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Poetry Competitions

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Last updated 26th May 2017

Below you will find details of many national and international poetry competitions, contests, awards and prizes from all over the world, including Australia, Canada, England (and the rest of the UK), Ireland and the USA. There are competitions suitable for poets of all ages and levels of capability.

If you run a poetry competition and would like your contest to be included in the lists below, please contact me providing all of the following information (please don't just send me a link - give the full details requested below in an email):

  • How often you will be running the contest (eg, annually, quarterly, one-off)
  • The name of your poetry competition
  • A link to your website
  • The country you are based in
  • Closing date
  • The date you announce winners
  • Maximum word count or lines of poetry
  • Entry fee
  • Top prize
  • Any other details, including how winning writers' poems will be published and any limitations regarding style, theme etc

If you spot any mistakes, incorrect information or broken links on this page, please feel free to contact me - I do my best to fix any problems quickly.

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Regular Poetry Contests

This list contains information about poem competitions run on a regular basis; daily, weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, bi-annually, tri-annually etc. If you're new to poetry and have not yet been published, this is a good place to start.

Competition Country Closing Date Winners Announced Max Lines Entry Fee Top Prize
Cinnamon Press Poetry Prizes Wales Varies Varies Varies Varies Varies
Notes on Cinnamon Press Poetry Prizes: They run a variety of awards including debut poetry collection, pamphlet prize and single poem prize - check website for more details
FanStory Poetry Contests USA Weekly Weekly Varies $9.95 $100
Notes on FanStory Contests: FanStory run a variety of contests including Haiku, Sonnet, 3 Line Poem and many more - each contest is run quarterly but they add new competitions on a weekly basis
Grindstone Poetry Competition UK Quarterly Quarterly 40 lines Varies Varies
Notes on Grindstone Competition: Any style / genre but themed, so check website for current details - winners published on website
New Millennium Awards USA Bi-Annually Bi-Annually See notes $20 $1,000
Notes on New Millennium Awards: Any style, subject or theme - 3 poems of up to 5 pages in length total - winners published in anthology and online - entry fee includes a copy of the anthology
Sentinel Literary Poetry Competition England Quarterly Quarterly 50 lines £4 £200
Notes on Sentinel Literary Competition: Any style, subject or theme - winners published in Sentinel Literary Magazine
Spilling Cocoa Over Martin Amis Humorous Poetry Competition England Varies Varies no max stated FREE See notes
Notes on Spilling Cocoa Competition: Any style, subject or theme but dedicated to the serious art of writing funny poems - no monetary prize, but winners published on the website
Templar Poetry Awards England Varies Varies Varies Varies Varies
Notes on Templar Poetry Awards: They run lots of different competitions - most offer publication and prize money, but check website for current opportunities
Tethered by Letters 'Don't Blink Or You'll Miss It' Poetry Competition USA Monthly Monthly See notes FREE See notes
Notes on TBL Blink Competition: Any style, subject or theme - poems must comply with Twitter, so must be under 140 characters in length using the hashtag #BlinkTBL - winner receives a copy of F(r)iction and gets a poem edited for free
Writers' Forum Poetry Competition England Monthly Monthly 40 lines £4 £100
Notes on Writers' Forum Competition: Any style, subject or theme - winners published in Writers' Forum magazine
Writing Maps A3 Review Poetry Contest England Monthly Monthly 150 words £3 £150
Notes on Writing Maps Competition: Any style, subject or theme - competition cycle lasts six months - each month, two entries win publication in the magazine - three overall winning entries receive cash prizes

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Prestigious / Big Prize Poetry Competitions

This list contains details of prestigious poetry contests offering large monetary prizes in excess of £1,000 ($, € or other currency). Competition will be high - big prizes tend to attract more entries.

Competition Country Closing Date Winners Announced Max Lines Entry Fee Top Prize
Arran Theatre and Arts Trust McLellan Poetry Prize Scotland June August 80 lines £5 £1,000
Notes on McLellan Poetry Prize: Any style, subject or theme
Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize Ireland December March no line limit £12 €10,000
Notes on Ballymaloe Poetry Prize: Any style, subject or theme - winners published in Moth Magazine - 3 runner-up prizes of £1,000
Basil Bunting International Poetry Prize UK April May 40 lines £7 £1,000
Notes on Basil Bunting Prize: Any style, subject or theme - large cash prizes for 2nd and 3rd place winners - prizewinners invited to award ceremony at Newcastle Poetry Festival
Bayou Magazine’s ' Kay Murphy Prize for Poetry' USA January February 3 poems $20 $1,000
Notes on Bayou Magazine Prize: Any style, subject or theme - winner published in and receives a free subscription to Bayou Magazine - all entries are considered for publication
Boston Review Poetry Contest USA June Fall see notes $20 $1,500
Notes on Boston Review Contest: Any style, subject or theme - winner publsihed in the Boston Review - enter up to 5 poems, 10 pages max in total - entry fee includes 6 month's subscription to Boston Review
Bridport Prize for Poems England May November 42 lines £9 £5,000
Notes on Bridport Prize Poem Competition: Any style, subject or theme - winners published in the Bridport Prize anthology
Caterpillar Poetry Prize Ireland March ? no max stated €12 €1,000
Notes on Bridport Prize Poem Competition: Any style, subject or theme but written for children aged 7 to 11 years of age - winner published in The Caterpillar
Christopher Tower Poetry Prize Competition England February March 48 lines FREE £3,000
Notes on Christopher Tower Competition: Themed, so check website for current details - for 16 to 18 year olds in full time education - winners published on website
Coffee-House Poetry 'Troubadour Poetry Prize' England June August 45 lines £5 £5,000
Notes on Troubadour Prize: Any style, subject or theme
Enizagam Literary Contest for Poetry USA March April 10 pages $20 $1,000
Notes on Enizagam Contest: Any style, subject or theme - winners published in and receive 2 free copies of Enizagam Journal, winners also nominated for Pushcart Prize
Forward Arts Foundation Prizes For Poetry England March ? NA FREE £10,000
Notes on Forward Arts Foundation Prize: Prizes: 10K for best collection, 5K for best 1st collection, 1K for best single poem - book entries must be submitted by publisher and single poems by magazine editors
Fresno State College of Arts Philip Levine Prize for Poetry USA September Spring 80 pages $28 $2,000
Notes on Philip Levine Prize: Any style, subject or theme - in addition to cash prize, winner is published by Anhinga Press
Hourglass Literary Magazine Best Poem Award Bosnia April September 3,500 words $15 $1,000
Notes on Hourglass Contest: Any style, subject or theme - winners published in Hourglass Literary Magazine - entry fee covers up to 3 poems
Ledbury Poetry Festival Poetry Competition England July ? 40 lines £5 £1,000
Notes on Ledbury Poetry Competition: Any style, subject or theme - winners are offered the chance of reading at the Ledbury Poetry Festival 
Magic Oxygen Poetry Prize England December February 50 lines £5 £1,000
Notes on Magic Oxygen Prize: Any style, subject or theme - winners publsihed in anthology
Manchester Poetry Prize England September November 120 lines £17.50 £10,000
Notes on Manchester Prize: Any style, subject or theme - for best collection of 3 to 5 poems with a collective maximum of 12o lines (£17.50 entry covers up to 5 poems)
Mslexia Women's Poetry Competition England June August no max £7 £2,000
Notes on Mslexia Competition: Any style, subject or theme - winners published in magazine and on website
Munster Literature Fool for Poetry Competition Ireland June September 16 to 23 pages €25 €1,000
Notes on Munster Literature Competition: Any style, subject or theme - winner will have a chapbook published and be given 50 free copies - winner offered the chnace to read at the Cork International Poetry Festival

Newcastle University Flambard Poetry Prize

England September ? 40 lines £5 £1,000
Notes on Flambard Prize: Any style, subject or theme - £5 entry fee is for a group of 5 poems of up to 40 lines each
Omnidawn Poetry Contests USA Quarterly Quarterly Varies Varies $1,000 to $3,000
Notes on Omnidawn Contest: Any style or genre - 4 contests run every year with different requirements - 2 have a $1,000 prize, 2 have a $3,000 prize - winners published professionally in a chapbook
Poetic Republic Poetry Competition England April ? 42 lines £7 £2,000
Notes on Poetic Republic Competition: Any style, subject or theme - participants read each other's work and effectively judge the competition, see link for details - winners and published in eBook containing 48 poems and most interesting comments from website
Room Magazine Poetry Contest Canada July ? 150 lines C$35 C$1,000
Notes on Room Magazine Poetry Contest: Any style, subject or theme - winners published in Room Magazine - entry fee for writers residing outside of Canada $49 USD - entry includes subsciption to Room Magazine
TNQ Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Award Canada February September no limit C$40 C$1,000

Notes on The New Quarterly Occasional Verse Award: Any style, subject or theme, but poems should be inspired by a specific occasion - entry includes a subscription to TNQ magazine - winner published in The New Quarterly and invited to read at Wild Writers Festival in Ontario - short-listed winners are considered for publication in TNQ (paid at $40)

The Plough Poetry Prize England November February 40 lines £5 £1,000
Notes on Room Magazine Poetry Contest: Any style, subject or theme - winners published on website
The Poetry Society National Poetry Competition England October February 40 lines £6.50 £5,000
Notes on Poetry Society Competition: Any style, subject or theme - winners published in the Poetry Review, an anthology and on the Poetry Society website - winners will also be invited to appear at different festivals and events around the UK
Wigtown Poetry Competition Scotland May August 40 lines £6.50 £1,500
Notes on Wigtown Competition: Any style, subject or theme - winners published in Southlight Magazine
Winchester Poetry Prize England July September 40 lines £5 £1,000
Notes on Winchester Prize: Any style, subject or theme - winning poems will be published in the Winners' Anthology
Winning Writers Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest USA September April 250 lines $10 $1,500
Notes on WW Wergle Flomp Competition: 2 top prizes of $1,500; 1, Tom Howard Prize for a poem of any style, subject or theme; 2, Margaret Reid Prize for poems that rhyme or have a traditional style - winners published online
Winning Writers Wergle Flomp Humour Poetry Contest USA April August 250 lines FREE $1,000
Notes on WW Wergle Flomp Competition: Any style, subject or theme but must be humorous - winners published online

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Annual Poetry Contests

This table lists details of poetry competitions run yearly.

Competition Country Closing Date Winners Announced Max Lines Entry Fee Top Prize
Artificium Poetry Competition England Varies Varies 40 lines £5 Varies
Notes on Artificium Competition: Any style, subject or theme - winners published in Artificium
Australasian Association of Writing Programs Emerging Writers' Prize Australia Varies Varies 30 lines Varies See notes
Notes on AAWP Prize: Any style, subject or theme - winners considered for publication in Meniscus - prize is ticket to Ubud Festival, A$500 towards flights, free accommodation & invite to attend and read at Australasian Association of Writing Programs conference
Battered Moons Poetry Competition England June September 40 lines £5 £700
Notes on Battered Moons Competition: Any style, subject or theme - winners published in Battered Moons Poetry Pamphlet - run as part of the Poetry Swindon Festival
Bedford Writing Competition UK September January 40 lines £6 £300
Notes on Bedford Prize: Any style / genre - winners published on website and in an eBook download
Blue Mesa Review Poetry Contest USA August October 3 poems $12 $500
Notes on Blue Mesa Review Contest: Any style, subject or theme -winning poems published in the Blue Mesa Review
Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year UK June October 60 lines £5 £200
Notes on Canterbury Festival Competition: Any style, subject or theme - all shortlisted and longlisted entries published in an anthology
David Burland Poetry Prize UK July August 40 lines £8 £200
Notes on David Burland Prize: Any style, subject or theme - winners published in anthology Poetic Art / L’Art Poétique
Fire River Poets Open Poetry Competition UK October January 40 lines £4 £200
Notes on Fire River Poets Competition: Any style, subject or theme - winners invited to take part in a reading event held in Taunton
Fun Palaces: WriteScience Poem Competition UK July September 250 FREE See notes
Notes on Fun Palaces Poem Competition: Any style / genre but themed around science - open to residents of the UK only - winners published on website and performed at reading events - competition is judged by a very prestigious panel - they also accept short stories
Grey Hen Press Poetry Competition UK April ? 40 lines £3 £100
Notes on Grey Hen Press Competition: Any style, subject or theme - entrants must be over 60 years old - winners published on the website
Inexsilio (The Exiles) - The Lost Country Poetry Competition USA Varies Varies 150 lines* FREE $50
Notes on The Exiles Competition: Any style, subject or theme - winners published in The Lost Country Journal - sometimes run annually, sometimes bi-annually - 150 lines is a soft limit, if the editors receive an excellent 200 line poem (for example), they will consider publishing it
Into the Void Poetry Competition Ireland November December 60 lines €3 €150
Notes on Into The Void Competition: Any style, subject or theme - winners published on website
Jane Martin Poetry Prize UK March ? ? ? £700
Notes on Jane Martin Prize: Any style, subject or theme - 2nd prize £300 - for those aged between 18 and 30 years of age
Overton Poetry Prize UK March ? 300 lines £10 £50
Notes on Overton Prize: Any style, subject or theme - run through Loughborough University in memory of professor Bill Overton - first place published in chapbook by Lamplight Press
Oxford Festival of the Arts Poetry Live UK April May no max stated FREE See notes
Notes on Oxford Festival of the Arts Prize: Any style, subject or theme but for people up 21 years' of age living in Oxfordshire - go to the Get Involved section of the website and you'll find Competitions in the menu
Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society - William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition USA May September 750 words $25 $750
Notes on Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society Competition: Any style, subject or theme - winners might be published
Poetry on the Lake International Competition for the Silver Wyvern Italy April June 40 lines £8/€12 €500
Notes on Poetry on the Lake Competition: Any style but themed, so check website for current details - they based on an island in Lake Orta, Italy - winner receives cash and a silver wyvern - Poetry on the Lake run other poetry contests with varying line limits, fees and prizes, so check out their website - winners published on website and in anthology
Poetry Pulse Annual Poetry Competition UK June August 42 lines £5 £300
Notes on Poetry Pulse Competition: Any style, subject or theme - winners published on website and in Poetry Pulse Annual Review
Poetry Quarterly Annual Poetry Contest USA December January no max stated $10 $300
Notes on Poetry Quarterly Contest: Any style, subject or theme - winners published in Poetry Quarterly - entry fee includes 1 year's subscription to magazine
SaveAs Writers Poetry Competition UK August October Varies £3 £100
Notes on SaveAs Writers Competition: Any style or subject, but themed, so check website for current details - winners published in anthology
Segora Poetry Competition UK June July 50 lines £4 £300
Notes on Segora Competition: Any style, subject or theme - winners published on Poetry Prose & Plays website and published in an anthology which comes out every couple of years
The London Magazine Poetry Competition UK May ? 40 lines £7 £300
Notes on London Magazine Competition: Any style, subject or theme - winners published in London Magazine and online
Torbay Festival of Poetry Open Poetry Competition UK August ? 50 lines £5 £700
Notes on Torbay Festival Competition: Any style, subject or theme - winner also receives free weekend pass for the poetry festival including accommodation
Wells Festival of Literature Poetry Competition UK June October 40 lines £6 £750
Notes on Wells Festival Competition: Any style, subject or theme - winners published on website - 2nd prize £200, 3rd prize £100
Wenlock Poetry Festival Competition UK March April 40 lines £5 £500
Notes on Wenlock Festival Competition: Any style, subject or theme - winners published on website and invited to perform their poems at the festival - they also run competitions for young adults and children so check out the website for details
Writers Bureau Limerick Competition UK April June no max stated £5 £300
Notes on Writers Bureau Competition: Any style, subject or theme - winners published in Freelance Market News - £5 entry is for up to 4 Limericks
Writer's Relief WaterSedge Poetry Chapbook Contest USA May September 48 page book $20 $500
Notes on Writer's Relief Competition: Any style, subject or theme - entrants must reside in the USA - for books up to 48 pages in length with 1 poem per page - winner's chapbook published in print and eBook format
Writing Times Poetry Competition UK December March 80 lines £3 £50
Notes on Writers Bureau Competition: Any style, subject but themed, so check website for current theme - winners published in the Writing Times along with an author feature
Wundor Editions Poetry Contest UK May June 6 poems £10 £500
Notes on Wundor Editions Contest: Any style or subject but themed so check website for current details - no line limit on poems - winner strongly considered for print publication

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Poetry Competitions For Young Writers & Children

This table lists different poetry competitions specifically for young adults and children.

Competition Country Closing Date Winners Announced Max Lines Entry Fee Top Prize
Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award England July October No max FREE See notes
Notes on Foyle Award: Any style, subject or theme - for ages 11 to 17 - winners receive a range of prizes, from mentoring to residential Arvon writing courses, Poetry Society membership and books
Wenlock Poetry Festival Children & Young People's Poetry Competition England March April ? ? ?
Notes on Wenlock Festival Competition: Any style or subject but themed so check website for current details - winners published on website - 3 age groups; under 6, 7 to 9 and 10 to 12
Wimbledon Bookfest Young Writers' Competition England April ? No max FREE iPad
Notes on Wimbledon Bookfest Competition: Any style or subject but themed so check website for current details - winners published in Bookfest Book of Stories anthology - 2 age groups; 4-11 and 11-18

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One-Off Poetry Writing Competitions

This table will list one-off poetry contests.

Competition Country Closing Date Winners Announced Max Lines Entry Fee Top Prize
Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival Poetry Competition UK 31st July 2017 September 600 words FREE £1,000
Notes on Budleigh Salterton Competition: Any style or genre but competition is themed, so check website for details

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Other Poetry Competition Lists

There are other websites that supply poetry competition calendars. They are listed below (if you run one on your site, please get in touch):

A History of Closed Poetry Competitions

This table will contain a history of previously listed poetry contests that have closed.

Competition Country Closing Date Winners Announced Max Lines Entry Fee Top Prize
Caerphilly Scribes Free Verse Competition Wales Bi-Annually Bi-Annually 30 lines £5 £100
Notes on Caerphilly Scribes Competition: Any style, subject or theme, but no purple prose or schmaltz - winners published in Caerphilly Scribes Poetry Collection - each entry receives a short commentary from the judges - CLOSED 2016
Craigleigh Press Poetry Contest Canada 30th April 2016 ? 40 lines $5 $50
Notes on Craigleigh Press Competition: Any or subject but the theme - 3 categories: A. Free Verse, B. Traditional Verse, C. Haiku - CLOSED, was a one-off
Crooked Quill Magazine Poetry Competition England 15th February 2015 March 20 lines FREE £20
Notes on Crooked Quill Competition: Any or subject but the theme is 'beginnings and time' - 1st prize is a £20 Amazon voucher - winners published in The Crooked Quill literary magazine -CLOSED, was a one-off
First Writer International Poetry Competition England October ? 30 lines £3 £200
Notes on First Writer Competition: Any style, subject or theme - winners published in First Writer Magazine - CLOSED 2016 after running for 15 years - you can still see results and read winning poems, so link has been left live
Nothing in the Rulebook's 'Haikus for the NHS' UK 20th February 2017 28th February 2017 Haiku FREE £25
Notes on Nothing in the Rulebook Competition: Any style or subject but the theme is the UK's National Health Service and the tradition of poetry as protest - long and shortlisted haikus published on website - winning haikus will also be printed and distributed at NHS demonstration in London on 4 March - CLOSED, was a one-off
Sentinel Annual Poetry Competition England January March 60 lines £5 £700
Notes on Sentinel Competition: Any style, subject or theme - winners pubished in anthology - lots of runner-up cash prizes - WEBSITE NOT UPDATED SINCE 2015, so listing removed 2017
Snowdrop Festival Poetry Competition UK 15th January 2017 19th February 2017 30 lines FREE See notes
Notes on Snowdrop Festival Competition: Any or subject but the themed so check website for details - small prize plus certificate plus poem read on local radio - 3 classes: 6–11, 12-16, above 16 years - shortlisted poets given opportunity to read their poem at awards ceremony - CLOSED, was a one-off
Thinkerbeat 'Reels' and 'Spinners' Awards USA Bi-Annually Bi-Annually Varies FREE $25
Notes on Thinkerbeat Awards: For song lyrics and animations (poets encouraged to enter, hence it's listed here) - winning lyrics will be recorded as a song, and winning scripts annimated - CLOSED 2015
Torriano Poetry Competition England January March 40 lines £3 £250
Notes on Torriano Competition: Any style, subject or theme - Winning poets will be offered featured readings at prize-giving ceremony in April - CONTEST NO LONGER MENTIONED ON WEBSITE, so listing removed 2017
Year of Listening Competition Scotland 28th October 2016 11th November 2016 40 lines FREE See notes
Notes on Year of Listening Competition: Any style or genre but themed around 'What does listening mean to you?' - top prize is an MP3 player - winner is published on the website and in printed publications - CLOSED, was a one-off

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Leave your comments

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Comments:

Your comments:

Beth S
Great info on contests and submissions! Thank you so much. I'm a creative writing teacher at a high school in SC, and I write myself, of course - mostly poetry. I was able to find good places to submit for my son's SciFi work, and I'm going to tell my students about your postings as a good resource! Best of luck to you with your writing.

Chris Fielden
Thanks very much, Beth - I'm glad to hear you find the resources on the website useful :-)

Audrey AJ
Thanks so much for all this... very helpful.  I thought you should know that the Troubadour Prize dates have changed - closing date June. Prize winners are contacted in August.

Hope this is helpful!

PS There is an annual Grey Hen poetry competition as well.

Chris Fielden
Thanks very much, Audrey - this is very helpful indeed. Without people telling me when there are mistakes on the list, it's very hard to keep up to date.

I've updated the Troubadour Prize details and added Grey Hen too.

Anjum
I saw that all the contests are for people living in the USA or UK. I am from India... can I participitate?

Chris Fielden
Hi Anjum. Yes, you can participate in most of them.

The country in the listing just tells you where the contest is based/run from. Most will accept entries from writers residing anywhere in the world. Just check the individual competition's submission guidelines and terms and conditions before entering.

Mahlet Z
I wanted to apply for the compilation of writing poems and I was wondering if there is a prize for the winner. And when is the forthcoming competition?

Chris Fielden
Hi Mahlet. This page lists multiple poetry competitions. All of them run at different times and offer different prizes. Please use the links on the page to research the rules for each competition. I hope that answers your question...?