Monday, 31 December 2012

Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry & Short Story Competitions, closing date extended.

Happy New Year all.

Please note that the closing date for Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition judged by Noel Williams and Short Story Competition judged by Clare Girvan has been extended from 31st December, 2012 to 21st January, 2013. This is in response to messages from several of our supporters who believed that the closing date of 31st December was too close to our annual competitions which closed on the 30th of November, and they needed more time to enter competition-ready work. We agree, hence this three-week extension.

This means that the results will now be announced on the 28th of February 2013.

To enter the competition now, please go to www.sentinelquarterly.com/competitions

Saturday, 22 December 2012

SENTINEL LITERARY QUARTERLY REVIEWS

In the January - March 2013 issue of Sentinel Literary Quarterly we shall carry a little feast of reviews including: Miles Cain's 'The Border' and Graham Burchell's 'Vemeer's Corner' reviewed by Aisling Tempany. Richard Ali's 'City of Memories' reviewed by Alison Lock, Basil Diki’s 'To Hangmen, One Scaffold Book 1' reviewed by Sanya Osha, Brindley Hallam Dennis's 'Talking to Owls' and Sanya Osha's 'An Underground Colony of Summer Bees' reviewed by Nnorom Azuonye.

Alison Lock will also review Terence Frisby's 'Kisses on a Postcard' for SLQ April-June '13, and Laura Solomon's 'Hilary and David' for SLQ Jul-Sept '13.

If you would like to have your book reviewed in the SLQ send or ask your publisher to send review copies to: Reviews Editor Sentinel Literary Quarterly Unit 136 113-115 George Lane South Woodford London E18 1AB United Kingdom

We also have many other books received waiting to be allocated to reviewers.

If you would like to review for Sentinel Literary Quarterly, drop me a line. We do not pay our reviewers, you just have to love the written word and you get to keep the book you review. Email me editor@sentinelquarterly.com 

Nnorom Azuonye www.sentinelquarterly.com

Monday, 10 December 2012

Mandy Pannett’s ‘All the Invisibles’ Reviews Competition results.

 

We recently asked people to review one, two or all three poems from Mandy Pannett’s poetry collection for a chance to win a signed copy of the book. Three reviewers have emerged joint winners. ‘Best After Frost’ was reviewed by Paul Ward and Krystyna Hollis. E Russell Smith took on ‘Stunted’. Here are the reviews in no particular order.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEST AFTER FROST

Reviewed by PAUL WARD

 

            Since Mandy Pannett nods towards Shakespeare’s use of the medlar (it is mentioned in four of his plays ) , here is how he describes its essential characteristic in a witty riposte from Rosalind to Touchstone in As You Like It :           

 

            You’ll be rotten ere you be half ripe , and that’s the right virtue of the medlar

 

            And that process of decay is most effectively registered in the first three lines of ‘Best After Frost’ . The statement is simple and straightforward enough but it is made using words chosen for the way in which sound echoes / supports meaning : The alliteration of ‘ripens’ and ‘rots’ at once establishes one process as an extension of the other and the softness of the rotting fruit is suggested by a mixture of alliteration and consonance using the soft sounds of m and s – mysterious..medlar..ripens..softens..rots..camembert..progress..mould’ . Beautifully done .

            But from there , the poem takes off in some surprising directions , skidding over Shakespeare ( you need to know your references – the poet does nothing to explain here ) and landing on a saucy seaside postcard of the kind typical of the cartoonist Bamforth . What has happened is that the shape of the fruit is being compared to those impossibly large and rounded buttocks so characteristic of Bamforth’s drawings . But for the effect of comic bathos , the comparison is almost worthy of one of the metaphysicals . If you don’t immediately get ‘holes’ , look at a picture of a medlar whilst the cartoon postcard is still in your mind…

            In the third verse , ‘slimy , slurpy process’ again works beautifully in terms of sound echoing meaning – but ‘blettir’ , the French verb for that process of decay , suddenly whisks the poet’s imagination away to France – and there are some very adroit bits of morphing here : rainfall…rain and footfall…rain ( in its pitter-patter sound ) suggesting drumming…. And having turned a very sharp corner of thought , there we are in the French revolution ( deftly hinted at by the ‘tumbril wheels’ ) with the decadent aristocracy beginning to steer us back towards medlars in being a ‘ripe and rotten group’ . The near repetition between verse 1 and verse 4 ( ripens / ripe , rots /rotten ) is quite deliberate .

            The colour of the flesh of the decaying medlar has already implicitly taken us towards blood ( the inferred guillotine executions ) but in the last verse we get a different colour-association – that of the garnet-stone , which surprisingly , in turn , leads us to medlar jelly , so that the process of decay does not end in mere annihilation but either in what is saved as ‘sweet for Spring’s return’ or in immediate sensual pleasure , juicily evoked in the squelchy sounds of ‘flesh’ and ‘luscious’ .

            The poem begins and ends with the fruit itself . In between , the poet’s imagination has taken us , in a mere nine lines or so , on a journey touching on Shakespeare , seaside postcards and the French revolution , all things connected with or developed from the treatment of the subject , though I quibble that Shakespeare – the name only – is a bit unfair on the reader : you either know the references or you don’t .

            My other slight quibble is that I wish the very last line ( containing the italicised title ) kicked back a little harder into what has been read earlier . But it is a finely written poem with images that are memorable because they  are fresh , original and surprising .

                       

 

Stunted

Reviewed by E. Russell Smith

 

One poet should not attempt to review ("critique?") the poem of another. If it is worthy of its calling, I immediately seize its theme and start to hang a poem of my own on the scaffolding it presents.

 

In "Stunted", Mandy's scaffolding is masterful. We are presented with a boy in a state of wonder, whose raven life is a mixture of sweets and abuse. We follow his growth into a resourceful and purposeful youth. The directions he has chosen are not to be admired, but to be understood. The engines of his motivation are a rock in his chosen wilderness, a penknife (requirement of every boy) and a fertile imagination. Confinement in a dustbin is artfully contrasted with the freedom we imagine on the moors. His friend and mentor is the Troll, as stunted and as lively as as himself.

 

This portrait requires only eighteen lines, and it is complete. Would I change anything? Probably some lineation, and elimination of the word "upon" in two places where it seems to serve only to preserve the iambic pentameter — the perfect rhythm for the oral reading which must always be a test of excellence. As usual, Mandy's poem succeeds in all respects.

 

 

Best After Frost:

Reviewed by Krystyna Hollis

 

I found this poem very accessible, radiating sight, smell and touch and historic resonance.

 

With an intimate gossip the poet shares with us how far the medlar fruit can extend

the senses. I wanted to inspect this fruit, to hold it in my hand, to absorb what the poet clearly feels and offers the reader; just as the freezing fruit releases its flavour.

 

We are not only invited into lascivious speculations and earthy imagery but also into a historical connection of a time when the dried blood from the French Revolution and the rain of Montmatre mingled.

 

Learn more about All the Invisibles here>

 

 

 

24 years in the making, poetry lovers, this is Afam Akeh’s ‘Letter Home & Biafran Nights’

LHBN VERSION 3 BROWN & BLACK

Stolen Moments published in 1988 showcased the matured muscular yet subtle voice of a brilliant African poet, Afam Akeh.

He has published several award-winning, high-impact poems in magazines and journals since then, and has read or workshopped his poetry at literary festivals and other poetry events in Nigeria and the United Kingdom. But the question on the lips of every lover of African poetry has been, ‘when will Afam Akeh publish his next collection?’.

Ladies and gentlemen, poetry lovers, after 24 years, the wait is finally over! Afam Akeh’s AFAM-AKEHlong-awaited new book, the most-anticipated poetry book by an African poet, Letter Home & Biafran Nights is set to be released on the 17th of December, 2012 by SPM Publications, a Sentinel Poetry Movement imprint with an increasing number of exciting authors in its books including Uche Nduka, Roger Elkin, Mandy Pannett, Brindley Hallam Dennis, Obemata and Sentinel founder, Nnorom Azuonye.

Letter Home & Biafran Nights. There is the sense in this work of an involved and inclusive poetry, revelling in the humour, play and beauty of experience but also revealing moments of heart-rending loss and unfulfilment… a sense of poetry as story, constructing meaning and plot from the connected roles and all-significant affairs of its staged players. The poems go beyond their detailed representations of dislocation, personal and collective conflicts, to point a determined finger at the fragile moments and relationships which enact them. There is here not so much faith in the untainted breath as assurance in the possibility of recovery. In the cast of vulnerable human – and occasional animal – characters we soon recognise the dog across our street or someone we know. We catch glimpses of our own dramatic and unsettled lives.

“I have committed the last 10 years of my life to the promotion of African literature. My mindset has been to bring the very best African writing into a kind of mainstream mix, where African writers are published side by side writers from other cultures. It is a thing of great pride and extraordinary significance that in the 10th year of Sentinel Poetry Movement we publish a book by Afam Akeh, a man who believed in the Sentinel vision from the beginning and who, in continuing belief in what we do, has now entrusted us with the work he has done in nearly a quarter of a century. This in itself is a great responsibility and we cherish the privilege.” 
   - Nnorom Azuonye, Publishing Director, SPM Publications.

You are invited to the Letter Home & Biafran Nights pages. Explore. Share. Buy the book.

LETTER HOME & BIAFRAN NIGHTS > http://www.sentinelpoetry.org.uk/publications/letter-home/index.html 

Sunday, 2 December 2012

SENTINEL LITERARY QUARTERLY POETRY & SHORT STORY COMPETITIONS (DECEMBER 2012)

...and now, people, the last Sentinel writing competitions of the year 2012. Let's close the year with resounding success.

Poetry Competition (December 2012) | Closing Date: 31-Dec-2012

Theme: Open

Length: 50 lines maximum (Excluding title)

Prizes: £150 (1st), £75 (2nd), £50 (3rd), £10 x 3 (High Commendation).

Fees: £3 per poem, or £11 for 4, £12 for 5, £16 for 7.

Publication: Yes. In Sentinel Literary Quarterly magazine.

Judge: NOEL WILLIAMS

Enter online or by post here.

 

Short Story Competition (December 2012) | Closing Date: 31-Dec-2012

 

Theme: Open

Length: 1,500 words maximum (Excluding title)

Prizes: £150 (1st), £75 (2nd), £50 (3rd), £10 x 3 (High Commendation).

Fees: £5 per story, or £8 for 2, £10 for 3, £12 for 4.

Publication: Yes. In Sentinel Literary Quarterly magazine.

Judge: CLARE GIRVAN

Enter online or by post here.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Uche Umez: Literary Africana: Sylva Nze Ifedigbo

Uche Umez: Literary Africana: Sylva Nze Ifedigbo: The Funeral Did Not End by Sylva Nze Ifedigbo is a collection of 20 short stories. Pius Adesanmi, author of You Are Not a Country, Africa...

Win a signed copy of Mandy Pannett’s ‘All the Invisibles’

ALL THE INVISIBLES is the new poetry collection by Mandy Pannett, published by SPM Publications, London.

Jackie Wills says “Light is threaded through Mandy Pannett's poems, along with a tantalising sense of individuals captured momentarily in many different landscapes, among them, the artists, Durer, Seurat, Monet and Ravilious.

Her language is visual and athletic with metaphor, she's drawn to lost traditions and phrases and brings them into the present with a playful sense of inquiry.

This book moves through a range of emotional states - all of them bittersweet: melancholy, change, curiosity - but Pannett is spare with words and her lines feel charged as a result. Expect to be startled by the images she creates, intrigued and excited by her talent for description and the insights her poems offer you, like delicious, rare fruit.”

To celebrate the publication of this book, SPM Publications will be giving away 2 signed copies of All the Invisibles. For a chance to win this book all you have to do is visit the All the Invisibles site here and write a review of any one or all three of poems featured there. The poems are Glancing at Labels, Stunted and Best After Frost.

Your review must be no longer than 800 words long. The best 10 reviews will be published in The Sentinelle, but two reviewers will receive signed copies of All the Invisibles.

Eligibility: This review competition is open to all, regardless of where you live. It is absolutely free to enter.

Closing Date: The reviews window is open for 7 days only. Get your review in before midnight on the 28th of November.

Results: Winners will be announced on the 10th of December 2012. So there is a chance you will receive the book for Christmas if you win.

Send all reviews to competitions@sentinelpoetry.org.uk in the subject line type ALL THE INVISIBLES REVIEWS COMPETITION

Best of luck.

READ POEMS FOR REVIEW HERE

 

Friday, 16 November 2012

14 DAYS LEFT TO ENTER SENTINEL ANNUAL POETRY & SHORT STORY COMPETITIONS 2012

Dear Sentinel writer & supporter

This is just a quick reminder that there are now only 14 day left to enter this year's Sentinel Annual Poetry and Short Story competitions. These two competitions offer a combined prize fund of £2000 plus publication of the winning and commended work. Here are the summaries once again:

SENTINEL ANNUL SHORT STORY COMPETITION 2012
CLOSING DATE: 30 NOVEMBER 2012
JUDGE: DAVID CADDY, Editor, Tears in the Fence
First Prize: £500
Second Prize: £250
Third Prize: £125
High Commendation: £25 x 5.
Fees: £5 per story (first 2 stories), £3.50 per story thereafter. Enter as many stories as you wish.
Results: To be announced 20th January, 2013
First Publication: The winning and commended stories will receive first publication in the Sentinel Champions section of Sentinel Literary Quarterly magazine in April 2013. All published authors will each receive a free contributor's copy.
For previously unpublished short stories in English Language up to 2000 words long, on any subject, in any style. Stories entered must not have been accepted for publication elsewhere. This is the maiden Sentinel Annual Short Story Competition, why not make history and be the first to win this competition?
Enter online or print off an Entry Form here:
http://www.sentinelpoetry.org.uk/sawc/2012/short-story.html
To enter by post, send your stories, together with your entry form or cover note and applicable fees to:
SENTINEL POETRY MOVEMENT
UNIT 136
113-115 GEORGE LANE
SOUTH WOODFORD
LONDON
E18 1AB
UNITED KINGDOM
All cheques or postal orders payable to SENTINEL POETRY MOVEMENT.


SENTINEL ANNUL POETRY COMPETITION 2012
CLOSING DATE: 30 NOVEMBER 2012
JUDGE: ROGER ELKIN, Author of Fixing Things. (Elkin is judging this competition for the 3rd time, after successful competitions in 2010 & 2011)
First Prize: £500
Second Prize: £250
Third Prize: £125
High Commendation: £25 x 5.
Fees: £5 per poem (first 2 poems), £3.50 per poem thereafter. Enter as many poems as you wish.
Results: To be announced 20th January, 2013
First Publication: The winning and commended poems will receive first publication in the Sentinel Champions section of Sentinel Literary Quarterly magazine in April 2013. All published authors will each receive a free contributor's copy.
For previously unpublished poems in English Language up to 60 lines long, on any subject, in any style. poems entered must not have been accepted for publication elsewhere.
Enter online or print off an Entry Form here:
To enter by post, send your poems, together with your entry form or cover note and applicable fees to:
SENTINEL POETRY MOVEMENT
UNIT 136
113-115 GEORGE LANE
SOUTH WOODFORD
LONDON
E18 1AB
UNITED KINGDOM
All cheques or postal orders payable to SENTINEL POETRY MOVEMENT.
 
Interview with Terry Jones

Terry Jones, the poet who won both the Bridport Poetry Prize and the Sentinel Annual Poetry prize in 2011 recently granted an interview to Sentinel Literary Quarterly.






Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Sentinel Annual Short Story Competition 2012 | Judge David Caddy

Judge: David Caddy
First Prize: £500
Second Prize: £250
Third Prize: £125
High Commendation: £25 x 5
Length of Stories: 2000 maximum
Closing date: 30 November 2012
Fees: £5 per story (first 2 stories), £3.50 per story thereafter. Enter as many stories as you wish.
Enter online or download Entry Form for postal entries at http://www.sentinelpoetry.org.uk/sawc/2012/short-story.html
Sentinel Annual Short Story Competition 2012 | Judge David Caddy

Saturday, 10 November 2012

SPECIAL E-BOOK OFFER! Buy the eBook version of Sentinel Champions #11 for just £1.49 and get issues #9 & #10 FREE!

SPECIAL E-BOOK OFFER!  Buy the eBook version of Sentinel Champions #11 for just £1.49 and get issues #9 & #10 FREE!

Authors featured in #11 include Bob Beagrie, Terry Jones, Oz Hardwick, Simon Jackson, Debbie Jay, Sarah Evans, Vedrana Mamula, Caroline Clark, Janet Eugenia Lynch, Robert J. Miles, Matt Bryden, Andy Humphrey, Amy Thomson, Michael Farry, Katrina Naomi, Andrew Brush, Annette Volfing, Shauna Gilligan. The 15 poems and 6 short stories in the magazine were chosen by Derek Adams and David Caddy - the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry and Short Story Competitions judges, January 2012.

This is a true champion read. Get yours now, it's only one quid & 49 pence (and you get the other two issues, including #9 featuring the 2011 Sentinel Annual Poetry Competition winning poem by Terry Jones.)

www.sentinelpoetry.org.uk/champions 
Sentinel Champions - The Sentinel Literary Quarterly Writing Competitions Magazine

Friday, 9 November 2012

21 DAYS LEFT TO ENTER THE SENTINEL ANNUAL POETRY & SHORT SHORY COMPETITIONS 2012

We have exactly 3 weeks to close the Sentinel Annual Poetry Competition (Judge: Roger Elkin, and Sentinel Annual Short Story Competition (Judge: David Caddy).

Closing date: 30th November 2012 Prizes in each category: £500 (first), £250 (second), £125 (third) and £25 x 5 (high commendation). That's a total of £2000 in prizes plus publication.

Entry fees: £5 per poem/story for first 2 entries, £3.50 per poem/story thereafter. Support these competitions by:

(a) entering your poems or short stories

(b) sharing the competition information on your facebook/twitter pages

(c) posting the information on your blog or website.

(d) send us addresses of people you know who might be interested. We will send them the competition info by e-mail. If they don't do emails, we will send information and entry forms by post. competitions@sentinelpoetry.org.uk

Enter online now, or download entry forms at www.sentinelpoetry.org.uk/sawc 

Please share freely. Thank you.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Current Sentinel Poetry & Short Story Competitions, Over £3200 in prizes.

Sentinel Poetry Movement has various writing competitions currently running in the genres of poetry and short stories with over £3,200 in cash prizes. Here are some details;

  1. Closing November 30th 2012: SENTINEL ANNUAL POETRY COMPETITION 2012.This competition is open to all writers from any part of the world. First Prize: £500, Second Prize: £250, Third Prize: £125, High Commendation: £25 x 5. All winning and commended poems will receive first publication in the Sentinel Champions section of Sentinel Literary Quarterly magazine. Judge: Roger Elkin. Fees: £5 per poem for first 2 poems, £3.50 per poem thereafter. Enter online or download entry form at http://www.sentinelpoetry.org.uk/sawc/2012/poetry.html

 

  1. Closing November 30th 2012: SENTINEL ANNUAL SHORT STORY COMPETITION 2012. This competition is open to all writers from any part of the world. First Prize: £500, Second Prize: £250, Third Prize: £125, High Commendation: £25 x 5. All winning and commended stories will receive first publication in the Sentinel Champions section of Sentinel Literary Quarterly magazine. Judge: David Caddy. Fees: £5 per story for first 2 stories, £3.50 per story thereafter. Enter online or download entry form at http://www.sentinelpoetry.org.uk/sawc/2012/short-story.html

 

  1. Closing November 30th 2012: SENTINEL NIGERIA ALL-AFRICA POETRY COMPETITION (NOVEMBER 2012).This competition is open to Africans living within or outside the continent. First Prize: N30,000, Second Prize: N20,000, Third Prize: N10,000, High Commendation: N4,000 x 3. All winning and commended poems will receive first publication in the Champions section of Sentinel Nigeria magazine. Judge: Chiedu Ezeanah. Fees: N450 per poem. Enter online at http://sentinelnigeria.org/online/sentinel-nigeria-all-africa-poetry-competition-november-2012/

 

  1. Closing November 30th 2012: SENTINEL NIGERIA ALL-AFRICA SHORT STORY COMPETITION (NOVEMBER 2012). This competition is open to Africans living within or outside the continent. First Prize: N30,000, Second Prize: N20,000, Third Prize: N10,000, High Commendation: N4,000 x 3. All winning and commended stories will receive first publication in the Champions section of Sentinel Nigeria magazine. Judge: Jude Dibia. Fees: N450 per story. Enter online at http://sentinelnigeria.org/online/sentinel-nigeria-all-africa-short-story-competition-november-2012/

 

  1. Closing December 31, 2012: SENTINEL LITERARY QUARTERLY POETRY COMPETITION (DECEMBER 2012). This competition is open to all writers from any part of the world. First Prize: £150, Second Prize: £75, Third Prize: £50, High Commendation: £10 x 3. All winning and commended poems will receive first publication in the Sentinel Champions section of Sentinel Literary Quarterly magazine. Judge: Noel Williams. Fees: £3 per poem, or £11 for 4, £12 for 5, £16 for 7, £22 for 10. Enter online or download entry form at http://sentinelquarterly.com/competitions/poetry/

 

  1. Closing December 31, 2012: SENTINEL LITERARY QUARTERLY SHORT STORY COMPETITION (DECEMBER 2012). This competition is open to all writers from any part of the world. First Prize: £150, Second Prize: £75, Third Prize: £50, High Commendation: £10 x 3. All winning and commended stories will receive first publication in the Sentinel Champions section of Sentinel Literary Quarterly magazine. Judge: Clare Girvan. Fees: £5 per story, or £8 for 2, £10 for 3, £12 for 4. Enter online or download entry form at http://sentinelquarterly.com/competitions/short-stories/

 

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Terry Jones wins SLQ Poetry Competition, September 2012

After winning the Bridport Prize for poetry in 2011, TERRY JONES went on to win the Sentinel Annual Poetry Competition, netting him, in addition to the literary honour, an amazing £5,500 in prize money. He followed that up with a second prize in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (January 2012) and now he has won the first prize in the September 2012 Sentinel Literary Quarterly Competition.

If you have not had a chance to read Terry's Sentinel Annual Poetry Competition winning poem 'The Causation of the Virgin Mother in a Tipperary Barn', why not take advantage of the 'Read our annual champions' promotion? This bundle offer gives you a choice of print or eBook copies of Sentinel Annual Literature Anthology (2011) and Sentinel Champions #9. Learn more here http://www.sentinelpoetry.org.uk/shop/sala-champ-offer.html

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Results & Judges’ Reports, Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry & Short Story Competitions, September 2012

We are pleased to announce the results of the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry and Short Story Competitions, September 2012. It feels great to find some names among the winners who have previously won a Sentinel competition or have been commended in one. We will continue to honour all the writers who support the Sentinel competitions with their work.

 

That so many of you, gifted writers from across the world still dip into your hard-earned money in these hard times to support our competitions is truly amazing. We will continue to treat you and your work with respect and as usual progress the winning and commended ones to publication.

 

SENTINEL LITERARY QUARTERLY POETRY COMPETITION,

SEPTEMBER 2012

 

Adjudication Report

 

This was a very hard competition to judge as the top 30 poems at least were of a very high standard. In the end though the winner was very clear to me – Roadworks takes us from a mundane moment through the substrata into the hidden city and into the submerged world of the imaginary - then back again. It’s ambitious, well-crafted and ultimately has the ability to astonish both in its shifting perspectives and in its language.

 

I picked all three top poems as they had this aspect to them – they take us from the mundane to the extraordinary, they are not afraid of the lyrical image, the language in them sings and for me in these dark times this is necessary - plain language that nails a truth is always welcome but we shouldn’t lose the aspect of the language that sings under pressure bequeathed to us by the likes of Dylan Thomas who is well due a re-evaluation.

 

This aspect was apparent in all three winners though they are also discursive and routed in a real moment. 23 Fitzroy Road moves so well from the pillowcases of the everyday to past satori to the rituals of the dead, Double Take plunges us through an Alice type mirror putting intense pressure on the discourses of an epiphanic moment.

 

The Highly commended are all fine and worthy of publishing – Omulungi Yani was impressive with its social intent and lyrical use of heteroglossia, Before Leaving Fort McMurray, Alberta creates an uneasy and beautiful moment of existential self-realisation in a specific and strange landscape and Reading Habits is an unflinching and well boiled down moment of mature judgement with one of the best anti-poetic first lines I’ve read.

 

The other 9 commended poems are all good publishable well-crafted poems in a variety of forms, potential winners and I really enjoyed reading them all.

 

Andy Willoughby

 

 

Commended

 

A Present – HAMUTAL BAR-YOSEF (Jerusalem, Israel)

1963 – SMH DAVIES (Hants. UK)

Stalker – SMH DAVIES (Hants. UK)

Sunday School – ANDY FAWTHROP (Wilts. UK)

Crack – ANDY FAWTHROP (Wilts. UK)

In the Tattoo Shop – MARGARET HOLBROOK (Cheshire, UK)

Stairs – MORWENNA JAMES (London, UK)

To the Supermarket with James – MARTIN WILDMAN (Devon. UK)

Look at Him – DAVID PAUL JONES (Winster. UK)

 

Highly Commended

 

Before Leaving Fort McMurray, Alberta – MEGAN REEVES (Ontario, Canada)

Reading Habits – DAVID CLARKE (Cheltenham, UK)

Omulungi Yani – MIGUEL SAPORTA (Almeria, Spain)

 

Third Prize

 

Double Take – STELLA WULF (Haute Garonne, France)

 

Second Prize

 

23 Fitzroy Road, Primrose Hill – SMH DAVIES (Hants. UK)

 

First Prize

 

Roadworks – TERRY JONES (Carlisle, UK)

 

 

SENTINEL LITERARY QUARTERLY SHORT STORY COMPETITION,

SEPTEMBER 2012

 

Adjudication Report

 

The first story I read set the bar very high and, perhaps as a result, I was able to arrive at a long list of thirteen stories relatively swiftly.  I was struck by how varied in subject and execution these stories were: their only common characteristic was the quality of the writing.  There were other stories that didn’t reach the long list that achieved a comparable degree of quality in places – and provided compelling evidence that their authors could really write – but what was missing from these, in most cases, was consistency.  They were let down by a loose sentence or paragraph here or a lazy cliché there, or by an ending that didn’t quite achieve the effect it aspired to.  Thus the standard of all thirteen stories on my long list really was very high, and it was with the task of arriving at a short list of six that the hard work really began.

 

I knew from an early stage in this process which story would be my winner, but there were more than two others that manifestly merited a prize.  After many readings my final seven stories were whittled down to six, and it then became a question of finding reasons not to place three from this number.  While this seemed a sensible approach in theory, in practice it proved to be more easily said than done.  In the end, I went for the stories that seemed to me to take the most delight in their use of language to achieve something truly original.

 

Highly commended stories

 

The Old Man from the Garden

 

I appreciated the subtle, understated way in which this story explored the abstract theme of virtue.  A sense of place was memorably evoked, the writing beautifully measured.

 

Just Enough Light

 

This story, through the accumulation of small, telling details, manages to convey a sense of a whole way of life in very few words.  The setting may be exotic but the message is a curiously familiar, almost universal one.

 

Obituary

 

The chummy, familiar tone of the narrator belies the dark heart of this story, which graphically and memorably documents the torment of wasted lives.  Obituary echoes with the loud ring of truth.

 

Third prize

 

Stump

 

A sense of menace and the expectation of evil are skilfully evoked in this story, mostly through reference to the physical features of the environment in which it is set.  There is nothing to prepare the reader for the final surprise, yet what is suggested in the last, telling sentence seems somehow incontrovertibly right and true.

 

Second prize

 

Mind the Gap

 

This was the most obviously ludic of the stories submitted, in that it played shamelessly with language and with the creative possibilities of the word gap, allowing an extraordinary range of reference in remarkably few words.  The story’s great achievement is to harness this exuberant wordplay into a compelling narrative.

 

First prize

 

The Decision

 

Beautifully written, technically assured, The Decision tells a painful story in language that is sharp, precise, pared to the bone.  Not a word is wasted here, every sentence, phrase and word playing its part in the achievement of an artfully achieved whole.  This is one of those stories you know will haunt you.  A very worthy winner.

 

Jeremy Page

26 October 2012

 

Highly Commended

 

The Old Man from the Garden – LEO MADIGAN (Portugal)

Just Enough Light – Mandy Huggins (Cleckheaton, UK)

Obituary – James Collett (Cheltenham, UK)

 

Third Prize

 

Stump – Brindley Hallam Dennis (Wigton, UK)

 

Second Prize

 

Mind the Gap – James Stark (Seattle, USA)

 

First Prize

 

The Decision – Virginia Winters (Ontario, Canada)

 

First publication

 

‘The Decision’, ‘Mind the Gap’, ‘Stump’, ‘Roadworks’, ’23 Fitzroy Road, Primrose Hill’, and ‘Double Take’ will appear in the Sentinel Champions section of Sentinel Literary Quarterly (Print & eBook only) in April 2013.

 

‘Before Leaving Fort McMurray’, ‘Reading Habits’, ‘Omulungi Yani’, ‘A Present’, ‘1963’, ‘Sunday School’, ‘Crack’, ‘In the Tattoo Shop’, ‘Stairs’, ‘Stalker’, ‘To the Supermarket with James’, ‘Look at Him’, The Old Man from the Garden’, ‘Just Enough Light’, and ‘Obituary’ will appear in the Sentinel Champions section of Sentinel Literary Quarterly magazine (Online & eBook only) in April 2013.

 

Formal notifications of achievement and publishing permissions will be sent to all winning and commended authors within 7 working days. Any question or clarification regarding publication, or any aspect of our competitions (except the judges’ decisions) should be sent by e-mail to Sandra Felix competitions@sentinelpoetry.org.uk

Friday, 12 October 2012

SENTINEL CHAMPIONS #11

Sentinel Champions #11
Features the winners and commended poems and short stories from the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry and Short Story Competitions (January 2012) judged by Derek Adams and David Cady respectively.

Edited by Nnorom Azuonye

POEMS
Terry Jones
Captain Nemo's Dinner
Oz Hardwick
Passing Over
Matt Bryden
Bike 
Robert J. Miles
Italics
Listen Up
Andy Humphrey
Sugar
Arctic Terns
Simon Jackson
Still Life
Amy Thomson
Archeology
Michael Farry
Railway Lines
Katrina Naomi
The South
Andrew Brush
Pencil Sharpener
Bob Beagrie
When a Sound Pretends to Kick a Bucket
Annette Volfing
Why Can't You?
SHORT STORIES
Sarah Evans The First Time
Debbie Jay Living in Bleaney's Room
Shauna Gilligan The Lift
Caroline Clark The Difference
Janet Eugenia Lynch Pews for Thought
Vedrana Mamula Small Town Fever
REPORTS
Judges' reports on the poetry and short story competitions.

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