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

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.





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





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)






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.




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




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

Friday, 12 October 2012


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

Terry Jones
Captain Nemo's Dinner
Oz Hardwick
Passing Over
Matt Bryden
Robert J. Miles
Listen Up
Andy Humphrey
Arctic Terns
Simon Jackson
Still Life
Amy Thomson
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?
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
Judges' reports on the poetry and short story competitions.

Buy this magazine

Friday, 5 October 2012



We are pleased to announce the list of contributors to be included in the Sentinel Annual Literature Anthology (SALA) 2012.



Edited by Nnorom Azuonye


RANI DREW - Eggs for Education

AFRICA UKOH - God for Sale

JOHN BYRNE - Providence

NNOROM AZUONYE - This Thing Called Black

ISAAC OGEZI – Who Will Love My Son?



Edited by Amanda Sington-Williams


ROME ABOH – One Friday

SYLVA NZE IFEDIGBO – Will You Hug Me Today?



LOUISE PESKETT – All the Simple Things



TEMITAYO OLOFINLUA – Waiting for a Lottery

MAEVE HENRY – Saturdays, Always the Same

RANI DREW – The Habitat





Edited by Unoma Azuah


ERNST MORAWETZ – A Bright Morning

ANDY N – Journey

ANULI ABRAHAMS – I Have not been Built by Human Hands


                         – Prayer

JENNIE OWEN – Machinist

                          – Fickle Heart


                           – Holkham

JOHN STOCKS – Last Man Standing

MAEVE HENRY – Playtime

BYRON BENYON – The California Condor


MICHAEL TREACY – Contrasting World

SARA-MAY TUSON – Diddle, Diddle

                                  - The World is a Burial Ground (I)

HAJO ISA – Silent Page

DAVID OSU – Scarscape

EMMANUELLA NDUONOFIT – Incarcerated in Parenthesis

GREG MOORE – Complexion

JUMOKE VERISSIMO – Redemption Call


TADE IPADEOLA – Signs of the Times: Parts 5,6 & 7

CHRIS ABANI – Refugees

UNOMA AZUAH – Mauritania

ANGELA A. NWOSU – Listless


DILIZA L. MADIKIZA – Somersaulting Sands

TERRY JONES – The Dog Eating the Dictionary

TONGO EISEN MARTIN – For Revere and Lane


Sentinel Annual Literature Anthology 2012 – edited by Nnorom Azuonye, Unoma Azuah and Amanda Sington-Williams is due out on the 1st December 2012 scheduled to coincide with the 10th Anniversary celebrations of Sentinel Poetry Movement.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

State of the Movement News–September 2012

This is a repost of the newsletter sent out to our members on 29th September 2012
1.   Sentinel Champions Magazine
2.   Archiving the Sentinel Literature Festival
3.   SPM Publications Titles
4.   Current Sentinel Writing Competitions
There are changes to the Sentinel Champions, the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Writing Competitions magazine.
The delayed Issue #11 which was due on the 25th of August will be published on the 10th of October, and will be the last Sentinel Champions magazine published it its current form.
What should have been published on the 25th of November 2012 as Issue #12 will be published on the 31st of October as a section in Sentinel Literary Quarterly magazine.
The Sentinel Champions section of Sentinel Literary Quarterly will feature only the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize winners in each category of poetry and short stories in the print version. These poems and stories will not be available online.  The Highly Commended and Commended poems and stories will appear only in the online version of the magazine.
The Sentinel Literary Quarterly will also be available as an eBook and this eBook will feature all winning and commended work from the competitions.
All authors published in the print version of the magazine shall receive free contributors’ copies, while the eBook shall be made available free of charge to all contributors.
As part of our restructuring of Sentinel Poetry Movement to create a leaner, fitter organisation, the Sentinel Literature Festival which was due to return in October 2013 will now be archived permanently.
We wish to focus on publishing books and magazines. The only live events we shall organise henceforth will be book launches, or reading tours for our authors.
Books published by SPM Publications available for immediate purchase are:
1.   Sentinel Annual Literature Anthology an anthology of Poems, Short Stories and Plays edited by Unoma Azuah, Amanda Sington-Williams and Nnorom Azuonye.
2.   The Bridge Selection: Poems for the Road by Nnorom Azuonye. This is the 2nd edition of the second book of poems by the founder of Sentinel Poetry Movement.
Forthcoming titles.
We have a range of titles due out this year before Christmas for which we had earlier dates announced. These dates have been revised in line with our program for this year as follows:
1.    Marking Time – a collection of poems by Roger Elkin. 25th October, 2012.
2.    The Candles - a play by Uche-Chinemere Nwaozuzu. 1st November, 2012.
3.    All the Invisibles – a collection of poems by Mandy Pannett . 15th November, 2012
4.    Sentinel Annual Literature Anthology 2012 – edited by Nnorom Azuonye, Unoma Azuah and Amanda Sington-Williams. 1st December 2012 scheduled to coincide with the 10th Anniversary celebrations of Sentinel Poetry Movement.
Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (September 2012)
Prizes: £150, £75, £50, 3 x £10
Entry Fees: £3 for 1 poem, £11/4 poems, £12/5 poems.
Judge: Andy Willoughby
Closing on the 30th September 2012
Sentinel Literary Quarterly Short Story Competition (September 2012)
Prizes: £150, £75, £50, 3 x £10
Entry Fees: £5 for 1 story, £8/2 stories, £10/3 stories, £12/4 stories.
Judge: Jeremy Page
Closing on the 30th September 2012
Sentinel Nigeria All-Africa Poetry Competition (November 2012)
Open to all professional and amateur writers from Africa living within or outside the continent.
Prizes: N35,000.00, N20,000.00, N10,000.00, 3 x N4,000.00
Entry Fees: N450/£2.50/$3.95 per poem.
Judge: Chiedu Ezeanah
Closing date: 30th November 2012
Sentinel Nigeria All-Africa Short Story Competition (November 2012)
Open to all professional and amateur writers from Africa living within or outside the continent.
Prizes: N35,000.00, N20,000.00, N10,000.00, 3 x N4,000.00
Entry Fees: N450/£2.50/$3.95 per story.
Judge: Jude Dibia
Closing date: 30th November 2012
Sentinel Annual Poetry Competition 2012
Open to all.
Prizes: £500, £250, £125, 5 x £25
Entry Fees: £5 per poem for the first 2 poems, £3.50 per poem thereafter.
Judge: Roger Elkin
Closing on the 30th November 2012
Sentinel Annual Short Story Competition 2012
Open to all.
Prizes: £500, £250, £125, 5 x £25
Entry Fees: £5 per story for the first 2 stories, £3.50 per story thereafter.
Judge: David Caddy
Closing on the 30th November 2012
If you have any questions about any aspect of this newsletter, please do not hesitate to contact us at