Women Poets’ Prize

The Rebecca Swift Foundation is a UK registered charity set up in memory of Rebecca Swift– a much-loved editor, novelist, diarist, poet, and founder and director of The Literary Consultancy from its foundation in 1996 until her early death in April 2017. 2018 marks the inaugural Women Poets’ Prize – a biennial award seeking to honour Rebecca’s two key passions: poetry and the empowerment of women.

The Prize will be awarded to three female-identifying poets. Each winner will be carefully matched with a poetry mentor in addition to a pastoral coach, facilitating a holistic body of support that nurtures craft and personal wellbeing in equal measure. The Prize will also offer a programme of support and creative professional development opportunities with the Foundation’s partners: Faber and Faber, The Literary Consultancy, RADA, City Lit, Verve Festival, Bath Spa University, and The Poetry School. In addition to these opportunities which constitute the Women Poets’ Prize professional grant, each successful poet will each receive a cash bursary of £1,000.

Following the initial application stage, a reading panel will select a longlist of 40-60 applicants whose work will then be read by a panel of industry judges. A resulting shortlist of nine poets will be revealed, before the final selection of three awardees is made by the mentors who will work with the winning poets.

The Women Poets’ Prize is free to enter.



11pm BST on Monday 23rd July 2018.


The Prize will support creatively ambitious practitioners – poets who are making or are capable of making a significant contribution to the UK poetry landscape. It will gift freedom and inspire potential, embracing excellence in poetic practice. Applications are open to female-identifying poets of all ages, at any stage in their development; emerging or established, who are resident in the UK/Northern Ireland.

Applicants are asked to send the following:

  • Three poems (up to four A4 pages)Example: Two short poems (each poem on its own page), followed by a longer poem across two pages. Alternatively, three poems, each on its own page. Please ensure that every poem has a title.
  • A statement detailing why you write poetry. What do you aim for your poems to achieve? What influences and inspires your work? (300 words max)
  • A statement explaining what you feel you have to gain from the Women Poets’ Prize. What would you like to develop, and why? (500 words max)
  • A single-page CV of writing experience. Use this to provide details any readings, performances, participation in workshops (academic or otherwise), publications or features in literary journals or magazines. Don’t worry if you are an early-career poet; simply write any relevant experience, for instance how long you have been writing, here.

Women Poets’ Prize

Published on:
17 Jul 2018


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