The National Poetry Competition

One of the biggest single poem competitions in the world, the National Poetry Competition is open to anyone aged 17 or older. The competition is for previously unpublished poems of up to 40 lines in length. The first poem submitted costs £7. Subsequent entries in the same submission cost £4 per poem. Poetry Society members (including those joining at time of submission) get a free second poem, with subsequent poems at £4.

First Prize: £5000
Second Prize: £2000
Third Prize: £1000
Seven commendations: £200


31 October 2018

Prizewinners will be notified by the end of February 2019 and invited to an awards event in spring 2019. All winners will be expected to provide a biography and photograph.

All entrants who provide a valid email address will be notified about the outcome of their entry by the end of March 2019.



  • All entries are judged anonymously and the poet’s name must not appear on the poem itself
  • All poems must have a title and must not exceed 40 lines in length (excluding title). Entries can be on any subject
  • Poems must be the entrant’s original work
  • Entries must not have been published, self-published, published on a website, broadcast or featured among the winners in another competition before 31 March 2019.
  • Handwritten entries cannot be accepted. Postal entries should be typed and printed in black ink on A4 paper at a minimum type size of 12pt. Poems may span two pages but pages must not be double sided. Entries can be double or single spaced. Please do not staple pages.
  • Entries must be written in English.

Peggy Poole Award

  1. The Peggy Poole Award is a talent development scheme running alongside the National Poetry Competition. It is an additional prize, judged separately. It does not affect the judging process of the National Poetry Competition.
  2. The prize will be awarded to an entrant of the National Poetry Competition, who adheres to all its associated rules, and who is living in the North West of England at the time of entering. The full list of eligible UK postcode regions for the purposes of this Award is: BB, BL, CA, CH, CW, FY, IM, L, M, OL, PR, SK, SN, WA and WN. No additional fee is payable by the entrant.
  3. The prize is mentorship from a leading poet, who will also judge the Award.




The National Poetry Competition

Published on:
22 Oct 2018


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