Working Class Verse

UK poets have until 31 May 2017 to submit their poems to Culture Matters’ Bread and Roses Poetry Award, sponsored by Unite the Union. Copied from website:
The purpose of the new award is to encourage poets to focus on themes which are meaningful to working class people and communities, and to enable those communities to engage more with poetry. There is a £500 cash prize for the winner, £250 second prize and £100 third prize.
Entries should consist of three poems each no more than 50 lines long, and should be sent to info@culturematters.org.uk by 31st May 2017.

Ode to a Snowdrop

The Snowdrop Festival in Shepton Mallet is running a poetry competition on the theme of this pretty harbinger of spring. Poets may also choose to take inspiration from the story of James Allen, who lived in Shepton Mallet, and was the first person to breed new snowdrop varieties from wild ones. There are three age ranges: 6-11; 12-16; over-16. Deadline is 15 January 2017. Full details here. There is also a photography competition.

Children’s free competition

The Verve Poetry Festival in Birmingham, UK, has a competition this year, for poems that mention the city of Birmingham! There is a charge for adults to enter (judge: Hannah Silva), but: “The children’s category is open to any child in Year 11 or below in September 2016 (UK) or aged 15 or under on 1st September 2016 (non-UK).” The judge for the Children’s Category is Emma Wright, who runs The Emma Press. Deadline for both children and adults (new, extended deadline for the latter- ignore any references to an earlier date) is 30 September. More information here.

Competition for Poetry by Ages 12 to 17

Guernsey International Poetry Competition 2016 has Ian McMillan as the judge. The competition is free for poets aged 12 to 17. (There is a charge for adults to enter.) Deadline for entries: 15 January 2016. Winners will be contacted by 15 March 2016. Winning entries will be displayed on one of the 33 buses in Guernsey.
More information (the page is still showing last year’s winners): http://guernseyliteraryfestival.com/images/pom-competition2016.pdf (If this link doesn’t work, click on the download link on the page: http://guernseyliteraryfestival.com/index.php/2015-04-07-09-46-01/poems-on-the-move)

TS Eliot Prize Writing Competition – Poetry Book Society

Deadline: Friday 11 December 2015.

Copied from the website (http://www.poetrybooks.co.uk/projects/15/):

The Poetry Book Society and emagazine invite students to step into the judges’ and poets’ shoes by writing a critical piece or a poem of their own in response to the work on the shortlist.

A chance for students to:

  • Win £100, meet poets and be published
  • Boost their CV or university statement
  • Read the very best contemporary poetry
  • Develop critical skills and confidence in reading poetry for pleasure

    For the first time, this year, there are two choices of response:

    EITHER

    A 500 word critical piece on the 2 poems by your chosen poet, reflecting on what you particularly liked about them and why you think they should win.

    OR

    A poem of your own, ‘writing back’ to one of the poems you found particularly interesting. Your poem might take the same title, or use aspects of the form of the poem, or explore the same subject matter, or argue back with a view or angle that challenges or subverts ideas in the original.

    How to apply

    1. From Tuesday 3rd November 2015 – go to www.englishandmedia.co.uk/e-magazine, read the competition instructions and rules and follow the link to download the 20 poems.

    2. Choose your poet and decide whether to write a critical piece or a poem as a response.

    3. Get your entry in by Friday 11th December 2015.

Respond – Human Rights Poetry Award 2015/2016

This is a free-to-enter competition, to highlight the plight of immigrants and refugees: http://www.uhrsn.org/respond-human-rights-poetry-award/ Entries must be in English. The deadline is 20 November 2015.

The following is copied from the UHRSN website: The Universal Human Rights Student Network (UHRSN) based in Vienna, Austria is organizing its very first human rights poetry contest. Given the plights refugees are facing on a daily basis and the current widespread media coverage of the so-called “refugee crisis in Europe” this year’s theme is

“Refugees and their message to Europe”

UHRSN is convinced that all people should have the right to a life lived with dignity free from fear, persecution and oppression. As widely reported, people in search of this life seeking asylum in European countries are in many instances denied just that – their fundamental rights. UHRSN also aims to utilize the power of poetry and the positive impact words can have to raise awareness for an issue that cannot be ignored. In this sense the poetry competition was established to provide refugees, migrants, students, sympathisers, etc. with an avenue

  • to create thought-provoking poems by reflecting on their experiences, wishes, dreams and hopes
  • to raise awareness amongst stakeholders, politicians, ordinary EU citizens, etc. on the fate of refugees in- and outside of Europe
  • to demonstrate that #refugees are welcome and advocate for their rights
  • to be creative