The Results Are In! Poetry Competition Winners Announced

It’s been a busy year for our cultural quest to get bingo a body of creative work to be proud of. With the launch of our Creative Corner we’ve had a couple of great projects come to fruition, the latest of which is our 1st Poetry Competition.

The competition closed at the end of October, and since then the staff have been busy judging the entries to create the final shortlist, which went off to our guest judge, Fawzia Kane and she’s gone through the shortlisted poems to pick the winners. I’m pleased to announce the winners are as follows:

  • 1st place: Simon French – Winter’s Lucky Lady – £150 winner.
  • 2nd place: Sadie Few – Bingo Wings – £100 winner.
  • 3rd place: Michael Harrup – Bingo – £50 winner.

The winners have all been notified, and their prizes will be in the post. Our judge had this to say about the entries and the winners.

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 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.

In total we received 115 eligible entries to the competition. All were reviewed by four members of the Playing Bingo editorial team, and a shortlist of 20 compiled from our choices. The full short list is available to view in our 1st Poetry Competition section of the Creative Corner.

We’ll be taking a small break from the competitions into the new year, but come back in the Spring as we plan on getting another creative competition off the ground then. All the poems entered will eventually be added to the site too, so you can enjoy the work of our contributors in its entirety. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved, the contributors, the judges and the people who helped us to spread the word. Cheers all!

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