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Competitions

"we can not compete
but perhaps we meet somewhere"

from 'Red Rose and a Beggar' by H.D., found in Hermetic Definition (New Directions,1972)

  • This list is compiled monthly from information sent to The Poetry Library by organisers of competitions.
  • Each competition has different regulations. In most cases, poems should be in English and not previously published.
  • Where regulations and entry forms are available online, a link is provided, but in other cases, competitors should write to each competition, enclosing a stamped addressed envelope for an entry form before submitting work.
  • For competitions suitable for children and young people, click here
  • The Poetry Library accepts no liability in connection with the information contained in the list.

Reading Room Cafe Poetry Competition | Closing Date: 11-Feb-16

Details:
Unpublished poems up to 30 lines. Prizes: Top prize of £50, publication and 2 copies of the book. Runners-up receive 2 copies each of the published book.
Entry Fee: £2 per entry or £10 for 5-8

Contact: See website for more information:http://readingroomprojects.wix.com/competitionpages#!poetry-competition/cihc

Bristol Poetry Prize 2016 | Closing Date: 12-Feb-16

Details:
By entering the Bristol Poetry Prize you will be directly supporting Bristol Poetry Festivals. Theme: open. Length: Open. Prizes: 1st Prize: £600 plus an invitation to read at Bristol Poetry Festival 2016, 2nd Prize: £300, 3rd Prize: £100. Judge: W N Herbert. Deadline for entries: online 12th February 2016 (postal entries postmarked Thursday 11th February 2016).
Entry Fee: £6 per poem (Members of Poetry Can may submit second and third poems free.)

Contact: For more information see: http://www.poetrycan.co.uk/about/bristol-poetry-prize/bristol-poetry-prize-2015.html

York Literature Festival / YorkMix Open Poetry Competition 2016 | Closing Date: 14-Feb-16

Details:
Prizes: First prize: £500, Second Prize: £125, Third Prize: £75, The York prize (£50) will be awarded to an excellent poem from an entrant with a York postcode. At the judge's discretion, up to ten Highly Commended and up to 15 Commended poems will each win their writer a certificate. Poems are welcomed on any subject. To be eligible, poems must be in English, run to no longer than 40 lines, and fit on a single A4 page. Winning and commended poets will be invited to read their entries at a gala prize-giving on March 19, 2016, during York Literature Festival, which runs from March 10 to March 23. The prize-giving event will feature readings by last year's winner, Wendy Pratt, and sole judge Carole Bromley, whose new poetry collection, The Stonegate Devil, has just been published. They must be original and not previously published. Entrants must be over 18 and live in the British Isles.
Entry Fee: £5 for a single poem, or £10 for up to three poems. There is no limit to the number of entries.

Contact: For entry and more information see: http://www.yorkmix.com/things-to-do/poetry/win-500-for-your-poem-in-the-york-literature-festival-yorkmix-poetry-competition-2016/

International Lumen/Camden Poetry Competition 2016 | Closing Date: 14-Feb-16

Details:
This year the judge is George Szirtes. Proceeds go to help the homeless in Cold Weather Shelters in the Camden and Kings Cross areas of London. The winner will have a perfect bound chapbook with 20 pages of their poetry published by Cinnamon Press, 50 free copies, and a launch in the Camden venue. The winner is chosen on the strength of one poem.
Entry Fee: £2.50 for 1 poem, or 6 poems for £10.

Contact: To enter by email, please send poems to jan@cinnamonpress.com with a covering sheet listing poem titles and giving the poet's name and contact details plus the Paypal transaction number. To pay by Paypal please pa jan@cinnamonpress.com. Send postal entries to: Ruth O'Callaghan, 49 Ripley Gardens, Mortlake, SW14 8HF. Please make cheques out to Caris Camden. 

Christopher Tower Poetry Competition 2016 | Closing Date: 19-Feb-16

Details:
All UK students, between 16-18, are encouraged to enter the 2016 Christopher Tower poetry competition. This year's theme is 'WONDER' and the judges are Alan Gillis, Katherine Rundell and Peter McDonald. First prize £3,000; second prize £1,000 and third prize £500. In addition to individual prizes, the students' schools and colleges also receive cash prizes of £150 and the three prizewinners are eligible for a place on the Tower Poetry Summer School. Three or four commended entries will receive £250 each. The names and schools of those longlisted will also be published on the newly redesigned Tower Poetry website.The entries will be judged this year by poets Alan Gillis, Katherine Rundell and Peter McDonald.
Entry Fee: £0

Contact: For entry and further information see: www.towerpoetry.org.uk/prize

Lakeland Magazine Poetry Competition | Closing Date: 29-Feb-16

Details:
A new competition for a new magazine. Lakeland Poetry Magazine will be published twice each year the first edition is planned for Easter 2016. Judge: Jayne Sykes. Prizes: 1st £100, and the runner up will receive £25. Poems must be in English. They can be on any subject and in any style or poetic form but must not exceed 50 lines, not including the title or blank lines.
Entry Fee: £3 per poem, Three poems £8, Five poems £12

Contact: For more information see: http://lakelandpoetry.blogspot.co.uk/

Poets & Players Competition 2016 | Closing Date: 29-Feb-16

Details:
First Prize £500 Second prize £200 Third Prize £100. Judge Jackie Kay. Prize winners will be invited to read with Jackie Kay at Poets & Players April Event in Manchester.
Entry Fee: £4 per poem or 3 for £10

Contact: For more information see website  http://poetsandplayers.co/competition/competition-2016/ or email p-pcomp@mail.com

Prizes from the Society of Civil & Public Service Writers | Closing Date: 29-Feb-16

Details:
The competition is open only to SCPSW members. Those eligible include serving or retired members of the Civil Service, Armed Forces, National Health Service, Local Government, The Police Force, or any Public Service. Herbert Spencer Poetry Competition Prizes: £50 and £25.
Entry Fee: £2 per entry

Contact: Poems should not be more than 40 lines, with each on a separate sheet. All entries should bear only a title and the author's pen name and a separate sheet quoting: pen name, title, real name and address. Enclose SAE for return of entries. Entries to Competition Secretary Nina Mattar. Membership inquiries, with SAE, to Bernie Bickerton, c/o 10 Malcolm Road, Woodside, London SE25 5HG. email membership@scpsw.co.uk or visit the website www.scpsw.co.uk

Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition | Closing Date: 29-Feb-16

Details:
Judge: Roger Elkin. For original, previously unpublished poems in English language, on any subject, in any style, up to 50 lines long. Poets of all nationalities living in any part of the world are eligible to enter. Prizes: £200 (first prize), £100 (second prize), £50 (third prize), £20 x (high commendation) and £10 x 3 (commendation). First publication: All winning and commended poems will be published in Sentinel Literary Quarterly magazine (online). Results: will be announced on 15th April 2016.
Entry Fee: £4/1, £7/2, £9/3, £11/4, £12/5, £16/7, £22/10

Contact: Send cheques/postal orders (GB£ only) in favour of SENTINEL POETRY MOVEMENT to: Unit 136, 113-115 George Lane, London E18 1AB, United Kingdom.  Enter online or download Entry Form for Postal Entry at http://sentinelquarterly.com/competitions/poetry

Fosseway Writers Poetry Competition 2016 | Closing Date: 03-Mar-16

Details:
Judge: John Irving Clarke. Write a Poem on the theme 'Solitude'. Prizes: First Prize £25, Second Prize £15, Third Prize £10, with an extra prize of £25 for the winner of the Local Poet section (postcode eligibility NG22/23/24/25). Maximum length: 40 lines.
Entry Fee: £3 for first poem, £2 each for further poems

Contact: Send entries to: Secretary, 34 Wright Street, Newark, Notts NG24 1PJ.  01636 672616. Cheques made payable to Fosseway Writers. Website: http://www.newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk/fossewaywriters/

The Basil Bunting Poetry Award 2016 | Closing Date: 07-Mar-16

Details:
Prizes: First prize: £1000, Second prize: £750, Third prize: £250. The Basil Bunting Award poetry competition is open internationally to any poet writing in English. Each poem should be no longer than 40 lines. Entries will be judged by Don Share.
Entry Fee: £7 for a single poem, or £5 per poem for multiple entries. The maximum number of entries per poet is 10.

Contact: For entry and more information see: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/ncla/competitions/bunting. For details of the Young Person's Prize see http://www.poetrylibrary.org.uk/learning/children/competitions/

Wenlock International Poetry Competition 2016 | Closing Date: 07-Mar-16

Details:
Head Judge: Don Paterson. Wenlock Poetry Festival's poetry competition for 2016 is open for international submissions. Prizes: 1st prize: £500, 2nd prize: £200, 3rd prize: £100. One poem will be judged as Highly Commended. The long list of poems will be chosen by a panel of prize-winning, published poets including Festival Poet in Residence, Paul Francis.
Entry Fee: £5 per poem (maximum of 5 poems per person)

Contact: For entry and more information see: http://www.wenlockpoetryfestival.org/competitions/

Federation of Writers Scotland Vernal Equinox Competition 2016 | Closing Date: 21-Mar-16

Details:
Three categories, poetry (any number of poems, no more than 40 lines each), short stories (any number, between 1,500 and 2000 words each), flash fiction/mini-story (any number, up to 500 words). Prizes in each category: 1st prize £50, 2nd prize £25, 3rd prize £10
Entry Fee: £3 per poem, £3 per flash fiction piece, £5 per short story.

Contact: For full rules go to https://federationofwritersscotland.wordpress.com/2015/12/29/vernal-equinox-competition-2016/ or email accclarke6@btopenworld.com

Caterpillar Poetry Prize 2015/16 | Closing Date: 30-Mar-16

Details:
1st Prize 1,000 euro plus publication in the summer 2016 issue of The Caterpillar. The prize is for a single unpublished poem written for children aged 7-11 years. You can read about the inaugural winner, Louise Greig, in the Irish Times.
Entry Fee: £12 Euro

Contact: Details at www.thecaterpillarmagazine.com. Details for past winner: http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/scottish-poet-wins-new-1-000-caterpillar-children-s-poetry-prize-1.2238597


Binsted Arts Weekend Poetry Competition 2016 | Closing Date: 18-Apr-16

Details:
Prizes: First: £100, second: £50, third: £25. Theme: 'A way through the woods'. 40 lines max. Judge: Maggie Sawkins. Poems must be original and unpublished. Simultaneous submissions can be accepted. Prize-giving evening: June 11, as part of Binsted Arts Weekend (June 10-12, 2016, in Binsted, West Sussex). Winners will be invited to read, and will be asked if their poems can be included on the Binsted Arts website and in an anthology of winning and other poems.
Entry Fee: £5 for first poem, £3 each thereafter for any number of poems

Contact: Cheques payable to Binsted Arts. Send 2 copies of each poem and completed entry form. For further details, rules and entry form visit: http://www.binsted.org/arts-weekend

Poetry Together | Closing Date: 29-Apr-16

Details:
Cross-generational competition invites children and young people to pair up with a parent, grandparent, carer, older sibling or friend, to share their ideas and create brand new poetry. The aim is to bring people together creatively, whilst also raising awareness and fundraising for The Co-operative's Charity Partnership with the British Red Cross, to tackle loneliness in communities across the UK. Reconnecting generations and getting people talking; it's poetry in action! Judges: Carol Ann Duffy, with guest poets Gillian Clarke and Martin Kratz. Prizes: Each adult and child will receive 100 copies of their poem, professionally designed as postcards that they can share with friends. The overall winners will be announced at the event and both adult and child will receive the Poetry Together award and a £250 gift voucher.
Entry Fee: £0

Contact: For more information and entry see: http://www.co-operative.coop/our-ethics/charity-partnership/poetry-together/

Ware Poets Open Poetry Competition 2016 | Closing Date: 30-Apr-16

Details:
Judge: Philip Gross. Ware Poets Open Poetry Competition 2016. Prizes: £600, £300, £150, and the Ware Sonnet Prize (£150). Anthology publication for winners and shortlisted poets (£3.50, post free: pre-ordered). Informal prizegiving ceremony at Ware Arts Centre, Friday 8 July 2016. Length: up to 50 lines.
Entry Fee: £4; 4 poems for £12, then £3 per poem (in the same submission).

Contact: For entry and further information: http://www.poetrypf.co.uk/comps/ware16.pdf

The Ver Poets 50th Anniversary Open Competition 2016 | Closing Date: 30-Apr-16

Details:
Adjudicator: Andrew McMillan. First Prize: £600, Second Prize: £300, Third Prize: £100. Winning and selected poems published in the competition anthology. Poems on any theme and in any form should be no more than 30 lines in length. Each poem should be typed clearly on one side only of A4: one poem only per sheet, two copies of each poem. Competitors' names and addresses must not appear anywhere on the poems. Please write your contact details and the titles of all poems clearly on the entry form.
Entry Fee: £4 per poem, 3 poems for £10, £2 per poem thereafter. Any number of poems can be submitted. Cheques/postal orders (sterling only) should be made payable to Ver Poets.

Contact: Please send entries to: Competitions Secretary, 181 Sandridge Road, St Albans, Herts, AL1 4AH. See website for more information: www.verpoets.org.uk

XVI Poetry on the Lake International Competition for the Silver Wyvern | Closing Date: 30-Apr-16

Details:
Adjudicators: Christopher North and Anne Stewart, Kevin Bailey. Theme 'STAR' - movie, celestial or other, it's up to you. 3 categories: Open & Formal (max 40 lines each), Short (max 10 lines). Mark category top right of each page. The same poem may be entered in two or more categories but will count each time as a separate entry. Overall winner receives the Silver Wyvern and 500 Euro. Open category - 200 Euro, Formal - 100 Euro, Short - 100 Euro. Awards: Lake Orta, October, with Carol Ann Duffy & Gillian Clarke.
Entry Fee: £See website for entry fee and early bird entry fee

Contact: See website for more information: http://www.poetryonthelake.org/page2.php

The erbacce-prize 2016 | Closing Date: 01-May-16

Details:
Prizes: Publication of your collected works in perfect-bound format with full-colour gloss or matt cover (the winner chooses), A publishing contract with erbacce-press, Generous royalties, Your own dedicated Sales-Page, Five free copies of your book delivered to your home. There will also be two or three runners-up prizes including publication of chap-books.
Entry Fee: £0

Contact: For entry and further information see: http://erbacce-press.webeden.co.uk/#/erbacce-prize/4533449873


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