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2 minutes reading time (379 words)

CHRISTMAS IS A-GOING OUT

Every time it's the same. You look forward to the rest -- the bit where all the shops shut, the dark draws in and you can down tools. And then it starts.

It's hard work. It's harder work than working.

And in between, people fall out, it freezes, it thaws, pipes burst, it rains, your car breaks down, the bank is shut when you thought it was open, your bank balance is imbalanced and half your Christmas cards are late and then tumble back NO LONGER AT THIS ADDRESS.

You do a fair bit of laughing, an unfair bit of eating and drinking. You pile up the books you are about to read during your 'holiday', though you don't actually have time to read any of them. Or maybe just one.

And then suddenly it's all OVER and you're shattered. You need to sleep for a week, not rampage into 2011.

Enough of the moaning. The elevenses have begun.

Points to note:

  • HSWF Mentoring Scheme: From this month, HappenStance is working with Writers Forum -- a mentoring scheme which hopefully will encourage good entries to WF monthly poetry competitions and perhaps some increased sales for HappenStance at the same time. For 'new' poets, I think this scheme is well worth looking at.
  • The William Soutar Writing Prize is open for poetry this year. Entry is absolutely free. You can send in up to two poems and the first prize is an Arvon Week. The second is a hundred quid. There is also a local poet prize for people resident in Perth and Kinross. Closing date February 14th. What are you waiting for?

This year's William Soutar judge is . . . er . . . Helena Nelson. So if you should be reading this and happen to be a HappenStance poet already, please don't enter because it might look like corruption, even though judging is anonymous. But do encourage everyone else you know to enter. Unless there are 5,000 entries, I will be reading them all.

Full information and entry form can be found on the William Soutar website. If you don't know anything about William Soutar, now's your chance -- he is -- or was -- remarkable.

Happy New Work! May your poems always grow shorter . . .

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Saturday, 28 January 2023