National Poetry Competition

2019 competition artwork by Cat O’Neil


The Poetry Society’s annual National Poetry Competition is one of the most prestigious prizes in the world for previously unpublished single poems and has a first prize of £5,000. The 2019 National Poetry Competition is judged by Mona Arshi, Helen Mort and Maurice Riordan. The competition is now closed for entries as the judging takes place; winners will be announced in spring 2020.

The competition will reopen for entries in summer 2020.


The winning and commended poems in the 2018 National Poetry Competition, judged by Kei Miller, Kim Moore and Mark Waldron, were announced in March 2018. They are:

First prize: Wayne Holloway-Smith for ‘The posh mums are boxing in the square’
Second prize: Katie Griffiths for ‘Do not indulge indigo’
Third prize: Mark Fiddes for ‘Polite Safety Notice’
Seven commendations: Vasiliki Albedo for ‘Talisman’, Lia Brooks for ‘Saturday Collection Duty’, Ella Frears for ‘Fucking in Cornwall’, Nick Garrard for ‘Near / Far Away’, Kirsten Irving for ‘Namazu at the Physicist’s Funeral’ , Natalie Shaw for ‘I know you only invited me in for a coffee, but’, Amaury Wonderling for ‘Princess’

Winning poems are published on The Poetry Society website, and the top three in the spring 2019 issue of The Poetry Review. Winners are invited to read at events and festivals all around the country, including Ledbury Poetry Festival in July. 


Hannah Lowe, Kim Moore & Kei Miller.

The Longlist

The following poets were longlisted for their entries in 2018:

Alex Gehlen, Alex Toms, Alison Binney, Amali Rodrigo, Amanda Rackstraw, Anita Pati, Anneka Lott, AnneMarie Austin, Annie Virginia, Antonis Tsonis, Athena Temvriou, Atuki Turner, Becky Cherriman, Beda Higgins, Ben Ray, Bethany Ashley, Beverly Nadin, Bridget Frost, Bruce Meyer, Carol Dalton, Carole Bromley, Caroline Bird, Casey Bailey, Chloe Myerson, Claudine Toutoungi, Damian Grant, Daniel Bick, Doris W. Raschke, Edward Barker, Elizabeth Oxley, Elizabeth Rimmer, Emily Hana, E. E. Jones, Emma McGordon, Felicity Fair Thompson, Francesca Haig, Gita Ralleigh, Graham Burchell, Grant Tarbard, Gregory Kearns, Gregory Leadbetter, Harry Smart, Helen Wing, Ian Humphreys, Ian M Parr, Ian McEwen, Jane Lovell, Jane Pearn, Jim Friedman, João Lima, John Paul Davies, John Phipps, Jonathan Greenhause, Joyce Schmid, Julian Bass, Justina Lobley, Kate Wakeling, Kateri Lanthier, Keith Hutson, Keith Lander, Kelly Zanotti, Kieran O’Brien, Kierstin Bridger, Kizziah Burton, Lee Stockdale, Leila Chatti, Len Lukowski, Lisa Kelly, Louise Ihringer, Maggie Butt, Marc Brightside, Mark Pajak, Mark Wynne, Martyn Wainwright, Mary Aherne, Mary-Jean Chan, Matthew Francis, Matthew Welton, Michael Grieve, Michael Naghten Shanks, Michael Sharp, Michelle Green, Mirkka Jokelainen, Naomi Foyle, Nicholas Lomonossoff, Ole Hagen, Paul McMahon, Pauline Sturges, Peter Allmond, Peter Knaggs, Philip Tomkins, Richard Evans, Roisin Tierney, Rosie Jackson, Rowena Cooper, Rupam Baoni, S.F. Stewart, Sally Davis, Sally St Clair, Sam Roberts, Samuel Ugbechie, Sarah Wimbush, Scott Elder, Sophie Burleigh, Soul Patel, Stephen Kendall, Steve Turner, Sue Robbins, Susan Holland, Suzanna Fitzpatrick, Tammy Armstrong, Tara Arkle, Tony Strong, Tori Sharp, Wendy Holborow, Wendy Orr

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