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Edward Lear Prize for Poetry

Barely one year old in the hospitality industry - the Owl and the Pussycat Hotel and restaurant (OTP) has etched themselves as being one of the leading resort boutique properties in Sri Lanka. Also, their participation in the Fairway Galle Literary Festival (FGLF) in January this year prompted the owners Shane Thantirimudalige and Reita Gadkari to initiate a competition for poetry.

After many discussions, the Edward Lear Prize for Poetry was created. Gadkari became the Chair of this exercise inspired by her favourite childhood poem The Owl and the Pussycat. This prompted them to extend an opportunity to citizens of Sri Lanka and or holding a Sri Lankan Passport between the ages of 18 & 30 years to send in their own creation of verse. Gadkari who gets immense pleasure from reading Edward Lear's poetry has dedicated her first project in Sri Lanka to this wonderful poet - namely the hotel. Shane who has been involved with the Literary Festival since years felt the importance of promoting English poetry in Sri Lanka. To Shane and Reita, their partnership with the Fairway Galle Literary Festival has been a very exciting time putting it together. They now look forward to receiving entries from aspiring poets who are equally inspired by Edward Lear and his works as they wish to continue to celebrate his life.

Criteria and eligibility are as follows: Open only to citizens of Sri Lanka (or passport holders), entries should be an unpublished single poem or a collection of up to 5 poems, each poem should have a minimum of 200 words and the total of 5 poems should not exceed 1,200 words. The theme should follow in the vein of Edward Lear's Nonsensical Poems, bringing about a feeling of lightness and optimism to the world in which we live.Only the first 200 entries will be accepted. The competition is open to those between the ages 18 to 30 years. Rules and submissions for entry are clear and simple.The Edward Lear Poetry award 2017 is now open for entries till 31st October 2016. Entry forms must be retrieved from their website specially created for the competition: www.edwardlearprizeforpoetry.com Five Judges are on the panel and their decision will be final. Winners will have to submit a recent photograph and a brief CV for placement on the website. This information will remain on the website for 3 years.

The Edward Lear Prize for Poetry will be presented annually (up to 10 years) by the Owl and the Pussycat Hotel (Thalpe, Sri Lanka) at the Galle Literary Festival to the poet of the best - in the opinion of judges - eligible poem in the English language. 1st Prize - LKR 250, 000, 2nd Prize - LKR 150,000 and a 3rd Prize - LKR 75, 000 are on offer.

The winners will be announced prior and the prizes will be awarded at the ceremony followed by refreshments. The finalists will be invited to attend the award ceremony which will be hosted during the Fairway Galle Literary Festival 2017 (January 11th -15th).The finalists will be invited to read from the poetry submissions at the award ceremony. If the finalist lives abroad he/she may choose to elect someone to do the reading and represent the writer. Round trip - group transport will be provided from a central location in Colombo to Galle.

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