Spectrum

The Roaring Twenties are off to a troubled start, and although 2022 is a different world in many ways to the beginning of the pandemic – thankfully the majority of us are not in lockdown any more – still fear, concern, ‘culture wars’ are rife, and it feels just as important to keep channelling positive energy into the ether.

Following the success of the New Beginnings project in 2021, Spectrum: Poetry Celebrating Identity seeks to provide a poetry platform for those who feel marginalised or ‘othered’. We want the resulting anthology – scheduled for October – to be a celebration of our differences, a determined and joyous collection resolute in the face of those who would use them to divide us.

 

Details | Meet the Judges | Support the Project | Rules & Entry

Details


Competition opened on Friday 25th March; closes Saturday 18th June

Longlist will be announced at the beginning of August

Shortlist will be announced at the end of August

Entry cost: free

Open to: anyone who wants to talk about their identity. We’re particularly keen to hear from those who do not see their identity represented in traditional or mainstream media. Anywhere in the world, any age. Rules →

Poetry length: up to 100 lines or 750 words, only one (must be previously unpublished) poem per applicant.

1st prize: £200

2nd prize: £100

Special mentions at the judges’ discretion.

All of the poems on the shortlist will be published in a volume, and everyone included will receive a copy of the book, and will be invited to take place in an online launch event.

Meet the Judges

Photo © Jo Cotterill

Miriam Halahmy

Miriam was a teacher for 25 years, and, having worked with refugees and asylum seekers in schools, her writing engages with historical and contemporary issues that affect children across time – most notably the plight of refugees. Her young-adult novel, Hidden, was a Sunday Times Children’s Book of the Week, was nominated for the Carnegie Medal and has been adapted for the stage. Saving Hanno, Miriam’s new book, is about a boy who comes on the Kindertransport and reflects on the grief and loss experienced by refugee children.

 

Photo © Tom Denbigh

Tom Denbigh

Tom Denbigh lives in Bristol with an obscene number of books. He is the first Bristol Pride Poet Laureate and a BBC 1Extra Emerging Artist Talent Search winner. He has performed at the Royal Albert Hall and festivals around the UK, and has brought poetry to Brighton and London Prides. He is a producer at Milk Poetry and has facilitated writing workshops for groups of students from the UK and abroad (he is particularly proud of his work with queer young people). His debut collection …and then she ate him is out now with Burning Eye Books.

 

Photo © Hannah Fields

Hannah Fields

Hannah Fields is a writer, editor and publisher from Texas. She founded the independent publishing company, Folkways Press, in 2020, and launched the company with an anthology, We Are Not Shadows, as its inaugural publication. The anthology selected writing from women of all ages and backgrounds and covers a wide range of topics – including issues of race, gender, sexuality, trauma, adversity, disability, and more. She has worked on various publications, from children’s books to award-winning magazines, along with various publishers in the US and UK.

 

Photo © Matt Dady-Leonard

Will Dady

Will Dady grew up in the wonderfully named Great Snoring in North Norfolk, and now lives in London. He is the Publisher at Renard Press, which he founded in 2020. A publisher of classic and contemporary fiction, non-fiction, theatre and poetry, part of Renard’s raison d’être is to empower and provide a platform to marginalised voices. The New Beginnings project was set up in 2021 as an antidote to the less pleasant aspects of the pandemic, and its huge success in attracting stirring entries has made these projects a firm fixture in Renard’s publishing programme.

 

Support the Project

If, like us, you think this is a really important project, we’d love your help! Please do help us to get the word out – on social media (#SpectrumPoetry) and in real life, as we’d love to reach people who aren’t on Facebook or Twitter, too!

This project is going to need money to get off the ground. If you’re able to, please pre-order the anthology or consider becoming a sponsor of the project – in return we’ll add your name to a special ‘thanks’ page in the book, and you can choose your level of support and receive various perks, including tote bags, deluxe editions and more. Sponsor →

If you know someone who would be interested in the project, please share this page with them! Click here to email them →

Sponsor the Project

We estimate that this project will cost about £1,500 for a basic print run and the cash prizes. As a small independent press setting up in a time of crisis, this is a lot of money! If you’re able to, please consider becoming a sponsor – we’ll add your name to a special ‘thanks’ page in the book, and you can choose your level of support and receive various great perks from the options below. We will keep this progress bar updated as often as possible, to show how close we’re getting. Thank you in advance!

Target: £1,500 | Funded so far: £160 | Backers: 4 | 10.7% funded

10.7%

 

Print & Digital
Supporter

£15 | 0 backers

Sponsor by £15 to receive:

  • The anthology in print once it’s published
  • The e-book edition too
  • Your name on a special ‘thanks’ page in the book

SPONSOR →

Print & Digital Plus Supporter

£20 | 3 backers

Sponsor by £20 to receive:

  • The anthology in print once it’s published
  • The e-book edition too
  • A set of postcards with the cover art
  • A Renard Press tote bag
  • Your name on a special ‘thanks’ page in the book

SPONSOR →

Deluxe
Supporter

£50 | 0 backers

Sponsor by £50 to receive:

  • A deluxe hardback edition of the anthology
  • A copy of the paperback too
  • The e-book edition too
  • A set of postcards with the cover art
  • A Renard Press tote bag
  • Your name on a special ‘thanks’ page in the book

SPONSOR →

Doubled Up and Arty
Supporter

£100 | 1 backers

Sponsor by £100 to receive:

  • Two deluxe hardback editions of the anthology
  • Two copies of the paperback too
  • The e-book edition too
  • A set of postcards with the cover art
  • A Renard Press tote bag
  • A limited edition art print of the cover artwork
  • Your name on a special ‘thanks’ page in the book

SPONSOR →



Enter

You can enter using this Google form here. Please make sure you have read the rules before entering, and only enter once; only one entry will be considered per entrant.

Rules

We want to keep this fairly simple and open – the only rules we have for entry are below.

  • There is no minimum (or maximum) age requirement for entry, but please bear in mind that if you’re under 18 you legally need to have parental or guardian consent to enter. Anyone can submit, but please read the brief first and make sure that your poem and entry fits.
  • The work must be your own, and we ask that you don’t submit it elsewhere in the mean time.
  • Please do not include photographs or illustrations.
  • Please only submit once – we will only consider your first entry if you enter again.
  • Entries must be received by 11.59PM on Saturday 18th June 2022 to be considered.
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