Opportunities for Underrepresented Writers

Creative Future Literary Awards are open for entries of poetry and flash fiction from writers (UK only) who find it hard to access the literary world, due to ill health (including mental health issues), disability or social circumstance. Poems are invited of up to 200 words (flash fiction up to 300) on the theme of ‘important nothings’. Winning pieces will be published in an anthology. Prizes include cash plus writer development opportunities such as mentoring, courses and professional consultations. Writers may submit a maximum of one piece per category (one poem and/or one piece of flash fiction). Read the eligibility criteria carefully before submitting.

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Poetry School Competition

The Poetry School in London is offering course vouchers to the winner of its poetry competition, inspired by the film Paterson (Soda Pictures). Deadline: 11 November 2016. Open only to UK-based poets, I’m afraid. The competition is for ‘Diary Poems’, to reflect the conversational, diary style of the poems by the film’s fictional poet Paterson (poems actually written by Ron Padgett). Your poem should be 40 lines or less; one poem per entrant. Check out Paterson’s poems here: Sample poems by Paterson Read the full rules before submitting.

Warrington-based Poets Wanted

Writers living within a 25-mile radius of the English town of Warrington are invited to enter the Stockton Heath Writers Group free competition. All entries must be unpublished and ‘family friendly’. Send up to three poems of up to 40 lines each. Deadline is midnight on 1 September 2016. There is also a Young Writer of the Year prize for writers under the age of 18. More information here.

Political Poems for Holland Park Press

You have until 31 August 2016 to enter this writing competition, entitled ‘Poetry & Politics’. It’s free to enter, and the winner will receive £200. Poems by the winner and runners-up will be published in the Holland Park Press online magazine. One poem per entrant. Your poem must be original (hope that would go without saying!), unpublished, and up to 50 lines in length. Poems must be in English, but may be from poets anywhere in the world and of any nationality. Please refer to the website for full submissions info: http://hollandparkpress.co.uk/magazine_detail.php?magazine_id=407&language=English

Amnesty International Poetry Competition

Copied and pasted from the Amnesty International website (http://join.amnesty.org/ea-campaign/action.retrievestaticpage.do?ea_static_page_id=4326):
Theme: ‘Silenced Shadows’
We are inviting Sri Lankans at home and abroad to take part in a poetry competition to mark the decades of enforced disappearances the country has experienced.

  • Entries may be submitted in English, Tamil or Sinhala from any place in the world; you do not have to be a poet to enter.
  • Writers must be Sri Lankans living in the country or who have emigrated in the past 20 years.
  • All entrants must be 14 years of age or older when they submit their entry to the Competition. Entrants under the age of 18 must obtain written parental or guardian consent to enter and claim any prize. The Competition Administrators may ask the winner to provide proof of age.

Deadline 31 December 2015.

William Soutar Writing Prize 2015

The William Soutar Writing Prize is run by Perth and Kinross libraries. Now in its fourteenth year, this annual competition alternates between poetry and short stories. The competition in 2015 is for poems. Entry to this Scottish-based competition is free, and open to anyone in the world over the age of 16yrs. Individuals are limited to two poems only. Entries may be in English or Scots. First prize is an Arvon Writing Course. Second Prize: £100 Book Token. Local Prize:£50 Book Token to be awarded for the best work from a resident of Perth and Kinross in Scotland. Deadline: 23 June 2015. More details and full rules here: http://www.pkc.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=29920&p=0 (I am having trouble with this link, which seems to change to a more generic council website link as I paste it in. The best thing seems to be to click on the link, and then, if the Prize doesn’t show up, do a search on the website.)

Wergle Flomp Competition for Humorous Poetry

Can you make the judges laugh? Free to enter. One entry per person. Deadline for this year is 1 April 2015. Full details: https://winningwriters.com/our-contests/wergle-flomp-humor-poetry-contest-free

2015 Camden/Lumen Poetry Competition

I’m breaking my own rules, with a competition that has an entry fee – proceeds to Homeless Cold Weather Shelters. I found this on the Poetry Library website (http://www.poetrylibrary.org.uk/competitions/). Closing Date: 14-Feb-15
Details: Judge:George Szirtes. Prize: 50 free copies of a perfect bound small collection of your poems plus a reading. Poems up to 40 lines. Poetry must not be previously published. No entry form is necessary. Entry Fee: £2.50 for single poems, 6 poems £10
Contact: Please make out cheques to Caris Camden and send to Ruth O’Callaghan, 49 Ripley Gardens, Mortlake, London SW14 8HF