Playing Bingo

The 1st Playing Bingo Poetry Competition

The 1st Anthology Of Bingo Book

Bingo is already rich in tradition when it comes to poetry, with its rhyming number names and the verse-like cadences of the bingo caller in full flow. However, our Poetry part of the Creative Corner is currently looking a bit thin on the ground when it comes to bingo poems.

That's just not good enough, and we'd like to change that and make it full to bursting with loads of poetry on the subject of our favourite game.

That's why we've launched the 1st Playing Bingo Poetry Competition, to give you the chance to win some nice prizes and us the chance to fill our poetry section with your work for all to enjoy.

Competition Result

Playing Bingo would like to thank all the entrants to the competition. 115 poems qualified for entry, which was whittled down to a short-list of 20 poems for final judging by the poet Fawzia Kane. The final results are in, and we're pleased to announce the winners.

Also, all the winners and shortlisted entries were included in our book The 1st Anthology Of Bingo, along with a selection of photographs we commissioned for the site.

You can by your own hard copy of the book here.

If you'd like to get the Kindle version, it's available here.

The Winners

Shortlisted And Commended By The Judge

Our judge Fawzia Kane had this to say about the entries.

"The shortlisted anonymous selection I was given was of an incredibly high standard, and this was a difficult task. Some great poems were just pipped, reluctantly. Most incorporated the familiar bingo calls, in smooth and clever ways. There was even a tribute to the mathematician Carl Leffler.

The commended poem "Bingo Night" was different from the others, as it considered, with compassion, the bread and circuses aspect in our bingo-addicted social lives.

Many poems described romantic crushes on the bingo callers themselves (should the admin people of Playing Bingo be worried?) and the other commended poem "L-The Prize" was one of the wittiest.

The community and sociable side of bingo was captured in several of the selected pieces, and the 3rd placed "Bingo" was a sad yet sweet celebration of a beloved granddad who "always loved to play".

The difference in the generations who appreciate bingo was also explored. In 2nd place, the young narrator in "Bingo Wings" won me over with her funny and skilful build-up of the novice's tension and "need to win those sausage rolls", held against "Nan and her crew's" calm experience.

But the winner "Winter's Lucky Lady" stood out as a beautiful and filmic piece of writing, which worked both on the page and when read aloud. The language is sparse, yet we pick up a lot more of the poem's character Vera and her environment than what was spelled out. Each verse reads as a short scene where the images moved the narrative along. The words "cathedral of numbers" is one of the best descriptions of Bingo I've ever seen."

Also Shortlisted

The below poems also made the final judging shortlist, as choosen by our panel of judges here at Playing Bingo.

And Finally

Over the coming months we'll be adding all the eligible entrants to the competition in the Creative Corner poetry section dedicated to this competition. What's more, all winners and shortlisted entrants will feature in an anthology we're creating, dedicated to the game of bingo. Keep your eyes peeled for more details as time goes on...

Competition Entry Details (Now Closed)

Please note: The competition is now closed, details are here for reference only..

Fancy entering? The competition is open to residents of the UK, and here's all the details you need to enter. Please read the terms and conditions thoroughly, to ensure your eligibility to enter the competition and win one of the prizes on offer.


On offer are the following prizes for the winning entrants:

Poetry Theme

The theme for the poetry is "Bingo".

What you choose to write about is up to you, as long as it is bingo related. It could be a humorous piece, a romantic piece, an emotional response to the act of playing bingo, or whatever comes to mind. It could be about the game itself, the people playing it, the places it's played, the paraphernalia or whatever, as long as it has a link to the game in all its forms.

We're not looking for a particular type of poetry either, it could be a ballad, an ode, whatever suits your writing and compositional style.

Poem Length

The minimum length for the poem is 10 lines or 200 words, the maximum length is 40 lines or 1000 words.


All entries must be in English.


Judging will be done by the editorial team of Playing Bingo, a number of whom are published writers and final judging will be decided by our guest judge Fawzia Kane, who's current collection is available via the Waterloo Press.

Entry Fees

There are no fees as the competition is free to enter (1 entry per person) - but please note we will publish all poems entered on the site. Also, if you have a blog or a website we love you to share a link* to the competition for other budding poets (*completely optional!)

Previous Use

All entries must be original and unpublished (in print, digitally or on the web.) All entries whether winning or not will be published on the Playing Bingo website.

Competition Closing Date

The final date for entries is the 31st of October 2013.

Submitting Your Entry

Please make sure that each entry includes the title of the piece in the file but not your name and details. No more than one entry is allowed per person. All entries must be sent as a Word .doc or .docx file. Please add your name and address details to the email your entry is attached to.

Email entry now closed.

Full Competition Terms And Conditions

Email entry now closed.

Competitions And Prizes section index