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.

Foreign Voices Poetry Competition | Closing Date: 30-Nov-17

We’re inviting you to send us a poem that deals with the subject of migration. Poems can be triggered by any aspect of or point of view about migration. We don’t have to agree with your opinions, but we do want to be touched in some way by your poem, inspired by its imagery and, of course, we look for a beautiful use of language. Prize: £200 and publication in the Holland Park Press online magazine Length: 50 lines or less Entry fee: none Eligibility: poems written in English by writers over 18 from any country.
Entry Fee: £0


To submit: email your poem as a Word or PDF attachment to submissions@hollandparkpress.co.uk
Organizer: Holland Park Press

The Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize | Closing Date: 30-Nov-17

The Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize will have a first prize of €1,000 (approx $1190.63 USD/ £882.80 GBP @ xe.com on 21st September 2017), a week's residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre and publication in Southword Literary Journal. The MLC will subvent travel costs for the winner up to €600 and provide hotel accommodation and meals for four days during the Cork International Poetry Festival. At the festival, the winner will be treated to a poetry masterclass with Brian Turner. There will be a second prize of €500, third prize of €250, and ten runners-up will each have their poems published in Southword and receive Southword’s standard fee of €30. The judge is Munster Literature Centre Director Patrick Cotter.
Entry Fee: £5 euro

Contact: For full details see http://munsterlit.ie/Gregory%20ODonoghue%20International%20Poetry%20Competition.html

Cafe Writers Open Poetry Competition | Closing Date: 30-Nov-17

Sole judge Liz Berry. Maximum of 40 lines (excluding title) on one side of A4. 1st Prize £1000, 2nd Prize £300, 3rd Prize £200 and Six Commended Prizes of £50, Funniest Poem £100 Entry £thereafter.
Entry Fee: £4 per poem; or £10 for 3 poems and £2.00 per poem

Contact: For further details see http://cafewriters.co.uk/home/poetry-competition/

Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition | Closing Date: 30-Nov-17

For original, previously unpublished poems in English language, on any subject, in any style up to 50 lines long. Poets of all ages, gender, or nationality living in any part of the world are eligible. Prize-winning, commended and specially mentioned poems will receive first publication in Sentinel Literary Quarterly magazine (online and print). Judge: Abegail Morley Prizes: £200 (1st), £100 (2nd), £50 (3rd), £20 x 3 (High Commendation), 3 x £10 (Commendation), 3 x Special Mentions (publication only)
Entry Fee: £4/1, £7/2, £9/3, £11/4, £12/5, £16/7, £22/10

Contact: For full details visit: http://sentinelquarterly.com/competitions/poetry/index.htm

Strokestown Poetry Competition 2018 | Closing Date: 01-Dec-17

Strokestown is Ireland’s longest-running poetry festival, and has established a reputation for friendly informality twinned with deep respect for poetry, poets and poetry lovers. Here’s your chance to take part in it. 1st Prize € 2,000, plus a week-long residency at Anam Cara Writer’s and Artist’s Retreat. 2nd Prize € 700. 3rd Prize € 500. Reading fees of € 300 for 5 shortlisted poets. The 8 shortlisted poems will be printed in the Strokestown Anthology 2018. Judges Moya Cannon & Harry Clifton. Prize winner announced in Strokestown 6th May 2018.
Entry Fee: £6.00 (euros) per poem

Contact: For further details visit https://www.strokestownpoetry.org/

Brunel International African Poetry Prize 2018 | Closing Date: 01-Dec-17

The prize is open to African poets who have not yet had a full-length poetry book published. Self-published poetry books, chapbooks and pamphlets are exempt from this stipulation. The prize is open to African poets, defined as those who were born in Africa, or who are nationals of an African country, or whose parents are African. Only poems written in English are accepted. Poems translated into English are also accepted with a percentage of the prize going to the translator. The poems may have been previously published or won previous awards.Each entrant must submit 10 poems to be eligible, no more and no less. There is no stipulation as to the content of submitted poems but no poem should exceed 30 lines in length. All entries must be submitted via email only to BUAPP@brunel.ac.uk. See Website for entry details and rules.
Entry Fee: £Free to enter

Contact: For full details see http://www.africanpoetryprize.org/

I AM ME People Not Borders Competition | Closing Date: 10-Dec-17

Poem: Maximum 100 words emailed as a document (attachment) with name secondary school/adult category and phone number. Poetry Judge: Caroline Smith. Prizegiving takes place on January 31st 2018.
Entry Fee: £2.00

Contact: See website https://www.peoplenotborders.org/ for full details and short story and artwork categories. To email entry send to: info@peoplenotborders.org

Postal Entries: The Way Inn Bookshop, 268 High Street, Berkhamstead HP4 1AQ

PBS Student Poetry Prize | Closing Date: 13-Dec-17

This Competition opens on 31 October. It will be judged by the poet Sam Buchan-Watts. The competition is open all current students aged over 18. One poem per entrant. All entries are judged anonymously and the poet’s name must not appear on the Word document containing the poem itself. All poems must have a title and must not exceed 40 lines in length (excluding title). Entries can be on any subject. Poems must be the original work of the entrant. Entries must not have been published by a publisher or magazine, either online or in print. Entries must be written in English. Prizewinners will be notified by 2nd March. 1st Prize £100, 2nd Prize £50, 3rd Prize £25. An additional 3 highly commended poems will receive PBS Associate membership. All the winners will have their poems published on the PBS website and the 1st prize winner will also feature in the PBS Bulletin. All winners will be asked to provide a short biography and photograph for our website. The copyright of each poem remains with the author. However, authors of the winning poems, by entering the competition, grant the PBS the right to publish the poem on their website and potentially in the bulletin. Students who have already published a full collection are sadly not eligible to enter.
Entry Fee: £10 - free to PBS members


Entries can be made via Submittable:
Please include your name, email address, date of birth, place of study and upload a copy of your NUS card.

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

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

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

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.


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

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

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.


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

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

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 - British Army’s 2018 poetry competition | Closing Date: 15-Jan-18

Writing Armistice is the British Army’s 2018 poetry competition, sponsored by the Museum of Military Medicine. 2018 is the year of national commemoration of the Armistice in World War One. We invite poets to respond to these events, or any subject matter inspired by Armistice and to send us their resulting poems. You can find inspiration from national and local museums nationwide, including The Museum of Military Medicine and you are encouraged to explore the resources site to start you off. If you are a teacher planning a ‘Writing Armistice’ website, you may find the Poetry Workshop LPGIS form useful for some ideas or resources. Prizes are to be awarded in several categories for the best single poem exploring Armistice in any way (eg, thematically, linguistically, formally). The Judge is Roy McFarlane Open Category – over 18s from anywhere in UK or overseas. Entry is free and you can make as many entries as you like. Youth Category- 18 and under (on date of deadline) from anywhere in UK or overseas. Entry is free and you can make as many entries as you like. Museum of Military Medicine Commendation – for the poem in either age category which best addresses aspects of military medicine and its contribution to human and animal healthcare. Serving Soldier Prize – any entrant who is also serving in the British Army or Army Reserve is automatically eligible for a further prize category.
Entry Fee: £Free to enter

Contact: For full details see   https://museumofmilitarymedicine.org.uk/2017/09/26/writing-armistice/

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

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

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


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

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.


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

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

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


For more details, go to:
Entries to: The Competition Organiser, 26 Courtlands, Teston, Maidstone, Kent, ME18 5AS

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