National Poetry Competition 2019: now open for entries

2019 competition artwork by Cat O’Neil

The 2019 National Poetry Competition is now open for entries – and The Poetry Society is excited to announce that 2019’s judging panel is Mona Arshi, Helen Mort and Maurice Riordan.

The National Poetry Competition is one of the biggest contests for a single unpublished poem in the English language, with a first prize of £5000, nine additional cash prizes, and the chance to have your poem read by fans worldwide in The Poetry Review and on The Poetry Society’s website. Additionally, The Poetry Society spotlights up to 150 longlisted poets each year. You have until 31 October 2019 to enter!

Helen Mort said:

“I’m really thrilled to be judging the National Poetry Competition this year and will be looking for poems that snare, challenge and inspire me, poems that don’t just captivate on a first reading but reveal new layers each time I encounter them. I always think that you shouldn’t try to second guess the taste of the judges, just enter the poem that you absolutely had to write. Good luck!”

You can read 2018’s 10 winning and commended poems, including Wayne Holloway-Smith’s first prize winning poem ‘The posh mums are boxing in the square’, find out more about this year’s judges, and enter the competition for yourself on the National Poetry Competition’s page.

Peggy Poole Award

Also running alongside the National Poetry Competition is the Peggy Poole Award, helping emerging writers develop their craft by giving them the chance to win a year of mentoring from a leading poet.  The winner of the Peggy Poole Award will receive a year’s mentoring from this year’s judge Malika Booker, culminating in a celebratory event in the North West of England where the mentor and mentee will both read their work. Malika will select a winner of the Peggy Poole Award based on poems submitted to the National Poetry Competition by poets currently living in the North West of England.

The Peggy Poole Award has been founded in memory of the poet and broadcaster Peggy Poole, who died in 2016 aged 91, and is made possible thanks to the generosity of Peggy’s extended family and many friends.