“I’ve given up sending things to writing competitions,” said Steve Scholey. “When I send them off, they disappear and nothing ever happens.”
I was shocked. Steve had read an amazing poem at Winchester Writers conference’s open mic. It was clear to me that he was an amazing poet.
I was also shocked that he was letting the loneliness of the long distance writer stop him. I pushed my chair’s card into his hand and unleashed my best uplifting talk. I think he promised to send something in, just so he could go home.
The next week a breathtaking poem called Grubby Fingers was entered into Andover’s poetry competition. 3 months later, he won and since then he’s been to Andover at least 3 times to perform, twice in front of the mayor.
Small threads. This is what I want you to take away from this
1) When you are at Winchester Writers conference, you may be talking to your next big career break. Winchester Open Mic is where I go to check out poets and writers for our upcoming projects.
2) Send out everything (just not the first draft).
3) Enter our poetry competition because you could win.
4) Enter our poetry competition because you go on display even if you don’t win.
5) Every writer needs a writing buddy or a good friend to talk to for writing support.
6) Did I mention Winchester Writers conference has given many people the break in their career? Oh yeah, well it’s true.
This year Winchester Writers conference is June 21st-22nd-23rd at The University of Winchester. You can find our poetry competition under the Projects menu, title poetry. Steve’s winning poem is just below his picture.
Steve reading out his poetry at Andover Celebration of National Poetry Day
She gathered up the ashes
of the spade,
the garden fork,
carefully planted roses
in the shed,
stamped on her
than was perhaps
and a full bucket of water
into the foot
of each green
as it trickled from holes
altogether wider and deeper
than the muddied recollections
of her father,
her tear-stained eyes
in her own deep pocket,
in the hope that
they might grow,
with grubby fingers
at her clean white handkerchief.