Competition to win a copy of Head Traumas!

To celebrate the release of my new book, Head Traumas, I’m offering a free copy to whoever wins my creative writing competition.

The competition
Have a look at the five pictures further down this page. I made them all using image-editing software. All you have to do is write a brief creative response to each of them, posting your work either as a comment on this page or as a series of tweets addressed to my Twitter self, @badbadpoet.

The rules
A necessary evil, I’m afraid!
1. Each brief piece of writing must begin with the number of the picture to which you’re responding.
2. Your response to each of the five pictures must be no more than 140 characters in total, including the number of the picture.
3. You must deal with the pictures in their given order.
4. You must give your sequence of responses a title.
5. If you’re tweeting your responses, you must alert me to them immediately before they’re tweeted: @badbadpoet
6. Just one entry per person.
7. The competition closes at midnight BST on Sunday 4th August.

The prizes
The series of responses I judge best will entitle the winner to a free physical copy of Head Traumas, with my signature scrawled inside, no less!

The winner will also receive a free electronic version of the book, as will two runners-up.

Furthermore, I’ll post the winner’s entry on this blog, to great fanfare.

Some pointers
I suggest you avoid simply describing the pictures: react to them, interpret them, use them as stimuli to take your writing somewhere interesting.

I put the five pictures in a sequence. They’re not to be taken as self-contained images. The best responses to them will contain the suggestion of some sort of development or unity, even if it’s very subtle.

The pictures

Here they are. Look, think, imagine. Good luck!












  1. Hi James, here is my entry:

    Report: Memes Optimum Initial States via AI machine Centurion Synthesis

    1. Organic symptoms overruled. Rare to find such beautiful madness wrapped in the echoes – a subtle find indeed.

    2. Coiled warnings are never enough. I smell rust and hear the hypnotic charms too soon. I still believe in ancient warnings.

    3. YOUR SECRET IS SAFE WITH ME. Exit via the tower is confusion: avoid. Consider the frightened alternative.

    4. I understood this joke to be amiable and persistent. Eradication superseded. I will pass on the encryption.

    5. Doomed to cry at the twisting starers. The release of this physical essence is imminent. Response might be solemn.

  2. Hi James, here’s my entry, had fun doing them:

    1. Hermit crab longed for the sea though it’s ancestors left it long ago. The only sand he ever touched were micro-chips, but he heard waves

    2. The girl bore through time to spy on her a thousand times grandfather, but she was supposed to be tiding up the Bermuda Triangle, naughty

    3. Madness that could be unlocked, she held the key. His skull was brimming with dust ‘n a wasp’s nest grew where his heart should be.

    4. Without telling them who to wear, what to eat, the world halted. They starved(in the sweet dreams of the deep pockets, but life went on).

    5. Her beauty was broken by constraint, her life was a gilded cage of do’s ‘n do not’s. So she remained respectable ‘n dwindled to dust.

  3. Superb blog! Do you have any hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything.

    Would you propose starting with a free platform
    like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m
    completely confused .. Any tips? Kudos!

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