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.

September 2021

Sentinel Poetry Book Competition 2021

This competition is for a full length poetry collection by a single author in English language, on any theme, in any style up to 86 A4 pages long. Poets of all nationalities living in any part of the world are eligible to enter.

Three winning collections will be published in 2022. The winning poets will also receive cash prizes.

Judge: Mandy Pannett - author of 'The Daedalus Files' and All the Invisibles.

Entry fee: £25.00

Learn more and enter now at https://spmpublications.com/competitions/spbc2021.html

DEADLINE: 30 September 2021 


PRIZES: 1st £200, 2nd £100, 3rd £75 - all +anthology publication.

Additionally League Against Cruel Sports members will also be eligible for the League Prize  £75 + League goodie bag + anthology publication.


  • Cruel sports in their various forms - includes Trophy and other hunting, shooting, animal fighting.
  • Wildlife in general
  • The natural world
  • The environment.

ENTRY FEE – £5 per poem or £12 for three. You may submit more poems with correct fee.

Full guidelines and submission https://www.indigodreams.co.uk/indigo-wild-nature-award/4595294802

DEADLINE: 30 September 2021 

Manchester Cathedral 600 Poetry Competition 2021

Sharpen your pencil, polish your pen, hit the keyboard, the Manchester Cathedral 600 Poetry Competition is here!  This year celebrates six centuries since the founding of the Collegiate Church which grew into our cathedral. We are celebrating the Cathedral - this extraordinary home of spiritual life and diversity, the beating heart of a vibrant city.

We are looking this year for poems which reflect, express or connect with the Cathedral in some way.  Poems will be short – no more than 15 lines – so that we can make them really visible in the city and beyond.  Poems you submit should be broadly religious or ‘spiritual’ in nature and, like all good religious poetry, appeal to those who might not describe themselves as ‘religious’. We would like to see poetry from different faith traditions, as well as from those struggling to discover a sense of the sacred. Write in any style or form – your poems will be judged solely on their merits as poetry.

And this year, rather than one winner and a lot of hopefuls, we will be simply offering TEN prizes of £100, and publishing the winning poems in a Celebration booklet.

By entering the competition you are agreeing to the terms and conditions. Winners will be announced by email and via the Cathedral's social media accounts on 30 November 2021.

Full submission details on Manchester Cathedral website: www.manchestercathedral.org/mc600-poetry-competition

DEADLINE: 30 September 2021 

October 2021

Waltham Forest Poetry Competition 

The Waltham Forest Poetry Competition is open to all poets based in the UK and internationally. There are prizes for adults and for young poets, plus separate prizes for people who live, work or study in the London Borough of Waltham Forest.

Main prize for adults: 1st £400, 2nd £200, 3rd £100.

Prize for adults local to Waltham Forest: 1st £50, 2nd £30, and 3rd £20.

Main prize for young poets: 1st £50, 2nd £30, 3rd £20.

Prize for young poets local to Waltham Forest: 1st £50, 2nd £30, and 3rd £20.

Entry fee: From £3 for adults, free for young poets (under 18). 

Poems can be submitted on any theme.

Judge: Joelle Taylor is a former UK slam champion who founded the national youth slam championships SLAMbassadors in 2001 for The Poetry Society and was its Artistic Director and National Coach until 2018.

DEADLINE: 11 October 2021 

Sussex Poetry Competition

Open Competition – Entry is open to anyone over the age of 16 years by the closing date, with links to Sussex – ie has lived, worked, studied or was born here.

Student Competition (Free Entry) – Entry is open to all students with links to Sussex, currently attending courses, up to the closing date of the competition.

Entries may be on any subject provided they are in English and have not previously been published in any form including on the internet.

There are cash prizes and all prizewinners are invited to read on stage at the Sussex Poetry Festival.

DEADLINE: 24 October 2021 

The Bedford Competition

Opens 1 May

Short stories up to 3000 words, poems up to 40 lines, on any theme; extra categories for young people 17-25 and special prizes for Bedford residents. TBC is a non-profit group, all net proceeds going to Schoolreaders, Bedford to help children ‘catch up’, and  King’s Arms Homeless project.  

Short story judge: Patrick McGuinness

Poetry judge: Anne Berkeley

Prizes: £1,000, £200 and £100

Entry fee: £7.50 or 3 for £15

Students, £5 or 3 for £10

Full details at www.bedfordwritingcompetition.co.uk

DEADLINE: 31 October 2021 

National Poetry Competition

The National Poetry Competition is one of the world’s most prestigious prizes for an unpublished poem. First prize wins £5,000, second prize £2,000, third prize £1,000 and seven commendations win £200. The top 3 poems are published in The Poetry Review.

This year's judges are Fiona Benson, David Constantine and Rachel Long.

Open to all poets worldwide aged 18 or over.

First poem is £7 and subsequent poems are £4 per submission.

Poems must not be longer than 40 lines.

The deadline is midnight on 31 October 2021.

Enter at npc.poetrysociety.org.uk

DEADLINE: Midnight, 31 October 2021 

November 2021

December 2021

January 2022

February 2022

Guernsey International Poetry Competition

The 2022 Guernsey International Poetry Competition (Poems on the Move) is organised in conjunction with the Guernsey Literary Festival.

The competition is open to poets worldwide

Sponsored again by Guernsey Post, the competition is divided into three classes:

Open (which carries a first prize of £1000), Channel Islands (£250) and Young Poet (£250).

This year’s judge is Michael Symmons Roberts, Professor of Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Poems are limited to 14 lines, emphasising the need for their language to be succinct and clear.

Full details and entry forms are available at poemsonthemove.com

DEADLINE: 15 February 2022