“The suspense is killing me,” said Meg. For the past five days she’d rushed to meet the postman, only to find none of the letters were addressed to her and none were in the special “Poetry Paradise” envelope with its quill pen logo and a stylised representation of the tree of knowledge. Twice before she had received one of these when she had been a runner-up in the annual poetry competition. The judges had made encouraging comments on her work and this year she was surely in with a chance. (Last year’s winner wasn’t allowed to enter, so that removed one rival at least.)
Surely if she’d won she would know by now. But perhaps not. Poets weren’t always the most organised and methodical of people. Only three more days till the printed magazine would come out. Not only were the Poetry Paradise group disorganised they insisted on using snailmail and cheques instead of the interenet and paypal. When would they come into the twenty-first century?
At last the copy of the magazine landed on her doormat. The special edition containing the results of the annual competition. Perhaps they had delayed sending the letters to the winners until after the poems were published. That was it. Meg was sure. She read through the winning poem. She admitted it was fairly good but her entry had been better. The second prize went to a poem she didn’t even understand and the third prize was doggerel, nothing more. She quickly scanned the pages, the list of poets and their poems. Her name wasn’t there. It couldn’t be right. She hadn’t got a Highly Commened or even a Commended. Her poem wasn’t even one of those non-winners that had been included to fill the magazine.
Meg was devastated. She was going to cry, something she hadn’t done since she was ten. She felt in her pocket for a hankie. What was that her fingers touched? She pulled something out. A large white envelope. Her competition entry. Unposted!