Wow! We asked for your Voices of War and boy did you give them to us. We had cackles, croaks, yells,whispers, and roars of every hue. We received nearly 300 entries and the theme of conflict took us into every conceivable sphere of war and peace and many which we could never have conceived of at all.
The range of ideas expressed through the entries were utterly compelling. Some took war into the formal stage and gave us the tragic odes of soldiers marching home, of commanders sending their men forward. We had poems and stories written from the perspective of unexploded land mines, of guns being passed around troops and even specks of sand trodden down in the desert heat.
We had jungle warfare; civic warfare-political warfare. But so too did we get the strains of family tension, from cultural fall-out, loneliness and depression, and simple revenge stories. We had mother’s slapping children and father’s fighting for justice,. We had children watching television, trying to make sense of the news, and we had the pain of losing loved ones.
In short, we had everything. Every possible song of conflict. Thank you to all those who entered and commiserations to those who haven’t made our extended shortlist-perhaps that should be longlist-but please do send us more stories and we will at the very least read them.
The Winner, and collecting a £500 cheque ( we changed the prize structure), is Maria Ramirez for her breath-taking poem The Guns of Neverhome.
Deciding on the runners-up was no easy task as a shortlist of fifteen entries were passed around the judging table. However, 2nd-5th places (£100 each) were awarded to Brian Jonas, for Clearance, Clare McClaren for Stop, Look, Kill, Josie Edwards for The Looting and John Engleton for The Violin Which Can-not Cease
But there’s more…..
Given the overall standard of entries we decided to alter the prize scheme a little and our future competitions will probably reflect this new prize structure. Two £50 prizes are offered to Joyce Harrison for Birmingham, Birmingham and Bernard Graham for Desert Spoon and five £20 prizes shall be awarded to Olga Tennyson (Dream Wine), Francis Farringdon (Sisterly Love), Ryan Ogilvie (When the Dead Keep Comin‘), Pauline Rennie ( Who Trod on My Mother’s Grave)and Susan Graham (The Fierce).
The Best of the Rest……..
To make the competition more inclusive and since the traditionally prize structure left little room to award honourable mentions we have awarded five pounds to twenty five ”runners-up’ of the runners-up” . They include the following people;
Humphrey Dennis, Did You See the Fire Too?
Jake Croughton, The Ides of Ideas
M Beh Mum Mod Conflict
Ute Carson, Despair
Kate Smyth, Death Dance
Bruce Rayance, Drip, Drip, Dead
Holly Chapman, What Women Want
Mohammed Naqvi, Hurt
Huw Dean, Poison Poem
Rex Harrison, The Reality of History
Rachel Burns Flashing Lights
Byrdie Youngman, The Ocean of Expectations
Perdita Stott, Wait til We Get Home
Callum Watt, The Inevitable
Shia Khan, O Sound You Furies
Angela Perkins, Climbing Mountains
Jim Bishop, At Calumnity Falls
Grace Rooney, Platoon 6; Division 5
Sarah Wadessen, Lest We Remember
Liam Carness, Earth Scream
Mike Berger, Ticket Home
Davina Johnson, The Frozen Chosen
Mary Brown, There is a Mound of Mud Around Here
Lucy Langridge; Smoke ‘Em
Barbara-Jean Shearer, I Used to Cook Oat Cakes for Him
All winners will be contacted shortly to make appropriate payment which will likely take the form of simple bank transfers.
We are working towards some kind of anthology, even if it is only in e-book form, but we can make no announcement yet as to when it may be made available. Given the likely amount of entries for our 28/7/2014 competition, winning entries of our Voices of War and Student Poetry competitions may be included in that anthology instead.
Safe to say Bard and Muse are both recovering from the havoc of the judging process and also gearing up to the 28/7/2014 competition, full details of which are available under the 28/7/2014 tab.
Bard and Muse’s Voices of War Story Competition; What exactly is it and who is it for?
Voices of War is a writing competition with a difference. For it considers both ‘voice’ and ‘war’ in the widest, most imaginative sense. Voices of War is not especially for the frontline soldier or the medic rescuing an amputee( though both are of course eminently eligible to enter). It is not even necessarily for those who’ve witnessed acts of terrorism or violent protest ( though, again, we welcome such entrants) Rather, ‘Voices’ is concerned with the unreported, under-exposed, under-heard voice of contemporary conflict.
What exactly constitutes contemporary conflict? Well that depends on what your voice has to say. It could be concerned with the role of modern media or the challenges of global terrorism, religious divide, information wars- it could be about the workplace or domestic living. It could be a lament on the surfeit of computer-generated personalities in a computer-generated world. Modern conflict is everywhere.
It can be found in our banks; our politicians; our rich and our poor; It’s in the Somali pirate waiting in the rushes, it’s in the race riots racing through our streets; its in our protest outside St Paul’s and our fair-trade coffee our supermarkets. Look around you; find the conflict. The only proviso Bard and Muse places is that your ‘voice of war’ sings an ode to contemporary British conflict.
Who is Voices for? Absolutely everybody. Bard and Muse demands a cacophony of shouts, whispers, shrieks and cries. Voices of War wants the Dulce et Decorum’s of modern British society, where the corners of some modern conflict remain forever England. Voices is a writing competition which intends to release the chords of conflict too often hushed.
The Competition; The idea behind Voices and the subsequent anthology is to reveal the varying aspects of the ‘British’ experience of modern conflict- from the soldier to the widow to the student to the web designer to the humble plumber. Direct/Indirect involvement in warfare is no prerequisite for entry; having an interesting thing to say about contemporary conflict is.
Bard and Muse are welcoming poems, short stories, memoirs, essays, rants, anecdotes and any other form of literature. We are also including photos and captions for those who have graphic images of personal conflict zones to submit.There are no world limits in that your writing can take you anywhere it may so long as conflict reigns there. However, a word limits of 300o words for stories or 50 lines for poetry should be observed. Please submit your entry to email@example.com
Please read the Submission Guidelines tab for full details of Bard and Muse’s Voices of War writing competition.