Lucy Vickery

By LeeGer - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Spectator competition winners: how to get rid of an unwanted guest

30 April 2016 9:45

The invitation to suggest remarks guaranteed to get rid of a guest who is outstaying his or her welcome drew…

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Spectator competition winners: the Shakespeare anniversary: To fête? How much to fête? — that is the question…

23 April 2016 9:45

The latest competition sees us leap unashamedly aboard the bandwagon du jour with an invitation to imagine what characters from…

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Spectator competition winners: Donald Trump reviews Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

16 April 2016 9:30

The latest competition invited you to submit a review of a well-known work of literature that has been written by…

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Spectator competition winners: what are little boys and girls made of?

10 April 2016 10:24

The latest competition invited you to give a couple of old nursery rhymes a contemporary twist by composing a new…

Old open book close up

Spectator competition winners: diary of a superfluous man

1 April 2016 9:54

The invitation to supply a short story entitled ‘Diary of a Superfluous Man’ was inspired by Ivan Turgenev’s novella of…

Spectator competition winners: Dr Seuss on Donald Trump

26 March 2016 9:30

The latest challenge was to supply Dr Seuss’s take on the US presidential race. Given his taste for taking down…

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Spectator competition winners: a 21st-century elegy on a country churchyard

12 March 2016 9:30

The latest competition marked the tercentenary of Thomas Gray’s birth with an invitation to submit an ‘Elegy on a Country…

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Spectator competition winners: John Terry’s secret diary

5 March 2016 9:30

The invitation to submit extracts from the diaries of the famous that their writers did not wish the world to…

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Spectator competition winners: the national anthem Ian Dury might have written

27 February 2016 9:30

Following Tom Shakespeare’s recent suggestion that now might be a good time to ditch ‘God Save the Queen’ — ‘terrible…

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Spectator triolet competition winners: ‘Penelope Cruz has told me no’

21 February 2016 9:30

Your latest challenge was to compose a Valentine’s triolet. A famous example of the triolet is Frances Cornford’s catty ‘To…

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Spectator competition winners: ‘The Donald – as I call him – is a secret I can’t share’: poems suitable for inclusion in ‘Now We Are Rich’

13 February 2016 9:30

For the latest competition you were invited to submit a poem suitable for inclusion in Now We are Rich. There…

The cast of the film adaptation of Frank McCourt's misery-lit classic Angela's Ashes. Photo: Getty/Universal Pictures

Spectator competition winners: misery memoir blurbs

8 February 2016 18:30

Reader Tom Dulake suggested that I invite competitors to submit a blurb for a misery memoir, which struck me as…

An engraving of John Milton. Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Spectator competition winners: Pam Ayres meets John Milton

30 January 2016 9:30

The latest brief, to submit up to 16 lines of verse that are the fruit of a collaboration between two…


Spectator competition winners: Jeeves, Godot and The Lady of Shalott on the psychiatrist’s couch

25 January 2016 18:30

The call for psychiatric reports on a well-known figure in literature pulled in a large and entertaining entry. Shakespearean characters…

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Spectator competition winners: macaronic poetry

16 January 2016 9:30

The latest challenge was to compose up to 16 lines of macaronic verse. A dictionary of poetic terms will tell…

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a climate summit in Paris. Image: ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images

Spectator competition: acrostic predictions for the next decade

9 January 2016 9:30

The latest competition was a technical challenge with a bit of soothsaying thrown in. You were asked for an acrostic…


Spectator competition: Tips for writing ‘thanks, but no thanks’ letters

31 December 2015 10:10

The new year challenge was to compose a thank-you letter for a particularly unenjoyable Christmas visit to relatives that manages…


Spectator competition winners: poems about HS2

7 December 2015 18:30

The idea to ask for poems about HS2 came to me as I was listening on YouTube to W.H. Auden’s…

Tracey Emin's 'My Bed'. Picture: Getty Images

Revealed: winners of the Spectator’s bad sex awards

21 November 2015 9:30

In a challenge inspired by the Literary Review’s Bad Sex in Fiction award, competitors were invited to submit a libido-dampening…

The Viking 1 orbiter's view of Mars. Source: Nasa

Spectator competition: poems from Mars (plus: verses on HS2)

14 November 2015 9:40

The latest challenge was to describe an everyday object, in verse, from the point of view of a Martian. James…

Winston Churchill poses for the cameras in the grounds of the White House, wearing his 'siren suit', a one-piece garment of his own design, 17th January 1942. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Spectator competition: new garments and their definitions, plus: write a wintry short story

9 November 2015 18:30

The idea for the latest challenge was sent in by a reader who, inspired by the emergence of the ‘slanket’,…


Spectator competition: clerihews about fictional characters (plus: bad sex award)

2 November 2015 18:30

The clerihew is a comic four-line (AABB) biographical poem characterised by metrical irregularity and awkward rhyme. The first line is…

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Spectator competition: the novel that John Lennon might have written (plus: martian poetry)

25 October 2015 11:38

The latest challenge was to submit an extract from a novel written by a rock star of your choosing. I…

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Spectator competition winners: twisting poetry classics

18 October 2015 18:10

The recent invitation to write a poem that begins with the first line or two lines of a well-known poem…

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Spectator competition: threesomes six ways (plus: clerihews for fictional characters)

10 October 2015 9:45

The call for poems composed entirely of three-letter words certainly ruffled some feathers. ‘This is the most difficult comp you…