We're excited to announce that celebrated poet Paul Sutherland has joined the judging panel in the Poetry Category in the 2020 Hammond House International Literary Competition! Originally from Ontario, Canada, Paul moved to the UK in 1973, and has published twelve collections of poetry, including his monumental New and Selected Poems in September 2016 and his latest collection Children's Routes and Red Streamers, which is now available via Barnes and Noble for Canadian and American readers.
Hammond House Team member Alex recently caught up with him to find out what he's looking for in the upcoming competition.
As a judge, what are you looking for in a short story? On the surface the theme Survival seems self-evident, but I'll be looking for a poem which shocks me with new insights into the meaning of the word. I'll be judging on the basis of the quality of the writing, but also on the level the poem challenges my own thinking and outlook. I want to learn something as well as being delighted by great poetic style, imagery and nuance.
What advice would you give to people entering the 2020 competition? Try to find a unique angle on the topic, Survival. Consider the idea of survival in its widest possible dimensions. Before you submit your work read it out loud to yourself to find those rough areas or mis-spellings and weak grammatical patches. Try to make what you submit as good as possible. Hire an editor if necessary.
Feeling inspired? Our 2020 competition finishes on the 30th September, so there's still plenty of time to get your entries in. Find out more and enter here.