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.

June 2020

The Montreal International Poetry Prize

$20,000. One poem. 40 lines or fewer.

Submit your poem to the next cycle of the Montreal International Poetry Prize!

Each entry must be an original, unpublished poem of 40 lines or fewer.

The language of the competition is English.

Judge: Yusef Komunyakaa

Further details: www.montrealpoetryprize.com/2020-competition

DEADLINE: 1 June 2020

Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize

  • Judged by Penguin/Hamish Hamilton editor Simon Prosser, Guardian journalist Aida Edemariam, and awardwinning poet Raymond Antrobus, and chaired by poet and publisher Kadija Sesay.  

  • Prizes of £1,000 each to be awarded to the best new writers of fiction, life writing, and poetry. 

  • Additional awards of Chapter and Verse/Free Reads mentoring from The Literary Consultancy where eligible. 

  • 1:1 mentoring session with The Good Literary Agency’s Nikesh Shukla for each shortlisted writer.

  • Open to all writers who haven’t yet published a book-length work in their chosen genre, regardless of age, gender, nationality, or background.   

Previous winners of the prize have later published with Verso, HarperCollins India, Smokestack Books, Peepal Tree Press, Bluemoose Books, and flipped eye. They have gone on to win or be shortlisted for prizes including the Poetry London competition, the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Galley Beggar Press Short Story Prize, The White Review Short Story Prize, Ambit Short Fiction, OCM Bocas Poetry Prize, the Edge Hill Prize, and the Guyana Prize for Literature. The Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize is an invaluable springboard for writers’ careers. 

DEADLINE: 15 June 2020 at 5pm BST

Wells Festival of Literature’s International Poetry Competition

Opens: 1st April

Open Poetry: Entry fee, £6; any subject, no more than 35 lines

Prizes:  1st £1,000, 2nd £500, 3rd £250, Local £100


Young Poets age 16 to 22: Entry fee, £3; any subject, no more than 35 lines

Prizes: £150, £75, £50 plus a year’s membership of The Poetry Society


Further details: www.wellsfestivalofliterature.org.uk

Contact: admin@wellsfestivalofliterature.org.uk

DEADLINE: 30 June 2020

Manchester Cathedral Poetry Competition 2020

First Prize (£500 – Manchester Cathedral Poet of the Year, 2020)

Second Prize (£250)   

Third Prize (£150)

Poems submitted should be broadly religious or ‘spiritual’ in nature and, like all good religious poetry, appeal to those who would not necessarily describe themselves as ‘religious’. We encourage poetry from a range of faith traditions, as well as from those struggling to discover a sense of the sacred. Poems are welcome in any style or form and will be judged solely on their merits as poetry.

Poetry Competition Judge 2020: Our judge this year will be Rachel Mann.  Rachel Mann is a priest, poet and broadcaster.  A parish priest in south Manchester, she is formerly Poet in Residence at Manchester Cathedral and currently Visiting Teaching Fellow in the Manchester Writing School.

Author of eight books, her debut full poetry collection, A Kingdom of Love (Carcanet 2019) has been called ‘a hard-won book of wonders’ by Michael Symmons Roberts. She is also editor of Carcanet’s ‘Christina Rossetti: New Selected Poems’ and she holds a PhD on 19th Century Women’s Poetry and the Bible.  She broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio 4 and Radio 2.

Results will be announced on National Poetry Day 2020

£4.50 for the first poem and £2.00 per poem thereafter.


DEADLINE: 30 June 2020

July 2020

Robert Graves Poetry Prize

Entries are invited to the Robert Graves Poetry Prize, a collaboration between the University of Roehampton and Wimbledon BookFest.

The prize is judged by leading Literary Agent, Peter Straus and Professor Paul O’Prey, former assistant to Robert Graves, and sponsored by Marcus Beale Architects.

The winning entrant will be awarded £1,000 and two runners up will each be awarded £100.

The prize is named in honour of Wimbledon-born poet Robert Graves and offers an opportunity for emerging and established poets to be recognised for their skill by one of the country’s leading centres for poetry, and a well-established literary festival.

The prize is unrestricted by location, genre, or subject, and is open to everyone. Entries must be original poems written in English, no longer than 40 lines. The entry fee of £5 per poem will help ensure the future of Wimbledon BookFest. Submissions are via: www.wimbledonbookfest.org

DEADLINE: 17 July 2020

Poets Meets Politics Poetry Competition

Hungry Hill Writing is pleased to announce this year’s

We are especially delighted that BERNARD O’DONOGHUE has agreed to judge for us again, as this year marks Hungry Hill Writing’s 10 Year Anniversary.

We will be awarding:
a first prize of €500
a second of €170
& a third of €90

We invite entries, worldwide, for poems on any theme related to politics.


DEADLINE: 28 July 2020

September 2020

Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition 2020

The Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre is excited to launch its 2020 International Poetry Competition to celebrate the power of poetry across the world!

The competition is open to both new and established poets aged 18 and over from across the globe and has two categories:  

  • Open category (open to all poets aged 18 years and over),
  • English as an Additional Language (EAL) category (open to all poets aged 18 and over who write in English as an Additional Language.

Prizes for each category: First £1000, Second £200.

Judge: Fiona Benson.

Fee: £5 for one poem, or £4 per poem for more than 3 entries. Maximum 10 poems.

Further details at: brookes.ac.uk/poetry-centre/international-poetry-competition/

DEADLINE: 11pm, 14 September 2020

Troubadour International Poetry Prize

First Prize: £2,000

Second Prize: £1,000   

Third Prize: £500

Plus 20 commendations   

Competition Judges: Mona Arshi & Mark Doty

Rules: Poems may be submitted from any country & must be in English, must each be no longer than 45 lines, must show title & poem only, must not show poet’s name, must be the original work of the entrant (no translations) & must not have been previously published; no text alterations accepted after submission; no limit on number of poems or number of subsequent submissions.

Submission: Email only, no postal

Entries: Email your poems as attachments (.doc, .docx, .pdf, .rtf only) to poems@coffeehousepoetry.org; include in email: Poet’s Name & Address, Phone Number, List of Titles, Number of Poems, Total Fees, & PayPal Receipt Number. Fees: £5/€6/$7 per poem (Sterling/Euro/US-Dollars only); payment via PayPal (on www.coffeehousepoetry.org/prizes, PayPal account not required).]

Full details & payment option at www.coffeehousepoetry.org/prizes

DEADLINE: 28 September 2020