Poetry Competition 2024

We welcomed Mary-Jane Holmes as our adjudicator this year. She had obviously put a great deal of thought into the task and did a very thorough job. Before announcing her decision, she read out each of the poems submitted and gave a detailed critique. A written version was also attached to each entry for the poet to peruse at leisure later on.

Charlotte Wilson (pictured above receiving the trophy from Mary-Jane) came first with ‘Pond Life’. Sheila Whitfield was in second place with ‘Inland Dreams’ and Kate Swann came third with ‘On the Scales for Grandad’.  Mary-Jane congratulated everyone who had entered the competition.  With a high standard overall, the great variety of themes and styles had made choosing the winners difficult.

After the adjudication, Mary-Jane answered questions about her own work and poetry in general.

From her bio: Mary-Jane Holmes wanders and writes in the wilds of Upper Teesdale. She has garnered many awards including winning the Bridport Poetry prize, the Writer’s Digest poetry competition, the Live Canon Poetry Pamphlet Prize, Bath Novella-in-Flash Prize, , Martin Starkie, Dromineer, Reflex Fiction and Mslexia Flash prize as well as the Bedford Poetry competition. She has  been shortlisted for the Beverley International Prize for Literature and longlisted for the UK National Poetry Prize twice. Mary-Jane’s poetry collection Heliotrope with Matches and Magnifying Glass is published by Pindrop Press. Her pamphlet Dihedral is published by Live Canon Press and her novella Don’t Tell the Bees, is published by AdHoc Fiction. Her Lockdown poem ‘Letter from Baldersdale’ joins 20 other poems in the National Poetry Archive on their 20th anniversary. Her collection of Flash Fiction was published by V press in 2021 and was shortlisted for the Eyelands Literary prize in 2023.

Her work appears in a variety of publications including Aesthetica. Magma, Modern Poetry in Translation, Mslexia, The Lonely Crowd, Prole The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, and in anthologies including Best Small Fictions 2014/16/18/20  and Best Microfictions 2020.

She has an MA (Distinction) in Creative Writing from Kellogg College, Oxford and has been awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Council studentship to complete a PhD in poetry and translation at Newcastle University. UK.

 New Collection of Short Fiction: Set a Crow to Catch a Crow



Our friendly group meets once a fortnight at the St Wilfred's Community Centre on Trinity Lane and is always open to new members from the Ripon area and beyond. Whether your interest is in poetry or prose, novels, short stories, plays, wacky humour, a more analytical style of writing, or just listening for the time being, you're very welcome.

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