. Deadline: June 30th, 2024. So, plenty of time to get writing to record your work. This is a great opportunity to break into audio-publishing.

Audio Poetry: Long List (Top 20)

Top 20 Audio Poetry Entries
(titles listed in no particular order)

The Dragonkin

I=0

Ghost Words

Nobody’s Home

On the Bay

Flittermouse

Don’t Speak its Name

Lighter and Princess

Speed Trap

Candid

The Ministry for Loneliness

The Scallcrows

Backdating My Love for You

The Hitmen of the Gods

The Glen Miller Story

The Men at My Fence

Moon

The Leather Year

Morning Song

Tom’s Pouch of Cure-stones

Congratulations to those talented 20 who made the long-list. The standard of entries was really high, lots of brilliant work. There were 319 entries in total (including Bursary and 50% Discounted categories), which was pretty good for a new concept comp.

The announcement of the shortlist of 10 will happen on the News page next week. So, pop back to see which audio poems made the cut. 

The NEW Plaza Poetry Prize (20 lines) is open to enter. Judged by Rory Waterman. 1st prize: £1,000.

If you’re interested in all things Audio – we will be running The Plaza Audio Story Prize in collaboration with Punch Audio in Hollywood next year. So, get writing to record your work, and break into audio-publishing.

The Plaza Poetry Prize (40 lines) Winners (Top 3)

Top 3 Winners

Congratulations to our winners. All comments below are from our judge, Pascale Petit.

“The ten shortlisted poems were wonderfully varied, but there were quite a few travel and on-the-road poems, perhaps because of our increasingly migrant populations. Mountains and nature also featured in many. It was hard to decide on the winners because the standard was high. With the top three, I took my time choosing which would be first, second, and third – all are so good in different ways.”

3rd Place: ‘The wheels of my wagon are possibly square’ by Pete Concahsmith (ENG)

“Surreal, absurd, memorable – an exuberant prose poem that presents its striking image of the extraordinary wagon – possibly an allegory for human life on earth – as it rumbles on like a kinetic exhibit in a gallery, garish, enigmatic, an impossible anomaly for our impossible times. Reading this poem was a lot of fun, and I’m guessing that the poet had fun writing their phantasmagorical tableau.”

2nd Place: ‘How to lose a whole forest’ by Jenny Pollak (AUS)

“This stunning poem culminates in an original image of the sea as a lion devouring a forest as if the forest is an antelope. We are slowly led to this denouement by eating and mouth similes, a tongue, teeth, breakfast, but eventually, the domestic scene is overwhelmed by the oceanic. I’m left wondering if this is a visceral depiction of rising sea-levels due to climate change. The lines reveal their theme slowly, beginning with the microcosm of an insect, and I like how philosophical thoughts intersperse the main process of inundation.”

1st Place: ‘Sweet Bananas’ by Maria Castro Dominguez (ESP)

“I love how this poem doesn’t tell me anything, just shows its vibrant story. There’s an erupting mountain and a couple of homes beneath it, and what might be a stand-off between humanity and the planet. Or, it’s a simple tale of how one volcano impacted two people. The tercets develop the catastrophe at a fast pace, organically, and through precise details which paint a true and real picture full of emotional impact. It lands on one last gorgeous detail, which echoes the yellow of the sweet bananas before they went black. A tragic, but deftly handled lyric, leaving me with a sense of the power of our planet and the helplessness and courage of humans, foolish contrasted with the wiser dolphins and their attuned senses. Congratulations to the poet!”

Well done to our three prizewinners. We’d also like to highly commend a poem: ‘When you feel so very small’ by Wren Siofra Lloyd.

We’ll be awarding the prizes in Valletta on 18th October, 2023, as part of our collaboration with the Malta Book Festival.

Our latest competition, The Plaza Poetry Prize (20 lines max), is now open for entries. Judged by Rory Waterman. 1st prize: £1,000. Deadline: 30th October 2023.

Poetry (40 lines): Shortlist (Top 10)

Top 10 Poetry (40 lines max) Entries
(titles listed in no particular order)

The Road
The Green Room
How to Lose a Whole Forest
The Wheels of My Wagon are Possibly Square
Sweet Bananas
When You Feel So Very Small
She Whispers Us All Awake
Bergtagen
Wolf’s Bane

Congratulations to those who made the shortlist. The announcement of the Winners (top 3) will happen on the News page next week. So, pop back to see which stories made the cut.

Poetry (40 lines): Long List (Top 20)

Top 20 Poetry (40 lines max) Entries
(titles listed in no particular order)

The Road
Watching My Brother From The Edge
The Green Room
How to Lose a Whole Forest
The Wheels of My Wagon are Possibly Square
Dupuytren’s Contracture
Before 23
Time of Day
Sweet Bananas
The Bull and The Pharaoh
When You Feel So Very Small
She Whispers Us All Awake
My Childhood Dog
Lies
Past
Shango
Bergtagen
10 Observations of Quarry Tiling
Wolf’s Bane

Congratulations to those who made the long list. The standard of entries was high. There were 576 entries in total (including Bursary and 50% Discounted categories).

The announcement of the shortlist of 10 will happen on the News page next week. So, pop back to see which stories made the cut.