Entries open in K1 million Hallmark poetry contest


Hallmark Group last Friday opened up entries in its K1 million poetry competition which will close on October 31 2021.

The company is running the competition as part of celebrating its eighth anniversary and has seen it rebranding from Hallmark Creations to Hallmark Group.

Poet Paul Sezzie, who is also a member of various poetry groupings, said Tuesday that they were looking forward to getting more entries in the three categories.


“We have just released the guidelines; so, for now, a lot of people are making inquiries,” Sezzie, who recently flew the country’s flag at International Poetry Festival of Medellin in Colombia, said.

The poetry competition is targeting children, young people and women focusing on categories of M’mera (Under 12), Teens and Mayi Malawi.

The company’s managing director Gift Gondwe said recently that poetry is one art discipline which plays a crucial role in entertaining people but has not been fully rewarded.


Sezzie said winners will be announced in December at an event in Blantyre.

In the guidelines, the contest has insisted on poets sending original works in all the three categories, which also have themes.

The theme in the M’mera (Under 12) category is ‘The Art of Growing Up’ while the Teens category is running under the theme ‘Walking Towards Vision 2063’ with Mayi Malawi category themed ‘Mayi Malawi in Our Time’.

Sezzie said the uniqueness of the contest is that it aims at engaging children, youths and women who make the biggest cut of the population of the country.

“It is expected that these poems submitted will contain women, children and young people’s aspirations, fears, challenges, opportunities and potentials and from here, policy makers may find reason to act on issues raised,” he said.

The poet also said the contest also aims at promoting research among entrants.

Sezzie, who also works for Hallmark, said the company, as a printing house, wants to work with writers, adding that they have advanced machinery and technology for publishing.

In M’mera category, the winner walks away with K100,000 whereas the first and second runner-ups will receive K75,000 and K50,000, respectively, with the top 50 poems put in an anthology to be published by Hallmark.

In the Teens’ category, the winner walks away with K150,000 with first and second runner ups receiving K100,000 and K75,000, respectively, with 50 poems getting published into an anthology by Hallmark.

In Mayi Malawi category, the winner will receive K200,000 whereas the first and second runner ups will receive K150,000 and K100,000 ,respectively, with 50 top poems getting published into an anthology by Hallmark.

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