Creative in the Time of Covid

Entries are now CLOSED! Thank you so much to everyone who entered. Stay tuned to our social media pages where we will announce our winners!

Bored? Lonely? Got some, er, time on your hands?

There’s never been a better time to pick up a pen, paintbrush or guitar pick and pour your pandemic angst into something good as RISE launches our Creative in the Time of Covid competition.

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An opportunity to enter your original poem, short story, artwork or song.

We’ve secured judges in Brighton-based mega-stars Alexandra Heminsley (author of Running Like a Girl and Ex and the City), poet and performer Rosy Carrick (Chokey), cabaret musician and songwriter Laurie Black and artist and co-director of 'The Drawing Circus,' Jake Spicer. More info about all of our judges can be found further down the page.

And we’re going to be offering some truly amazing prizes:

  • ‘An hour with the artist’ – a one-to-one (online) session to go over a piece of your work in-depth with one of our judges.
  • Publication on our website for winners, runners up and shortlistees
  • Winning artwork to be featured on our RISE greetings card
  • Signed books for the runners up and a place on an art course at Draw Brighton.

So, whether you’re a keyworker or on furlough, a creative already, or you’ve always fancied giving it a go…. this is for you.

Deadline: August 21st

Theme: 'Resilience'

Resilience is something all of our survivors have in common and it's become a big part of the everyday human experience during the epidemic. It's also about taking positive steps forward into a new-normal world.

Looking towards a more positive future, tell us through your art what resilience means to you...

To enter your poem, short story, art piece or song, please first read the terms and conditions at the bottom of this page and then fill out the donation form below. It's £5 per entry or 3 entries for £12.

Once you've filled in your personal and contact details and paid the entry fee, please email your entries to [email protected] (see Ts & Cs for more info).

Winners will be announced in September. Winning and shortlisted entries will be published on the website.

Good luck!

RISE and the Pandemic

Creative in the Time of Covid

Rise and the Pandemic

As the world has changed, both nationally and globally, all of our own little worlds are changing too. We went into isolation. It's easing up a bit? We’re worrying about the future. Domestic abuse however, is now being referred to as “intimate terrorism” in the press, where people are isolating with their perpetrators. It puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?

RISE alone – as Brighton and Hove’s domestic abuse charity - has seen calls to our helpline more than double since lockdown began. Our services are needed more than ever, yet all our major fundraising events have been cancelled or postponed. Every entry into the competition - as well as giving you the chance to win fantastic prizes - will directly help our survivors during such a difficult time.

Creative in the Time of Covid
Creative in the Time of Covid

Rules and Terms & Conditions

Poetry: 42 lines max. No minimum. Title and lines between text/stanzas are not included in the line count. Dedications are not included in the line count.

Short fiction: 500 words max. No minimum. Title not included in the word count.

Art: fine art/digital art/photo/sculpture/textiles/anything in between. Send us a .jpeg of the finished product as a standard 6 x 4 photo attachment (max 10 MB)

Music: Maximum length 3 minutes. No minimum. Max 10 MB and attach to email as an mp3 recording. Don’t worry, we're not looking for an entry with the most professional sound/recording quality, rather we're most interested in the musical content and lyrics.

Please don’t include your name on any of your entries (your personal details will be recorded on our sign up form and your entry assigned a number to be judged anonymously.

Entries must be solely the work of the entrant and (where applicable, i.e. poetry and short story) written in English. The competition is open to artists across the globe, aged over 14 years at the time of the closing date.

Entries that do not follow the guidelines or are found to be not the sole work of the entrant are liable to be disqualified.

Creative in the Time of Covid entries must not have been published, self-published on any website, blog, social media channel, nor should they have previously won a place in any other competition. Entries that have been previously short or longlisted, but not published are eligible.

Simultaneous submissions are permitted but please inform us if they will be published elsewhere. Unfortunately we cannot in this instance refund the entry fee.

Entries submitted posthumously are not eligible.

Receipt of Entry

Entries confirmed by the email receipt of your payment to ActionNetwork plus an email from us (please be patient!) Please check your spam folder as emails can end up there.

It is NOT possible to confirm receipt of entries by phone.


The judges’ decision is final and RISE is unable to enter into any correspondence with entrants, nor provide feedback for entries. Entries will be anonymised to provide a fair judging process.


RISE reserves the right to change these rules if required and will post any amendments on this page of the website.


Winners and highly commended entrants will be notified by telephone or email in September and announced through our website and media channels shortly after.

Creative in the Time of Covid
Creative in the Time of Covid

Meet the Judges

Alexandra Heminsley is an author, ghostwriter, journalist, broadcaster and speaker particularly known for encouraging women to enjoy sport and fitness. Her bestselling books include Running Like a Girl and Leap In. She lives in Hove with her son.

Rosy Carrick is a poet, playwright, performer and translator. Longtime co-host of the poetry stages at Latitude and Glastonbury festivals, she is also co-curator (with Luke Wright) of the Port Eliot festival poetry stage. Her first full collection Chokey was published in 2018 by Burning Eye Books.

Twitter: @rosycarrick

Instagram: @rosycarrick

Facebook: rosycarrickwriter


Jake Spicer is a passionate advocate of drawing as a means of experiencing the world and communicating visually. As an educator he has been head tutor at Draw Brighton since 2009 and is a co-director of the award-winning traveling drawing troupe The Drawing Circus. He has written a series of bestselling books about drawing and teaches at institutions and galleries across the UK.

Laurie Black is a multi-instrumentalist with a varied cabaret and music portfolio. The "Cabaret queen" [EdFest Mag] is a classically-trained pianist with a degree in Music Production and Performance. Laurie started performing at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 and has released, written and produced 3 albums. In 2019 her solo show Space Cadette won Best Show at Newcastle Fringe (Australia) and Best Solo Show at Reykjavik Fringe (Iceland). As well as her solo material Laurie has played keyboards in Briefs Factory show Sweatshop, Anya Anastasia’s Rogue Romantic and Tash York’s Adulting. She currently plays guest keys for The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing and her own band S!LENCE. Find her music on Spotify!

Creative in the Time of Covid