Vernal Equinox Competition Judges

The three judges for the FWS Vernal Equinox competition, deadline Mar 26th, have been announced.

Poetry Section

This will be judged as usual by the Makar in post for the year, who this year is Andy Jackson.

Andy is from Salford but has lived in Scotland since 1992. He is author of two poetry collections including A Beginner’s Guide To Cheating (Red Squirrel Press, 2015) and editor of several anthologies including Double Bill (Red Squirrel Press, 2014) and Whaleback City: the Poetry of Dundee and its Hinterland with W N Herbert (Dundee University Press, 2013). He hosts the Scotia Extremis project with Brian Johnstone. He also curates the New Boots and Pantisocracies blog of political poems, again with W N Herbert, and the Otwituaries blog.

Andy was asked what he would be looking for in the competition entries. He says:

‘What I’m hoping for: I would like to see poems that go places that other poems haven’t yet been, using rich and expressive contemporary language, whether Scots or English. I’m hoping to see Scotland’s poets pushing the language and art of poetry forward rather than borrowing too much from more traditional styles and forms, but above all I’m hoping, as we all do when reading a poem, for something that makes me go…’Wow!’

Short Story Section

iii) We are delighted that Colin Will, new editor for Red Squirrel Press’s Postbox Press, has agreed to judge the short story section.

Colin was born in Edinburgh in 1942 and lives in Dunbar. He retired from a career in scientific librarianship in 2002, and he’s been a prolific writer ever since, with eight poetry collections and a short story pamphlet (Getting On) published. He was Makar to the Federation in 2010. He is Editor at Postbox Press, the literary fiction imprint of Red Squirrel Press. He chairs the Board of StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival (see under other members’ news below). These days, while still writing poems, he concentrates on short stories, aiming to have a full-length collection published in 2018.

Asked what he will be looking for in the competition entries, Colin says:

I’m looking for freshness in short story entries, and the avoidance of clichés. I like clarity of writing. I hope to be surprised, but in a good way. I like conciseness. I look forward to reading all the entries, and to finding quality writing in them. Tell me a story.’

Flash Fiction Section

We are likewise delighted that Gavin Inglis has agreed to judge the flash fiction Gavin has been writing and publishing flash fiction for thirteen years. His work has appeared in magazines such as 4’33”, Product, 404 Ink and The One o’Clock Gun, and he taught a popular flash fiction course at the University of Edinburgh for eight years. He is known for his energetic live performances of very short stories, often set to music, and works professionally in digital, interactive fiction. Asked what he will be looking for in the competition entries, Colin says:

In choosing a winning flash, I’ll be looking for economy of language, emotional impact, and something that implies a larger story beyond its narrow bounds.

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