Coastal writing for wellness competition is now open…

Our inaugural coastal writing for wellness competition is now open.

Sole adjudicator: Deborah Harvey

There are few rules other than the subject of your writing should be inspired by the coast, nature and all it encompasses. How you decide to interpret this is up to you, providing your piece is either a poem (maximum of 40 lines, excluding title, any form welcome), or a Flash Fiction piece (maximum of 500 words, excluding title, no minimum). You can submit up to three pieces and these should be unpublished and not be submitted elsewhere for publication (personal blogs are exempt). There should be no identifying factors within your submission.

Rules for entry

The competition is open to anyone aged 16 or over and should be submitted in English. Typeset 12pt Times New Roman and aligned left unless essential to form. A Word document is preferred, although a PDF is acceptable.

Entry fee is £3.50 per piece, and up to a maximum of three pieces can be submitted. This can be a mix of poetry and flash fiction if you so wish.

Submissions should be sent in one document stating; COMPETITION and the title of work/s in the email subject. Within the body of the email should be, your name & preferred contact method along with the Pay Pal reference number. Therefore, you will need to pay via Pay Pal before emailing your submission. Once your submission has been received you will receive a confirmation email (this may not be immediate).

The email for submissions is;

The Pay Pal address for payment is;

There will be a 1st prize of £100.00 sterling and a 2nd prize of £50.00. Commended pieces will be at the discretion of the judge.

Unfortunately, at this time, we are only able to accept submissions by email.

We can not enter in any correspondence with entrants regarding their submissions. No changes can be made to your submission once it has been received.

The closing date for entries is; midnight on the 18th April 2020.

Winners will be announced on the website and via Twitter, the week beginning; 16th May 2020. If your entry is successful, you will be contacted prior to the announcement date.

Deborah Harvey’s poems have been published in journals and anthologies, broadcast on Radio 4’s Poetry Please, and awarded several major prizes. Her poetry collections, The Shadow Factory (2019), Breadcrumbs (2016), Map Reading for Beginners (2014), and Communion (2011), are published by Indigo Dreams, while her historical novel, Dart, appeared under their Tamar Books imprint in 2013. 

Deborah tweets as @DeborahEHarvey
Facebook ~
Instagram ~ @deborah_harvey_poet
Website ~

Saint Ninian’s Cave ~ A poem by Martin Locock

Saint Ninian’s Cave

After the narrow valley
The stream dips
Beneath the beach shingle

Over to the west
A rock shelf rises
To a dark triangle

The ancient shrine
So described, at least,
A shallow cave

A place of pilgrimage
Penitence, contemplation
Gratitude for safe return

Little here to stir the soul
I think; sea, sky, stone
But nothing special

Have come before
They left objects

The serious have fashioned
Twig crosses, knotted
By twisted grass

Martin Locock

Martin Locock was born in Barrow-in-Furness in what is now Cumbria and was once Lancashire North of the Sands. He has lived near Swansea in South Wales for 30 years. He has published extensively on archaeological topics, and has written five collections of poetry, the most recent being Margin of Hope. He edited the anthology Poetry from Strata Florida: an anthology of work inspired by the Ystrad Fflur landscape, c. 1350-2013. He is currently working on a second novel while trying to publish his first. He is a member of Lampeter Writers’ Workshop. He tweets @mlocock

Photo credit; View from St Ninian’s Cave © Adam Brooks

Gurnard’s Head ~ A poem by Alison Lock

Gurnard’s Head

From Gurnard’s Head I stare
at a flawless day: the blues
of swirling azure, the deep
shades of a lapis sea.

I know this place – all
of its below, its beyond
– the ways it pivots.
I feel/fear nothing.

These granite rocks
are the gate-keepers
to the falling, the flying,
where I am left to float.

Alison Lock

Previously published in Revealing the Odour of Earth, Calder Valley Poetry, 2017.

Alison Lock’s writing focuses on the relationship of humans and the environment connecting an inner world with an exploration of land and sea. Her most recent publications are a short story collection A Witness of Waxwings, Cultured Llama Press (2017); and Revealing the Odour of Earth, Calder Valley Poetry (2017). She tweets @alilock4

Photo credit @edsonrosas at

TRANSITION ~ A poem by John Short


Around the Mani

In those days no attempt
to catch the solitude
of dark peninsulas
snaking into ocean
when viewed from paths
to higher ground
and my broken old house
as rough as dusk-light.

They were barren times
now looking back,
but lack of inspiration
was eclipsed by geography
that took me on a ride
so when traversing
an emptiness of heart
thank god for wild places:

the sea-hammered cliffs,
blue lavender hills
and scattered pockets
of pebble coves
that lay unreachable
a distance below;
thorny goat-scrub, oregano,
images that root
and lodge in memory
while paper waits for ink.

John Short

John Short’s poems and stories have appeared widely in magazines such as Barcelona Ink, Envoi, Blue Nib, Frogmore Papers, The High Window, Orbis and Poetry Salzburg Review. Nominated for the Pushcart Prize last year, his debut pamphlet Unknown Territory will be published by Black Light Engine Room in 2020.

Photo credit @imiankuik at

Two poems by ~ Simon Williams

Morning Blue

Sea and sky in their acrylics,
before the surfers take their palette knives
and carve their abstracts through the white crests

before the fishing boats make a collage,
dragging their glue of nets through the tide’s pot,
highlighting their decks with silver,

before the pointillism of people
in their primary pants and tops,
their windbreaks like Kandinskys,

there is the bay’s Blue Period,
as if all other colours have gone by the by,
when the air brushes everybody out.

Simon Williams


Pebble on Sand

It’s all down to relative hardness,
one stone grinding on others,
a billion others from here to the cliff.

Some slurry down to sand,
when the rock is soft (a low Mohs index)
down to the royal yellow footprint-taker.

Some, made of stronger stuff,
tumble in the sea’s stone polish,
come up shining like a dolphin’s sweet.

Simon Williams

Simon Williams ( has eight published collections, his latest being a co-authored pamphlet with Susan Taylor, The Weather House (, which is also touring in performance. Simon was elected The Bard of Exeter in 2013, founded the large-format magazine, The Broadsheet and is developing a one-man poetry show, Cosmic Latte. He tweets @greatbigbadger

Photo credit @hookie1001 at

Submissions are now CLOSED

  1. We welcome submissions of poetry, flash fiction and the occasional short story that specifically, and also loosely, follows a coastal theme. Use your imagination! We enjoy pieces that are contemporary and that may have been hiding under rocks for fear of being discovered. We particularly celebrate writing that has healed, or been part of a journey. That has been a cathartic process and is to be celebrated as such.
  2. Please email your poetry (up to 45 lines) flash fiction (up to 500 words) and the occasional short story (up to 1,500), in one Word document, titles excluded. Accompanied by a short (up to 50 words) third person bio. We would prefer unpublished pieces, it’s always nice to be able to publish a new great piece, but, pieces that have already been published, will be considered. Please state where published when submitting.
  3. Copyright remains with the author at all times, but we appreciate the celebration of your first publication should you go on to have the piece published elsewhere.
  4. We will not enter into discussions about rejection of pieces, and whilst we appreciate that this can be disheartening (yes, we have been there), please do not take the rejection personally, for it is not intended to be so. We will wish you good luck elsewhere. Never give up, and remember, this is not a competition.
  5. We are sorry, but at this moment in time, we do not pay for any submissions accepted.
  6. We aim to reply within two weeks of submission date (although please do not hold us to this) and rest assured, every submission will be read. Acceptance, as perviously stated, is not on merit of previous publications or awesomeness, but on pieces that we feel reflect what we are aiming to showcase her at The Beach Hut.
  7. Please submit your pieces (no more than three, which can be a mix of poetry and fiction) to; We will post here when submissions are closed.
  8. Please do not resubmit for a further two months, regardless of acceptance or rejection.
  9. Please read all of the above carefully.
  10. We are crazy, coastal loving, word consuming, volunteers; we don’t get paid for this. Please be respectful.
  11. We actively encourage writing as a wellbeing tool. To heal and to use nature as your inspiration and we wish you well on your journey.
  12. Submissions will be closing from 6th January 2020 (midnight) and will reopen again on the 30th March 2020.

Sea (St Clair, 19th November 2017) ~ A poem by Shereen Asha Murugayah

St Clair, 19 November 2017

Tracking the sand
in perfect blue–green,
you leave a deep shine
rising from her face.

None of what you whisper is for me
so I slip this shell in my pocket,
let the sand trail warm there.

The next time I reach in,
I will remember
sand caking my toes
and your waves breaking me clean.

Shereen Asha Murugayah

Shereen Asha Murugayah was born and bred in Kuala Lumpur and lives in Dunedin. She received her PhD in biochemistry this year. Her poems have appeared in Rambutan Literary, The New Zealand Poetry Yearbook 2018 and Right Hand Pointing. She tweets as @Shereen_Asha

Photo credit @estherann at