The Leeds Writers Circle runs three competitions a year. The competitions are open to all paid-up members of the circle, and are free to enter.

The current competition, for poetry will be judged by local award winning writer, Mark Connors. The deadline is Monday, March 2nd with the adjudication taking place on Monday, April 6th.

The challenge for this poetry competition is to write a Persona Poem. Whether your persona is fictional or based on a historical character, film star, musician, artist or writer or just an ordinary or extraordinary everyday Joe or Joanne, a him, her, or they, tell us something unusual, something unexpected. It doesn’t have to be true but it does have to be engaging. Tell it slant and make it count. 40 lines max. As with any poem, Mark says he will be looking for a deft sense on line and maybe a touch of musicality. Most importantly, don’t make the ‘I’ of your poem another version of yourself. Write out of your comfort zones, Good luck!

Full details of the competition can be downloaded here.

Please note: The Annavation Award (named after veteran member Anna Sutcliffe) is presented at the discretion of the judge to one entry which, while not necessarily being a first/second/third prizewinner, shows originality and/or innovation in writing style, content, presentation or any other facet deemed pertinent by the judge.



SHORT STORY (judged by Alison Lock)

First: Philip Tempest – The Red Test
Second: Mark Pennington – Vuvuzela
Third: Joanna Bucktrout – Tunguska
Annavation award: Jason – The Day I Met Myself
Highly Commended:
Pat Pickavance – Honour Killing
John Biglands – Awakening
Graeme Hall – River Crossing with Night Herons


From left to right: Joanna Bucktrout, Philip Tempest, Judge Alison Lock, Mark Pennington, Jason


DIALOGUE (judged by Mandy Sutter)

First: Rita Morrison – Back Home (extract from novel)
Second (Equal): Pat Pickavance – Janice & Emma at the Swings (extract from novel)
Second (Equal): Ian Harker – Halves
Highly Commended:
Linda Fulton – Walls made of Cardboard
Jenny Tennant-Jackson – Consultation
Peter White – Ekphrasis

From left to right: Pat Pickavance, Judge Mandy Sutter, Rita Morrison (with winner’s trophy), Linda Fulton, Ian Harker and Jenny Tennant-Jackson.

POETRY (judged by Angela Topping)

First: Gail Mosley – My Mother’s Things
Second: Stephanie Thornton – The Girl on the Bridge
Third: Andy Armitage – The Falling Man
Annavation Award:  Marg Greenwood – The bed of Machair
Highly Commended:
Gill Osborne – Continuum
Sandra Burnett – Note to Silence

SHORT STORY (judged by Martyn Bedford)

First:  David Cundall – After Farsley
Second:  Graeme Hall – A History of Chinese Tea
Third: Stephanie Thornton – Getting On
Annavation Award:  Su Ryder – Bearing It
Highly Commended:
Jason – Daddy’s Girl
Linda Fulton – Take Home A Masterpiece

Back row, left to right: Graeme Hall, David Cundall (with winner’s trophy), Judge Martyn Bedford, Jason; Front: Sue Ryder (with Annavation trophy) and Linda Fulton. (With apologies to David from the photographer for inadvertently hiding his fine features from view!)


ANYTHING GOES (judged by Andy Humphrey)

First:  Sunyi Dean – Ice Cream and English Summers
Second:  Jason – The Woman in the Shoe
Third: Peter Richardson – The Last Door
Annavation Award:  Jason Heppell
Highly Commended:
David Cundall – Wiikwemkoong

Judge Andy Humphrey (centre) with winner Sunyi Dean and third placed Peter Richardson

POETRY (judged by Sarah Corbett)

First:  Sandra Burnett – Mayday
Second:  Charlotte Eichler – Cephalophores
Third:  Emma Storr – Seascape
Annavation Award:  Peter White – A new day is not a child of midnight
Andrew Lambeth – Why the Swan
Pat Belford – Module
Gail Mosley – Single Span


MONOLOGUE (judged by Paul Ratcliffe)

First:  Andrew Lambeth
Second:  Joanna Bucktrout
Third:  Su Ryder
Highly Commended:
Ian Harker

SHORT STORY (judged by Linda Lee Welch)

First:  Peter Richardson
Second:  Linda Fulton
Third:  Ian Harker
Annavation Award: Ian Harker
Highly Commended:
Andrew Lambeth
Tony Rymer

Winner Peter Richardson pictured above with our excellent judge, Linda Lee Welch.


Winners from left to right: Andrew Lambeth (Highly Commended), Linda Fulton (Second), Ian Harker (Third plus the Annavation award) and Peter Richardson (First).


SPECULATIVE FICTION (judged by Justina Robson)

First:  Graeme Hall – Read Through
Second: Paul Al-Meshall – Nyaber
Third:  Dennis Clarkson – The Chair
Annavation Award: Sarah Dodd – The Winter Queen at the Fall of the Last Leaves
Highly Commended:
Joanne Bucktrout – The Spirit of Ymir


First:  Gail Mosley – After the Dialogue
Second: Paul Al-Meshall – Six Week Check
Third:  Anne Watson – Counting the Days
Annavation Award: Wolf White – Storm Variations
Highly Commended:
Pat Belford – Escape


First:  Graeme Hall – A Photograph, Creased
Second: Suzanne McArdle – The Forward Friend
Third:  Madeleine Ritzker – It’ll be dark soon
Annavation Award Wolf White – Altars of Memory
Highly Commended:
Olga Munroe – Thief
Gill Osborne – Ferry ‘cross the Mersey