Today, I get to share another failed writing contest entry. This one was a freebie to enter from my province’s Writers’ Federation. It was poems to be displayed on our transit buses, with the theme of connections, a limitation of ten lines or fewer, and be suitable for an audience of all ages. There were 70 entries, and ten was chosen, so pretty good odds, but mine was not one. It didn’t earn the accolades, but I’m sure I didn’t help in writing not only semi-classical format with rhyme and even meter in a modern poetry world, but I also wrote on subject matter that might not be suitable for all ages. By that, I don’t mean violent or sexual content, but just the harsh realities of relationships and friendships. I’m sure if some kids read the poem on the bus, they’d have some hard questions for their Parents or adults with them! Regardless, I really liked it, not the least because it’s personal enough to reflect my situation that is core to poetry, while having enough universality as people are re-thinking their relationships and friendships the world over in reopening post-COVID. Read and see what you think.
A few weeks back, I was able to share a short poem I had written this year that didn’t fare well in a local poetry competition, with anticipation of seeing the finalists and/or winning entries so I can “self-study” them as one more of many attempts to “get” modern poetry. Well, I got them and have shared them below, along with some self-study notes.
I have a poetry blog. It’s nothing special, and I am absolutely not being modest here. Pretty much nobody reads it, right now or ever in the past, and that’s quite fine by me, because I don’t write for the readership. You don’t write and post over 1800 poems for readership over a few decades if you’ve never gotten any readership, so I am honest in saying I don’t write for the readership.
Since I officially started my two year journey for writing on January 1st (2021), I had been looking out for writing contests to enter so as to have some goals, get some feedback, and see how my writing compared to the winning entries. I feel good about my writing skills, but not disillusioned to think I would win starting out. I am not well read for literary writing to know what qualifies high calibre writing outside of the classics. To use an analogy, I have no idea what times are good for a recreational 10 km race or a marathon, say, only what are good for national, world, or Olympic races. I’m sure the time gap isn’t huge, if any, for recreational races that are big enough, but what about the local or regional ones, or ones that didn’t include participants who have had acclaim and/or won big prize money. What’s “good” then? A question even harder to answer with something artistic as writing rather than something quite directly measurable as race time.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming more accessible everyday. It’s also getting better everyday, including its ability to process language, as in editing and/or writing. There is still a lot of human input required, though, but that is diminishing. So what will happen when AI becomes good enough to write or edit with minimal human input? How will anything requiring human writing, like educational assignments and writing contests, adapt to identify writing with AI assistance? And how will it adapt to judging it if it cannot?