Literary competition

Spectator competition winners: ‘If you don’t whistle the correct tune, you may get maltweeted’: 21st-century fables

14 September 2019 9:30

Your latest challenge was to come up with a fable for the 21st century, complete with moral. James Michie, my…

Spectator competition winners: If Shakespeare had been an estate agent

7 September 2019 8:30

The latest competition called for estate agents’ details in the style of a well-known author. Highlights, in a cracking entry,…

Spectator competition winners: acrostic politicians

2 September 2019 11:45

The latest challenge called for an acrostic poem about a politician in which the first letter of each line spells…

Spectator competition winners: William McGonagall on Magaluf

18 August 2019 9:03

Your latest challenge was to imagine William Topaz McGonagall’s poetic response to Magaluf. McGonagall was much taken with the town…

Spectator competition winners: Dylan Thomas does the ‘Hokey-Cokey’

12 August 2019 11:40

Jeff Brechlin’s inspired ‘Hokey-Cokey’ rewritten as a Shakespearean sonnet prompted this week’s invitation, to filter the song through the pen…

Spectator competition winners: ‘No milksop this, the Tories’ favourite son…’ (remaking Milton)

27 July 2019 9:30

For the latest challenge you were invited to provide a sonnet with the following end rhymes (taken from Milton’s Sonnet…

Elizabeth Bennett reads her letter from Darcy in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

Spectator competition winners: Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’ meets Pride and Prejudice (literary mash-ups)

20 July 2019 10:37

The germ for the latest challenge —to provide an extract that is a mash-up of two well-known works of literature…

Spectator competition winners: poems with a twist

13 July 2019 9:25

The latest competition called for poems with an ingenious twist at the end. Though popular, this challenge turned out to…

Spectator competition winners: David Attenborough on the World Cup Lionesses

8 July 2019 11:23

For the latest challenge you were invited to succumb to Women’s World Cup fever and submit a fragment of commentary…

Spectator competition winners: Theresa May’s life in three limericks

30 June 2019 9:30

Your latest challenge was to encapsulate the life story of a well-known person, living or dead, in three limericks. The…

Spectator competition winners: ‘The hour is come: Now, Gods, stand up for Boris!’ (Shakespearean soliloquies from would-be prime ministers)

23 June 2019 9:30

For the latest literary challenge you were invited to submit a Shakespearean soliloquy delivered by one of the contenders for…

Britain's Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary Michael Gove leaves from 10 Downing Street in central London on March 20, 2018 after attending the weekly meeting of the Cabinet. Britain and the European Union on March 19 reached a landmark deal on a transition phase that will see London follow the bloc's rules for nearly two years after the Brexit divorce. Chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier and his British counterpart David Davis said the agreement, which European leaders will sign at a summit this week, was a "decisive step". (Photo: BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

Spectator competition winners: Gradgrind’s fan letter to Michael Gove

15 June 2019 8:27

The idea for the latest challenge — to compose a fan letter from one well-known person from the field of…

Spectator competition winners: ‘Please quit all that huddling…’: contemporary takes on ‘The New Colossus’

10 June 2019 9:32

The latest challenge was an invitation to compose a contemporary take on ‘The New Colossus’, the 1883 sonnet by Emma…

Spectator competition winners: odes to Alexa and Siri

2 June 2019 9:30

For the latest competition you were challenged to submit an ode to Alexa or Siri. A recent study by Unesco,…

Jacopo Ligozzi’s chimera

Spectator competition winners: ‘A beast whose name links Cor with May…’

26 May 2019 9:30

For the latest competition, you were asked to dream up an imaginary animal that is a hybrid of two existing…

Spectator competition winners: poems that go backwards and forwards

19 May 2019 9:30

For the latest competition you were asked to compose a poem that can be read forwards and backwards, i.e. from…

The St George flag. Image: Getty

Spectator competition winners: what is Englishness?

12 May 2019 9:30

The call for poems about Englishness in the style of a well-known poet produced a mostly predictable line-up — from…

An etching of Robert Burns (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Spectator competition winners: ‘O Poor deceasèd Robbie Burns – or should we call you Rabbie?’: William McGonagall’s elegy on Robert Burns

28 April 2019 8:43

The prompt for this challenge – to submit an elegy by a poet on another poet – was ‘Adonais’, Shelley’s…

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…