1st Prize and Highly Commended in Salisbury Writers’ Festival Competition 2016


I heard over the weekend that I was awarded first prize in the open poetry competition at Salisbury Writers’ Festival Writing Competition for my poem “My Father’s Blood”. I also got a highly commended in the short story section for “In the Beginning was the Cliché”.

Two contrasting works: one a serious piece recollecting my late father, and the other a humorous take on the English language.

Both pieces will appear in my upcoming chapbook to be published by Garron Press in the next few weeks.

Here they are:

My Father’s Blood



In the Beginning was the Cliché

  and the cliché was with God and the cliché was God, and oh my God, the cliché was the best thing since sliced bread. And after the false start, when everything in the Garden of Eden was not rosy, what with the sticky patch caused by the low hanging fruit and the snake in the grass, the cliché got the ball rolling again. Everything but the kitchen sink was in the cliché, and through the cliché. And without the cliché there was nothing to write home about.

And God gave the one true cliché to a man who didn’t have a penny to his name, and told him “go forth with this cliché which is the spice of life and the light which shines at the end of the tunnel, and it will overcome the powers of darkness and will make the world go round”. And the one true cliché took the world by storm, though it was a small world, when all is said and done. And the man led the horse to water, and the people followed him to the bitter end. And he said he who comes after me with a cart, will gift you a horse, and he who comes before the horse has bolted must look it in the mouth, but if it is dead, do not flog it nor get back in the saddle.

But the people were young and foolish, and did not stay glued to the one true cliché. The man tried in vain to put the people back on track, but even those that lived in glass houses threw stones at him. They took to false clichés like ducks to water, and the clichés grew like weeds, and were as much like the one true cliché as chalk is like cheese. And so, at his wits’ end, God grabbed the rope that he had given the people enough of, picked up his bat, ball and the one true cliché and went back up the stairway to heaven which echoed with the sound of a fat lady singing.


20 thoughts on “1st Prize and Highly Commended in Salisbury Writers’ Festival Competition 2016

  1. Congratulations Mr Hopkins and a new book – how exciting and how busy you must have been..

  2. Mike! Congratulations! What great news; you really deserve this. ‘My Father’s Blood’ is a powerful poem, & ‘In the Beginning…’ is so clever. Hurray… celebratory drinks are in order! xo

  3. Congratulations you brilliant bastard – very well deserved! I second the celebratory drinks proposal. Love from the Runner Up. x

  4. Very well done, Mike and deservedly so. Not that I have read your competition, but these pieces are standouts, particularly the short story. And it’s rare indeed to place/win in two genres in the same competition: highlights your versatility. Congratulations.

  5. Just reading cliche again Mike !!! Sitting on a wall in the sunshine . It’s so funny and clever . Thanks for writing that xx Lots of love Liz xx

  6. This poem was a stand-out winner, Mike – and thoroughly deserved first place. But the cliche piece was indeed ingenious, inventive, and a thought-provoking warning to us all ….

  7. Pingback: Award Winning Australian Writing 2017 – I’m in it | mistakenforarealpoet

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