Wednesday, December 16, 2009

New deadline for poetry comp

The Bank Street Writers' International poetry Competition will now close on JANUARY 31ST so you have a few more weeks to send in those winning entries.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Poetry Competition

Now is the time to earn some serious dosh for Christmas or Divali or whatever...

Bank Street Writers
International Poetry
Competition 2009

Poems up to 40 lines, any subject and style.

Judge: Pat Winslow

Closing Date: 31st December 2009

Cash Prizes: 1st £75 2nd £50 3rd £25

All winning entries will be published in the internationally circulating "Current Accounts" magazine. Some commended entries may also be published at the editor’s discretion. A free copy of “Current Accounts” will be sent to each entrant whose work is published.

Please send your poems, fees and entry forms to:

Bank Street Writers Poetry Competition 2009,
Jolyon Coombs, 37, Carslake Avenue, Bolton BL1 4BT


• Poems must be in English, must be unpublished and must not have won a prize in any other competition.
• They must be typed or word-processed, with the title at the top of the page, but the entrant's name must not appear on the poem itself.
• A completed entry form must be enclosed with each entry or set of entries.
• Entry fees: £3.00 sterling for the first entry, £2.00 for each subsequent entry by the same person. (Cheques payable to "Bank Street Writers".)
Winners will be notified by 1st February 2010. No person may receive more than one prize. The judge’s decisions will be final and no correspondence will be entered into. Manuscripts will not be returned - please keep a copy.
Please enclose an s.a.e. marked “R” if you wish to receive details of the results.

Many thanks to our sponsor, Sweetens Bookshop, Bolton.


To: Bank Street Writers Poetry Competition 2009,
Jolyon Coombs, 37, Carslake Avenue, Bolton, BL1 4BT



I wish to enter the Bank Street Writers Poetry Competition 2009 and enclose £............ payable to "Bank Street Writers" (£3.00 for the first entry, £2.00 for each subsequent entry). I accept the Conditions of the Competition.

signed…………………………………………… date………………………

(continue overleaf if necessary)

This form may be photocopied if required
Please ensure that you have completed all necessary sections!

Monday, June 29, 2009


Somewhere between saffron and terracotta
but south of tangerine the patchouli of a smile
slips soft into this slowing evening
folds into a harmony of
synaptic electric blue
and dorian aquamarine
lifts the last hours of the day
out of the dove and the slate and the jet
up into amethyst cobalt
delphinium cornflower
the warmer blues of connection.

Reflections of barley lampshades
khaki washed Rodins float on
midnight indigo outside the
panoramic window whilst inside
champagne shadows blur into
the lamplight mute the knifed angles
the harsh ivory cornices
the razor-edged leaves of a plant
that hears everything in emerald
and the smile shimmers
reverberates golden through the night.

Short Story Comp Results

Bank Street Writers
International Short Story Competition 2009 Results
Judged by Gaye Gerrard
Well-known Lancashire writer, broadcaster and publisher

1st Prize: £75.00

‘Making Sense Of It,’ by Joan V. Park

Judge’s Comment
This is a powerful and poignant story of commonplace experiences told with intensity and clarity. It is enriched by the poetic style and a light touch of humour.

2nd Prize: £50.00

‘Talking to Maurice’ by Brindley Hallam Dennis

Judge’s Comment
The simplicity of this story is captivating. Gentle irony and pathos are combined beautifully in its unexpected ending

3rd Prize: £25.00

‘Cohen’s Legacy’ by Charlotte Matthews

Judge’s Comment
The structure is unusual and the reader is drawn quickly into this compelling piece. The ominous refrain contributes to the mounting tension as the story moves inexorably towards it disturbing conclusion

Highly Commended:

‘Still The same Old Catherine’ by Judy Walker

Judge’s Comment
Reversals of roles and emotional challenges within a mother/daughter relationship are explored in this story. It is both light-hearted and profound.

The above will be published in the Autumn edition of Current Accounts magazine.

A prizegiving celebration will be held at Tuesday 11th August at Sweetens Bookshop in Bolton to which all are invited. Our thanks to all who entered.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Poésie de foie gras

The voices of my education
cajoled coerced caned me until Yes
I remembered Adlebloodystrop and could
parrot a wet sheet and a flowing sea as
I walked beside the fag factory where
all our mothers worked
as I listened
with a host of phantom listeners
to gold flake accents on black and white TVs
on black and brown radios
as I repeated the lines of an
elegy in an outside toilet that left the
world to darkness and to me.

Such a pilgrimage were not sweet
it was the worst of times
facing the true north of cliché and predictability
in the old dispensation
with alien teachers clutching their gods
and us leaning cool on the wire fence
standing on our tongues
as the girls wiggled past
drinking anything
in pubs and cafés as we smoked our youth
spoke of novelists
musicians playwrights. But poets?

They were all dead and
would have conveniently remained so
if I had listened to the voices of
my accursed education:
understanding is clever
provided you understand
in one particular way which
in your particular case
will be denied to you.
So I struggled with
the naming of parts
had nightmares about vorpal blades
and wondered how the hell
eye could rhyme with symmetry.

Waiting is hardest when you are
all eager for the treat but not sure
what you are waiting for
but the weather as always
turned around I saw through
the folly of their understanding
missed fewer chances with the lords of life
realising that a cloud is never lonely
wrapping my tears in an ellum leaf
and delaying the deadly onset of
cyrrhosis of the ego.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

International Short Story Competition

Bank Street Writers International Short Story Competition is now open with prizes of £75 £50 and £25. With a 1500 word limit and a deadline of 1st June 2009, this competition usually attracts a large entry and winning it is indeed a sign of literary eminence. Most British writing groups will be sent entry forms but a copy can also be obtained from fjameshartnellATaolDOTcom (replacing the capitals with the usual signs).

There should also be copies of the entry form on the Bank Street website ( ) and on the Write Out Loud website (

Happy Writing!