So I didn’t get anywhere in the Katherine Mansfield Short Story Competition for the tenth year running. I think they should have a special tenacity prize for those writers who come back year after year “without hope, without despair”. Congratulations to Julian Novitz, though, for scooping the big one. I saw him on the TV and he looked like a nice guy who deserved a break. Is that at all relevant in a competition based on merit? Well, when you are one of the legion of losers looking on – yes, it is.

I also didn’t win the Bravado Poetry Competition. I did place though – a ‘highly commended’. The Bravado Competition is a rare and wonderful one, because unlike most competitions where a ‘highly commended’ is the equivalent of a pat on the head from a distant relative…this one gives the highly commendeds a cash prize! Woop! So as well as being in the fine company of winners Michael Harlow, Tim Jones and Sue Wootton (congratulations to those three – I know Tim, at least pops in here from time to time) – I’ve won enough to treat myself a book or two and (if I buy poetry) perhaps even a flat white.

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