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Poetry Book Cover No Horses, Malkin, The River

Waxing lyrical about poetry

The third category for the Sixth International Hysteria Writing Competition is poetry. That means a poem with the very loose theme “things of interest to women.” Oh, and a maximum of twenty lines, not including spaces. Our writer in residence Alex Reece Abbott has asked some award-winning poets and judges from around the world to share their best pointers for writing poetry for her post this month – big thanks go to the fabulous Frankie McMillan; Camille Ralphs; Jane Clarke and Aki Schilz for their support and valuable insights.

Camille has also kindly shared a poetry generator, so even if you’ve never written a poem before, there’s plenty of ideas to get you started for our deadline of August 31 2017. You can enter the poetry category on the Hysteria website.

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What are your intentions? by Sophie Duffy

Whatever you are writing for this competition, make sure your piece has honourable intentions. By this I mean, make sure your entry has a point, a story, something to say. A competent use of grammar, a way with words, a quirky style is a good start, but it isn’t enough. You need to leave the judges with an impression that is hard to shake. You need to give your piece of writing a life that will go on after they have finished reading.

Here’s a few things to think about when starting out or redrafting.

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That elusive thing: subtext, Sophie Duffy

For this blog I want to talk about that elusive thing: subtext.

Subtext is the magic ingredient that can add layers and depth to any piece of writing. It can make your story, flash, or poem rise like a fluffy fairy cake. Without it, your story, flash, or poem, might just remain flat, with or without a soggy bottom. (Yes, that is a really bad metaphor but imagery and symbolism have their part to play in subtext, to which I will return.)

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