Winchester Poetry Prize 2024

 Full details 

Winchester Poetry Prize 2024
opens Wed 3rd April - 11:59am UK time
closes Wed 31 July - 11:59pm UK time

1st prize: £1000
2nd prize: £500
3rd prize: £250
The Kathryn Bevis Prize will be awarded for the best poem written by a Hampshire-based poet.

 

​Judge: Clare Shaw

Entry fee: £6 for first poem, £5 for subsequent poems

Closing Date: 31 July 2024 (11:59pm UK time)
 

The longlist will be announced in mid September and we will announce the winners live at Winchester Poetry Day at The ARC on Saturday 5 October 2024. 

Winning and commended poems will be published in a competition anthology that will be available on the day.

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Winchester Poetry Prize is generously sponsored by:

 

 

The Kathryn Bevis Prize is generously sponsored by:


 

All the information you need to enter the Winchester Poetry Prize is on this page.
Please scroll down to read the RULES and HOW TO ENTER

Pay it forward - Free entries for poets on low incomes.  

We have a pay-it-forward scheme originally set up by 2020’s competition winner, Lewis Buxton. This enables those who can afford to enter the competition to support emerging poets who cannot. Details of how you can contribute to, or benefit from, this scheme can be found below.

We have made 50 free entries available for University Of Winchester students.

Those studying at University of Winchester are entitled to 3 free entries per student. They must download and complete the 2024 University Of Winchester Coversheet, attach to their poem/s and enter as below.

Clare Shaw‘s fourth poetry collection “Towards a General Theory of Love” (Bloodaxe, 2022) won a Northern Writers Award and was a Poetry Society Book of the Year. Clare teaches creative writing at the University of Huddersfield, and is a regular tutor at Wordsworth Grasmere, the Royal Literary Fund and the Arvon Foundation.

 

“Whatever the subject, fill your poetry with curiosity, and an excitement for language. Tone, language, form – all of these tools bring the poem to life in the imagination, intellect and heart of the reader. Send me your living, breathing poems!” 

How to enter

To enter please first read the competition rules. (Scroll down for more information)

When entering via email:

 

  • Attach your poem/s to your submission email as a Word Document.

  • In your submission email, please include: 

           a: your name,  address and telephone number

           b: a list of the titles of the poems submitted
           c: where you heard about the competition

           d: the name on the Paypal account used/your PayPal transaction reference number

           e. if you are entering under, or contributing to, our Pay It Forward scheme

  • Due to the high volume of entries, we are unable to acknowledge receipt of all entries.

 
When entering by post:​
  • Type each individual poem on a separate sheet of A4 paper. (Don’t write your name on these sheets.)

  • Send 2 copies of each poem.

  • On a separate sheet of A4 paper please provide:

           a: your name,  address and telephone number

           b: a list of the titles of the poems submitted
           c: where you heard about the competition

           d. if you are entering under, or contributing to, our Pay It Forward scheme.

  • Click to Download our Coversheet if you'd prefer 

  • Enclose a cheque payable to 'Winchester Poetry Festival'. (Note: ‘Festival’ , not ‘Prize.’)

  • Send your poems (2 copies), entry Coversheet and cheque in an envelope clearly marked ‘Winchester Poetry Prize’ to: Winchester Poetry Festival c/o University Of Winchester, The Post Room, Sparkford Road, Winchester, SO22 4NR

  • Please ensure you pay the correct postage. We will be unable to pay surcharges and your entries may be returned by Royal Mail.

  • If you would like your entry acknowledged, please enclose a stamped SAE.

RULES  ​

  • Closing date: midnight on Wed 31 July 2024, UK time. Entries received after this time will not be considered.

  • Entry is open to anyone aged 16+

  • You can enter via email or by post.

  • Poems may be on any subject and in any form or style.

  • Poems must be typed, must not be longer than 40 lines (excluding title), must be in English, and must be the entrant's own work. They may not be the translated work of another poet, or a collaborative work.

  • Poems must not have been published or accepted for publication elsewhere (including online and social media).

  • Poems must not have been submitted for or won any other poetry competition at time of submission. Poems may be submitted for other competitions after our closing date, but entrants must withdraw their poem from our competition in the event of being shortlisted for another prize.

  • Entry fee: £6 for first poem, £5 for subsequent poems in a single submission.

  • Do not put your name or any other form of identification on your poem. All poems are judged anonymously.

  • Our judge will read all qualifying entries.

  • No person may win more than one cash prize.

  • No changes may be made to a poem once it has been submitted.

  • The decision of the judge is final. No correspondence will be entered into.

  • Winchester Poetry Festival Trustees, employees or associates, or members of their families, may not enter.

  • We will contact the winners by email or post in September 2024. The result will be announced live as part of Winchester Poetry Day on Oct 5th. The shortlist will be invited to read.

  • Shortlisted poems will feature in a printed competition anthology

  • Travel expenses to read at the prize-giving are not covered.

  • Your entry into the competition indicates acceptance of these rules.

PAY IT FORWARD - a free entry for poets on low incomes.

We have a 'Pay It Forward' scheme originally set up by 2020’s competition winner, Lewis Buxton. This enables those who can afford to enter the competition to support emerging poets who cannot. In 2021 Lewis Buxton, the winner of the 2020 Winchester Poetry Prize, supported a number of poets  on low-incomes by paying their entry fees. We wanted to continue this and have introduced a way for entrants to similarly support others.

 

Through our 'Pay it Forward' scheme you can pay for an entry by a poet who would not otherwise be able to enter the competition. There is no obligation to do so and donating in this way will have no influence on the outcome of the competition but will be supporting the poetry community.

To donate a 'Pay It Forward' entry simply pay for one more poem than you are entering (see PayPal link above). If you are not entering the competition but would like to contribute to this scheme please use the Donate Button at the foot of this page. Please label your payment 'Pay It Forward donation'.

The free entries will be available on a first-come first-served basis (one per person). Availability of free entries will be highlighted via our social media platforms as they become available.

If you are entering a poem under this scheme please send it by email to entries@winchesterpoetryfestival.org and mark your submission email clearly as 'Pay It Forward entry'.

 

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