Competition

Spectator competition winners: topical sea shanties

27 February 2021 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3187 you were asked to provide a sea shanty on a topical theme. This challenge was an…

Spectator competition winners: mischievous acrostics

20 February 2021 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3186 you were invited to supply an acrostic poem praising or dispraising a public figure, in which…

Spectator competition winners: ‘England in 2021’ (sonnets after Shelley)

13 February 2021 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3185 you were invited to compose a sonnet called ‘England in 2021’. The challenge was inspired by…

Spectator competition winners: jokes in verse form

6 February 2021 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3184 you were invited to tell a joke in verse form. This challenge, suggested by a reader…

Spectator competition winners: adverbial short stories

30 January 2021 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3183 you were invited to submit a short story entitled ‘My Year of Living [insert adverb of…

Spectator competition winners: Edward Lear and Pam Ayres write dirges

23 January 2021 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3182 you were invited to rewrite a famous piece of light verse with a dirge-like, hieratic tone…

Spectator competition winners: publishers rejecting literary classics

16 January 2021 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3181 you were invited to submit a letter by a publisher rejecting a well-known literary classic. The…

Belloc-esque cautionary tales for our times

9 January 2021 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3180 you were invited to submit a Belloc-esque cautionary tale featuring a high-profile public figure. Cautionary Tales…

Christmas hits rewritten as sonnets

19 December 2020 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3179 you were invited to submit a Christmas hit single rewritten as a sonnet. This seasonal challenge…

What the Dickens

12 December 2020 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3178 you were invited to submit an extract from a Dickensian novel based around the name of…

What Mr Micawber thinks of Charles Dickens

5 December 2020 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3177 you were invited to submit a well-known fictional person’s view of their author. Highlights in a…

Spectator competition winners: letters to cities

28 November 2020 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3176 you were invited to write a poem to a city. This challenge was inspired by both…

‘This Be The Prequel’ (and other poetic prequels)

21 November 2020 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3175 you were invited to submit a prequel to a well-known poem. C. Paul Evans’s opening to…

Spectator competition winners: poems for a qwerty keyboard

14 November 2020 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3174 you were invited to write a poem in which each line begins with the letters A…

Spectator competition winners: deflationary couplets

7 November 2020 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3173 you were invited to give a fresh twist to a well-known single line of poetry by…

‘Today we have naming of tiers…’: poems about coronavirus messaging

31 October 2020 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3172 you were invited to submit a poem about the government’s coronavirus messaging. Many of you, nudged…

Economies of scale

24 October 2020 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3171, a challenge suggested by a kind reader, you were invited to submit a requiem in verse…

Spectator competition winners: Shakespeare lays down the law

17 October 2020 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3170, a challenge inspired by Shelley’s assertion that ‘poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world’, you…

Keats and Covid: poems about autumn

10 October 2020 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3169 you were invited to submit a poem about autumn in which the last letter of each…

Famous writers on the art of saying no

3 October 2020 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3168 you were invited to compose a response on the part of a well-known writer to an…

Spectator competition winners: the pleasures of bad poetry

26 September 2020 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3167 you were invited to submit a rhymed poem that is leadenly prosaic in tone and content.…

Spectator competition winners: poems in praise of naked cyclists

19 September 2020 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3166 you were invited to supply a poem either celebrating or lamenting the cancellation of Philadelphia’s annual…

Spectator competition winners: Would you give Anne Boleyn a job?

12 September 2020 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3165 you were invited to supply a job reference for a well-known public figure, past or present,…

Spectator competition winners: patchwork poetry

5 September 2020 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3164 you were invited to submit a poem in which each line comes from a different well-known…

Paradise Lost in four lines

29 August 2020 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3163 you were invited to submit well-known poems encapsulated in four lines. Now that the internet has…