Straid Collections Award 2014

the straid

Closing Date: 17-Mar-14

The annual Straid Collection Awards are open for submission of full collections of poetry. Poets are invited to submit between forty and sixty pages of poetry, with no more than forty lines per page, excluding title and stanza breaks.

Prize: The award is given to one poet each year and is intended for poets who have a complete new collection. The winning poet will be offered a launch reading at the 2014 Derwent Poetry Festival and a further launch reading in our Keats House events programme.
Entry Fee: £22.00 for each submission and £25.00 for each Online Submission

Contact: For further information see website
Postal Entries: Templar & Iota Poetry, PO BOX 7721, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 9DD
Email entries: submissions@templarpoetry.co.uk


The Waiting Hillside by Martin Malone

Rumpelstiltskin’s Price by Susanne Ehrhardt

Not Saying Goodbye at Gate 21 by Kathleen Jones

Cry Wolf by Cristina Newton

On the Kiso Road by Jo Haslam

The Invention of Fireworks by Beatrice Garland


Poetry competition tips

With The New Writer‘s November 30th deadline looming I thought I’d post an interview with Bill Greenwell who judged our previous competition – he’s a wise sage.

AM: What do you look for when judging a competition?

BG: Poems with a structure of some sort; coherence; arresting words, phrases and images; a surety of voice; and some indefinable waffle-dust. Poems I have to read at least three times, because I want to. They also have to be well-edited (it’s a sort of etiquette). And some sense of surprise: a feeling that someone has not only written with an element of glee, even wry or dark humour, but has at some point become totally absorbed by what they’re doing.

AM: Some people talk about “a competition poem” – a good all-rounder. Do you think this exists?

BG: It’s probably sensible to know where you hope it will be published, and what kinds of readers are attracted to the poetry of that magazine. But no, not an all-rounder. Quirky poems, as long as they aren’t only quirky, are good. Winning poems are probably not over-crafted, and not overcrowded. I think it’s easier to define a poem that hasn’t a hope of winning. Length isn’t an issue (as long as they’re within the limit!); but maybe a good competition poem is confident enough not to be exactly 40 lines (or whatever) long.

AM: What tips can you offer a poet new to submitting to competitions?

BG: Be yourself. Surprise yourself. Don’t write in crazy fonts (distracting). And make sure you’ve read a lot of poetry from the last decade or so. Some styles do date. The most obvious advice is to make sure you’ve had some poems published somewhere: at least you then know that you’re publishable. Obey the rules (surprising how often they’re broken). And don’t take rejection personally. Peter Sansom had a clever idea: if you submit three or four, put your best one last. It will look a little better in comparison to previous efforts, since your poems will be numbered in the order you submit them, and probably read in that order.

AM: Is it best to submit to smaller competitions at first where you might stand more chance of being noticed, or is it better to grasp the nettle and go for the top prizes?

BG: Start at the top, and work down. It depends how much you’re prepared to invest, of course. It can be an expensive business.

AM: How important do you think it is to have a winning track record in your CV?

BG: Poems are anonymous, so: no. But if you have no CV at all, think about getting one. Competitions aren’t the best place to start.

AM: Thanks Bill.

Bill Greenwell’s first collection Spoof (2005) was published by Entire Photo Here Press, more recently his collections, Impossible Objects (2006) and Ringers (2012) have been published by Cinnamon Press. He’s no stranger to competitions having been a winner or runner-up in the Troubadour, the Kent & Sussex Open (four times!), the Yeovil Open, The Plough, the Devon Open, the Wigtown Open, and the Virginia Warbey. He has also won over 2000 competitions (yes, really!) for parodies and light verse in magazines including The Spectator and New Statesman. In 2004 he won the £5000 Mail on Sunday poetry prize. Phew!

First published in The New Writer Summer 2012

Daljit Nagra

Daljit Nagra: Featured Poet

The Constant Art

It’s true my love’s a paid up fashion victim.
Her hair, for a start, each morn is blandly ironed
glossy down her back; her nails are on nails
(embedded with gems) though when in heated kiss
they’ll sometimes stay there hanging in my neck.

Yet she’s no bendu dumbo reared on farms
to wrestle bulls, her battle’s with tash and arms
she’ll wax; but when I see her cut by friends
for wearing last year’s cut, I think of times
I’ve worn my heart at sleeve and that’s not cool.

O love, these things are forging fickle youth!
Let’s drop our guard for goods that rarely lie,
monuments like sonnets that will age
their solid lines in us to save our face.


Daljit Nagra comes from a Punjabi background. He was born and raised in London then Sheffield. He has won several prestigious prizes for his poetry. In 2004, he won the Forward Prize for Best Individual Poem with Look We Have Coming to Dover! This was also the title of his first collection which was published by Faber & Faber in 2007. This won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and The South Bank Show Decibel Award, and was nominated for The Costa Prize, The Guardian First Book Prize, the Aldeburgh Prize and the Glen Dimplex Award.

Daljit’s poems have been published in New Yorker, Atlantic Review, London Review of Books, Times Literary Supplement, Poetry Review, Poetry London, Poetry International, Rialto and The North.

He has performed at venues such as Banff, Calgary, Toronto, Bratislava, Galle, Mumbai, Delhi, Orkney, Belfast, Dublin, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Heidelberg, St Andrews, Edinburgh, Ty Newydd and many places in England.

Daljit is on the Board of the Poetry Book Society. He has judged the Samuel Johnson Award 2008, The Guardian First Book Prize 2008, The Foyles Young Poets Competition 2008, The National Poetry Competition 2009. He has also hosted the TS Eliot Poetry Readings 2009.

He is the Lead Poetry Tutor at The Faber Academy and has run workshops all over the world.

He is a regular contributor to BBC radio and has written articles for The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Observer, The Times of India. Tippoo Sultan’s Incredible White-Man-Eating Tiger Toy-Machine!!! is his most current collection.