I had an interesting little double whammy in this competition this year, managing to be a finalist (but no further) in both the poetry collection and single poem categories. If I were perfectly honest, I’d probably be quite happy to trade one of them for something a bit closer to a prize, but I’m still quite chuffed – especially about the collection, because I’ve never tried putting together anything like that before (even if it was only ten poems). Oddly, I have no idea which poem it was that made the final, because I entered two, and they don’t identify the poems by name. However, I do know that the collection was called “Love and Loss and Other Important Stuff”.

Meanwhile, the third annual Whittaker Prize has just started: nine gruelling rounds over eighteen weeks, although this year I’m only entering for the poetry. I might have gone in for the fiction as well, having somehow managed to be runner-up last year, but the first round coincided exactly with my holiday. I reckoned that I might just get away with writing a quick poem, but that Mrs P would probably have objected if I’d spent my time away writing stories …