#FF Poem of the Week

IN A RESTAURANT  by Stephen Santus

Winner of the individual poem category in the The Forward Prize & commended in the

The Bridport Prize

This gesture I make to ask for the bill,

Writing on the air

With an imaginary ballpoint,

I learnt from Christopher,

Who learnt it from his father,

Who learnt it himself somewhere.

Christopher’s father is long dead:

He echoes less and less.

How strange that what survives of us

Is what we would hardly guess.

Queen of Crime, P. D. James, dies at 94

Cover her faceP D James, one of the greats of crime fiction, has died aged 94.

She was the creator of the ‘suave, cerebral police officer’, Adam Dalgliesh.

Introduced to readers in 1962 in Cover Her Face , he was the intellectual, poetry writing senior Metropolitan Police officer. Dalgliesh was in the tradition of ‘the gentleman detective’, epitomised by Lord Peter Wimsey and Albert Campion.

He would feature in most of her crime novels, though she did write about Cordelia Grey, a Death comes to Pemberleyfemale private detective in An Unsuitable Job for a Woman and The Skull beneath the Skin.

She also wrote pastiche of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Death Comes To Pemberley, in 2011, in which Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet become embroiled in a murder-mystery. It was adapted as a mini series for TV as a Christmas special last year.

Her 1992 novel, Children of Men, was set in an England of 2021 where mass infertility threatened the future of the population. The book was adapted for film and was nominated for an Oscar in 2006.

She rejected the idea that crime novels were not ‘proper literature’, and her wonderfully written stories prove her point.

Poetry Competitions December to March

Corinium poetry purple trajanEnfield Poets International Poetry Competition 2014 

Previously unpublished poems of up to 50 lines on any subject. Judge is Ruth Padel. 1st prize: £500, 2nd prize: £200, 3rd prize: £100
Entry: £4 per poem, £10 for three poems

Closing Date: 01-Dec-14

More information: http://enfieldpoets.com/competition/

Kingston Libraries Poetry Competition

Prizes: 1st prize £50 book tokens, 2nd prize £30 book tokens, 3rd prize £20 book tokens. Theme of your poem should be ‘remember’. Poems must be typed and no longer than 45 lines. Maximum four poems per entrant.
Entry:  Free

Closing Date: 01-Dec-14

More information  http://www.kingston.gov.uk/  (type library competitions in the search box).

The Book of Plans Hopes And Dreams

Anglo-German writing competition to link 1914 to 2114 and beyond by writing a poem or short story to each era. Prizes: Winners: All expenses paid trip to Lower Saxony, Germany and publication special commemorative books which will on display in England and Germany and on website. Shortlist publication in commemorative book and website. Longlist publication on website.
Entry: Free

Closing Date: 02-Dec-14

More informationhttp://www.book-of-phd.com

 

Flash 500 Humour Verse Competition

Up to 32 lines. 1st prize: £150, 2nd £100, 3rd: £50. The results will be announced within six weeks of the closing date and the three winning entries will be published on the website.
Entry: £3 for the first poem, then £2.50 for each poem

Closing Date: 13-Dec-14

More information: http://www.flash500.com/

 

Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize

Run in conjunction with The Moth magazine. Four cash prizes for a single unpublished poem – 10,000 euros for the winner and three runner-up prizes of 1,000 euros. Open to all, for work that is original and previously unpublished. The winning poems appear in the spring 2015 issue of The Moth and the winners will be invited to read at a special award ceremony in Dublin in March 2015.
Entry : 12 euros

Closing Date: 31-Dec-14

More information  www.themothmagazine.com. Email enquiries@themothmagazine.com or call 00 353 49 4362677.

 

 The Poetry Box Halloween Poetry Annual Award 2014

Halloween-Themed Annual Poetry Award. Prizes: 1st prize – Glass Trophy, a decorative ‘First Prize Winner Award’ Certificate for framing, publication in a 2015 Edition of ‘The Poetry Box Dark & Horror Poetry Magazine’ & publication on The Poetry Box website.  The 2nd and 3rd prizes of £100.00 and £50.00 respectively and certificates etc
Entry: £6 for 1 poem, £15 for 3 poems, £20 for 4 poems

Closing Date: 31-Dec-14

More information:  www.ThePoetryBox.co.uk.

 

Local Poem Competition 2015

Up to 25 lines (each blank line counts as one line) and 160 words each. Theme -a poem about life in your own home town or area to “Local Poem” Prize- £1,000 cash, up to three entries

Entry Free

Closing Date: 31-Dec-14

More information: http://www.unitedpress.co.uk/free-poetry-competitions/

SaveAs International Open Creative Writing Competition

Up to 50 lines Any theme. Open to international entries. 1st prize- £100, 2nd- £50, 3rd – £30 plus trophies.

Entry: £3 for one entry, £8 for three.

Closing date: 31- Dec -14
More informationhttp://saveaswriters.co.uk

The Basil Bunting Poetry Award

Up to 40 lines, open internationally, any poem in English. 1st prize: £1000   2nd £750   3rd £250

Entry: £6 for one poem, £10 for two, and an extra £5 per poem beyond that.

Maximum number of entries per poet -10

Closing date: 15- January-15

More information: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/ncla/competitions/bunting

 

Magma Judges Prize 2014

Poems of 11 to 50 lines. 1st prize £1,000, 2nd £300, 3rd  £150. In addition to receiving cash prizes, winners will be invited to read at Magma’s prize-giving event in Spring 2015. All winning entries will be published in the magazine.
Entry: £5 for the first poem, £4 for second, £3.50 for third and each subsequent poem, reduction for Magma magazine subscribers.

Closing Date: 19-Jan-15

More information:  http://magmapoetry.com/competition/

Magma Editors’ Prize 2014

Poems up to 10 lines. 1st prize £1,000, 2nd £300, plus 10 Special Mentions £15 each.
Entry: £5 for the first poem, £4 for second and £3.50 for the third and each subsequent poem. Magma magazine subscribers benefit from reduced fees.

Closing Date: 19-Jan-15
More information: http://magmapoetry.com/competition/

Torriano Poetry Competition 2015

Unpublished poems of up to 40 lines. 1st prize £250, 2nd £150, 3rd  £75. Winning poets will be offered featured readings at the adjudication celebration on 12th April, 2015.
Entry: £3 one poem, £5 for two, £10 for five

Closing Date: 30-Jan-15

More information: Cheques payable to the Torriano Support Fund. Name, address, email, phone number and poem titles on separate sheet. No entry form required. Entries to Patricia Griffin, 4 Cundishall Close, Whitstable, Kent CT5 4DA. Enquiries june.english@outlook.com

 

 Prole Laureate 2015

The winner will receive £200 and publication in Prole 16, due out in April 2015. Two runners up receive £50 each and possible publication in Prole 16. The winner and runners up will be showcased here on the Prole website.
Entry: £3 for first entry, £2 for subsequent entries

Closing Date: 31-Jan-15

More information : http://www.prolebooks.co.uk/page6.html Email entries to: poetrycompetition@prolebooks.co.uk

Kent & Sussex Poetry Society Open Poetry Competition

Poems up to 60 lines not previously published 1st prize: £1000, 2nd: £300, 3rd: £100, 4th: 4 x £50.
Entry: £5 per poem. 3 or more poems: £4 each

Closing Date: 31-Jan-15

More information: www.kentandsussexpoetry.com

The Slipstream Poets Open Poetry Competition 2015

Poems up to 60 lines not previously published. Prizes: £275; £100; £75. Additional prize of £25 and the award of the Chanctonbury Cup for a winning West Sussex entrant. Winners will be notified individually & all results will be published on the Slipstream Web Site by 31st March 2015.
Entry: £3.50 per poem or 4 for £12.00, 6 for £15.00

Closing Date: 31-Jan-15

More informationhttp://www.slipstream-poets.co.uk/

Teignmouth Poetry Festival Competition 2015

Up to 35 lines, any subject previously unpublished. 1st prize £500, 2nd – £200, 3rd – £100.  Winners announced on Sunday 22nd March 2015.
Entry: £4 for one poem, £3 each for additional poems

Closing Date: 31-Jan-15

More information:  http://www.poetryteignmouth.com/competition.html

 

Bronte Society Creative Competition

A poem in any style offering a new perspective on one of the novels, up to 50 lines.

Prizes -1st £500, then £250 and £100.

Entry: £10.

Closing date: 31-Jan-15.

More information:  http://www.bronte.org.uk

 

Keats-Shelley Prize

Poems up to 40 lines on the theme of ‘Watcher of the skies’.

Prizes: £4,000 in total.

Entry: £5.

Closing date: 1-Feb-15

More information: http://www.keats-shelley.co.uk

The Corinium Museum Poetry Competition

Poems up to 40 lines inspired by an object displayed or theme interpreted at the museum. The winner of each category will receive a season ticket to the museum valid for a year. Winning poems will be displayed in the museum and published on the museum website. Highly commended poems will also be displayed in the museum and may be published on the museum website. Categories: 16 years old and above, 11-15 years old, Under 11s.
Entry Free

Closing Date: 06-Feb-15

More information: http://coriniummuseum.org/2014/11/06/corinium-poetry-competition/

 

Lumen/Camden Poetry Competition

Poems up to 40 lines, prizes: Chapbook publication.

Entry: £2.50, £10 for six.

Closing date: 14-Feb-15

More Information: http://www.wardwoodpublishing.co.uk

Fire River Poets Open Poetry Competition 2015

Up to 40 lines any theme, not previously published. 1st prize £200, 2nd £100, 3rd £75. Prizewinners will also be invited to take part in a special Reading in Taunton;  notified by beginning of May.
Entry : £4 for 1; £8 for 2; £10 for 3, £3 each for additional poems.

Closing Date: 20-Feb-15

More information: www.fireriverpoets.org.uk

The Christopher Tower Poetry Competition 2015 (16-18 years of age).

Theme: ‘Cells’.  1st prize £3,000, 2nd £1,000 3rd £500  In addition to individual prizes, the students’ schools and colleges also receive cash prizes of £150 and the three prize winners are eligible for a place on the Tower Poetry Summer School.. Longlisted entrants’ poems are published on the Tower Poetry website. Winners announced on Monday 20 April 2015.
Entry Free

Closing Date: 27-Feb-15

More information: www.towerpoetry.org.uk/prize or email info@towerpoetry.org.uk or call 01865 286591.

The Society of Civil and Public Service Writers

Poems up to 40 lines, with each poem on a separate sheet. 1st prize £50; 2nd £25.  Entries should be typed on A4 paper. The competition is open only to SCPSW members. Those eligible include serving or retired members of the Civil Service, Armed Forces, National Health Service, Local Government, the Police Force or any Public Service.
Entry: £2 per poem

Closing Date: 28-Feb-15

More information: www.scpsw.co.uk

HAD Poetry Competition

The title for the poem is ‘Honouring the Ancient Dead’ (a celebration of the ancestors on display up and down the country – but the theme may be interpreted as loosely as the entrant wishes).
Entry Free

Closing Date: 28-Feb-15

More information: www.honour.org.uk

The Rialto – Nature Poetry Competition 2014

Theme: Nature Poetry. Prizes: 1st prize: £1000, 2nd £500, 3rd Prize: A Place on a Creative Writing Course at Ty Newydd in 2015 (worth £550). Additional prize, a personal tour with Mark Cocker in wild life places in East Anglia. The winning poems will be published in The Rialto, independent poetry magazine.
Entry: £6 for 1st poem £3.50 for each subsequent poem, up to six

Closing Date: 01-Mar-15

More information : www.therialto.co.uk/pages/nature-poetry-competition-2014

The Queen Mother Memorial Poetry Competition

Submit any number of poems on any subject,  typed/hand written in English. The poem(s) should follow the length and format as below, 3 verses, 3 lines per verse, 10 words per line. Winner gets £25 +The Queen Mother Memorial Poetry Competition complementary pen.
Entry Fee: £3 per poem or £10 for 4 poems

Closing Date: 30-Mar-15

More information:  http://www.royalpoetrycompetition.com/poetrycompetitiondetails

 

Window On The World

Up to 25 lines (including blank lines) and 160 words each, prize £100, best of the rest will be published. Up to three poems per entrant. Unpublished work

Entry Free

Closing Date: 30-April-15

More information: http://www.unitedpress.co.uk/free-poetry-competitions/

Five new historical novels

The silversmith's wifeWe’re featuring five historical novels this week – three Tudor thrillers, the very highly rated Silversmith’s Wife and the fictionalised biography of Branwell Bronte.

The queen’s man by Clements, Rory

1582: England is a Judas nest of conspiracy. The bitter conflict between the Protestant and Catholic faiths threatens to tear the country in two. While Queen Elizabeth holds the reins of power, there are many whose loyalty lies with her imprisoned cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots. On his first major mission for Sir Francis Walsingham, the young John Shakespeare is ordered to discover conspiracy to free the Stuart queen from Sheffield Castle. All too soon, he realises that the tentacles of the plot reach deep into his native Warwickshire and threaten his own friends and family. His duty lies with Elizabeth – but how far will he go to protect those he loves?

The Tudor vendetta by Gortner, C. W.

November, 1558: Elizabeth I has ascended the throne but the first days of her reign are already fraught with turmoil, the kingdom weakened by past strife and her ability to rule uncertain. When Brendan Prescott, her intimate spy, returns to court at the new queen’s behest, he soon finds himself thrust into a deadly gambit against his old foe, Robert Dudley. But Elizabeth has an even more dangerous assignation in store for him when her favoured lady-in-waiting, Lady Parry, vanishes in Yorkshire

Cromwell’s blessing by Ransley, Peter

‘Cromwell’s Blessing’ is the dramatic story of Tom Neave’s fight for the principles which he holds so dear – democracy, freedom and honour – and his young family, set against the backdrop of the violent conflict of the English Civil War.

The silversmith’s wife by Tobin, Sophia

The year is 1792 and it’s winter in Berkeley Square. As the city sleeps, the night-watchman keeps a cautious eye over the streets and another eye in the back doors of the great and the good. Then one fateful night he comes across the body of Pierre Renard, the eponymous silversmith, lying dead, his throat cut and his valuables missing. It could be common theft, committed by one of the many villains who stalk the square, but as news of the murder spreads, it becomes clear that Renard had more than a few enemies, all with their own secrets to hide. At the centre of this web is Mary, the silversmith’s wife.

 

Sanctuary by Edric, Robert

Haworth, West Yorkshire, 1848. Following a succession of defeats and failures in his professional and personal life, Branwell Brontë – unexhibited artist, unacknowledged writer, sacked railwayman, disgraced tutor and spurned lover – found himself back in Haworth Parsonage, foundering and directionless, and surrounded by his father and his three sisters, whose own pseudonymous successes – allegedly kept secret from him – were only then becoming apparent. Struggling against the constraints and strictures of these claustrophobic surroundings, and in an effort to buttress himself against the disintegration and collapse of his intolerable and desperate existence, Branwell turned increasingly to the drugs, alcohol and self-delusion which already played an increasingly large part of his short, unhappy life

 

Which books do male and female readers prefer?

Hollow CityWhat do men and women want when it comes to books? Do they prefer books written by their own sex? What do they think of books written by the opposite sex?  GoodReads has surveyed 40,000 active members on their site, 20,000 men, 20,000 women, to determine what they read and what they liked.

Most popular books by a female author read by men this year, according to GoodReads, were:

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

We Were Liars by E Lockhart

Cress by Marissa Meyer

The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

Four by Veronica Roth

 The most popular titles by male authors read by female readers were:

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr

Mr Mercedes – Stephen King

The Silkworm – Robert Galbraith

The collected works of A.J. FikrySome of the titles above are ‘Young Adult’ books – many are 5* rated on our catalogue.
Inspired by the #readwomen movement to investigate, GoodReads found out of the men’s 50 most-read titles this year, 90% were by male authors and the converse is also true. Out of the 50 books published in 2014 most read by women, 45 are by female authors, five by male (one was Robert Galbraith, aka JK Rowling). “Ultimately, when it comes to the most popular 2014 books on Goodreads we are still sticking to our own sex,”

The analysis also found that in the first year of publication, 80% of a female author’s audience will be women, compared to 50% of a male author’s audience. Yet while women appear more open to reading books by both male and female authors, they prefer books by women – as do men. “On average, women rated books by women 4 out of 5 and books by men 3.8 out of 5. Surprise! Men like women authors more, too – on average men rated books by women 3.9 out of 5 and books by men 3.8 out of five,” said Goodreads.

The survey showed men and women read the same number of books in 2014 taking into account books published in any year. But women read twice as many books published in 2014 than men did. .

 

 

Let us entertain you – #TheFictionHotlist

Mr MiracleInspector Colbeck's casebook: thirteen tales from the railway detectiveThe Fiction Hotlist features 60 new titles this week so plenty to choose from. 

Blockbuster titles with 25 copies apiece are -

Debbie MacOmber – Mr Miracle. Christmassy happy ending

Edward Marston – Inspector Colbeck’s casebook. Brand new short stories from the railway detective.

Joanna Trollope – Balancing act – Sunday Times says it’s brilliant.Funny girlBalancing act

‘Funny Girl’ by Nick Hornby, sixties story of following your dream to London and of Richard North’s best seller ‘Eden in Winter’, which gets a 5* rating have additional copies in stock.

If you fancy a thriller, try Mary Higgins Clark-  ‘The Cinderella Murder’ or be a bit more seasonal with ‘Dying for Christmas’ by Tammy Cohen.

Ben Aaaronovitch – Foxglove Summer review

Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch

This week there’s a new book, Foxglove Summerby Ben Aaaronovitch, a lovely blend of crime / detective and supernatural.

Ben Aaronovitch’s career started with a bang writing for Doctor Who, subsided in the middle and then, as is traditional, a third act resurgence with the bestselling Rivers of London series! So …if you like this book, there are four others to read.

Rivers of London was a World Book Night choice last year, rated 5* by our readers and the series is going to be on telly.

Foxglove Summer is full of warmth, sly humour and a rich cornucopia of things you never knew about London, Aaronovitch’s series has swiftly added Grant’s magical London to Rebus’ Edinburgh and Morse’s Oxford as a destination of choice for those who love their crime with something a little extra.

In the fifth of this bestselling series the author takes Peter Grant out of whatever comfort zone he might have found and takes him out of London – to a small village in Herefordshire where the local police are reluctant to admit that there might be a supernatural element to the disappearance of some local children. But while you can take the London copper out of London you can’t take the London out of the copper.

Travelling west with Beverley Brook, Peter soon finds himself caught up in a deep mystery and having to tackle local cops and local gods. And what’s more all the shops are closed by 4pm.