Poetry Competitions

Below is a list of UK poetry competitions, organised by the date of their submission deadline.

If you are running a competition which you would like to be added to the list, please email the details to us at listed@poetrylondon.co.uk.

March 2021

The 2021 International Book & Pamphlet Competition

Judges: Daljit Nagra & Pascale Petit

Submission: 20 pages of original poetry in English

Entry Fee: £28, or £25 for North subscribers, Friends of the Poetry Business and members of the Poetry Society.

Prizes: Publication by Smith|Doorstop Books; a share of £2,000 cash; a launch reading; publication in the North magazine; book vouchers from Inpress Books and more.

The Poetry Business is delighted to announce that the 35th International Book & Pamphlet Competition is open for entries. This remains the most established pamphlet competition in the UK. The competition continues to discover and publish outstanding new poets, many of whom go on to publish widely and celebrate successful writing careers.

Further info here.

DEADLINE: 1 March 2021 

The 2021 New Poets Prize

Judge: Kim Moore

Submission: 12 pages of original poetry in English by writers aged 17–24 (incl.)

Entry Fee: £8.

Prizes: Pamphlet publication under the New Poets List imprint; a masterclass with the competition judge; a launch reading; publication in the North magazine; a place on an Arvon residential in 2021/22 for two of the winners and more.

The New Poets Prize is a pamphlet 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 35 years.

Further info here.

DEADLINE: 1 March 2021 

Poets & Players Competition 2021

Judge: Seán Hewitt

First Prize: £600

Second Prize: £200

Third Prize: £100

Plus the opportunity to read at a Poets & Players event (date tbc).

Winning poems will be published on our website.

For full details, rules and entry form please visit: https://poetsandplayers.co/competition/competition-2021/

DEADLINE: 1 March 2021 (midnight GMT)

Poetry for Good

Poetry for Good is a new national poetry competition to celebrate the UK's Key Workers and their stories. Our teachers, nurses, cleaners and shopworkers keep our nation going.

It is open to anyone in the UK aged 11 or over, entry is free and submissions will be accepted from 4th February – 26th March 2021. Prizes are £150 – £300.

The competition is a collaboration between Clean for Good – an ethical workspace cleaning company - and three established poets, who have written new poems to celebrate the launch of the competition and will judge it too - Rachel Long, Cecilia Knapp, Katherine Lockton.

Full details are at www.PoetryforGood.org.uk

DEADLINE: 26 March 2021 

Rhina Espaillat Poetry Award

Maximum lines of poetry: 50

Entry fee: $5.00 USD/poem (maximum of 3 poems per contestant), free entry for subscribers of Plough Quarterly magazine

Top prize: $2,000 USD and publication of winning poem in Plough Quarterly.

In addition to the winner, two finalists will receive $250 as well as publication in Plough. Plough will not contract out judging of this award to a prominent poet. Instead, Plough’s new poetry editor A. M. Juster will select approximately twenty poems for further consideration, and then the editors will reach a consensus on the winner and the two finalists.

This award honors the achievements of the great Dominican-American poet, translator, and public school teacher Rhina Polonia Espaillat. The Rhina Espaillat Poetry Award will be awarded for an original poem that reflects her lyricism, empathy, and ability to find grace in everyday events of life.

All submissions must be previously unpublished.

Further details here.

DEADLINE: 30 March 2021 (midnight GMT)

The League of Poets – Voice of Peace: 1st International Poetry And Short Story Anthology Competition 2021

An act of peace is one of the simplest and most cordial form of humanity, with our peace voices we can make our world become a better place. Today, The League of POETS seeks to promote peace at the frontline of global crisis by embarking on its first ever intercontinental poetry and short stories anthology.

We are looking for entries that brings the world together. Entries that seeks for unification, exhorts love, harmonizes truth and portrays touching acts of kindness. We want entries that stands on its own as a collective voice of peace.

Further details at https://leagueofpoets.com/voice-of-peace-1st-international-poetry-and-short-story-anthology-competition-2021/

DEADLINE: 31 March 2021

The Plough Poetry Prize 2021

Now in its 18th year, The Plough Prize is an international open competition organised by The Plough Arts Centre in Great Torrington, North Devon.It is open for unpublished poems on any subject, up to 40 lines in length.

Judge: Roger McGough

First prize: £1,000 (plus feedback from Roger McGough)

Entry fee: £5 per poem for online entry, £6 per poem for postal entry.

Details of the Prize, and the online entry form, can be found at www.theploughartscentre.org.uk/poetry-prize

DEADLINE: 31 March 2021

April 2021

Ver Poets Open Competition 2021

Judge: Andre Mangeot

1st prize £600; 2nd prize £300; 3rd prize £100, plus anthology of winning and selected poems The Ver Prize 2021

Entry fee: £4 per poem, 3 poems for £10, £3 per poem thereafter

Two copies of each poem please

Theme and form open; no more than 30 lines

Entries to Competitions Secretary, 181 Sandridge Road, St Albans, Herts AL1 4AH

Entry form and details on website www.verpoets.co.uk

DEADLINE: 30 April 2021 

May 2021

New Beginnings

Over the last year we’ve been living in a suspended state of fear and confusion, and we are all fed up. Political discourse has been toxic, relationships strained, and it feels as though we need some sort of ‘goal’ – something to look, or work, towards.

New Beginnings is a poetry competition seeking to celebrate this theme of New Beginnings, open to all those who feel their voice was silenced in 2020 – from anyone in the world, any age. We want the resulting anthology – scheduled for September – to be a celebration of the end of the toxic aspects of 2020 and the pandemic, to be a glimmer of hope for the future and a manifesto for change.

Entry cost: free

Open to: anyone who feels their voice was silenced in 2020. Anywhere in the world, any age.

Poetry length: up to 100 lines or 750 words, only one (must be previously unpublished) poem per applicant.

1st prize: £200
2nd prize: £100

Special mentions at the judges’ discretion.

Judges: author and poet Miriam Halahmy, writer and head of communications at the National Theatre Denise Rawls, US publisher Hannah Fields and Bristol Pride Poet Laureate Tom Denbigh.

All of the poems on the shortlist will be published in a volume, and everyone included will receive a copy of the book, and will be invited to take place in an online launch event.

Further details at: renardpress.com/new-beginnings-poetry-competition/

DEADLINE: 21 May 2021 

June 2021

Crabbe Poetry Competition 2021

First Prize: £600
Second Prize: £300
Third Prize: £150
plus Two Highly Commended Prizes of £75

All winning poems (including commended poems not attracting a monetary prize) will be read, preferably by their authors, at a celebratory Awards Event in October 2021 and will be published in the 2021 Crabbe Poetry Prize Anthology.

Adjudicator: Anne-Marie Fyfe

Entry fees: £3 for each poem.

The competition is open to anyone who was either born, educated, working or resident in Suffolk, or is a Suffolk Poetry Society member.

Full details https://suffolkpoetrysociety.org/shop/competition/crabbe

DEADLINE: 15 June 2021