Enter the Waltham Forest Poetry Competition

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Welcome to the 2021 Waltham Forest Poetry Competition. The competition is open to everyone (UK and international). There are Adult and Young Poet prizes, plus separate prizes for people who live, work or study in the London Borough of Waltham Forest. Poems can be submitted on any theme of your choice.

The top three poems in each category, plus a number of Commended poets, will be published on our website.

We’ll hold an an award ceremony in November 2021 where all winners and Commended poets will be invited to read their winning poem/s. If we are still subject to Covid restrictions that prevent us from holding the ceremony on a face-to-face basis, we will hold it on Zoom.

Judge: Joelle Taylor is a former UK slam champion who founded the national youth slam championships SLAMbassadors in 2001 for The Poetry Society and was its Artistic Director and National Coach until 2018. Joelle is an award-winning poet, playwright, author and editor. Her latest collection is C+nto: & Othered Poemsjoelletaylor.co.uk

Closing Date: Monday 11 October 2021 (midnight UK time).

THANK YOU to Stow Brothers Estate Agents for sponsoring the local prizes.

PREVIOUS WINNERS

Click here to enter online by Submittable (you’ll be asked to sign up if you haven’t used it before), but you can also enter poems by email or post – see below.
submit

ADULT COMPETITION (18 or over)

Entry fee: 1st poem £3, subsequent poems in the same submission £1 – up to 6 poems in total, 40 lines maximum per poem (not including title). Poets who live, work or study in Waltham Forest will automatically be included in the Local prize for no additional fee. 

  • Main prize: 1st £400, 2nd £200, 3rd £100.
  • Local prize (sponsored by The Stow Brothers) for poets living or studying in Waltham Forest: 1st £50, 2nd £30, and 3rd £20.
YOUNG POET COMPETITION (under 18)
No entry fee. Send up to 6 poems in total, 40 lines maximum per poem (not including title). Poets who live or study in Waltham Forest will automatically be included in the Local prize.
  • Main Prize: 1st £50, 2nd £30, 3rd £20.
  • Local prize (sponsored by The Stow Brothers) for poets living or studying in Waltham Forest: 1st £50, 2nd £30, and 3rd £20.

Poems are judged anonymously, so please don’t put your name or any identifying information on your poems.

At the time of entering the competition, you must be 18 or over to enter the Adult prize and under 18 to enter the Young Poets prize.

No person may win more than one prize, though more than one poem may feature in the list of Commended poems.

HOW TO ENTER

1. via Submittable – the quickest and most convenient way to send your poems. You can submit your poems online and pay* at the same time. If you haven’t used it before, you’ll be asked to sign up.  *The Young Poets prize is free to enter if you’re under 18.

2. by post to Waltham Forest Poetry Competition, 82 Somers Road, London E17 6RS. Entries to the Adult competition should be accompanied by a cheque payable to ‘Forest Poets’. We can’t accept debit/credit card payment. Please enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope if you would like confirmation that we have received your poems. On a separate piece of paper from the poem/s, enter your name, address, daytime contact number and email (if you have one), and the poem title/s. This will ensure that poems are judged anonymously. Please don’t use staples on your manuscripts and don’t put any identifying details on the poems.

3. by email to poetrycompetition@yahoo.com with ‘Poetry Competition’ in the subject line. In the text of the email, please include:

  • your name, address and daytime contact number
  • the poem title/s.
  • method of payment – you can either pay by cheque, as above, or pay directly into our bank account – please state that your payment is for the Waltham Forest Poetry Competition.

Account Name: Forest Poets
Account Number: 51602934
Sort Code: 40-02-02

  • Attach your poems in a separate Word document, and please do not include any identifying information on the poems themselves. This will ensure that poems are judged anonymously.

JUDGING and odds ‘n’ sods

  • The judge will read all poems entered into the competition. The judge’s decision is final and neither the judge nor anyone associated with the running of the competition will enter into any correspondence.
  • Under no circumstances can alterations be made to poems once entered.
  • No one associated with the running of the competition is eligible to enter.
  • Poems must be typed, in English, and the original work of the entrant.
  • Poems must not be previously published or self-published (including online), broadcast, accepted for publication elsewhere, or the translated work of another poet.
  • Due to the sheer volume of entries, only successful entrants will be notified. Details of the full winners list will be announced publicly on our website in November 2021.

Any questions? Email poetrycompetition@yahoo.com