Literary competition

Spectator competition winners: ‘Shall I prepare thee for a summer’s day?’ (new ways of weather-forecasting)

17 March 2019 8:45

The seed for this week’s task, to put your own spin on a weather forecast, came from the Master Singers’…

Spectator competition winners: Killer-Heels Tess and Boris the Johnson – Westminster hard-boiled

10 March 2019 9:30

Your latest challenge was to submit a short story in the style of hard-boiled crime fiction set in the corridors…

Spectator competition winners: crossing a haiku with a limerick

3 March 2019 9:30

We already have short-form hybrids such as the clerihaiku (here’s one from Mary Holtby): Peter Palumbo Cries, ‘Mumbo-jumbo!’ and rails…

Spectator competition winners: poems about struggling to write a poem

23 February 2019 9:30

The call for poems about the difficulty of writing a poem attracted a far-larger-than-usual entry. A.H. Harker’s punchy couplet caught…

Spectator competition winners: in dispraise of Valentine’s Day

15 February 2019 17:24

The invitation to submit poems in dispraise of Valentine’s Day certainly struck a chord, drawing a large and heartfelt entry…

Spectator competition winners: breaking up is hard to do

11 February 2019 14:51

The invitation to competitors to write a poem entitled ‘Breaking up is hard to do’ produced an inventive, accomplished entry…

Spectator competition winners: it started with a tweet…

3 February 2019 9:30

For the latest challenge you were asked to submit a poem or a short story that begins ‘It started with…

Spectator competition winners: how to be happy

28 January 2019 14:00

The latest challenge was to write a poem taking as your first line ‘Happy the man, and happy he alone’,…

Spectator competition winners: The Parable of the Faithful Servant as P.G. Wodehouse would have written it

20 January 2019 9:30

The call to supply a parable rewritten in the style of a well-known author drew a lively and entertaining entry.…

Spectator competition winners: ‘O Walkman! O Walkman!’

13 January 2019 9:17

The most recent challenge, suggested by Paul A. Freeman, asked for an elegy on a piece of obsolete technology. There’s…

Spectator competition winners: an alternative to ‘Auld Lang Syne’

6 January 2019 9:30

Your new year’s challenge was to supply an anthem to usher in 2019, starting with the first line of ‘Auld…

Spectator competition winners: politically correct Christmas carols

23 December 2018 9:30

The festive challenge was to submit a politically correct Christmas carol. One of Donald Trump’s election pledges was to end…

Spectator competition winners: ‘The mother of all horrors, what a comp’ (or Shakespearean characters hiding in sonnets)

9 December 2018 9:30

This fiendishly difficult challenge, to submit a sonnet with the name of a Shakespearean character hidden in each line, pulled…

Spectator competition winners: misguided love poems

2 December 2018 9:30

You seemed to embrace the latest challenge – to supply seriously misguided love poems – especially wholeheartedly, and I admired…

Spectator competition winners: the beautiful poetry of Donald Trump

24 November 2018 9:30

For this week’s challenge you were invited to submit poems by Donald Trump. The Beautiful Poetry of Donald Trump, which…

Spectator competition winners: Franz Kafka goes phishing

18 November 2018 9:30

The latest challenge was to submit a scam letter ghostwritten by a well-known author, living or dead. Falling for a…

Spectator competition winners: 21st-century Gothic short stories

11 November 2018 9:30

The spark for the latest challenge — to write a short story in the Gothic style with a topical twist…

Spectator competition winners: a life in sixteen lines

4 November 2018 9:30

The latest challenge, to supply a short verse biography of a well-known figure from history, produced a commendable entry in…

Spectator competition winners: Let’s get demotivated!

27 October 2018 9:00

For the latest competition you were invited to supply a demotivational poem. This was your opportunity to come up with…

Spectator competition winners: When I grow up I want to be…

21 October 2018 9:30

The performance poet Megan Beech was so incensed by the abuse heaped by Twitter trolls on her idol Mary Beard…

Spectator competition winners: These are a few of their favourite things (snowflakes’, vice chancellors’, premier league footballers’…)

14 October 2018 14:17

The idea for the latest challenge, to provide a spoof version of the song ‘My Favourite Things’ for the constituency/demographic…

Spectator competition winners: back-to-front sonnets

7 October 2018 9:30

The latest competition asked for a sonnet in reverse, modelled on Rupert Brooke’s ‘Sonnet Reversed’, which turns upside-down both the…

Spectator competition winners: Dante’s holiday from hell

30 September 2018 9:53

The seed of the latest assignment — to provide a tale of travel misery on behalf of a well-known voyager…

Spectator competition winners: Anna Karenina lives happily ever after

16 September 2018 9:30

Your latest challenge was to supply a happy ending for a well-known play, poem or novel. Nahum Tate (the worst…

Spectator competition winners: ‘a tomato is nothing more than a bordello of suggestibility’

9 September 2018 9:30

The inspiration for the latest challenge, to submit a newspaper leading article exposing the corrupting influence of a seemingly innocuous…