Category Archives: Writers

National Poetry Competition Winner

Out of 13,041 entires, Patricia McCarthy’s ‘Clothes that escaped the Great War’ is the Winner of the National Poetry Competition.

Judges Vicki Feaver, W N Herbert and Nick Laird were initially struck by the surprising title of McCarthy’s work, but were soon captivated by this atmospheric poem based on a story her own mother told her – a memory of something she had witnessed as a small girl in Yorkshire, during the First World War.

Patricia McCarthy becomes the 36th person to win the Poetry Society’s National Poetry Competition since it began in 1978. The competition has been an important milestone in the careers of many of today’s leading poets and  recognises an individual poem, previously unpublished, in an anonymised judging process. The judges only discover the identity of the winners after making their final decision. Take a look at http://www.poetrysociety.org.uk

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English PEN Appoints New Director

English PEN,  has appointed Jo Glanville as its new Director following Jonathan Heawood’s departure to a new role after six years in post. Jo joins the charity from Index on Censorship where she has served as an award-winning Editor since 2006. Her previous roles include BBC current affairs producer for Radio 4 and the World Service. She will take up the Directorship of English PEN on 3 September.

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The turning point for libel laws?

The Defamation Bill, announced in last week’s Queen’s Speech, has been published. Click here for coverage – http://www.libelreform.org/news/524-libel-reform-is-in-the-queens-speech

The Libel Reform Campaign, consisting of nearly 100 organisations and 60,000 individuals, has been calling for this since December 2009. Now the work begins to examine whether the reforms will do away with the bullying effects of the current laws. The campaign continues to fight for:

  • a public interest defence so people can defend themselves unless the claimant can show they have been malicious or reckless;
  • a strong test of harm that strikes out claims unless the claimant can demonstrate serious and substantial harm and they have a real prospect of vindication;
  • a restriction on corporations’ ability to use the libel laws to silence criticism;
  • provisions for online hosts and intermediaries, who are not authors nor traditional publishers.

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