Thursday, January 12, 2012

Swale Life Poetry Competition (January 2012)

Closing Date: 31 January 2012

 

Details: #5 in the quarterly poetry competition in aid of Diversity House, a charity based in Sittingbourne, Kent, publishers of Swale Life magazine. This competition is for previously unpublished poems in English Language, on any subject, in any style, up to 50 lines long (excluding title). Poems entered must not have been posted to any website or blog, and must not be under consideration for publication, or accepted for publication elsewhere.

 

First Prize: £100.00, Second Prize: £50.00, Third Prize: £30.00, High Commendation Prizes: 2 x £10.00

 

First Publication: All prize winners will receive first publication in Swale Life Magazine at www.swalelife.com on 28th February 2012, and will be included in the second Swale Life Anthology to be published in January 2013.

 

Entry Fees: £3 per poem, £12 for 5 poems. £16 for 7 poems and £22 for 10 poems.

 

Donations to Charity: A third of net entry fees and all profits from the sale of the anthology will go to Diversity House.

 

The Judge: Mandy Pannett - author of Frost Hollow.

 

Competition Administration: Eastern Light EPM International -organisers of Excel for Charity writing competitions series.

 

Enter online and pay securely by PayPal or print off Entry Form at http://easternlightepm.com/excelforcharity/swale-life-poetry-competition/jan-12/

Cheques/Postal Orders in GB£ payable to:

EASTERN LIGHT EPM INTERNATIONAL

Unit 136, 113 -115 George Lane, South Woodford, London E18 1AB

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sentinel Literary Quarterly Competitions

SENTINEL LITERARY QUARTERLY POETRY COMPETITION (JANUARY 2012) | CLOSING DATE: 20-JANUARY-2012
For previously unpublished poems in English Language on any subject, in any style, up to 50 lines long (excluding title). Poems submitted must not have been accepted, or currently be under consideration for publication elsewhere and must not be simultaneously entered into another competition. Judge: Derek Adams.
PRIZES: £150 (First), £75 (Second), £50 (Third), £10 x 3 (High Commendation). All winning and commended poems will receive first publication in Sentinel Champions magazine. The authors will each receive 1 free contributor's copy. All entrants to this competition will also be automatically entered into a draw to win 1 year's subscription to Sentinel Champions. 1 poet and 1 short story writer must win the subscription this quarter.
Results will be announced at
www.sentinelquarterly.com on 20-Feb-2012
ENTRY FEES: £3/1 poem, £6/2 poems, £9/3 poems, £11/4 poems, £12/5 poems. Cheques/Postal Orders in GB£ to SENTINEL POETRY MOVEMENT, Unit 136, 113-115 George Lane, South Woodford, London E18 1AB
Enter online and pay securely by PayPal or print off Entry Form from website at
http://sentinelquarterly.com/competitions/poetry-0112/


SENTINEL LITERARY QUARTERLY SHORT STORY COMPETITION (JANUARY 2012) | CLOSING DATE: 20-JANUARY-2012
For previously unpublished short stories in English Language on any subject, in any style, up to 1,500 words long (excluding title). Stories submitted must not have been accepted, or currently be under consideration for publication elsewhere and must not be simultaneously entered into another competition. Judge: David Caddy.
PRIZES: £150 (First), £75 (Second), £50 (Third), £10 x 3 (High Commendation). All winning and commended stories will receive first publication in Sentinel Champions magazine. The authors will each receive 1 free contributor's copy. All entrants to this competition will also be automatically entered into a draw to win 1 year's subscription to Sentinel Champions. 1 poet and 1 short story writer must win the subscription this quarter.
Results will be announced at
www.sentinelquarterly.com on 20-Feb-2012
ENTRY FEES: £4/1 story, £8/2 stories, £10/3 stories, £12/4 stories. Cheques/Postal Orders in GB£ to SENTINEL POETRY MOVEMENT, Unit 136, 113-115 George Lane, South Woodford, London E18 1AB
Enter online and pay securely by PayPal or print off Entry Form from website at
http://www.sentinelquarterly.com/competitions/short-stories-0112/

Monday, January 09, 2012

Don’t Fuel Panic, Toni Kan urges BBM Broadcasters

By NNOROM AZUONYE

On Monday, January 9th, 2012 I received this BBM message from poet Toni Kan:

 

“People, pls, pls don’t send out broadcast messages until you verify them. Things are tense. Let’s not make them worse. Msgs about fighting, shooting, killings. Pls don’t broadcast until you make a few calls.”

 

It was very welcome to receive this message and I have forwarded it to most of my BBM contacts, especially those in Nigeria, who need to remain calm to be able to think clearly in these turbulent times.

 

It is not always clear where the intel that feeds these BBM broadcasts come from, or how authentic they are, but they can be quite disturbing. Here are some recent ones:

“Boko haram claimed responsibility of the Christmas day bombing,and promised more bombings on new year eve & new year  day in strategic locations in Nigeria to press down their grievances, a representative of the dreaded sect said on BBC  Hausa service. Nigerians are warned to avoid gathering like joints,clubs,cinemas,churches etc. cos those are likely targets of the next series of bombings which they call "the mother of all bombings in Nigeria" .please re-broadcast to. Family,friends and loved ones to save innocent lives,may we never be victims...... Jst got dat frm a friend now.”

**********

BREAKING NEWS:
The SSS Just announced d seizure of 10 containers of Bangers & Fireworks. Upon examination, Iτ
̅ was discovered
1. They av d initial BH..meaning Boko Haram.
2. They are laced with Nitrate used for making Bombs.
3. When lighted Iτ
̅
can blow up 10 x 10 sq metres
... 4. The containers were heading for d south western part of Nigeria.
5. Iτ
̅
is believed some have already pass through
SSS warns Nigerians to be careful of d use of bangers & fireworks or if possible do away with them. Boko Haram means business.
Please re broadcast. We shall all live to see 2012

**********

 

For those who stay in Abuja or  who have relatives there.The  American embassy have contacted all Americans to tell them to stay indoors, they said there are 3 cars in Abuja loaded with explosives planted @ different areas. They are yet to know their exact  targets.  Pass the message please.

 

The thought behind these BBM broadcasts are laudable as they appear to reflect a genuine concern for the welfare of fellow citizens. There is also a feeling that these are creative products of terror rumour merchants and that there is no basis for them at all. I have spoken to some friends and family in Northern Nigeria and they say that after reading some of these messages, not knowing which one is true or false, they err on the side of caution and worship God in their own homes rather than become sitting ducks in churches.

 

It breaks my heart to see just how helpless my Christian brothers seem to have become, and how this Boko Haram thing is wearing down the faith of some Christians. Yesterday, I got into an argument with a church deacon who said that Christians who stay away from churches out of fear of being killed by Boko Haram while they worship God are not Christians at all, because a true Christian should be prepared to die for God.

 

You see, I personally don’t think that if a Christian’s gut feeling is that there is truth behind a message of caution and stays out of harm’s way, that this is one of the things that can annoy God.

 

Like brother Toni Kan has urged, let BBM, Facebook or Twitter broadcasters verify their messages before sending them out. Recipients of these messages of caution, please pray for the grace to be directed by the Spirit on whether the intelligence behind these messages are credible. If in doubt, stay in your house and worship God there. If you must pay your tithe and offering in the church, you could always mail a cheque to your pastor. You can only worship God if there is breath in your lungs.

 


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Thursday, January 05, 2012

Now President Jonathan is terrorising Nigerians

By NNOROM AZUONYE

It is really depressing to read about and see all the pictures of widespread demonstrations in Nigeria against the removal of fuel subsidy which has now put the minimum price of petrol at N141.00 with the price in the neighbourhood of N175.00 in some areas.

It is good that Nigerians are marching the streets and shouting on top of their voices in an attempt to get the Jonathan administration to rescind this action. I am not very hopeful that these demonstrations will achieve anything anyway, I am sorry for being a pessimist here, but the truth is that President Goodluck Jonathan is proving to have a talent for ignoring the plight of Nigerians, or perhaps he has supped with the devil and is therefore incapacitated and unable to do what is right for the people he is supposed to be leading.

The timing of the actualisation of the removal of fuel subsidy is nothing short of terrorism by the state against the people of Nigeria.

Every Nigerian is worried about the terrorist and religious attacks in the country at the moment, especially in the Northern parts of Nigeria. Kidnappings are still rife in most parts of the South and South-east. Armed robbery is a growth industry nationwide. There is nothing in place to attempt securing the lives and properties of the average Nigerian.

The removal of fuel subsidy at this time will have far-reaching knock-on effects; people who drive their own vehicles will pay much more to run them. Public transport fares will rise astronomically, making it hard for people to get to work, to go out and seek work (for the unemployed), or simply to have any kind of social life. Prices of goods and services will invariably rise as the costs of delivering them rise. There is also the problem with electric power. With irregular power supply in most parts of the country, the people of Nigeria, who could afford it, have been providing alternative sources of power with generators. Now, it will cost a lot of money to fuel these generators.

It is not rocket science to work out that the results of the problems caused by the removal of oil subsidy will be widespread suffering, disillusionment and an exponential increase of crime. It is too difficult to fathom why the Nigerian leadership could so brazenly contrive to plunge the nation into such deep suffering.

There has been a report, I don’t know how credible it is, that a protester has been shot dead by the Nigerian police in Ilorin. Is Jonathan also turning Gaddafi and Assad on Nigerians? It will be very unfortunate if he resorts to violence and the terror of guns as a way of clamping down on demonstrators. At this time we can only watch and encourage those who are able to march in Nigeria. It is a brave thing, and we hope that they will be safe in the face of a possible brute force that may be turned on the. 

My eyes have seen the year of our Lord 2012.

 

 

My cluttered table bustles like a tech carnival; laptops,

BlackBerries upon a Clarks shoebox stuffed with receipts,

cables, i-gizmos and a screwdriver. No shoes. No red socks.

My daughter has left a sieve entangled with a USB cable

beside a batteryless digital camera atop my wife’s books.

 

I scan this mess with tired eyes, my back to the lit, over-

decorated Christmas tree we bought from Tesco last year.

The air is filled with sleep sounds of my family carried

in here by the gentle morning breeze of the new year.

Happy New Year, my loves, sleep well, sleep sweet.

 

O, what a marvellous Christmastime this week has been;

Ugbagha with showboy and stockfish has been eaten,

turkey and chicken, broccoli and sprouts, ‘eddoes’,

pounded yam, bitter-leaf soup and peppersoup too

led home with wines and beers, malts and juices, and water.

 

This time, our children - four and three - have learnt jingles,

so we have daily been sing-along-ing and dance-along-ing;

‘Must be Santa’, ‘Father Christmas, he got stuck, coming

down the chimney’ and ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas’.

We have had ourselves a wonderful Christmastime.

 

We rode on choo choo trains and the London Eye

and the kids touched a starfish at the London Aquarium.

O yes, we have created so many memories this Christmas

and for every beautiful second I have praised Him with joy.

Especially now my eyes have seen the year of our Lord 2012.

 

Nnorom Azuonye

Plumstead, 01 January 2012

 

An everyman poem © 2012 Nnorom Azuonye