• Search for the UK's best Twittermantic• Winner receives a luxury romantic break away
• Entry details at http://www.Hallmark.co.uk
Hallmark Cards is giving the UK's wannabe romantic poets, writers and song-smiths the chance to show off their talents through a new national creative writing contest, launching today. But there's a unique twist - it needs to be done in just 140 characters on the popular social network site, Twitter!
The competition - a world-first - is being launched by Hallmark's online personalised card service (http://cards.hallmark.co.uk/Cards/Seasonal/Valentines-Day/) as part of its build up to Valentine's Day, with a luxury weekend break away* on offer for the winning 'Twittermantic'…that's a romantic Tweeter to you and me!
The best entries collected before the end of this month (January 31st) - whether they are funny, soppy or plain old romantic - will be judged by an online public vote and by a panel of experts, including poet and published author, Christine Miller.
Jon Taylor, from Hallmark Cards online (http://cards.hallmark.co.uk/), commented: "It's really simple to enter; all people need to do is follow 'Hallmark Cards' on Twitter and then compose a verse in 140 characters or less, making sure they include Hallmark in their tweet entry. Full entry details can be found at Hallmark.co.uk.
"We want to see just how creative the great British public can be. We don't mind if people want to use text speak or clever abbreviations to keep it within the word limit, what's important is that it's original. We'll also be publishing regular hints and tips on our Twitter page as well as attempts from the pros. Remember anything goes, so get writing!"
The judging panel consists of seasoned limerick writer and author William Clark, professional poet and published author Christine Miller, as well as Hallmark's own editorial team.
The overall winning verse will be featured on a 2011 Hallmark Valentine's Day (http://cards.hallmark.co.uk/Cards/Seasonal/Valentines-Day/) card which will be available for the public to purchase through Hallmark.co.uk. The lucky winner will also scoop a luxury romantic cottage break for two courtesy of Cottages4You [cottages4You.co.uk].
Christine Miller, author of The Secret Garden of the Soul, who forms part of the expert judging panel, said: "Poetry is a way of re-interpreting the world through fresh senses, making unusual and unique connections, and can be a hugely liberating experience which really feels more like play!
"More and more people are being inspired to write poems themselves, and it can be a powerful exercise in how to express the most meaning in the fewest words. This fits well with Twitter, where each individual message or 'Tweet' at just 140 characters imposes a similar discipline of brevity."
The Twitter Verse Competition aims to bring creative writing to the masses with the contest open to everyone in the UK - from complete novices to quality amateur writers. The only criteria is that the verse must be the individual's own work.
William Clark, the panel judge and author of "700 Limericks and How to Write Them", commented: "This competition puts a clever modern twist on the traditional custom of writing romantic verses on Valentine's Day.
"The original St. Valentine, whose feast day on 14th February was thought to be when birds paired off, became associated with romantic love during the Middle Ages when a young knight would show his love for a lady through romantic verse. In the 12th century French poets and singers spread the idea of courtly love with song and verse across Europe, and it was this that led to Valentine cards containing a love-inspired verse. Who'd have guessed it would evolve into this!"
Hallmark Cards offers more than 1,000 card designs covering all occasions, including new and exclusive OK! Magazine Cards where you and your friends or family can follow in the footsteps of Posh and Becks and be cover stars, as well as Lego and Disney designs. Popular Hallmark brands, including Forever Friends and Purple Ronnie, are also available on the site.
To request an interview with Christine Miller or William Clark, or for creative writing tips and hints on how to write your perfect romantic verse, please contact: Chris Norton or Will Ockenden at Moolah; T: 0113 243 1117; E: firstname.lastname@example.org
And here's some verses to get you started in 140 characters or less (remember, you can use abbreviations to meet the word limit!)
By William Clark • My love is a lady of fame, & herein is hidden her name. Relentless pursuit, is how I would put, every step of the game! • There's something I really must tweet: My true love is awfully sweet! She's sugar n spice/And ever so nice/To kiss her's a wonderful treat!• A rose is the symbol of love/And so is the purest white dove/My love it is true/And only for you/And falls like a dew from above. • When falling in love it is fun/To know what a true love you've won; But many a slip/ Betwixt cup and lip/Can leave you alone and undone!
By Christine Miller• Love arrives/Warmly wrapped./A scarf/Of/Softest silk/Sensuously slips/Around/Our beating hearts,/Glowing embers/Set aflame/By your/Beauty:/Bliss//
HallmarkEstablished in the UK in 1958, Hallmark Cards is the UK's leading greeting card publisher. As well as greeting cards, Hallmark also produce related products such as wrapping paper, gift bags, social stationery, and gift products, • Hallmark Cards Facebook group can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/HallmarkUK/211973881681• Hallmark Cards Twitter profile can be found here: http://twitter.com/hallmarkcards • For more information on Christine Miller, visit http://twitter.com/christinemiller• For more information on William Clark, visit http://www.clarkscript.com/how-to-twitter-limericks.html
*Twitter Verse Competition -Terms and Conditions - available at http://www.hallmark.co.uk