Magna Carta Poetry Competition closes 4th September


Magna Carta Poetry Competition 2015


George Szirtes will judge this year’s Ealing Autumn Festival poetry competition, which will be based on the theme of Magna Carta and freedom, human rights and democracy. This year’s festival is inspired by the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta and the poetry competition is open to anyone with cash prizes totalling £500 for the winners in two categories – adult group (19 years and over) and 18 years and under.

Apart from judging the competition, Szirtes will visit Ealing Central Library on georgeOctober 11 and then later he will talk about the entries and present the prizes for the Magna Carta Poetry Competition at The Drayton Court, West Ealing. Selected poets will be invited to read and the focus will be on younger poets in the afternoon at Ealing Central Library and on the adult age-group in the evening at The Drayton Court.
Entry Fee: £5.50 and £2.50 for additional poems in the adult group and in the 18 years and under the first poem is free and then £2.50 for additional ones, maximum of four.

Contact: You can enter online at www.ealingautumnfestival.co.uk or telephone 020 8567 7623 for further details.


Buzzwords Poetry Competition

Closing date: midnight on 23rd August 2015Alison
Sole Judge: Alison Brackenbury who will read all entries

1st prize-£600. Runner-up- £300. 5 x commended-£50 each.
The Gloucestershire Prize- £200. (for Gloucestershire residents only).

Postal entries:

Download postal instructions and entry form here
Entry fees: Postal entries; £4 per poem or 3 poems for £10.
Email entries will carry a surcharge for PayPal & printing costs:
One poem £4.35, two poems £8.70, three poems £11

Proceeds of the competition will be used to fund ‘Buzzwords’, which is the longest running and most respected regular poetry gathering in Cheltenham.
“A warm, intelligent – and going on the evidence of the floor readings – a very talented group, Buzzwords was a great venue for reading and listening.” – George Szirtes

Rules of Entry.
1. Poems should be no longer than 70 lines.
2. No translations are accepted.
3. Poems must not have been previously published in print or on the internet.
4. Entries must be clearly typed on single side(s) of A4 paper in a clear font e.g. Arial 12 point. No curly or obscure fonts please.
5. Please leave a reasonable margin on the paper so that it is legible when printed and kept in a file.
5. Handwritten entries will not be considered.
7. Entrants’ names should not appear on the poems. An entry form or covering letter or email should accompany all entries and contain name, phone number, address, email address and titles of poems entered.
8. Entries must be received by midnight on 23rd August; postal entries will be accepted if they are postmarked no later than 21st August.
9. Entries for the Gloucestershire prize should mark their poems with ‘GL’ in the top right hand corner.
10. Gloucestershire, for the purposes of the competition, includes South Gloucestershire
11. Entrants may enclose an s.a.e. marked ‘Results’ for postal notification of the prize-winners or state in their cover letter/email that email notification is preferred.
12. Results will also be published on the Buzzwords Competition Website.
13. Prize winners will be contacted by October 2015; winners will be welcome to read their poems at the next ‘Buzzwords’
14. The judge’s decision will be final and we regret that no correspondence will be entered into.
15. Copyright will remain with the competitor, but Buzzwords reserves the right to publish the winning poems on the website, or to use them in publicity, for 12 months after the results are announced.
16. Poems may not be altered after entry.
17. Cheques should be clearly made out to ‘Cheltenham Poetry Cafe’.

Further details Buzzwords Poetry


Canterbury Poet of the Year 2014


Terms and Conditions

  1. Entry is open to all adults over the age of 18 on 2 October 2014. National and International entries are welcome.  Any number of poems may be submitted, but no alterations may be made to a poem once it has been submitted.
    1. 2.     The closing date for the competition is Friday 20 June 2014. Entries must be posted by 12:00 midnight on that date or delivered to: Adult Poetry Competition, Canterbury Festival Office, 8 Orange Street, Canterbury, Kent CT1 2JA. Entries will not be returned so please keep a copy.
    2. 3.     The entry form and entry fee of £5 must accompany each poem. Payment should be in the form of a cheque made out to “Canterbury Festival Foundation (Friends)”. Only one entry form and one cheque need be sent, even if several poems are submitted. We are unable to accept email entries or online payment.
    3. The poem or poem sequence may be on any subject and in any style, but must not exceed 60 lines in length. Entries are judged anonymously and the poet’s name and address should not appear on the poem itself
    4. Handwritten entries cannot be accepted. Entries should be typed in black ink on A4 paper. Please do not staple entries
    5. Entries must be the poet’s original, unpublished work (including on any website, blog, online forum or broadcast medium) and not accepted for publication before the Awards Evening on2 October 2014. Ownership remains with the poet at all times; The Festival will not assume any share in copyright. The Canterbury Festival is not responsible for any claim of plagiarism, which will be directed to the poet alone.
    6. The poem should be written principally in English; incidental foreign words/phrases and the use of regional variants are permitted.
    7. Poems will be sent anonymously to the judging panel:
      – Derek Sellen ( award winning poet – Gillian Laker (Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year 2013) and Luigi Marchini (Chairman of SaveAs Writers Group)
  2. The competition organisers reserve the right to change the judging panel.
    1. The judges’ decision is final.
    2. A longlist of entries will be selected for inclusion in the 2014 Anthology. Longlisted poets will be asked to re-submit the selected poems by e-mail in order to aid publication.
    3. Shortlisted poets will be asked to read their poems at the Awards Evening on 2 October 2014 (or to nominate a reader to do this on their behalf) and the winning poems will be announced on the night.
    4. The poets will receive a free copy of the Anthology at the Awards Evening. The Anthology will be on sale at the Awards Evening and from the Festival offices after the event.
    5. The Awards Evening will take place on Thursday 2 October 2014 commencing at 8.00pm – venue to be announced – and will take the form of a public ticketed event as part of the Canterbury Festival.
    6. The evening will include readings of the shortlisted poets Prizes will be awarded for the Winner, 2nd and 3rd places, the “Best Read Poem” and the “People’s Choice” voted for on the night. The Winner will be named ‘Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year 2014’ and will receive a book token for £50.00 plus a half case of wine, 2nd and 3rd Prize winners will receive book tokens for £25.00 each, the “Best Read” Prize will be a bottle of sparkling wine and the “People’s Choice” will receive a book token for £20.00.

For further details and an application form click here.


Battered Moons poetry competition

battered-moons-large-phoebe8BATTERED MOONS POETRY COMPETITION started five years ago and became a national competition in 2012.It has had a privileged trajectory, with the collaboration of judges Martin Malone and Lesley Saunders in the first two years, Michael Symmons Roberts in 2012 and main Alice Oswald in 2013.This year’s main judge is David Morley, whose work has received fourteen literary awards, including a major Eric Gregory AwardDavid (in 1989), a Tyrone Guthrie Award from Northern Arts, a Hawthorden International Writers Fellowship, an Arts Council Writers Award, the Raymond Williams Prize, a Creative Ambitions Award, and an Arts Council Fellowship in Writing at Warwick University. He has also received two awards for his teaching, including a National Teaching Fellowship. Morley is himself the Director of the Warwick Prize for Writing and a judge of the 2012 T.S. Eliot Prize. He is Director of the Warwick Writing Programme and Professor of Writing at the University of Warwick, as well as a tutor for The Arvon Foundation, The Poetry School and Maddy Prior’s Stones Barn Courses.Read more about David Morley here.
Battered Moons is an open national poetry competition supported by Swindon Artswords, Arts Council England and BlueGate Poets, part of the Swindon Festival of Poetry, to which Battered Moons is linked.The Battered Moons Team are Hilda Sheehan as organiser of the Swindon Festival of Poetry and, with Clare Knock, for administration and technical support, and Cristina Newton as organiser, judge and editor of the Battered Moons pamphlet.

Entries will be accepted from 1st March.

To enter online, follow the following steps:

1) Select the number of entries and pay using the ‘Add to Cart’ PayPal button below. The cost is £5 for a single entry, or £3.50 each poem for multiple entries. There is no limit to the number of entries you can submit.

2) Once you have paid, send an email to batteredmoonsentries@gmail.com including:

In the body of the message: ~ your PayPal transaction reference number ~ your personal details: name, postal address, telephone number ~ the titles of the poem(s)

As attachments, the poem or poems you are submitting, each as a separate document.

Please make sure no identification marks other than the title are to be found on the poems themselves, as that would cause them to be disqualified.

For further information click here.


Melita Hume Prize 2014


“The MH Prize offers a huge opportunity to writers. Eyewear works closely and sensitively with its authors,
takes great care at every stage of the production of its beautiful books – and throws very good parties.”
Caleb Klaces – Melita Hume Poetry Prize winner 2012
NOW IS YOUR CHANCE TO ENTER THE MELITA HUME POETRY PRIZE 2014! OPEN TO POETS  OF 35 YEARS OF AGE OR YOUNGER … …an award of £1,400 and a publishing deal with Eyewear Publishing Ltd., for the best first full collection of a young poet writing in the English language. The aim of this prize is to support younger emerging writers during difficult economic times. This is open to anyone of the requisite age, of any nationality, resident in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It is free to enter.
Find out more here!
This year our judge is the truly wonderful poet Emily Berry. Todd Swift Director of Eyewear writes, “I am particularly thrilled to have for our third year Emily Berry as judge.  Emily Berry is one of the best-loved, wittiest, edgiest, and most admired younger British poets, and her debut with Faber, Dear Boy, won the Forward prize for best first collection in 2013.  Who better to spot a rising star among younger British poets than one herself?”

So what are you waiting for? Get submitting! We very much look forward to hearing from you and reading your wonderful works. Supporting emerging talent is at the heart of what we do and we are delighted to be running this prize for a third year.
The winner of last year’s Melita Hume Poetry Prize was Marion McCready with her remarkable collection Tree Language, which launches this Spring (so keep your eyes peeled)!
“I chose Marion McCready’s Tree Language as the overall winner for two major reasons: firstly, the poetry is incredibly dark and rich and bloody (blood is a particular theme), with frequently brilliant lines and almost Celan-esque word pairings: ‘blood-cut son’, ‘snow-eyes dressing’, ‘death fruits’. Or how about a poem that opens, running on from its title:
Like a dead shrew the baby lies comically still.
Secondly, as a collection, it’s superbly structured. Repetition within and between the poems is used to haunting effect; often, a motif or image returns in the manner of a memory resurfacing, or a recurring dream. The loosely held themes allow her to cover a range of territory, including war poems, over four distinct chapters, without seeming to stray from the direct path established in the opening pieces. This is assured, disconcertingly potent work with a sharp and distinctive flavour.”
– Jon Stone, Melita Hume Poetry Prize 2013 Judge

About Eyewear: Eyewear Publishing Ltd. is based in London, England. It was founded in the Diamond Jubilee/Olympic year of 2012. Emphasis is on excellent new work, as well as the rediscovery of out-of-print figures.

Eyewear Publishing


Save As Writers’ Competition



You are invited to enter this year’s Save As Competition! Each year we are increasingly impressed by the quality of the writing that we receive from around the world. Now in its 6th year we hope to make this the best year yet.

Entries with a post mark of December 31st will be accepted.

No entries must have been entered in any previous Save As competition or been placed in the top three in any other competition. Otherwise, previously published entries are accepted.

The copyright of each entry remains with the writer but Save As Writers reserves the right to publish winning entries on its website.

The judge will see EACH piece – there is no sifting beforehand.

How to Enter
Entry fees: £3 per poem/story, £8 for three


1st Prize £50                  2nd £30                      3rd £20

Entries can be either hard copy or electronic. If submitting hard copies please post them to:

Luigi Marchini
Save As Writers
35 Spillett Close
ME13 8QP

Your name must not appear on your hard copies but please include a covering letter with your name, contact details, and title of the pieces submitted. Electronic copies must be sent to: saveas@hotmail.co.uk and headed as either ‘Poetry’ or ‘Prose’

In both cases all monies must be sent to the above address with cheques payable to ‘Save As Writers’.

The winners will be announced at the annual awards ceremony in March 2014
Jo Hemmant

Jo Hemmant: Featured Poet

Jo Hemmant


On the occasion of Mayer Samuel Houdini’s 17th birthday

He would be the one to invent a son.
Perhaps his greatest sleight of hand: letters
in that dramatic copperplate, Dear Mrs Houdini,
Mayer has his first tooth, is crawling, can say his name,
in full, our boy, tender anecdotes of bumps and scrapes –
trying to fly before he could walk, of course –
of night-time vigils, lisped funnies, tantrums, slapstick.
………………………………As if I’d have as little say

in my own son as I do in his act: ever the flunky;
the suspension of disbelief; the accessory after the fact.
He did allow him a likeness though – my dark eyes.
Little touches like that, they’re why he’s the success he is.
A locket with a wispy golden curl for Mother’s Day.
A scuffed pair of calf-skin baby shoes. And when the child
would have started school, the reports began, always
in a different hand – outlining academic glory,
popularity, sporting prowess. I’ve even an invitation
to his bar mitzvah somewhere.
 …………………………….He has never mentioned him
to my face; realises that would be too much to stomach.
No, I find the letters on my pillow every month,
about that time; a thoughtless gift.


Scratch Days

Now and then we have to let ourselves in,
knowing before we’ve unlocked the door
that inside it’s as if no-one’s home —

TV off, radio quiet as the hush
between each tick of the kitchen clock,
the only sound a distant rat-a-tat-tat.

She’s up in the box room
with towers of tins stockpiled
against famine and flood, hunched

over the Singer, feeding swags of polycotton
across its cool, metal plate
while the frenzied needle stabs,

retreats. Pins clamped between her lips
like threats, foot down like a racing driver
accelerating out of a corner’s rubber stink.


Light Knows Cover 1_4.jpegforpostcardJo Hemmant lives in the Kent countryside with her husband and two sons. She is the director of Pindrop Press, a boutique poetry press that has published twelve titles to date. She is involved in local poetry, acting as Secretary of The Kent and Sussex Poetry Society and running creative writing workshops.

Her poems have been published in many magazines and anthologies, including Magma, Iota, Dream Catcher, Brittlestar, nothing left to burn (Ragged Raven Press, 2011), Jericho (Cinnamon Press, 2012). She has also won prizes in various competitions – including first prize in The New Writer Poetry and Prose Competition 2011 (collection category), second prize in the Torriano Poetry Competition in 2011 and runner-up in the Cardiff International Poetry Competition 2012.

The Light Knows Tricks is her first collection and can be bought from Doire Press.