This contest, entitled “Auditory Cortex”, is run by the first and only Hong Kong-based English-language free-access online literary journal, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. The contest welcomes submissions from poets who write in a ‘variety’ of Englishes and celebrates the varied voices across Englishes.
Each poet can submit up to two poems on any theme (no more than 40 lines long each, to be accompanied by a recording of the author’s reading in WAV format). Poems must be written and read in the author’s local variety of English (e.g. Brunei English, Burmese English, Chinese English, Fijian English, Filipino English, Guamanian English, Hawaiian English, Hong Kong English, Japanese English, Kazakh English, Malaysian English, Samoan English, Singapore English, Sri Lankan English, Thai English, Tok Pisin, Tongan English, Vietnamese English, etc.) in a way that is also accessible to other speakers of English in Asia. Poems must be previously unpublished.
As ever with Cha contests, there is no entry fee.
Poet Alvin Pang on the contest: ‘[T]he point of the contest is to celebrate varieties of Englishes in Asia that have often been downplayed, dismissed, denigrated, discriminated against or otherwise neglected in the anglophone world (the official distaste towards Singlish in Singapore is a good example). It would, in that sense, be less useful to highlight varieties of English that are already well acknowledged in the global anglophone mainstream. […] If we’re talking about new inflections of established variants, these would indeed be interesting and relevant to document.’
- First Prize: HK$500, Second Prize: HK$300, Third Prize: HK$200, Highly Commended (up to 8): HK$100 each. (Payable through Paypal.)
- All winning poems (including the highly recommended ones) will receive first publication in a special section in Issue 39 of Cha, due out in mid-April 2018.
- The prizes were generously donated by Eniw Alverkoetus.
- Submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Auditory Cortex”.
- Poems must be sent in the body of the email with the recording in a WAV file attachment using the author’s family name as the filename (i.e. LASTNAME.wav, e.g. Ho.wav or Wee.wav).
- The recording should contain only the author’s voice (NO sound effects or music) and should be made in a sound attended room or a venue of adequate quiet to ensure audibility.
- Please include a short biography that reveals your language background in no more than 30 words.
- Closing date: 28 February 2018
- Tammy Lai-Ming Ho (co-editor of Cha and Vice President of PEN Hong Kong) and
- Lian-Hee Wee (Cha contributor, Phonologist and Professor at Hong Kong Baptist University)