1. Open exclusively to Poetry Society Stanza members who are also Poetry Society members by (or on) Monday 9 September 2019. As long as you join both before the closing date, you can enter the competition.
  2. Membership of The Poetry Society is defined as ‘in possession of a valid Poetry Society membership card by Monday 9 September 2019. A valid membership card will have an expiry date of Monday 9/9/19 or beyond.
  3. FREE entry.
  4. The theme for the 2019 Poetry Society Stanza Competition is ‘LIES’ (as the antithesis of the National Poetry Day 2019 theme of ‘TRUTH’).
  5. Closing date: Monday 9 September 2019.
  6. Judge is Geraldine Clarkson. The judge’s decision is final.
  7. Poems should be 40 lines maximum (not including title), no more than 2 poems per person.
  8. Entries should be in English.
  9. Poems must be your own work and must not have been previously published, self-published or published on a website before Thursday 3 October 2019 (National Poetry Day).
  10. Each poem must be given a title.
  11. Entries can be online, posted or emailed. Online via SubmittablePost entries to: Stanza Poetry Competition, c/o Membership Manager, The Poetry Society, 22 Betterton Street, London WC2H 9BX or email to: membership @ with Stanza Poetry Competition in the subject line. 
  12. On a separate piece of paper from the poem/s (or in the text of the email),  enter your name, address and contact number, the poem titles, your Poetry Society Membership number, plus the name of your Stanza and Stanza rep. This will ensure that poems are judged anonymously. Do not use staples on your manuscripts.
  13. Competition entries cannot be returned under any circumstances so please keep a copy.
  14. Alterations cannot be made to poems after they have been submitted.
  15. Receipt of entries will only be confirmed if an SAE/postcard is enclosed, or an email request is made.
  16. Each poem to be typed on one side only of A4.
  17. If sent by email, the poems should each be included on separate Word documents, not in the content of the email. This is to ensure that the format of the poem is not lost.
  18. The winners will be notified prior to National Poetry Day 2019.
  19. The copyright of each poem remains with the author. Authors of the winning poems will grant The Poetry Society the right to publish the poems on and email to all Poetry Society members on National Poetry Day, 2019.
  20. The 3 winners will be asked to provide a short blurb (approx 50-100 words) about their poem, which will appear on the Poetry Society website and possibly Poetry News.


  • The winning poet will be given the choice of a) a free Poetry Prescription – normally worth £40 to Poetry Society members – professional feedback on up to 100 lines of your poetry Or b) a year’s worth of membership). The poem will also be entered into the Forward Prize for a Best Single Poem nomination.

The top 3 (including the winner) will be:

  • announced by email to all Poetry Society members on National Poetry Day, Thursday 3 October 2019 (approximate audience: 7000)
  • featured in the autumn issue of Poetry News (approximate audience: 4000)
  • published on the Members’ Pages of our website
  • where opportunities exist, read at a Poetry Society event
  • sent a selection of poetry books

In addition, 10 poems will be Commended by the judge and published on the website.