Poetry writing competition


"A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language". W.H. Auden

Great poetry is food for the soul and we welcome your poems on any subject and in all poetic forms. We are looking for brilliant writing and original voices. However, we do not recommend poems written for children.

The poetry competition is open to writers in the UK and internationally. 

Please download and read the Entry Instructions and Rules, below, before submitting your work.

Entry implies acceptance of all the rules and failure to comply may result in disqualification

Line limit: 42 lines maximum (no minimum). Title not included.

Entry fee: £9 for each poem submitted. You may enter as may poems as you wish.


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left to enter

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We know writers usually have multiple draft versions of their work. Please double check you have the correct version of your poem/s ready to upload. You won’t be able to substitute work once it has been submitted. The top three poems from the competition each year are entered for the Forward Prize for Poetry (Best Single Poem category), an award not open to the general public.

Postal Entry


1st £5,000
2nd £1,000
3rd £500

10 x £100 for Highly Commended

“The news that I’d won the Bridport Poetry Prize took months to sink in with a mixed feeling of responsibility and assurance. After such a prestigious vote of confidence I feel I have a duty to continue writing no matter how much I might doubt myself in future.

"Yet at the same time, I feel that the cure for any future doubt is hard work – for this prize has also given me the belief that I have some potential to create writing of worth”.

Mark Pajak (UK), winner, Poetry competition 2016

Judge 2018

Daljit Nagra

“When judging a poetry competition, I approach the poems with a state of almost unknowing."

Read more

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