Enter Winchester Poetry Prize 2024

Sunshine snail cr Judy Darley

Winchester Poetry Prize 2024 invites you to submit poetry “with a good emotional thwack.” The closing date for entries is 31st July 2024.

Entries cost £6 for first poem, £5 for subsequent poems.

A ‘Pay it Forward’ scheme introduced by 2020’s competition winner, Lewis Buxton, allows you to pay for an extra entry that will fund a submission by a poet who wouldn’t otherwise be able to enter the competition.

The judge is Clare Shaw, whose fourth poetry collection Towards a General Theory of Love (Bloodaxe, 2022) won a Northern Writers Award and was a Poetry Society Book of the Year. Clare teaches creative writing at the University of Huddersfield, and is a regular tutor at Wordsworth Grasmere, the Royal Literary Fund and the Arvon Foundation.

“Whatever the subject, fill your poetry with curiosity, and an excitement for language. Tone, language, form – all of these tools bring the poem to life in the imagination, intellect and heart of the reader. Send me your living, breathing poems!”

Winchester Poetry Prizes

  • 1st prize = £1000

  • 2nd prize = £500

  • 3rd prize = £250

Winning and commended poems will be published in a competition anthology.

The Kathryn Bevis Prize will be awarded for the best poem written by a Hampshire-based poet. 

The winner of the Kathryn Bevis Prize will receive £150, will read their poem as part of a special prize-giving event at Winchester Poetry Day 2024, and will feature in a printed anthology made available on the day. In addition, The Writing School will offer the winner of the Kathryn Bevis Prize three one-day poetry workshops with leading poets, as well as a five-day Digital Poetry Retreat with Costa Prize Winner Jonathan Edwards.

This prize is designed to offer a year of development opportunities and coaching to help the winner of the Kathryn Bevis Prize to develop their poetic career, in honour of Kathryn who has supported many new writers to develop their own talent.

Flamingo, Kathryn’s debut pamphlet published by Seren, was named as one of the Poetry Society’s ‘Books of the Year’ for 2022 and shortlisted for the Saboteur Award for Best Poetry Pamphlet, 2022. ‘My body tells me that she’s filing for divorce’ was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem – Written – 2023.

Her debut collection The Butterfly House was published by Seven in March 2024.

Find full details of the competition here: www.winchesterpoetryfestival.org/prize.

Got an event, challenge, competition, creative opportunity or call for submissions you’d like to draw attention to? Send me an email at JudyDarley (@) ICloud (dot) com.

Wells Festival of Literature competitions

City of Wells cr Judy Darley

Wells Festival of Literature takes place from 18th-26th October 2024, but before that they hold their annual writing competitions, with entries accepted until 30th June.

The categories are open poetry, short stories, poetry and children’s books, as well as poetry by anyone aged 16-22 inclusive.

The Open Poetry Competition

The fee for each separate entry is £6. Each poem must be under 36 lines long, and may be on any subject.

First Prize is £1,000. Second prizes is £500. Third prize is £250. There’s also a £100 prize for a local poet.

The judge is Dr Anthony Joseph FRSL, award-winning Trinidad-born poet, novelist, academic and musician, is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at Kings College, London.   His 2022 collection Sonnets for Albert  featured at the 2023 Festival and won the TS Eliot Prize for Poetry 2022 and the OCM BOCAS Prize for Caribbean Poetry.

The Short Story Competition

The fee for each separate entry is £6. Stories should be between 1,000 and 2,000 words in length. They can be on any subject.

First Prize is £750. Second prize is £300. Third prize is £200. There’s a £100 prize for a local writer.

The judge is Susmita Bhattacharya, whose debut novel The Normal State of Mind was long-listed at the Mumbai Film Festival 2018. Her short story collection Table Manners won the Saboteur Award for Best Short Story Collection and was a finalist for the Hall & Woodhouse DLF Prize in 2019. The collection has also been serialised on BBC Radio and her latest commissioned Radio 4 short story The Gift is available on BBC Sounds.

Book for Children Competition

The fee for each separate entry is £6. The competition will judge writing for children, age 7 and up. This includes writing for young adults

You’ll need to submit either the first two chapters or first twenty pages, whichever is the shortest, together with the synopsis of up to two pages.

First Prize is £750. Second prize is £300. Third prize is £200. There’s a £100 prize for a local writer.

The judge is Alex Campbell, who currently writes middle-grade novels under the name Alex Cotter. Her recent novel, The House on the Edge, was selected as a WH Smith Travel Book of the Month and also for the ‘Read for Empathy’ collection. She has also written YA novels and was nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2016.

The Young Poets Competition

The fee for each separate entry is £3. Each poem must be under 36 lines long, and may be on any subject.

First Prize is £150. Second prizes is £75. Third prize is £50. All three prize-winners also get a year’s subscription to the Poetry Society.

The judge is Clare Shaw. Claire has four poetry collections with Bloodaxe. The latest collection – Towards a General Theory of Love(2022) – is a poetic exploration of love and love’s absence: it won a Northern Writers’ Award and was a Poetry Society Book of the Year.

The closing date for all entries is 30th June 2024. Prizes for all four competitions will be presented on Monday 30th October 2023 during the Festival.

Find the full rules and details of how to enter.

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw my attention to? Send me an email at judydarley (at) iCloud (dot) com

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Enter a comic poetry contest

Possible wergleflomp spied at Art in Action

While I’m a fan of sensitive, thought-provoking poetry, there’s definitely something to be said for an intelligent comical poem. Just writing one can lift your spirits.

The Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest, sponsored by Winning Writers, seeks to celebrate the art of writing poems that make others smile. The creature at the top of is, I believe, a possible Wergle Flomp, spied in the wilds of Art in Action’s final year.

Prizes

  • First Prize: $2,000 plus a two-year gift certificate from the competition’s co-sponsor, Duotrope (a $100 value)
  • Second Prize: $500
  • Third Prize: $250
  • Honorable Mentions: 10 awards of $100 each
  • Top 13 entries published online

Read 2023’s winners and the winners from 2022, to get some inspiration, and then let your imagination run riot.

Submit a single poem of no more than 250 lines long. There’s no restriction on the age of the author. Both unpublished and previously published work is acceptable. Inspired gibberish is also accepted (read an example by Wergle’s creator, poet David Taub).

This year’s judge is Jendi Reiter, assisted by Lauren Singer.

There’s no fee to enter the writing competition, so what have you got to lose?

Make sure you upload your masterpiece to winningwriters.com/wergle before the submission deadline of 1st April 2024 (April Fools’ Day – how apt is that?).

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw attention to? Send me an email at JudyDarley (@) iCloud (dot) com.

The Forward Prizes for Poetry invites entries

Arnos Vale trees cr Judy Darley

More than thirty years after its launch, the Forward Prizes for Poetry welcome submissions from editors and publishers of books, magazines, online journals and competitions, published in the UK or Republic of Ireland, including works from the British Isles.

The submission deadline for all online entries is 4th March 2024.

There are four prize categories:

The Forward Prize for Best Collection

A prize of £10,000 will be given to the author of the best collection of poetry published in the UK or Republic of Ireland between 19th September 2023 and 18th September 2024.

The Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection

A prize of £5,000 will be given to the author of the best debut collection of poetry published in the UK or Republic of Ireland between 19th September 2023 and 18th September 2024.

The Forward Prize for Best Single Poem – Written
A prize of £1,000 will be given to the author of the best written single poem that has been published in a newspaper, periodical or magazine in the UK or Republic of Ireland between 5th March 2023 and 4th March 2024, or has been the winner of a poetry competition with a prize awarded between the same dates.

The Forward Prize for Best Single Poem – Performed

A prize of £1,000 will be given to the author of the best new performance or a new poem to camera filmed between 5th March 2023 and 4th March 2024.

This prize category views “performance” as the act of a poet inhabiting a poem using their voice and the body. Though the poem may also be published in written form, this category is not simply for a poet reading their poem, but for the delivery of a poem that is crafted and shaped with an eye to engaging a viewing audience, whether it be down a lens or sitting in a venue. The performance should make the poem come alive in a new and exciting way and be an authentic experience of a single live moment rather than a tailored, edited film. They say: “We invite submissions that push the boundaries beyond the written form and give a different experience to simply reading a poem.”

The Forward Prize for Best Single Poem – Performed, is the only Forward Prizes category that allows for self-submission. Only one submission, which must not exceed five minutes in length, may be entered per poet.

Note this is not a poetry film competition; the poem must be filmed in a single take without a professional filmmaker/filtering or editing the final submission. The only tools to be used are the poet’s voice and body, no other instruments, music, or technology should be included (though poets can use their voice in any manner they choose, including singing, rapping, beat boxing).

Find the full entry guidance here.

Got an event, challenge, competition, opportunity or call for submissions you’d like to draw attention to? Send me an email at JudyDarley (@) ICloud (dot) com.

Write 250 words celebrating trees

Arnos Vale star tree by Judy DarleyTrees in local public gardens and parks boost our spirits, offer a natural haven, improve air quality and willingly offer us something to hug. Sydney Gardens TREE WEEKENDER Writing Competition invites you to put your feelings about trees in public gardens and parks into just 250 words.

The deadline for entries is midnight (GMT) on Monday 1st November 2021, or whenever 125 entries have been received.

It is free to enter. Entrants are limited to two entries only – you may submit a poem and a flash story, two poems or two stories.

Sydney Gardens in Bath, UK, has been a public park for more than 100 years attracting residents and visitors alike, including Jane Austen. Once a private Georgian pleasure garden limited to those who could afford a subscription, it’s now a green jewel within the World Heritage site of the City of Bath.

A recent recipient of Heritage Lottery funds, Sydney Gardens has undergone a restoration that has been delayed by the pandemic but is now coming to fruition, which is being celebrated with a ‘Tree Weekender’ on the weekend of 27 & 28th November.

As part of this celebration of trees, you’re invited to write a flash story or poem of 250 words or under about trees in your local public garden or park.

In particular, they are seeking pieces that examine the value of trees in local parks and public gardens. They want to know the stories from where those trees came from, how they’ve been managed, cared for and loved, and what they mean to you.

Poet Samantha Walton & Charlotte Smith from the B&NES Parks and Trees Service will judge the poetry competition. Nigel Bristow and Andrew Stuck are the judges for the flash pieces.

Judges will draw up a longlist from the entered poems and stories, and all works on the list will be published on the TREE WEEKENDER web pages during November. Shortlisted poems and stories will be chosen, audio recorded and geo-located within and around Sydney Gardens to be available over the TREE WEEKENDER.

Shortlisted authors will be invited to join an exclusive nature writing on- line roundtable on Saturday 27 November, and will be invited to read their work at the TREE WEEKENDER Showcase online finale on Sunday 28th November 2021.

The winner and runner up in both the poetry and prose categories will receive a Book Token to the value of £50. They and the runners up, will each receive an artwork that illustrates their poem or story, created by Alban Low. There will also be special prizes of artwork for the best poem and story submitted by a resident living within Bath & North East Somerset.

The longlist and shortlist will be announced by Monday 22nd November.

The Sydney Gardens Tree Weekender writing competition is run by Rethinking Cities Ltd / Museum of Walking on behalf Bath & North East Somerset Council.

Find full details and terms and conditions here: https://www.bathnes.gov.uk/sites/default/files/sgtw_writingcomp_final_eligibilityrules.pdf

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw attention to? Send an email to judydarley (at) iCloud (dot) com.

Submit cataclysmic poetry to Ambit

Ruin, Villahormes cr Judy DarleyAmbit invite you to submit your poetry on the theme of ‘Cataclysm’ to their Annual Poetry Competition.

According to Oxford Languages, a cataclysm is

  • ‘a large-scale and violent event in the natural world.
    “the cataclysm at the end of the Cretaceous Period”
  • a sudden violent political or social upheaval.
    “the cataclysm of the First World War”

I suspect you can come up with a few more recent examples.

The deadline for entries is 15th July.

The entry fee is £6 per poem. Submissions will be judged by poet and playwright  Fred D’Aguiar.

Winners receive £500, £250 or £100 and will be published in the October issue of Ambit. Winners and runners up will be invited to read at the October issue launch.

You can submit your work here: http://www.ambit.submittable.com/submit

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw attention to? Send an email to judydarley(at)iCloud(dot)com.

Enter the Poetry on the Lake Competition

Carzano harbour cr Judy DarleyThere’s still time to enter the Poetry on the Lake Competition with a closing date of 31st March 2019.

There are two categories:

Silver Wyvern (max 42 lines), which will be judged by singer, songwriter and broadcaster Paul Henry, and can be on any theme and in any form.
Formal (max 40 lines) is for traditional poetic forms only, such as sonnet, sestina, or villanelle, but can be on any topic.

Prizes range from €100 to €500.

I love how much more inclusive the world of writing competitions is becoming, with optional fees to allow lower-income talents to enter! In this case, all fees are classed as donations to the competition costs, organisation and events of Poetry on the Lake, so while there’s a suggested amount, they add: “If you genuinely can’t afford the fee, send one poem for nothing. Those who can, please donate generously.”

Find full details at www.poetryonthelake.org.

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw my attention to? Send me an email at judydarley(at)iCloud(dot)com.

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Write to evoke memories

Severn River shadows cr Judy DarleyNational Memory Day is a partnership between Literature Works and the Poetry Archive, supported by the Alzheimer’s Society. The project is interested in the creative power of poetry to enhance the lives of people living with memory loss and their loved ones or carers.

In Memory Cafes around the UK, conversations and emotional connections are forged with the help of well-loved poems and the generation of new creative works. Quite simply, they bring light to the lives of people afflicted with dementia and other memory-diminishing illnesses and those who care for them.

To raise funds for this excellent resource, The National Memory Day Poetry Competitions invite you to submit poems which evoke the theme of MEMORIES.

This year, they’re accepting submissions to two prize categories:

The National Memory Day Poetry Prize, sponsored by Literature Works, and the Primary Carer Voice Prize, sponsored by The Alzheimer’s Society. The latter category is open to those who have direct experience of caring for someone with memory loss. In each category there are three awards:

  • 1st prize of £700
  • 2nd prize of £200
  • 3rd prize of £100

Poems should be no longer than 40 lines and can be submitted either by post or online.

Submissions are charged at £3 for a single poem and £2 for each additional poem.

The closing date for entries is 5pm on Friday 5th October 2018. This year’s judge is poet and nature writer Miriam Darlington.

Find full details of how to enter.

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw my attention to? Send me an email at judydarley(at)iCloud(dot)com.

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Gemini Magazine Poetry Open competition

Arnos Vale kissing trees cr Judy DarleyGemini Magazine is now accepting entries for its seventh annual Poetry Open competition. With a deadline of 2nd January 2018, this offers the perfect chance to get next year off to a poetic start!

Entry costs $7.

The grand prize is $1,000. Second place wins $100 and four honorable mentions will each receive $25. All six finalists will be published online in the March 2018 issue of Gemini. The entry fee is $7 for each batch of three poems.

Editor David Bright says: “We are open to any type of poetry, any subject matter, any length: prose, rhyming, free verse, ballads, sonnets, haiku . . . Scroll down the Poetry Open page to see the broad range of work from previous winners and finalists.”

Find full details here http://www.gemini-magazine.com/poetryopen.html

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw my attention to? Send me an email at Judy(at)socket creative(dot)com.