Loughborough University’s Bill Overton – an English professor who specialised in poetry – died in September 2012 after suffering from a long-term illness. In honour of his career, the university has set up the Overton Poetry Prize after raising funds through a special memorial fund. So why am I telling you all of this? Well, if you love writing poetry – and I know a lot of our readers/contributors do – then it’s your chance to be published. Amongst the judges is Sarah Jackson, winner of the Seamus Heaney Prize in 2013, who will undertake the final judging. Below you’ll find all the details for entry, plus if you’d like more information about the Overton Poetry Prize, please visit the link, here. Good luck!
- Entry fee is £10 per submission
- Submissions can be a sequence of poems on any subject (up to 300 lines)
- Participants must be over 16-years-old
- Competition is worldwide, but submissions must be in the English language
- Closes on March 31st, 2014
- First prize is the publication of the winning sequence in chapbook form
- Two runners-up prizes of £50 each
*All rights will remain with the author, but Loughborough University will retain the right to feature the winning poems on their website.
As our readers know, Inkblots is dedicated to finding new talent, often searching through pools of content in order to pick out the best, but tonight’s post isn’t about our content, it’s about something a little more special.
In September 2012, I was hit by not one but two deaths that affected me in different ways. One was a family death, of which I loved him dearly – a great Uncle masquerading as my Grandad in many ways – and the other was a former lecturer at Loughborough University who both taught and guided me in the form of poetry and Shakespeare. Bill Overton was a large part of the English Department at the university and gave us a real kick up the bums if we were not reaching our full potential! Sadly, he passed away after suffering from a period of illness. Hearing this news from my former students, lecturers and friends was a real shock. It was something that none of us could even process, so I can’t imagine how hard it would have been for his family and friends.
But since Bill loved both teaching and reading Poetry, Loughborough University has set up a memorial fund, which will support an annual poetry prize, giving the opportunity for new talent to pave their career in writing. It’s a fantastic opportunity for emerging poets but the university, in combination with the Loughborough University Charity Trust, needs your help. They are looking to raise £6,000 for the prize and are already on their way to achieving that goal. Currently, they’ve raised £480 and, though that may seem small at present, every little bit helps. You may not have known Bill Overton personally, you may even be on the other side of the world, but even if you can’t donate we’d love for you to help spread the word. So if you can take two minutes to either reblog this post, tweet about it, or even share it on Facebook, it would be a wonderful gesture.
To donate to the Bill Overton Memorial Fund, you can visit the page at: http://www.justgiving.com/BillOverton
To all those in advance, thank-you.
– Silver, Inkblots Editor