National Poetry Competition

The Poetry Society’s annual National Poetry Competition is for previously unpublished single poems and has a first prize of £5,000. The competition deadline is on 31 October each year.

Artwork and animation by Matthew Richardson
Artwork and animation by Matthew Richardson


The 2015 competition is judged by Sarah Howe, Esther Morgan and David Wheatley.

1st Prize: £5,000
2nd Prize: £2,000
3rd Prize: £1,000
Seven commendations of £200

The top three winners are also published in the Poetry Society’s leading international journal, The Poetry Review, as well as having the possibility of reading at some of the UK’s top literature festivals. 

You can find out more about the judges, read the rules and FAQs. Please note: the competition is now closed.


The winners of the 2014 competition were…

1st Prize: Roger Philip Dennis for ‘Corkscrew Hill Photo
2nd Prize: Joanne Key for ‘The Day the Deer Came
3rd Prize: Fran Lock for ‘Last Exit to Luton

Eight Commendations: Kevin Patrick McCarthy for ‘Enough Sky’, Beverley Nadin for ‘Bees’, Paul Nemser for ‘After the Calm’, Eliot North for ‘The Crab Man’, Mark Pajak for ‘Cat on the Tracks’, Jonathan Tel for ‘Ber Lin’ , Jason Watts for ‘For a Liturgy’, Tom Weir for ‘Day Trippin’.

Filmpoems and prizes

Filmpoems of the winning poems have been commissioned in partnership with Alastair Cook and Filmpoem, and are available to view on our website. The films will tour at festivals around the country and beyond.

The top-three winning poems are published in the spring issue of The Poetry Review and in a special Winners’ Anthology, distributed to members. The winners will be invited to appear at various events and festivals around the country, including Ledbury Poetry Festival. Up to 150 longlisted entrants are also offered a discount on selected activities from the Poetry School. Winning and commended poems are published on the Poetry Society website.


Roddy Lumsden, Glyn Maxwell and Zoë Skoulding.

The longlist

This year we are also happy to name a selection of the longlisted poets:

John Aberdein, Patience Agbabi, Natalya Anderson, Natalie Ann Holborow, Jennie Baker, Tony Barnstone, Melissa Barrett, Sohini Basak, Daisy Behagg, Julia Bell, Alex Bell, Jo Bell, Gary Bills, Caroline Bird, Sharon Black, Clay Bonura, Anne Bradshaw, Patrick Brandon, Tim Bromage, Judy Brown, Steve Browne, Chris Burke, Jane Burn, Anne Caldwell, Paul Carney, Paul Casey, John Challis, AC Clarke, G Clarkeson, Claire Collison, John Conor, Molly Cooper, Adam Crothers, David Dalley, Claudia Daventry, Michael Dooley, Christy Ducker, James Dufficy, Chris Edgoose, Ken Evans, Erin Fitzgerald, Tessa Foley, Duncan Forbes, Beatrice Garland, Susan Glickman, Barry Gray, Jonathan Greenhause, William Hatchett, Emma Hellyer, Maeve Henry, Stuart Henson, Christopher Jackson, Sandra Kasturi, Bridget Khursheed, Tim Kiely, Aileen La Tourette, Robin Leanse, Katy Lewis Hood, Christine Macfarlane, Rose Maher, Terry Mc Donagh, Ian McEwen, Sophie McKeand, Rob Miles, Kate Miller, Paul Mills, Jill Munro, Emily Nilsen, Sarina Noordhuis-Fairfax, Catherine Ormell, Denis O’Sullivan, Carolyn Oxley, Lois P. Jones, Luca Paci, Martin Pearce, Kate Potts, Chris Preddle, Angela Readman, Amali Rodrigo, Peter Sansom, Jane Satterfield, Lesley Saunders, Helen Scadding, Clare Scoltock, Rosie Sheppard, Pamela Slobie, Harry Smart, Martha Sprackland, Julian Stannard, Robert Stein, Paul Stephenson, Liane Strauss, Victor Tapner, Judith Taylor, Samuel Ugbechie, Lucy Waddell, Cody Walker, Eoghan Walls, Anthony Watts, Rebecca Watts, Mariah Whelan, Anna Wigley, Caroline Wilkinson, Jane Williams, Rhiannon Williams, Chloe Wilson, Glen Wilson and Andrew Wynn Owen


National Poetry Competition
The Poetry Society
22 Betterton Street
London WC2H 9BX
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 020 7420 9886