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"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.

Carefree Kids Poetry Competition | Closing Date: 01-Jul-16

Fundraising poetry competition for anyone, anywhere, of any age. Poems about the following subjects: Babies, Children & Young People, Parents & Carers, Siblings, Families, Play, Grandparents. The top 30 poems will be published in a beautifully produced poetry booklet, which each winning poet will receive. Judge: Lord Rowan Williams (poet and former Archbishop of Canterbury) is the Chair of the Judging Panel and will select the final winners.
Entry Fee: £5 per poem or £10 for three, Unwaged or under 18 years: £1 per poem, Prisoners: free

Contact: For entry and more information see: http://www.carefreekids.org/poetry-competition/#more-3507

Ambit Poetry and Short Fiction Competition 2016 | Closing Date: 01-Jul-16

Ambit Magazine announces its 2016 Poetry and Short Fiction Competition. There's no theme this year - any subject, in any style. Judges: The poetry competition will be judged by Sarah Howe, and the fiction competition judged by David Gaffney. Prizes: The first place prize in each category will be £500, second place £250 and £100 for third. All three prize winning poems and pieces of short fiction will be published in issue 226 of Ambit Magazine, and the poets and writers will be invited to read at the launch on October 25 2016 in London.
Entry Fee: £6 for poetry. With 5 UK or 6 overseas submissions, you'll receive a free year's subscription to Ambit Magazine and a tote bag.

Contact: For entry and more information see: http://www.ambitmagazine.co.uk/ambit-summer-competition-2016/

The Elmet Trust Poetry Prize | Closing Date: 08-Jul-16

Celebrating the life and work of Ted Hughes

First Prize: £400; Second Prize: £100; Third Prize: £50

We'd like to read poems written in response to Ravens; The City. These can be found in Ted Hughes's Collected Poems (Faber & Faber).

Conditions of Entry:

1. Poems must be: in English, the poet's own work, unpublished, & not accepted for publication elsewhere.

2. Please attach your entries to an email, addressed to elmetsec@hotmail.co.uk Please state the poet's name, address & contact number on the covering email.

3. Each poem must be on a separate attachment.

4. You may enter up to 3 poems, at a fee of £5 per poem.

We will notify the shortlisted poets by email and the winners will be announced at the Ted Hughes Festival in August 2016 and. The results & winning poems will appear on the Elmet Trust Website. Poems cannot be returned, so please keep a copy. No poet can win more than one prize. Copyright of all poems submitted will remain with the authors but the Elmet Trust reserves the right to publish the winning poems for one year after the announcement of the results. The judges' decisions are final; no correspondence can be entered into. The submission of poems for either of the Elmet Trust Poetry Prizes will be taken as indicating acceptance of the above conditions.

Entry Fee: £5 per poem



Please make cheques or postal orders payable to The Elmet Trust & post them to 19, Roseneath Street, Wortley, Leeds LS12 4DY & write on the back of the cheque or enclose a covering note stating the name of the poet to which the entry fee relates.

Full details available on website: http://www.theelmettrust.org/elmet-trust-poetry-prizes


Wasafiri New Writing Prize | Closing Date: 15-Jul-16

Submissions are welcome in three categories: Poetry, Fiction and Life Writing. Ensure that you submit your entry/entries by the deadline: 5pm GMT on 15 July 2016. Winners will receive £300 and their entries will be published in Wasafiri.
Entry Fee: £6

Contact: wasafiriprize@open.ac.uk

Black Country Living Museum Annual Poetry Competition 2016 | Closing Date: 29-Jul-16

Theme: Inspired and informed by the historical events in the Black Country, this year's theme is 'Earth & Air'. Entries can interpret the theme of the competition as historical, industrial, scientific, ecological, environmental, personal, reflective, or in any other way. The competition is open to adults aged 18 years and over, and to poetry in any style. Prizes: The first prize is £100, a family ticket to the Museum and publication on the museum website, and there are other cash prizes and opportunities for publication. Judges: Dave Reeves, Liz Berry and Mel Weatherley.
Entry Fee: £0

Contact: Full details and entry form for the competition can be found on the Adult Learning pages of the museum's website at: https://www.bclm.co.uk/learning/annual-prize-poetry-competition-2016/457.htm

PENfro Poetry Competition | Closing Date: 31-Jul-16

Prizes: First prize: £300, Second prize: £125. Third: £75. Judge: Jonathan Edwards, who will read all entries. The PENfro Poetry Competition is run annually by the PENfro Book Festival. Max 40 lines. Subject: open. Entry Fee: £4 a poem. Enter on-line or download an entry form and enter by post.
Entry Fee: £4 per poem

Contact: All info and contact details on the website: http://penfrobookfestival.org.uk/competitions/poetry

The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2016 | Closing Date: 31-Jul-16

The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2016 is now open for entries. The biggest competition for writers aged 11-17. Winners receive a fantastic range of prizes, from mentoring to a residential Arvon writing course, Poetry Society membership to books. They also receive ongoing support and writing development opportunities. Judges this year are Malika Booker and W.N. Herbert.
Entry Fee: £0

Contact: For entry and more information see: http://foyleyoungpoets.org/

Carers UK Creative Writing Competition 2016 | Closing Date: 31-Jul-16

First prize: £150 in high street vouchers Judge: Cheryl Moskowitz In our third creative writing competition we're welcoming poems and short stories on all aspects of caring ? the joys, challenges and complex emotions that come with looking after a loved one Whether you're an experienced writer or have never expressed yourself through creative writing before, we would love to hear from you. In November 2016 we will be producing an anthology of the winning and commended poems and stories, plus poems selected by Carers UK's volunteers, staff and trustees.
Entry Fee: £Free

Contact: For further details and to enter: www.carersuk.org/how-you-can-help/creative-writing/2016-competition

Winchester Poetry Prize 2016 | Closing Date: 31-Jul-16

Winchester Poetry Prize aims to give serious recognition to the successful poets. As well as receiving substantial prize money, the winners will be invited to read at a special awards event at Winchester Poetry Festival on Sunday 9 October 2016. Winning and commended poets will also see their entries published in a special anthology to coincide with the presentation. Judge: Mimi Khalvati. Prizes: First prize will be £1000, second prize £500 and third prize £250.
Entry Fee: £5 for the first poem and £4 for subsequent entries.

Contact: For more information see: www.winchesterpoetryfestival.org/prize

Buzzwords Open Poetry Competition 2016 | Closing Date: 07-Aug-16

Judge: Jo Bell (will read all entries). Poems up to length: 70 lines, Prizes: £600, £300, £50 x 5 commended. The Gloucestershire Prize- £200 (residents only).
Entry Fee: £4; £10/3 (postal entries); £4.35; £8.70/2; £11/3 (Paypal).

Contact: Online entry at http://tinyurl.com/buzzwords-poetry or SEND SAE to Buzzwords Open Poetry Competition, Butlers, Western Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 3RN for details

Wild Atlantic Words Competition 2016 | Closing Date: 11-Aug-16

Poems on any theme related to the sea. Judge: Bernard O'Donoghue. Prizes: First prize of 500 Euro, Second prize: A week's retreat at the Creativity Cabin on the Beara peninsula, Third prize 100 Euro.
Entry Fee: £See website

Contact: See website: http://www.hungryhillwriting.com/competitions-copy.html

Settle Sessions Poetry Prize 2016 | Closing Date: 12-Aug-16

Prizes: 1st prize £150, 2nd prize £100, 3rd prize £75. Judge:John Killick. You must be over 18 to enter. Maximum length is 40 lines. Do not put your name and address on your poem sheet, nor any other marks that could identify you. Please enter the title of each poem on a separate A4 Sheet, together with your name, address, email address and phone numbers(s). Winners will be notified by 6th September 2016.
Entry Fee: £4 for one poem, £10 for 3 poems

Contact: Entries should be posted to Settle Sessions, 3 Tillman Close, Settle, North Yorkshire BD24 9RA. Please use the correct postage; no excess charges will be accepted. Full competition details: info@settlesessions.co.uk, www.settlesessions.co.uk

Ouse Washes Poetry Competition | Closing Date: 12-Aug-16

Running as part of Ouse Fest 2016, the competition is looking for poems responding to the landscape, wildlife and heritage of the Ouse Washes, an area at the heart of the Cambridgeshire and Norfolk fens. Judge: Clare Best. There are three prizes up for grabs in the form of book tokens worth £100 (first prize), £50 (second prize) and £25 (third prize). The deadline is Friday 12th August. Winning entries will be published online and in the autumn edition of The Fenland Reed.
Entry Fee: £0

Contact: Please send your poem as a single word document attachment to ousewashespoetry@gmail.com. Please provide your name, address, the title of your poem, and the title of the photograph that inspired your poem in the body of your email. Do not include your name or any identifying information in your attachment. Please read the full guidelines online before submitting: http://www.thefenlandreed.co.uk/#!competition/mffoz

Poetry & Politics competition | Closing Date: 31-Aug-16

The theme of this poetry competition is poetry and politics, so in order to enter your poem it must be about any aspect of politics. Your poem can be about international politics or instead be about something political much more closer to home. 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 Eligibility: poems written in English by writers over 18 from any country Length: 50 lines or less .
Entry Fee: £0

Contact: To submit email your poem as a Word or PDF attachment to submissions@hollandparkpress.co.uk Complete guidelines are available from http://www.hollandparkpress.co.uk/magazine_detail.php?magazine_id=407&language=English please read these instructions carefully.

SaveAs International Poetry and Short Story Competition | Closing Date: 31-Aug-16

SaveAs Writers invite entries for its annual poetry and prose competition. This year the theme is REBELLION, inspired by the centenary of the Easter Rising in Ireland. You do not need to write about the Rising if you do not wish to, and may choose any type of 'rebellion' you like, be it personal, political, religious, social, cultural or any other. Poems up to 60 lines, short stories up to 3000 words. Prizes for each category: 1st prize £100; 2nd £50; 3rd £25. Entries must be typed and be the submitter's own original work and not been previously published (either paper, websites, online journals or blogs). All entries must be accompanied by a separate cover sheet with your details; no identifying marks on your entry. Judges Simon Smith and Derek Sellen. Entries may be emailed to saveas@hotmail.co.uk, or posted to: Luigi Marchini, c/o Save As Writers, 35 Spillett Close, Faversham, Kent, ME 13 8QP Payment may be made online through PayPal to SaveAs Writers, (please add a 50p administration charge to each entry), or by post with a cheque made out to 'SaveAs Writers'. Full T&Cs are on the SaveAs website: www.saveaswriters.co.uk Winners will be announced on 29th October at the Awards evening as part of the Canterbury Festival.
Entry Fee: £3 per poem or £8 for three; £4 per story or £10 for three.

Contact: www.saveaswriters.co.uk

Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition 2016 | Closing Date: 31-Aug-16

With two top prizes of £1000 on offer, the competition seeks to celebrate the great diversity of poetry being written in English all over the world. Poems are welcomed in the following two categories: English as Second Language - open to all poets over 18 years of age who write in English as an additional language Open category - open to all poets over 18 years of age. These prizes will be awarded in both categories: First prize - £1000, Second prize - £200. Judge:Daljit Nagra.
Entry Fee: £5 per poem, or £4 per poem for over 3 entries

Contact: For entry and more information see: http://www.brookes.ac.uk/poetry-centre/international-poetry-competition/

The Poetry Society's Stanza Competition | Closing Date: 12-Sep-16

Open exclusively to Poetry Society members, or anyone who joins before the closing date, who are also members of a Poetry Society Stanza. The theme for this year's competition is SILENCE. Send up to two poems, max 40 lines per poem. The winners will be announced on National Poetry Day, Thursday 6 October 2016. Our judge is award-winning poet and novelist Ros Barber.
Entry Fee: £Free

Contact: For more information see: www.poetrysociety.org.uk/stanzacomp 

The Timothy Corsellis Prize 2016 | Closing Date: 12-Sep-16

The Timothy Corsellis Poetry Prize asks young writers aged 14-25 to respond to the life and/or work of a small selection of Second World War poets: Keith Douglas, Sidney Keyes, Alun Lewis, John Jarmain, Henry Reed Timothy Corsellis and Anna Akhmatova. Prizes: There will be a first prize winner and two runners-up in each category, who will receive £100 in book tokens and £50 in book tokens respectively, plus a Young Poets Network notebook, other poetry goodies, and publication on Young Poets Network. The first prize poem will be published in The Poetry Society?s quarterly paper Poetry News. The first prize essay will be published on The Poetry Society's website. Judges: Fran Brearton, Judith Palmer and Wendy Cope.
Entry Fee: £0

Contact: For entry and further information see: http://ypn.poetrysociety.org.uk/workshop/the-timothy-corsellis-prize-2016/

The Manchester Poetry Prize 2016 | Closing Date: 23-Sep-16

Chair of Poetry Judges: Adam O'Riordan. £10,000 prize for the best portfolio of three to five poems (maximum combined length: 120 lines). Open internationally to new and established writers aged 16 or over (no upper age limit).
Entry Fee: £17.50

Contact: For more information see: http://www.manchesterwritingcompetition.co.uk/Poetry-Prize.php. For updates on the competition, please join the Manchester Writing School mailing list and click to indicate that you are interested in'Manchester Writing Competition'. If you'd like to be sent a postal entry form, please supply us with your name and address via writingschool@mmu.ac.uk +44 (0) 161 247 1787.

The Bedford Writing Competition 2016 | Closing Date: 30-Sep-16

The Bedford Writing Competition poetry section (there is also a short story competition) is a volunteer-run and judged contest. The income of the competition is donated to charities that promote literacy, particularly for children. Judge, Ian McEwen. A shortlist of ten poems will be announced, first prize £200, second £100, third £50. Poems no more than 40 lines, enter online, or by post to The Administrator, Bedford Writing Competition, 28 Miller Road, Bedford, UK, MK42 9NZ.
Entry Fee: £5 per poem or three for £10

Contact: For entry and further information see: http://bedfordwritingcompetition.co.uk/cgi-bin/bwcp16-rules.cgi

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