woman searches library


"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.

The Society of Civil and Public Service Writers | Closing Date: 28-Feb-15

Prizes: 1st £50; 2nd £25. Poems should not be more than 40 lines, with each poem on a separate sheet. Entries should be typed on A4 paper. 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.
Entry Fee: £2 per poem

Contact: All entries should bear only the name of the competition being entered, a title, the author's pen name and a separate sheet quoting: the name of the competition being entered, pen name, title, real name and address. Entries returned if accompanied by SAE. For details of membership send SAE to Michael Smith, 22 Western Drive, Shepperton, TW17 8HL, or email membership@scpsw.co.uk
For more details visit the website: www.scpsw.co.uk

HAD Poetry Competition | Closing Date: 28-Feb-15

The title for the poem is 'Honouring the Ancient Dead' (a celebration of the ancestors on display up and down the country - perhaps acknowledging their continuing place within the community). However, the theme may be interpreted as loosely as the entrant wishes.
Entry Fee: £0

Contact: Postal entries should be marked 'Poetry Competition' and sent to: Box 275, 8 Shoplatch, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY1 1HF.
Entries should be sent via email or the Contact form on the HAD website:

York Literature Festival / YorkMix Open Poetry Competition 2015 | Closing Date: 28-Feb-15

Prizes: £400, £100, £50 (and a prize of £40 to the best York entry, excluding the first, second or third prize winners). Highly Commended and Commended certificates will also be awarded at the discretion of the judge, multi-award-winning poet Carole Bromley, Poet in Residence at YorkMix.com. All prize-winning, Commended and Highly Commended poems will be featured on YorkMix.com website, and poets invited to read their work at the prize-giving event on Saturday, March 28, 2015, at York St John University. Poets may enter as many batches of entries as they wish. Poems may be in any form, but no longer than 40 lines.
Entry Fee: £5 for a single poem entry. Or £10 for up to five poems

Contact: Entry is via the online entry form and PayPal here: http://www.yorkmix.com/things-to-do/poetry/win-400-for-your-poem-in-the-yorkmix-poetry-competition/

Sentinel Literary Quarterly Short Story Competition | Closing Date: 28-Feb-15

For original, previously unpublished short stories in English Language, on any subject, in any style up to 1500 words long. This competition is open to all writers regardless of nationality, living anywhere in the world. Judge: Catherine Edmunds. Prizes: £200 (First), £75 (Second), £50 (Third), £20 x 3 (High Commendation). The winners and commended stories will receive first publication in Sentinel Literary Quarterly magazine.
Entry Fee: £4 per story, £8 for 2, £10 for 3, £12 for 4.

Contact: Enter online and pay securely by PayPal or print out an Entry Form for postal entries at: http://www.sentinelquarterly.com/competitions/short-stories/, Or send your stories with a cover note titled 'Sentinel Literary Quarterly Short Story Competition February 2015', together with a cheque/postal order for the applicable payment in favour of SENTINEL POETRY MOVEMENT to: Sentinel Poetry Movement, Unit 136, 113-115 George Lane, South Woodford, London E18 1AB, United Kingdom.

The Rialto - Nature Poetry Competition 2014 | Closing Date: 01-Mar-15

Theme: Nature Poetry. Prizes: 1st Prize: £1000, 2nd Prize: £500, 3rd Prize: A Place on a Creative Writing Course at Ty Newydd in 2015 (worth £550). Additional prize, a personal tour with Mark Cocker in wild life places in East Anglia. The winning poems will be published in The Rialto, Britain?s leading independent poetry magazine. Judge: Simon Armitage.
Entry Fee: £6 for your first poem £3.50 for each subsequent poem. You can submit up to six poems in one batch, the first poem includes an administration fee.

Contact: For entry and further information see website: www.therialto.co.uk/pages/nature-poetry-competition-2014

Quarterly Templar Portfolio Awards: 1st Quarter | Closing Date: 02-Mar-15

Submissions are invited for the 1st Quarter Templar Portfolio Awards for short pamphlets. This is the first of four submission windows for these awards through 2015. The winning poet for each quarter will be informed no later than four weeks after the closure for submissions and their pamphlet published and launched at Keats House and the 2015 Derwent Poetry Festival.
Entry Fee: £11

Contact: For entry and further details:http://templarpoetry.com/products/templar-quarterly-portfolio-award

Fosseway Writers Poetry Competition 2015 | Closing Date: 05-Mar-15

Write a Poem on the theme 'celebration.' 1st prize:£25, 2nd prize: £15, 3rd prize: £10, with an extra prize of £25 for the winner of the Local Poet section (postcode eligibility NG22/23/24/25). The winners will be announced on 7th May, 2015 at 7pm at Knights Court, Balderton Gate, Newark. Details of the prizewinners are also posted on our webpage at www.newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk/fossewaywriters/. Judge: Di Slaney.
Entry Fee: £3 for first poem, £2 for each further poem


Send entries to: The Competition Secretary, 34 Wright Street, Newark, Notts NG24 1PJ. Tel: 01636 672616. Cheques made payable to Fosseway Writers, please.

Poets & Players Poetry Competition 2015 | Closing Date: 09-Mar-15

Prizes: 1st £400, 2nd £200, 3rd£100. Judge: Paul Muldoon. Poems in English, any subject, maximum of 40 lines. An application form is required, available from website.
Entry Fee: £3 for 1 poem, £10 for 4 poems

Contact: Send postal entries to Poets & Players Poetry Competition, Poetry Dene, 16 Clifton Street, Bury, Lancashire, BL9 5DY. Contact and full details: http://poetsandplayers.co/. Email: P-Pcomp@mail.com

Young Romantics Poetry Prize | Closing Date: 13-Mar-15

Competition for 16-18 year olds run by the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association. Prize is a week-long creative writing course with Arvon working with practising writers. Poems on the theme of Lost Angels should be inspired by the Romantics.
Entry Fee: £0.00


Full details on how to enter at:


2015 Straid Collection Award | Closing Date: 23-Mar-15

Submissions are invited for the 2015 Straid Collection Award for a full poetry collection and the closing date is 23rd March. One poet is published annually with two launch events - the Derwent Poetry Festival and Keats House, both in November 2015. The award is open to all poets writing in English and we welcome work from both new and established poets.
Entry Fee: £22

Contact: For entry and more information please see website:

The Queen Mother Memorial Poetry Competition | Closing Date: 30-Mar-15

A candidate may submit any number of poems on any subject. Poem(s) must be typed/hand written in English. The poem(s) should follow the length and format as below, 3 verses, 3 lines per verse, 10 words per line. Prize Details: Computer games+ Pencil case (Children's section) £25.00 +The Queen Mother Memorial Poetry Competition complementary pen (Adult Section). Judges: James Dooney, Cameron Connaway and Phyllis Griggs.
Entry Fee: £3 per poem or £10 for 4 poems

Contact: Email:kumbi.johnson@googlemail.com
Website: http://www.royalpoetrycompetition.com/poetrycompetitiondetails
Send your poems/stories etc. and payment to 19, Westbourne House, SW1W 8SJ together with your name and contact details on a separate sheet

The Caterpillar International Poetry Prize | Closing Date: 31-Mar-15

Competition to celebrate the first year of The Caterpillar, an arts and literature magazine for children. We're looking for a stand-out poem written by an adult for children (aged 7-11). Prize: 1,000 Euro. The prize is open to everyone, as long as the work is original and previously unpublished. The prize will be judged by the publishers of The Caterpillar and The Moth.
Entry Fee: £12 Euro per poem and you can enter as many poems as you like.

Contact: For further details go website: www.thecaterpillarmagazine.com

15th Poetry on the Lake International Competition | Closing Date: 31-Mar-15

Adjudicators: Robert Minhinnick, Kenneth Steven, Kevin Bailey. Suggested (not obligatory) theme for all categories is 'Wining & Dining - or hungering, thirsting, fasting, starving'. Prizes: winner: Silver Wyvern and 400 Euro, 200 Euro x 2, 100 Euro x 3. Open, Short & Formal categories.
Entry Fee: £7 per poem (4 x £25, then £ 6)

Contact: For entry and more information please see website: 

SPM Publications Poetry Book Competition 2014/2015 | Closing Date: 31-Mar-15

Entries are invited to the first SPM Publications Poetry Book Competition. Poets are required to submit 20 pages of poetry made up of any number of poems or length. Collections may be on any subject or style. Poets of all nationalities living in any part of the world are eligible to enter. Judges: Andy Willoughby and Bob Beagrie. Prizes: £500 (1st prize), £250 (2nd prize) and £125 (3rd prize). The three prize winners also receive traditional publishing contracts and 20 copies of their books each.
Entry Fee: £25 per collection (Maximum 3 collections)

Contact: Enter online or download entry form at http://www.sentinelpoetry.org.uk/publications/competition/poetrybook.html. Cheques / Postal Orders in GB£ only payable to Sentinel Poetry Movement. Address: SPM Publications Poetry Book Competition, Sentinel Poetry Movement, Unit 136, 113-115 George Lane, South Woodford, London E18 1AB, United Kingdom 

The Federation of Writers Scotland Easter Competition 2015 | Closing Date: 01-Apr-15

Poetry (any number of poems; maximum 40 lines each); short stories (1,500-2000 words each); flash fiction/mini-story (up to 500 words). No theme. Open Entry.
Entry Fee: £3 per poem; £3 per flash fiction piece; £5 per short story.

Contact: Full rules at http://www.writersfederation.org.uk/news-and-events/156-fws-easter-competition-2015.html or email accclarke6@btopenworld.com

Overton Poetry prize | Closing Date: 17-Apr-15

In memory of Professor Bill Overton (1946-2012), English, Drama and Publishing offers this prize for a sequence of poems on any subject, up to 300 lines. Prizes: The first-placed entry will be published in chapbook form by the University's Lamplight Press. There will be two further prizes of £50 each. Judges: Sarah Kelly and Dr Kerry Featherstone.
Entry Fee: £10.00

Contact: Entries can be made via the online portal at: www.lboro.ac.uk/store/overton or by sending hard copy with accompanying cheque made payable to 'Loughborough University', to: Overton Poetry Prize, English, Drama and Publishing, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, United Kingdom.

Buxton Poetry Competition | Closing Date: 20-Apr-15

Theme: 'Time'. Judge: Helen Mort. Prizes: £300, £200, £100 for Open Poetry (over 19s). Young People (12-18) and Children (under 11s): receive book tokens. Winning poems exhibited in Buxton in July and printed in the Buxton Festival programme book. 15 finalists informed after June 1. Length: 40 lines. Patron: Lady Jasmine Cavendish.
Entry Fee: £5; FREE for under 19s

Contact: Entries must be sent with an entry form via post to: Claire Barlow, Buxton Festival, 3 The Square, Buxton SK17 6AZ. Tel: 01298 70395. Email: claire@buxtonfestival.co.uk Website: http://www.buxtonfestival.co.uk/outreach/poetry-competition/

Ware Poets Open Poetry Competition 2015 | Closing Date: 30-Apr-15

Prizes: £600, £300, £150, and the Ware Sonnet Prize (£150). Anthology publication for winners and shortlisted poets. Informal prize-giving ceremony at Ware Arts Centre, Friday 10 July 2015. Length: up to 50 lines. Sole judge: Carrie Etter.
Entry Fee: £4; 4 poems for £12, then £3 per poem (in the same submission)

Contact: Entry form available at http://www.poetrypf.co.uk/comps/ware15.pdf

The Ver Poets Open Competition 2015 | Closing Date: 30-Apr-15

Adjudicator: Anne-Marie Fyfe. 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. Competitors may submit any number of poems.
Entry Fee: £4 per poem, 3 poems for £10, £2 per poem thereafter.

Contact: For more information please see website: www.verpoets.org.uk. Cheques/postal orders (sterling only) should be made payable to Ver Poets. Please send entries to: Competitions Secretary, 181 Sandridge Road, St Albans, Herts, AL1 4AH

The Writers Bureau Limerick Competition 2015 | Closing Date: 30-Apr-15

Prizes: 1st Prize £100 and the choice of any Writers Bureau course (worth over £300), 2 Runners-up Prizes of £50 PLUS subscription to Freelance Market News (One year's subscription worth over £60). The winning Limericks will be published in Freelance Market News and on the Internet. The Judge will be Diana Nadin, Director of Studies.
Entry Fee: £5.00 for up to four limericks and then £1.00 for each subsequent limerick. (All must be submitted at the same time.) There is no limit on the number of entries.

Contact: For copies of the Entry Form email: studentservices@writersbureau.com, Telephone: 0161 819 9922. To enter online or print an entry form visit: www.wbcompetition.com. Postal  entries to The Writers Bureau, 8-10 Dutton Street, Manchester, M3 1LE

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