Guardian text message poetry competition 2001

Various contributors

SMS website
Production credits: Andrew Wilson, Victor Keegan, Consult Hyperion
Launch date: May 2001

In May 2001 the Guardian newspaper ran a text message poetry competition. Readers were asked to send poems by text message and each day a selection of the best poems were published on the Guardian‘s website. The competition was open for two weeks and received more than 7000 entries.

The entries were whittled down to a long list of 100, and from that a shortlist of seven were chosen by poets Peter Sansom and U.A.Fanthorpe. The seven shortlisted poems were then sent back, by text, to everyone who entered, one poem per day for seven days. The participants read the day’s poem,  gave it a score between 1 and 10 and texted their score back to the Guardian. At the end of the week the scores were added up and the poem with the highest total, by Hetty Hughes, a student in Bradford, was declared the winner:

txtin iz messin,
mi headn’me englis,
try2rite essays,
they all come out txtis.
gran not plsed w/letters shes getn,
swears i wrote better
b4 comin2uni.
&she’s african

The Guardian