Competition

Extracts from Shakespeare’s newly discovered play, Charles III

19 June 2021 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3203, you were invited to supply an extract from the newly discovered Shakespeare play Charles III. I…

P.G. Wodehouse’s Aunts Among the Chickens

12 June 2021 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3202, you were invited to replace the word ‘love’ in a well-known book title of your choice…

Henry James sells Heinz baked beans

5 June 2021 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3201, a contest inspired by Salman ‘naughty but nice’ Rushdie, you were invited to submit advertising copy…

Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales retold

29 May 2021 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3200, you were invited to retell one of Chaucer’s tales in the style of another author. The…

What Boris Johnson’s vacuum cleaner saw

22 May 2021 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3199, you were invited to supply a poem in which an inanimate object comments on its owner’s…

Spectator competition winners: Enid Blyton explains economics to children

15 May 2021 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3198, you were invited to supply an extract from a children’s book that is designed to explain…

Spectator competition winners: poems on the death of Prince Philip

8 May 2021 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3197, you were invited to supply a poem to mark the death of Prince Philip. I wondered…

Replies from Shakespeare’s dark lady and Frances Cornford’s fat woman

1 May 2021 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3196, you were invited to supply a reply to the poet from Frances Cornford’s fat woman or…

Spectator competition winners: racy versions of the classics

24 April 2021 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3195, you were invited to submit an extract from the racier, mass-market version of a well-known literary…

Spectator competition winners: a kiwi fruit for Emily Dickinson

17 April 2021 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3194, a nod to Keats and Tony Harrison, you were invited to write a poem about a…

Spectator competition winners: royal clerihews

10 April 2021 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3193 you were invited to submit clerihews (two couplets, AABB, metrically clunky, humorous in tone) on members…

Spectator competition winners: animals get their revenge on humankind

3 April 2021 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3192 you were invited to submit a short story that features an animal (or animals) taking revenge…

The bard responds to news that he has been cancelled

27 March 2021 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3191 you were invited to submit a Shakespearean soliloquy reflecting on the news that the Bard has…

Spectator competition winners: the novels you will never read

20 March 2021 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3190 you were invited to submit the first paragraph of your least favourite type of novel. Sci-fi…

Spectator competition winners: poems about favourite smells

13 March 2021 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3189 you were invited to submit a poem about a favourite smell. This challenge certainly seemed to…

Spectator competition winners: the hell of a foreign holiday

6 March 2021 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3188, a challenge designed to make us all feel better about the looming prospect of another enforced…

Spectator competition winners: topical sea shanties

27 February 2021 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3187 you were asked to provide a sea shanty on a topical theme. This challenge was an…

Spectator competition winners: mischievous acrostics

20 February 2021 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3186 you were invited to supply an acrostic poem praising or dispraising a public figure, in which…

Spectator competition winners: ‘England in 2021’ (sonnets after Shelley)

13 February 2021 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3185 you were invited to compose a sonnet called ‘England in 2021’. The challenge was inspired by…

Spectator competition winners: jokes in verse form

6 February 2021 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3184 you were invited to tell a joke in verse form. This challenge, suggested by a reader…

Spectator competition winners: adverbial short stories

30 January 2021 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3183 you were invited to submit a short story entitled ‘My Year of Living [insert adverb of…

Spectator competition winners: Edward Lear and Pam Ayres write dirges

23 January 2021 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3182 you were invited to rewrite a famous piece of light verse with a dirge-like, hieratic tone…

Spectator competition winners: publishers rejecting literary classics

16 January 2021 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3181 you were invited to submit a letter by a publisher rejecting a well-known literary classic. The…

Belloc-esque cautionary tales for our times

9 January 2021 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3180 you were invited to submit a Belloc-esque cautionary tale featuring a high-profile public figure. Cautionary Tales…

Christmas hits rewritten as sonnets

19 December 2020 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3179 you were invited to submit a Christmas hit single rewritten as a sonnet. This seasonal challenge…