I entered a poetry competition a few days ago, the Poetry on the Lake one, which is based in Lake Orta in the north of Italy.
And in the next day or two, I’ll send in my entry for a new competition organised by the Times Literary Supplement.
This latter competition is interesting because, if you get on the shortlist (a big if, I know), the winners are decided by the votes of TLS readers – both the paper version and online. I don’t know of any other competition that is decided in such a way. The danger is that people will vote for their friends, or for famous names, or for people who can attract lots of Internet votes. But the idea of judging being done by people interested in literature, and not necessarily having contemporary poetry first on their list of likes, is worth trying. Especially if the poems are good and help poets gain new readerships.
I suspect the competition will attract many thousands of entries, so getting on the shortlist of 10 or so will be a hell of a job.
I don’t enter many competitions, but now and again I feel the need to have a shot – just in case.