Second Light Poetry Competition for Long and Short Poems by Women 2017 – RESULTS

This year’s Judge is Myra Schneider. Our thanks to Myra and to all who submitted poems. Congratulations to our winners: Jill Eulalie Dawson (1st, Long Poem), Mary Robinson (1st, Short Poem), Liz Diamond and Shirley Wright (each awarded a 2nd prize – as our judge concluded that neither should be downgraded to 3rd!); and to all those Commended and Shortlisted (full list below).
The adjudication event took place during the Autumn Festival (17th & 18th November 17), with readings by the judge and those winning poets able to attend. The Judge’s comment is published, along with the Winning and Commended poems (in full or extract), in ARTEMISpoetry Issue 19 (November 2017).
Full Results:

1st Prize, Long Poem Category: Mole, Jill Eulalie Dawson
1st Prize, Short Poem Category: Six Studies of Pillows, Mary Robinson
2nd Prizes, An Inuit Father Tells His Son the Story of the Ghost Ship, Liz Diamond
and Warfare. Somewhere., Shirley Wright
Read the Poems as they appear in ARTEMISpoetry Issue 19 (pdf)
Bipolar planet, Jill Boucher
Without weather, Hilaire
How Long Is Not Long?, Daphne Gloag
Woman in Blue Reading a Letter, Nicolette Golding
Clustog fair, Mary Robinson
The Witch, Her Book, Martha Street
Watch, Carol Beadle
In Her 75th Year She Discovers Daisies, Chris Considine
The Solace of Bearings, Sue Davies
Clay, Alyss Dye
Time Lines, Margaret Eddershaw
Hail, Sisters of the Revolution, Caroline Gilfillan
In the Cemetery of the Insane Paupers, Louise Green
Under the Bed, Justina Hart
On Looking into the Faces of Mushrooms, Carolyn King
Such Tales They Had to Tell, Denise McSheehy
Cracks and Heartwood, Kathy Miles
White Heat, Jenna Plewes
Lives of the Artists (1880-1930), Jane Routh
Kintsugi, Christine Vial
Falling for Icarus, Catherine Whittaker
The Gift of Christmas, Shirley Wright

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Second Light Poetry Competition for Long and Short Poems by Women 2016 – RESULTS…

This year’s Judge was Alison Brackenbury. Our thanks to Alison and to all who submitted poems. Congratulations to our winners: Alison Mace (1st, Long Poem), Caroline Price (1st, Short Poem), Angela Kirby (2nd) and Martha Street (3rd); and to all those Commended and Shortlisted (full list below).
The adjudication event took place during the Autumn Festival lineup (17th & 18th November 16), with readings by the judge and three of the winning poets. Winning and Commended poems, and the Judge’s comment, are published (in full or extract) in ARTEMISpoetry Issue 17 (November 2016).
Full Results:

1st Prize, Long Poem Category: Schoolteaching, Alison Mace
1st Prize, Short Poem Category: The fiancée replays her vidio, Caroline Price
2nd Prize, In Which I Rebuild the Luminous City from the Detritus of my Past, Angela Kirby
3rd Prize, Winter Solstice, Martha Street
Read the Poems/Extracts as they appeared in ARTEMISpoetry Issue 17 (pdf)
The Affair, Claire Askew
I have no words for this, Dorothy Coventon
Cycling on Lüneburg Heath, Sue Davies
Blodeuwedd, Jennie Farley
The Not Okay Corral, Justina Hart
In the hairdresser’s chair, Hilaire
Wide-Eyed, Alice Kavounas
Boating under the Northern Lights, Anna Kisby
Behind the Dolphin-Crested Gates, Jennie Osborne
My Father, Beyond the Pale, Orel Protopopescu
Geraniums, Louise Warren
Shake a leg, Rosy Wilson
Reservoir, Sarah Barr
Hen and Wendy’s, Jill Boucher
My Father Sang, Lorna Dexter
The Wall, Angela France
One Christmas, Jenny Hamlett
Swallower of light, Kathryn Healey
The Astronomer’s House, Pat Marum
Storyteller, Joan Michelson
Absolutely the last, Rosie Miles
On Merthyr Mawr Dunes, Elizabeth Neal
The Arrival, Susan Jane Sims
Menstruation, Olivia Walwyn
dreaming blue, Rosy Wilson

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Second Light Poetry Competition for Long and Short Poems by Women 2015 – RESULTS…

This year’s Judge was Myra Schneider. Our thanks to Myra and to all who submitted poems. Congratulations to our winners: Margaret Wilmot (1st, Long Poem), Carolyn King (1st, Short Poem), Judith Taylor (2nd) and Kathy Miles (3rd); and to all those Commended and Shortlisted (full list below).
Winning and Commended poems (in full or extract) and the judge’s comment, appear in ARTEMISpoetry Issue 15 (November 2015).

Full Results:

1st Prize, Long Poem Category: November Journal, Margaret Wilmot
1st Prize, Short Poem Category: Souvenir, Carolyn King
2nd Prize, Binding, Judith Taylor
3rd Prize, The Lady and the Unicorn, Kathy Miles

Read the Poems/Extracts as they appeared in ARTEMISpoetry Issue 15 (pdf)


Welcome to our Museum of Curiosities, Yvonne Baker
Bugloss, Jan Bay‑Petersen
All at Sea, Margaret Eddershaw
Oradour-Sur-Glane, Viv Fogel
Going Home, Louise Green
Alchemists, Denise McSheehy
To Guddle, Catch a Fish with your Hands, Jenna Plewes
The slack-jawed girls, Caroline Price
The Edge, Isobel Thrilling
Cold feet, Aileen La Tourette
In the Bowes-Lyon Museum, Pat Borthwick
Packing, Sheena Drayton
Memorandum, Ann Drysdale
Goggie, Caroline Gilfillan
On Liking Time, Daphne Gloag
Whitehorse Hill Burial, Jenny Hamlett
Friday 13th, Justina Hart
Was it for this, Gill Learner
They told you this is not the place to cry, Kate Pursglove
Deserted, Victoria Pugh
Tiger Boy, Gillian Radcliffe
Scapegoat, Elizabeth Rapp

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Second Light Poetry Competition for Short and Long Poems 2014, RESULTS

Our thanks go to Jackie Kay who was our judge in this, our 20th Anniversary year Poetry Competition, and to all who submitted poems. Congratulations to our winners: Kate Foley (1st, Long Poem), Margaret Beston (1st, Short Poem), Pippa Little (2nd) and Ann Alexander and Sue Davies (joint 3rd); and to all those Commended and Shortlisted.
The date for the adjudication reading is not yet set but is to take place during the Autumn.
Publication of the poems (in full, or extract if a long poem) is offered to the winning and commended poets and are due to be published in ARTEMISpoetry Issue 13, due out in November 2014.
Judge’s Comment:
The standard was unusually high, some of the commended come very highly commended indeed and nearly made it … I think the poems are terrific and cover such a wide range of themes and styles, and pack a powerful punch, and are quirky and intelligent.
Jackie Kay
Amongst Jackie Kay’s many poetry awards and prizes are the Forward, Saltire, Scottish Arts Council (for The Adoption Papers) and a shortlisting for Costa. She also writes award-winning fiction both for adults and children, and for stage and TV. She is Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University. She was awarded an MBE in 2006, and made a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2002. see more here


1st Prize, Long Poem Category: The Other Side of Sleep, Kate Foley
1st Prize, Short Poem Category: By Heart, Margaret Beston
2nd Prize, How Helen Steven, Activist, Scratched An Adrienne Rich Poem On Her Cell Door
                In Dumbarton Police Station, Scotland
, Pippa Little
joint 3rd Prize, Watching my mother turn into a wasp, Ann Alexander
joint 3rd Prize, Double-take, Sue Davies
Read the Poems/Extracts as they appeared in ARTEMISpoetry Issue 13


Down the Rabbit Hole, Pat Borthwick
Mother Lode, Sue Davies
Six Uses For Scratched CDs And Old Tapes: 1. Scarecrow, Rose Flint
Holy Island, Anne Lawrence
Hag, Pippa Little
Debt, Jacqueline Mulhallen
Survival, Myra Schneider
Brook Court, Caroline Smith
Pray, Vivienne Tregenza
A Scarlet Thread, Elizabeth Burns
Lampedusa, Sue Davies
Conscience, Alexandra Davis
Journey, Justina Hart
The Contents of her Handbag, Moya Pacey
The Royal Prince of the Lozi, Eveline Pye
The Old Apple Tree at Brockhill (14/09/13), Lesley Quayle
Nameless, Myra Schneider
Bert’s Pig, Diane Slaney
I Fly Above Myself, Kay Syrad
The Telling of the Bees, Sarah Westcott

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Second Light Poetry Competition for Short and Long Poems 2013, RESULTS

Moniza Alvi was the judge of our competition in 2013. Our thanks to Moniza and all who sent in poems for the competition and congratulations to all those placed in the competition. Our 1st, 2nd & 3rd prize-winners are Clare Best (1st, Long Poem), Kathy Miles (1st, Short Poem), Gill Learner (2nd) and Helen Moore (3rd).
The adjudication reading is included in our Autumn Festival at The Gradidge Room of the Art Workers Guild in Queens Square, London, from 2 to 4pm on Thursday 21st November 2013. Poems (in full or extract) by the winning and commended poets will be published in ARTEMISpoetry Issue 11 in November 2013.
Judge’s Comment:
This competition’s world was an adventurous one, with so many of the poems ambitious and strongly engaged, from the very short to the extended. The selection included the magical and mysterious, the familiar made strange and the unfamiliar strikingly evoked. Silence could resonate as powerfully as words. Experiment was often in evidence, and the vitality of contemporary poetry affirmed.
Moniza Alvi


1st Prize, Long Poem Category: Cell, Clare Best
1st Prize, Short Poem Category: Gardening with Deer, Kathy Miles
2nd Prize, Chill Factor, Gill Learner
3rd Prize, Earth Justice, Helen Moore
Read the Poems/Extracts as they appeared in ARTEMISpoetry Issue 11


Funambulist, Pat Marum
Self Portrait with Elephant Grass, Cathy Wilson
The Mushroom Shed, Dorothy Yamamoto
Brother Ass, R V Bailey
Sea-Woman, Pam Job
Not Yet, Myra Schneider
Titan Arum, Justina Hart
Legacy, Olivia Dawson
Eidelweiss, Ruth Smith
Wayfaring, Karen Dennison
Thorns, Martha Street
Package Holiday, M R Peacocke
Mind and Soul, Moya Pacey
Living Next Door to the Sea, Ann Alexander
As If I Could Replace The Weight Of Her, Maggie Sawkins
Medical Illustrator, Val Doyle
Media and the Horses, Margaret Wilmot
My Mother’s House, Pat Borthwick
The Woods, Jill Eulalie Dawson
Figures of Eight, Caroline Price

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Second Light Poetry Competition for Short and Long Poems 2012, RESULTS

We would like to thank our judge of the 2012 competition: Katherine Gallagher, along with all those who sent in an entry. Our congratulations to all those placed in the competition. Our 1st, 2nd & 3rd prize-winners are A C Clarke (1st, Long Poem), Doreen Hinchliffe (1st, Short Poem), Brigid Sivill (2nd) and Margaret Speak (3rd).
The adjudication reading took place at our Spring Festival in May 2013 at The Art Workers Guild in London. Poems (in full or extract) by the winning and commended poets appear in ARTEMISpoetry Issue 10 (May 2013).
Judge, Katherine Gallagher’s Comment:
I greatly enjoyed the challenge of judging, the juxtaposition and evaluation of short and long poems making the competition rather different. The ambition, range and assurance of the writing impressed, with the variety of subject matter. The writing skills offered a wonderful spread of voices. Poise, a taste for experiment and the sense of a poem’s dramatic space came through again and again…


1st Prize, Long Poem Category: A Year in Transit, A C Clarke
1st Prize, Short Poem Category: The Newlyweds, Doreen Hinchliffe
2nd Prize, HA-NOI 2000, Brigid Sivill
3rd Prize, When Katya Became Katyushka, Margaret Speak
Read the Poems/Extracts as they appeared in ARTEMISpoetry Issue 10

Pain, Maggie Butt
Museum Whispers, Margaret Eddershaw
Fifth Form, Rosemary Fisher
North of All Borders, Irene Hossack
Autumn Light, Angela Kirby
Song and Swamp, Melinda Lovell
Ice Music, Kathy Miles
Life Class, Jo Peters
St. Therese of Lisieux Relics on Tour, 2009, Aileen la Tourette
Quanta, Margaret Wilmot
Ebb Tide at Aldwick, Vivienne Artt
Walkabout, Margaret Beston
Witness, Christine Coleman
Bloodlines, Rose Flint
Saying Goodbye – South Downs Way, Jenny Hamlett
I’m Thinking of My Father, Kim Moore
The Mole Man, Linda Rose Parkes
In Search of Matisse, Myra Schneider
A Kind of Death, Joan Sheridan Smith
Swans, Margaret Speak

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Second Light Poetry Competition for Short and Long Poems 2011: Results.

Our judge was Fiona Sampson. Over 1,000 entries were received. The winning and commended poems appeared in full or extract in Issue 8 of ARTEMISpoetry in May 2012. The adjudication reading took place during the Spring Festival 2012, also in May.


1st Prize, Long Poem Category: For Ever, Daphne Gloag
1st Prize, Short Poem Category: At the Beaumont Hamel Memorial, France, Moya Pacey
2nd Prize, Painting on Vellum, Hilary Jenkins
3rd Prize, The Night Ship, Clare Crossman
Read the Poems

Sun in an Empty Room, Pat Borthwick
After Hearing a Psalm, Anne Cluysenaar
The Tenderness of Men, Rose Flint
Coming in Late, A Sequence, Kate Foley
Just Because You Wear those Ridiculous Clothes, Selima Hill
Coming down from the turbulent light, Caroline Natzler
Chambermaids Lizzie King and Nellie, Jane Routh
Burn, Jane Routh
Battle, Susan Skinner
Tatania’s Visit, Kay Syrad
Where Old Languages Go to Die, Ann Alexander
Wondering About God, Dorothy Baird
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860-1904), Caroline Cook
Knight Move, Wendy French
The Wax Man, Elizabeth Horsley
Shadow, Frances-Anne King
Trace, Frances-Anne King
Kiarostami’s Snows, Maria Jastrzebska
A Man and His Music, Gill Learner
Nochebuena in Exile, Puebla 1965, Marina Sanchez
Allihies, Kay Syrad
Choughs at Botallack, Glynda Winterson

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Second Light Long & Short Poetry Competition, 2010

The competition was Judged by Myra Schneider, a prolific poet and regular tutor of workshops and courses. As Scintilla is no longer running a poetry competition, and as we think it is important for women poets to have an outlet for long poems, Second Light introduced a long poem category to its competition this year.
An extract of the First Prize-winner in the Long Poem category and the winning poem in the Short Poem category, appear in ARTEMISpoetry Issue 5. Issue 6 includes more of the winning and runner-up poems (or extracts from long poems).
Adjudication Report:
This year over 1,200 poems were sent in to the Second Light Competition. It was very exciting to judge because there was such a range of subject matter and much ambitious writing. There were poems about world issues, politics, war and social problems. There were contemplative poems, witty poems, poems with a high emotional charge and poems drawing in a fascinating way on historical and literary material. It was a challenge to make decisions because of the mixture, for the first time, of long and short poems, because of the hugely different approaches and also because the standard of entries was so high. About 300 poems had to be considered very carefully and of these there were many I was sorry to reject because they had much to recommend them. I feel that the poems I finally picked out reflect how marvellously well women poets are writing today.
Myra Schneider


1st Prize, Long Poem Category: Clay, Anne Cluysenaar
1st Prize, Short Poem Category: Mermaid Andie Lewenstein
Joint 2nd & 3rd Prizes: Sand Pictures, Caroline Price; kite and flyer, Elisabeth Rowe
Read the Poems

Highly Commended:
The Bending Moment, Jill Dawson
The Lady Who Is Not For Turning, June Hall

The Seahorse Man, Margaret Speak
Enter, Rose Flint
A Fox Assisted Cure, Kate Foley
Philip Larkin In The Laundrette, Doreen Hinchliffe
Handover, Emily Hinshelwood
Assimilation, Jane MacLaughlin
Power-Surge, Isobel Thrilling
New Homes, Sarah Westcott

Down To Portsmouth, Kate Foley
Unconditional Life, Cora Greenhill
Handhold, Justina Hart
Whatnot, Jo Heather
The Love Of Wood, Penelope Hewlett
California Day, Wendy Klein
Letter To An Ancestor, Gill Learner
Portrait Of A Child…, Jane MacLaughlin
La Matelote, Alwyn Marriage
Hand In Hand, Lyn Moir
23 To Liverpool Street, Caroline Price
Hoopoes, Elisabeth Rowe
Words, Shelley Tracy
Two Men, Sarah Westcott

and poems deserving a special mention:
Mollusc, Patricia Bloom; Home and Warning, Pat Borthwick; Winter Journey, Susanne Ehrhardt; Lir, Angela France; When the Lamp Oil was Spilt, Jenny Hamlett; In the Dining Room, Jo Hemmant; The Lodestar of the Upper VI, Gill Learner; How We Would Talk, Denise McSheehy; Mildred, Geraldine Paine; Wild Heaven, Elisabeth Rowe; Secondaries, Sibyl Ruth; Our House, Maggie Sawkins; Life Class, Belinda Singleton; Cure for Bee Stings, Margaret Speak; Young Girl with a Tree in her Brain, Marion Tracy

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Second Light Poetry Competition 2009

The Judge is Pauline Stainer, whose latest collection, Crossing the Snowline (Bloodaxe 2008), has been received with acclaim by reviewers. We included a review in ARTEMISpoetry Issue 1 and Pauline kindly read for Second Light at the Autumn Festival 2008, following up with a workshop at the May 2009 event.
The winning poems, along with poems which were commended or shortlisted, are published in ARTEMISpoetry, Issue 5, which came out in May 2010 and many of the poets, including the winners, read their poems at the adjudication event at the Spring 2010 May Madness Festival.
1st prize: Lynne Wycherley, The Lightning-Horse
2nd prize: Margaret Wilmot, Hermetic
3rd prize: Kay Syrad, "Registering their flora,/their fauna"
Read the Poems

Suzanne Burrows, The Horses and Crossing the Bridge
Anne Cluysenaar, The Pear-tree
Kate Foley, Heart Surgery
Clare Holtham, The Jerwood Library
Pippa Little, Acrobat
M R Peacocke, The greeting
Marion Tracy, Nest and Bipolar
Jenny Vuglar, This Morning

Ann Alexander, Cabbage Cutters Wanted. Basic English. Night or Day
Dorothy Baird, 29 April
Ann Boileau, Within its Time and Frame
H Coffey, On Ivory
Margaret Eddershaw, Queen of the Tightrope
Jacqueline Gabbitas, Grass discovers metempsychosis
Mavis Howard, Nature
Gill Learner, Resurrection
Helen Loselock-Burke, Clouds on the Blackthorn
Sue MacIntyre, Interior, 1893 and A Wine Glass Half Full of Milk
Jane McLaughlin, Crossings
Rosemary McLeish, Handless Bride
Nancy Mattson, Learning the Letter Щ and Compasses: a Triptych
Caroline Natzler, Paper place
Elizabeth Rowe, Blue
K V Skene, Why I Wasn’t Listening
Dorothy Yamomoto, The button box Tiger hunt

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Second Light Poetry Competition 2008

Judge, Gillian Clarke, announced her selections just in time for a sneak preview of the winners’ list at the Autumn Festival. The winning and other poems were published in ARTEMISpoetry, Issue 2, in May 09.
1st prize: Eleanor Livingstone, Snow Hare;
2nd prize: Anne Wigley, Learning to Swim
3rd prize: Sheila Wild, Shiant Wife
Runners up:
Alison Brackenbury, Great-Great
Wendy Klein, Kid Gloves
Gill Learner, Counted Out
Pat Marum, The Insect Parlour
Lyn Moir, Ice Dream
Gillian Moyes, Norah
Isobel Thrilling, Last Day
Nicola Warwick, The Iceman’s Wife
Hilaire, The Colonel’s Daughter’s House
Claudia Jessop, Hope
Carlotta Johnston, Wild Grass Mull
Thelma Laycock, The Sash
Gill Learner, Through and Through
Gill Learner, A Descent from Mount Olympus
Eleanor Livingstone, The Soul
Lyn Moir, Juanjo, The Guggenheim, Me
Jennie Osborne, Quantum
Diana Pritchard, Barefoot in the Snow
Kate Rhodes, Details
Gillian Clarke is President of Ty Newydd, the writers’ centre in North Wales which she co-founded in 1990, tutor on the M.Phil in Creative Writing at the University of Glamorgan, and the current National Poet for Wales. Her poetry is studied for GCSE and A Level throughout Britain. Recent books include Making the Beds for the Dead, 2004, a prose collection, and At The Source, 2008. A new collection, A Recipe for Water, is due in 2009.

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