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Paul's Unofficial Remix Challenge - The Results

The Results are in for The Inaugural of Paul's Unofficial Remix Challenge!

By Paul StewartPublished about a month ago 7 min read
Paul's Unofficial Remix Challenge - The Results
Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

Hands up, who recently ran an incredible challenge with so many amazing entries and promptly dropped the ball?

Just me, then! Great!

Your Kingmaker of Vocal (Yep, continuing that for a moment at least) apologises to you all. This is way past due.

So, in case you were under a rock or a loving partner while things kicked off a couple of months ago, my most recent and successful, based on the number of entries, the challenge revolved around remixing. To be more precise, I encourage many creative people to remix some of my work, in line with my own savaging of Wordsworth's classic but dull poem.

I was bowled over, as always, by the response. Some new faces joined in the fun this time, and this is where things will sound disingenuous and twee, but everyone did a sterling job. So, if you read the results and think, "That Scottish prick didn't pick my words. Arsehole" I can concur both those things are true, the 'p' and 'a' the bits at least. However, if I could have just named you all winners, I would have...but a challenge is a challenge.

So please know that whenever you take part, it's greatly appreciated, as are the likes, comments, and support I get from so many people. You're all awesome.

So, as I've done before, I am going to list all the wonderful pieces because I want to draw attention to them all. I will try to be succinct in picking out things I loved about each of them before we get down to the winner's circle.

For background, this is the post with the original challenge details:

Now for the fun bit.

The Entries

Kayleigh Fraser - Talking to Paul's Reflection

Kayleigh did a Kayleigh, and for the first entry into the challenge by anyone, she impressed me with her commitment to using parts of all the poems. It had her trademark positivity through it all, and I love that she included screenshots of how she put together the mighty piece. Well done, Kayleigh, and thank you!

Matthew Fromm - When did you last see the Rising?

Matthew is a creative writer, and his take on my poem, "When did you last see the sea?" was incredible. He took it in a direction I couldn't have imagined, and I was so glad he took part in the fun. Also, the Vanilla Ice stuff was funny! :) Great work, Matthew! Thank you!

Anna - When did you last see the bright sky...

Anna is one of the newer folks who participated in this challenge, and I am so glad she did. She took When did you last see the sea? (as the briefest side note, you will see a pattern emerging with many people using that piece... It's just a mark of how easy it is to be inspired by the water that makes up about 70% of our world) to powerful and influential places, and I loved how thought-provoking she made it - it had an unapologetic tone. Thank you for entering, Anna, and well done. I loved it!

Kelli Sheckler-Amsden - Irreparable Changes

I've long admired Kelli's prolific contribution to Vocal and the level she so consistently hits. You should if you've never dipped into her impressive catalogue of wordings. You will find hard truths, heartfelt emotions and a wicked sense of humour. This was a great tribute to a woman who was admired by many! I also love that she took my Farewell to Smooth and stripped it bare. Well done, Kelli, and so glad you took part!

Shirley Belk - Seeing the Sea

Notice the pattern emerging? Another beautiful piece based on When did you last see the sea? I love how she took what was always meant to be quite a personal poem with universal undertones and made her own very personal piece. Just beautiful. Thank you for taking part, Shirley and well done.

Poppy - gift-wrapped

You always know, well, as long as you actually bother reading Ms Thepoet's heart-wrenching, soul-searching words, that you will be in safe hands. It won't always be a smooth ride - it never is- but that is life. She took "When did you last see the sea?" to profound and personal places; there are so many lines to adore and cherish in this. Thank you, Poppy, for participating and well done on a stunning entry into the thingo!

Christy Munson - Relax

Christy Munson is another relatively new Vocal writer, and given the pieces I had read before, I was so glad she took part. She remixed my "Great Nothingness" piece, which was initially entered into the Dancing with Distraction Challenge last year. It is still one of my favourite pieces, and she did a wonderful job of taking my original theme and making it much deeper. Impressive work, Christy—thank you for taking part, and well done!

Novel Allen - When did you last see the storm-tossed sea

Yep, another one based on "When did you last see the sea?" and another masterpiece. Novel is a highly creative writer with a unique way of seeing things. This was a very passionate take on my original. Thank you, Novel, for taking part. You did really well on this entry! :)

Dana Crandell - A Farewell to Hair

Dana has a way of making everything relatable and injecting some anarchic humour into proceedings. I was so glad he could participate, even if it was getting close to the submission closing date. A funny ode to one of the many unfortunate side effects of growing to be an older and wiser Dana Crandell! Thank you for taking part, sir and I applaud your hilarious and rather-too-honest take on remixing my Farewell to Smooth.

Kendall Dafoe - Ethical Counterpoint

There's always one, isn't there? Mr Defoe decided to think outside the box and remixed one of my other pieces that was not listed in the challenge details! I accepted it as an official entry because he let the inspiration take him where it wanted to go. This was also too good to disqualify or anything sinister like that! Thank you, sir, for taking part and well done on such a thought-provoking entry!

Angie the Archivist 📚🪶- The Sea... How I Love Thee! (Runner-up)

Angie is just a stunning writer. I'm going to come out there and say that. I love her enthusiasm in the comments section and her generous spirit. Another take on "When did you last see the sea?" And what a blistering assault on the senses this was! I was impressed with how this all came together and how perfectly it emulated the sea in spirit! Excellent work, Angie. Thank you for taking part!

John Cox - Paul in a Mirror Brightly (Runner-up)

John Cox is a writer I've only become familiar with over the last few months, and my word, if you love thrilling fiction and heartfelt poetry as well as life stories and anecdotes filled with wisdom and wit, then check out John's page. I love his approach with this one, his beautiful take on A Farewell to Smooth. He essentially (though this makes it sound too simplistic) inverted all the rough edges in what was quite a negative piece (deliberately so) and concocted a romantic, honest and not in the slightest vomit-worthy ode to his wife. It's a worthy runner-up in my book, and as it's my challenge, it was decided as such!

Heather Hubler - Perception - (Second Place)

Now, Heather needs to be more recognised in challenges by the Vocal team. There, I said it. She's always been a firm and fierce supporter of my work and has often not been able to take part in other challenges because of one being horror-based (she doesn't do horror, and that's fine) or time issues. So, when she entered, I knew she would blow me away, and boy did she! She took "Great Nothingness" and, as the title suggests, added a different perspective on my words. This read like some strange warring collaboration, and I was impressed with where she took it and how much it had a physical impact when I read it. Thank you, Hublernotthetelescope, for participating and bringing your A-game. Well done on second place! Fin.

Hannah Moore - Redemption (WINNER)

Hannah is among a handful of writers who constantly make me realise that I am only as good as my next best piece. Or something that actually makes sense? Haha. But you know what I mean. I constantly think I've done my best, and then I read something by Hannah and think - I can still do better because I think, "Look what she's pulling out of the bag." She and a few others make me feel that...and it's not negative. It makes me want to improve. This was a hard challenge to judge; I know I say this all the bloody time, and everyone does, but it was. Run your own challenge and see for yourself.

I kind of thought and hoped she would use all the poems for inspiration, and she did. She took all my originals and masterfully crafted them into the most positive and inspiring piece. This has stayed with me for a long time, and I could point out how much the message of her remix means personally to me. Still, even taking emotion out of the equation, this is just exquisite writing and highlights Hannah's abilities, which are far better than she thinks. So that's why she wins the challenge.

Thank you, Hannah, for entering and congrats on winning!


Hannah, Heather, John and Angie - you will receive your prize tip by the end of the month!


Thank you again to everyone who took part and to those who read, liked and commented on the entries. It all matters. Please take a moment to congratulate Hannah, Heather, John, and Angie!

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About the Creator

Paul Stewart

Scottish-Italian poet/writer from Glasgow.

Overflowing in English language torture and word abuse.

"Every man has a sane spot somewhere" R.L Stevenson

The Accidental Poet - Poetry Collection is now available!


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Comments (15)

  • Poppy about a month ago

    Thank you so much for your kind words Paul and also for the time and effort you put into this challenge. Big congrats to the winners!

  • Andy Pottsabout a month ago

    Good job on organising this. Sorry I missed it at the start. And congrats to the winners - plenty of new reading for me now :)

  • Grz Colmabout a month ago

    Congrats to the top three. 👏🥳 I think I read a few of these and Hannah’s ..let me check. I was out of action for a couple of weeks and don’t remember most of these. Thanks for organising though. 😊👍

  • Hannah Mooreabout a month ago

    Ah Paul! I've got to say, I was proud of this piece. I felt like this challenge offered an opportunity to give you something meaningful back after you have given me so much - your words in comments are like a lifejacket in what can be a tumultuous sea at times, and your work has been a torch bearer for authenticity and vulnerability to sit alongside humour and tenderness without shame. And so I loved doing this poem. Well, once I started I loved it. Before I started I worried I would come up with nothing, but once I got going and found it coming together, THEN I loved it. Thank you.

  • Kayleigh Fraser ✨about a month ago

    How is this for divine timing!!! Just as I re enter the Vocal portal, this is first in my notifications !!!!!! Well done on this piece, Paul, I know just how much work and time is here!!! And it was a joy to read. So thank you, and thank you for bravely creating the challenge in the first place 🌟🌟🌟 I laughed so much at your introduction to my remix 😅 “did a Kayleigh” hehehehe Well done to all who entered and especially Hannah! I’m not at all surprised to see her name there and it gives me a great place to start reading again. I just published my book… which was a monumental effort and why I have been missing here for so long! I’m in much need of a break from reading my own work over and over and can’t wait to start reading all of yours again 😁😁😁

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    Wooohooooo congratulations Hannah, Heather, John, Angie and everyone who participated! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • Thanks Paul, for excellent, fun challenge… Well done everyone!🤩 I had forgotten it was a challenge rather than writing prompt🤣… what a pleasant surprise to be given Runner Up😃 Thanks so much! You have my sympathy: ‘ This was a hard challenge to judge; I know I say this all the bloody time, and everyone does, but it was. Run your own challenge and see for yourself.’ I loathe having to judge 😵‍💫… looking forward to your next challenge 🤣

  • Anna about a month ago

    Congrats to y'all

  • Shirley Belkabout a month ago

    Congratulations to All and thank you, Paul for this brilliant challenge...loved all the entries and participating, too!

  • Rachel Deemingabout a month ago

    I never got to this. Sorry. I'm not coping with getting to any official or unofficial challenges at the moment. Just keeping my head above water with staples. Sorry. But congrats the winners! Hooray!

  • Dana Crandellabout a month ago

    Congratulations, Hannah, Heather, John and Angie! Thanks for the fun challenge, Paul.

  • Heather Hublerabout a month ago

    Wow, thank you!! I'm thrilled and humbled you enjoyed my piece at all, and it's even more exciting (like getting unexpected donuts exciting) to have placed. Thank you so much!! The competition for this one was fierce!! Congrats to everyone that entered :)

  • Belleabout a month ago

    Congratulations to all the winners!!!

  • Christy Munsonabout a month ago

    Congratulations to Hannah, Heather, John and Angie! And to all who participated. I enjoyed this unofficial challenge a great deal. Hats off to Paul for creating the prompts in the first place! 🥳 🙌🏻 🤩

  • John Coxabout a month ago

    Great work on the challenge, Paul! I look forward to the next!

Paul StewartWritten by Paul Stewart

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