2017 Judges’ Comments


Organiser Belinda Wilkins has been delighted with the response to the 2017 Cruse Lines Poetry Competition. Over 50 competitors sent in over 100 poems from as far away as Jersey and Windermere. Originally planned as a fund raising event for Cruse Bereavement Care a pleasing sum of £500 has been donated to the West Sussex Branch.  

Senior judge Sara Hutton Potts and Belinda spent hours reading and re-reading the varied collection covering a multitude of subjects. They then had the extremely hard task of choosing the winners. The age range was immense from 9 to 93.

Sadly only two juniors entered and so the spare section prize money enabled a new section to be formed with the theme of Grief.

A word of advice from the senior judge Sara Hutton Potts: …The standard was extremely high and it was so hard to come to the final decisions. Poetry is such a personal and subjective genre in all its varied forms and structures, but it was great to see many very confident and original ideas conveyed in a variety of forms and structures, free verse, rhyming couplets and stanzas – for those of you thinking of entering next year – be bold and brave with all the aspects of writing. Don’t be tricked into faithfully following a rhyme scheme – sometimes this can be very restrictive. Repetition can also be restricting, but on the other hand it sometimes has impact. Finally, find a couple of ‘guinea-pigs’ to read your work aloud to, and before submitting – leave it aside for several days before returning to it and proof reading several times.  

Second Judge Belinda Wilkins comments that she so enjoyed reading some poems she re-read them many times. Although  perhaps not  prize winners she felt others too would enjoy reading these poems and so in the next few weeks she will be contacting the poets to ask if they would like them posted too for others to enjoy.

 The organisers are planning a poetry day when all poems will be on display and a number being read out loud. Details when finalised. For those who enjoyed entering this year’s Cruse Lines Poetry Competition or those who missed out and would like to take part next year the theme for the sections will be Nature, Grief, Humour and Any Subject. There is plenty of time for the closing date is not until Feb 1st  





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