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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.

The Moth Poetry Prize | Closing Date: 31-Dec-17

Details:
Formerly known as the Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize, The Moth Poetry Prize is one of the most lucrative awards in the world for a single unpublished poem. 1st prize €10,000, with 3 runner-up prizes of €1,000. Judged by Daljit Nagra. Award ceremony to take place at Poetry Ireland.
Entry Fee: £12 (Euros) per poem

Contact: See http://www.themothmagazine.com

Littoral Press Nature Poetry Competition | Closing Date: 31-Dec-17

Details:
The Littoral Press will be holding a twice yearly competition for a full collection of nature/spiritual/environmental poetry. 60 copies of the winning collection will be published by the Littoral Press. 10 copies will be retained by the littoral press for ‘legal deposit’ and the press’s archives. 50 copies will be delivered free of charge to the winning poet - UK mainland only. For entries from outside this area delivery charges will have to apply, unfortunately. Realising how difficult it may be to submit a full poetry collection made up entirely of Nature, spiritual or environmental poems, as long as the majority of the poems (i.e. more than half) are either directly or indirectly concerned with nature, spirituality or the environment, the collection will be deemed an acceptable submission. The adjudicator will not give any preference as far as the number of nature poems in relation to the number of poems on other subjects. Although, as stated earlier, the objective of the competition was to publish more nature poetry, the whole collection will be judged on the merits of all the poems in the collection and not just the nature/spiritual/environmental work. The book will be A5 in format, perfect bound, with full colour covers (gloss laminated or matt laminated according to the winning author’s choice), between 50 pages minimum and 100 pages maximum in length. It will have an ISBN number and therefore be subject to ‘Legal Deposit’. This means that one copy will be sent to each of the major universities: Oxford, Cambridge, Cardiff, Dublin and Edinburgh, where they will be archived; and a further copy will be deposited with the British Library. There will be no need for a contract. The copyright will remain exclusively with the poet to do whatever he or she wishes with those rights. Judge: Mervyn Linford.
Entry Fee: £20.00 per manuscript

Contact: Please read full details of the competition and its rules and conditions. These can be found on the littoral press website- www.southendpoetry.co.uk/littoral/Competition.html

WOLF Poetry competition 2018 | Closing Date: 31-Dec-17

Details:
Poets are invited to submit pieces of up to forty lines in length on the theme of ‘out of darkness’ before the competition closes on December 31st. The competition is open to all, with a first prize of £400, and poems will be judged by Wolverhampton poet Emma Purshouse, who says “I will be searching for those poems that engage with the reader, those poems that people will want to read again and again.” Winners will be announced in advance of the festival itself, with an opportunity to read at an awards event during the festival weekend.
Entry Fee: £4. If multiple poems are entered in the same submission, £10 will be charged for three poems and then £3 for each subsequent poem.

Contact:

The full list of competition rules, entry fees etc can be found at

Tongues & Grooves Prose Poem Prize 2018 | Closing Date: 01-Jan-18

Details:
This inaugural Prose Poem Competition marks the fifteenth anniversary of the much-loved Tongues & Grooves community organisation for poetry and music. Winners and commended poets will be invited to read at a special event on Sunday 25th March 2018, to be held at Portsmouth’s iconic Square Tower. First prize £600, Second prize £200, Third prize £100, seven commendations £25. Judge - Michael Loveday.
Entry Fee: £5 for first prose poem, £4 for subsequent prose poems.

Contact:

The Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry | Closing Date: 04-Jan-18

Details:
Prize: £5,000 prize is donated by Carol Ann Duffy, funded from the annual honorarium the Poet Laureate traditionally receives from HM The Queen. The Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry seeks to recognise excellence in poetry, highlighting outstanding contributions made by poets who in the judges opinion, have made the most exciting contribution to poetry in 2017 Judges: Gillian Allnutt, Sally Beamish and Lemn Sissay. Recommendations can only be made by members of the Poetry Society or Poetry Book Society.
Entry Fee: £0

Contact: Website: http://www.poetrysociety.org.uk/tha 
Telephone on 020 7420 9880 or email
tedhughesaward@poetrysociety.org.uk

The Magma Poetry Competition | Closing Date: 15-Jan-18

Details:
Two competitions: the Judge’s Prize, judged by Mona Arshi, for poems of 11-50 lines, and the Editors’ Prize, judged by a panel of Magma editors, for poems of up to 10 lines. First prize for the Judge’s and Editors’ Prize is £1000, second prize £300 and third prize £150, plus publication in the magazine; there will also be 5 special mentions for each competition. All entries to be previously unpublished.
Entry Fee: £5 for the first poem, £4 for the second and £3.50 for the third and each subsequent poem. Magma magazine subscribers benefit from reduced fees: £4 for the first poem, £3 for the second, and £2.50 for the third and each subsequent poem.

Contact: For further details and to enter, please visit the competition page at https://magmapoetry.com/competition/

Keats-Shelley Prize 2018 | Closing Date: 15-Jan-18

Details:
A call for poems on the theme of Liberty: a celebration of Shelley's Prometheus Unbound The Keats-Shelley Prize is an annual competition for poems and essays on Romantic themes. Inaugurated in 1998, the Prize encourages all adult writers (over 18) to respond creatively to the work of the Romantics. Writers aged 16-18 are invited to enter the Young Romantics Prize. In 1818, Percy Bysshe Shelley began work on his first and most famous hymn to Liberty – ‘Prometheus Unbound’, based on the myth of the chained Titan Prometheus, who had stolen fire from the Gods of Olympus to give to mankind. “The nations thronged around, and cried aloud, As with one voice, ‘Truth, Liberty, and love!’” It was the forerunner to his ‘Ode to Liberty’ written two years later.The Prize Chair is Liz Lochhead, The Judges’ Panel for Poets will consist of Matthew Sweeney and Jo Shapcott; and for Essayists of Professor Simon Bainbridge and Professor Sharon Ruston.
Entry Fee: £Free to enter

Contact: For full details and entry forms see http://www.keats-shelley.co.uk/the-keats-shelley-prizes/the-keats-shelley-prize/keats-shelley-prize-2018

Writing Armistice - The British Army's Poetry Competition 2018 | Closing Date: 15-Jan-18

Details:
Poems responding to the theme of Armistice. Poems should be in English and no more than 60 lines. Open Category: £500 first prize, £300 second prize, £100 third prize plus additional commendations. 18 & Under Youth Category: Book tokens to the value of £100 first prize, £50 second prize and further commendations prizes. The Museum of Military Medicine Commendation: £100 Serving Soldier Prize: £200 first prize, £50 second prize and further commendation prizes. Free Entry. Judge is Roy McFarlane, author of 'Starting With Your Last Breath'.
Entry Fee: £Free to enter

Contact: Full rules, details of how to enter and T&Cs see  https://museumofmilitarymedicine.org.uk/2017/09/26/writing-armistice/

Clochoderick Poetry Competition | Closing Date: 25-Jan-18

Details:
We are running a poetry competition in conjunction with our annual main event in March 2018, which includes the launch of our literary journal. Prizes: 1st £500, 2nd £200, 3rd £100, 4x £50. Judge: Magi Gibson.
Entry Fee: £5 for one poem, £7.50 for two poems, £10 for three poems

Contact: For a full list of terms and conditions for the competition click here: http://clochoderickpress.co.uk/poetry%20competition.html

Ó Bhéal International Five Words Poetry Competition | Closing Date: 31-Jan-18

Details:
At around noon each Tuesday (GMT), from April to the end of January, five words are posted on the Ó Bhéal Five Words competition page. Entrants have one week to compose and submit poems that include all five words given for the week. The competition runs for 41 weeks, until the last week of January and a prize of 500 euros is awarded to one winner, and if available, invited to read at Ó Bhéal’s anniversary event in early April (an additional travel fee of 100 euro plus B&B accommodation will be provided for this). Entry is open to all countries. Poems cannot exceed 50 lines in length (including line breaks), and must include all five words listed during this week. A modicum of poetic license is acceptable. As long as the original spelling is intact within your syntax, you’re welcome to pluralise, join or even split the word to form two adjoining words. There is no limit on submission quantities, although each payment and submission will need to be made separately. Entries to be sent no later that 12pm on Tuesday.
Entry Fee: £5 euro

Contact:



The Plough International Poetry Prize | Closing Date: 31-Jan-18

Details:
For previously unpublished poems on any subject. An Open Competition for a poem up to 40 lines plus, new this year, The Ronald Duncan Short Poem Competition – maximum length 10 lines. Both competitions will be judged by Michael Symmons Roberts. The prizes in each category: 1st prize £1,000 – 2nd prize £500 - 3rd prize £250
Entry Fee: £5 per poem in each category.

Contact:

Details and entry forms downloadable from www.theploughprize.co.uk or obtainable by snail mail upon receipt of a sae from The Plough Arts Centre, 9 – 11 Fore Street, Torrington EX38 8HQ.

The Prole Laureate Poetry Competition 2018 | Closing Date: 31-Jan-18

Details:
We are, as ever, open regarding style, content and length. What we are after is poetry that epitomises the editorial values of Prole: to make writing engaging, accessible, entertaining and challenging. Quality is all. All work must be the original work of the writer and be unpublished. Prizes: Winner - £200, publication in Prole 25 in April 2018 & publication on the Prole website. 2 x runner up prizes: £50, publication in Prole 25 & publication on the Prole website. All entries will be read by our judge, Kate Garrett.
Entry Fee: £3 for the first entry, £2 for every subsequent entry

Contact: For full details and how to enter, please visit: http://prolebooks.co.uk/poetry%20competition.html

Kent & Sussex Poetry Society Open Poetry Competition | Closing Date: 31-Jan-18

Details:
First Prize: £1000, 2nd: £300, 3rd: £100, 4th: 4 x £50 Judge: Helen Ivory. Put name and address on separate sheet – not on poem OR ENTER ON-LINE and pay by Paypal.
Entry Fee: £5 per poem. 3 or more poems: £4 each

Contact:

For more details, go to:
https://kentandsussexpoetry.com/
Entries to: The Competition Organiser, 26 Courtlands, Teston, Maidstone, Kent, ME18 5AS

Teignmouth Poetry Festival 2018 Poetry Competition | Closing Date: 31-Jan-18

Details:
Poetry Competition opens 1 November 2017 and closes 31st Jan 2018. Poems on any subject, not exceeding 35 lines. Judge: Pascale Petit. First prize £500, 2nd £250, 3rd £100. Extra prizes of £100, £50, £25 for poets within local postcodes - judge for this Local competition is Liz Diamond. Shortlisted poets will be invited to read at Teignmouth Poetry Festival on 17 March 2018, and winning poems will be published on our website.
Entry Fee: £4 for first poem, £3 for each subsequent poem. Online entries £4.50 each poem.

Contact: For more details visit www.poetryteignmouth.com from Nov 1st.

The Interpreter's House Poetry Competition Open House 2018 | Closing Date: 31-Jan-18

Details:
Prizes:First Prize £500, Second Prize £150,Third Prize £100. Poems must be submitted in English and should be a maximum of 50 lines. Entries must be the original work of the entrant. Translations of the work of other poets will not be accepted. Poems must not have been published or be currently submitted for publication. Each poem must by typed in black on one side of A4 using a clear font such as Times or Arial 12 point. Judge Zaffar Kunial
Entry Fee: £4 for a single poem £10 for three poems

Contact: See website for full details and online and postal entry : http://www.theinterpretershouse.com/competition

Geoff Stevens Memorial Poetry Prize 2017 | Closing Date: 31-Jan-18

Details:
Two winners will have a poetry collection up to 52 pages published by award-winning publishers Indigo Dreams Publishing and receive 20 copies. Submission: Selection of 10 poems to 36 lines max. Entry Fee: £20 per block of poems. Publication 2018 if possible to coincide with Geoff’s birth date June 4th All entries must be accompanied by cheque to correct amount made payable to ‘IDP’ or via PayPal. See full submission rules at http://www.indigodreams.co.uk/geoff-stevens-prize/4592770640 Postal submissions to Geoff Stevens Memorial Poetry Prize, 24 Forest Houses, Halwill, Beaworthy, Devon, EX21 5UU
Entry Fee: £20 per block of poems

Contact:

See full submission rules at
Postal submissions to
Geoff Stevens Memorial Poetry Prize, 24 Forest Houses, Halwill,
Beaworthy, Devon, EX21 5UU

Guernsey International Poetry Competition 2018 | Closing Date: 15-Feb-18

Details:
Your poem read by thousands, on buses and posters all over the beautiful island of Guernsey. Please view online samples. Prizes: £1,000, £500, £250, poems 14 lines maximum. Categories: Open Poetry, Channel Islands' Poetry, Young People's Poetry. Judged by Daljit Nagra.
Entry Fee: £4 per poem, 3 poems @ £10, young people FREE.

Contact:

Write to poetry@cwgsy.net, or Poems on the Move, Guernsey Literary Festival, PO Box 174, St Peter Port, Guernsey GY1 3LG, Channel Islands, UK.

Nature and Place Poetry competition 2018 | Closing Date: 01-Mar-18

Details:
The RSPB and The Rialto are additionally working with BirdLife International and the Cambridge Conservation Initiative. Prizewinners will be invited to read their poems at an event with the competition judge, Michael Longley, at CCI in spring 2018. Prizes 1st PRIZE £1000 2nd PRIZE £500 3rd PRIZE A Place on a Creative Writing Course at Ty Newydd in 2018 (worth £550) TWO ADDITIONAL PRIZES A personal tour with Mark Cocker of his most cherished wild life places in East Anglia, a personal tour with Nick Davies of Wicken Fen. The competition will raise money for conservation and poetry. Full details and the facility to enter online can be found on The Rialto website:
Entry Fee: £6 for the first poem and £3.50 for each subsequent entry.

Contact:

The Poetry Business 2017/18 International Book & Pamphlet Competition | Closing Date: 01-Mar-18

Details:
PRIZES: Publication by smith|doorstop Books; a share of £2,000 cash; a launch reading at The Wordsworth Trust; publication in the North magazine; book vouchers from Inpress Books and more. Entrants are invited to submit a collection of 20-24 paged of poetry. Four winners will be selected by the judges to be published by our award winning imprint, smith|doorstop books. All winners will also receive a share of £2,000, publication in the North magazine, a reading at The Wordsworth Trust and gift vouchers from Inpress Books. All winners will be guaranteed pamphlet publication, however there is also an opportunity to submit,it a full-length manuscript, which if successful will be published as a book in the Autumn of 2018. The laureate Prize, judged by Carol Ann Duffy is a single poem prize that will run alongside the International Book & Pamphlet Competition. All entrants to the main competition will automatically be entered into this prize, which will celebrate and showcase the best single poems by entrants to our main International Book & Pamphlet Competition. Prizes -A share of £2000 cash, a launch reading at the Wordsworth Trust. Judges Liz Berry, David Constantine.
Entry Fee: £28, or £25 for North subscribers, Friends of the Poetry Business and members of the Poetry Society.

Contact: Entries can be submitted by post (with a cheque and completed entry form) or online http://www.poetrybusiness.co.uk/competition-menu/competition

The Poetry Business 2017/18 New Poets Prize | Closing Date: 01-Mar-18

Details:
A pamphlet competition for writers between the ages of 17 and 24 Prizes: Publication by smith|doorstop books following editorial, mentoring and workshops with Peter & Ann Sansom, a place on an Arvon residential course, publication in the North magazine, a launch reading hosted by the Poetry Business and more. The New Poets Prize is a short collection competition for writers between the ages of 17 and 24 (inclusive). This prize will run alongside the renowned International Book & Pamphlet Competition organized by The Poetry Business, which has now been established for 31 years. Entrants are invited to submit short collections of 12 pages of poems. Four outstanding collections will be selected to receive mentoring, readings, publication in the North magazine. One of the four collections will be published as a pamphlet by smith|doorstop. All four winners will also receive a subscription to the North magazine, and will have a launch reading organised by the Poetry Business and a selection of their poems published in the North magazine. Judged by Kayo Chingonyi
Entry Fee: £8

Contact: Entries can be submitted by post (with a cheque and completed entry form) or online. For full terms and conditions see website http://www.poetrybusiness.co.uk/newpoetsprize/information


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