Anna Saunders

Anna Saunders


Anna Saunders is the author of Communion, (Wild Conversations Press), Struck, (Pindrop Press) Kissing the She Bear, (Wild Conversations Press), Burne Jones and the Fox (Indigo Dreams) and the Ghosting for Beginners (Indigo Dreams, Spring 2018) described as ‘ a beautifully evocative read’ by Fiona Sampson. Anna has had poems published in journals and anthologies, which include Ambit, The North, New Walk Magazine, Amaryllis, Iota, Caduceus, Envoi, The Wenlock Anthology, Eyeflash, and The Museum of Light.
Anna is the CEO and founder of Cheltenham Poetry Festival. She has been described as ‘a poet who surely can do anything’ by The North, ‘a modern myth maker’ by Paul Stephenson and as ‘a poet of quite remarkable gifts’ by Bernard O’Donoghue. Read more here.

What I’m looking for from poetry competition entries
Paul Valery said that poetry is to prose, as dancing is to walking.
And I am looking for poems which are balletic, rather than pedestrian –poems that make the mind leap and pirouette rather than stroll.
By that I mean I am looking for poems which move and excite me, poems which have an energy and charge.
Attention to craft is essential, and of course the poems should be meticulously edited, but originality and verve are perhaps more likely to make a winning poem than a careful sonnet which says nothing new.
Make each line, each word, work hard – I will relish your vibrant and innovative use of language and your vivid and inventive images.
Ensure sure your poems are airborne, they stand a better chance of getting noticed that way.
Gloucestershire is home to some of the finest poets in the UK – and I am excited to read poets submitted by the writers in this immensely creative county.


Kim Fleet

Kim Fleet


Kim Fleet is an award-winning short story writer and novelist. She has published four novels: Sacred Site (Picnic Publishing, 2009); Featherfoot (Kindle, 2012); Paternoster (The History Press, 2015), which was nominated for a Golden Dagger Award; and Holy Blood (The History Press, 2017). She has won/ been placed in over 20 international writing competitions and has published extensively in short story magazines in the UK and abroad. Read more here.

What I’m looking for from prose competition entries
I take it for granted that entries will be correctly spelled and punctuated, and that any deviations from this will be done knowledgeably, deliberately and to create a specific effect.
It goes without saying that the writer will demonstrate a love of language and confidence in handling his or her material. But turning a fancy phrase isn’t enough: I want to be entertained. In the fifteen or so minutes I’ll have in your company, I’d love you to stir my emotions, introduce me to subjects I’ve never encountered before, take me to strange lands, or show me the world anew. Turn the everyday inside out and show me how extraordinary it is; flex your imagination and take me to incredible places; make me laugh, cry, jump out of my seat, nod sagely, or have to sleep with the light on.
Be brave, be bold, have fun, but above all be you.