Mslexia, the magazine for women who write | www.mslexia.co.uk
Competition winners 2008
I was delighted of course, I was also really shocked. I had absolutely no expectation of being shortlisted let alone winning. In fact I only entered because my partner kept badgering me to do so. I remember saying at the time I didn’t think I had anything worth sending. What I couldn’t remember was which poems I’d sent. Fortunately I had kept a list..
It’s always brilliant to win something. It‘s also a great confidence booster and validation of one as a writer. I never feel complacent though. I always feel you are only as good as your next poem. Winning this prize will keep me trying to improve and develop as a writer. I’m really looking forward to the week at Cove Park which I hope will give me the opportunity to do both those things.
Read Jo Haslam's winning poem: Clare
FRANCES CORKEY THOMPSON
How it feels to win second prize? Absolutely wonderful. I am bowled over by the poems that came first and third, and honoured to be in such company. Congratulations to Jo and Kaddy. How did I get there too?
The Mslexia prize will go towards my next trip to China, where I’m on a personal project to do with my Dad’s life as a young missionary in remote areas of Manchuria in the 1930s. I am working on a collection of China poems as a result.
I have recently started a website, where among other things I offer feedback for poets, so if this recognition leads a few people and their poems in my direction, I’ll be happy.
Read Frances Corkey Thompson's winning poem: Marble
It was a squally day early in the summer holidays and I had just reached yet another dead end with my children in a local maze. I was feeling both exhausted and frustrated and I remember I'd just had a thought about the minotaur and his ball of string and was wondering how I would ever find my way back to my desk, when my mobile rang. Getting a call from the editor of Mslexia is one of those life-changing events. I was astonished that 'Firekeepers' had done so well as the poem did not come easily. I had been sure that there was a good poem there somewhere, but it took weeks and 18 drafts to get it right. I'm glad I persevered as this kind of recognition from Mslexia and to be chosen by Gillian Clarke, one of my poetry idols, is incredibly rewarding. The timing is perfect too as 'Firekeepers' has now been included in the manuscript for my first collection Milk Fever which will be published in November.
Read Kaddy Benyon's winning poem: Firekeepers