At our in-person SAND 23 launch back in November, we invited guests to contribute to our anonymous coping mechanisms wall, in line with SAND 23’s theme, coping.

To mark the virtual launch of SAND 23 on Sunday 13 February, we’re inviting you to take part in a mini writing contest. Pick one of these coping mechanisms as your prompt and write us a poem or piece of flash in 23 words or less.

The winner will receive a free SAND issue of their choice and we’ll feature a selection of our favourite entries online.

Send your entry to contest@sandjournal.com by midnight Berlin time on 13 February!

The coping mechanisms

reading sci-fi – books & baths – shania twain – riding the ringbahn – riesling – erotic watercolours – egg content – sugary beverages and doom scrolling – pombears – blasting joni mitchell & singing along even louder – watching bbc election results coverage from the 1990s – cleaning the windows – filling things with spaghetti in photoshop – tarot cards & wine & cats – erotic fan fiction – chocolate for everything (sugar free) – cocooning day & night – improvising artistically – praying 5 times a day – food & basketball – playing pokemon on my phone at 200% speed (because i have no time to lose) – friends dinners/masturbating (not at the same time, of course) – curating playlists and/or listening to the same song on repeat – sex – play loud metal and rock music & sports – bathtub & a glass of wine… Or two – sushi sushi sushi – dancing solo salsa in my apartment with music at full volume – baking, eating, art projects, getting pissed off, crying it out, then apologising, watching sad movies