Ledbury Poetry Competition 2022

Ledbury Poetry Competition is open for applications from 6th April 2022.  (We are undergoing an IT systems upgrade so unfortunately we have had to delay the opening from 1st April until then so that our systems are ready to accept entries.)

This year’s Judge is Joelle Taylor, winner of the 2022 T.S.Eliot Prize for C+nto & Othered Poems, praised by judges as “a blazing book of rage and light” looks at butch lesbian counterculture in the 1990s. Prior to the pandemic she completed a world tour with her collection Songs My Enemy Taught Me. She founded SLAMbassadors, the UK national youth poetry slam championships, as well as the international spoken-word project Borderlines. She is widely anthologised, the author of 4 collections of poetry and is currently completing her debut collection of inter-connecting short stories The Night Alphabet. She is a co-curator and host of Out-Spoken Live, the UK’s premier poetry and music club currently resident at the Southbank Centre.

Announcing a new partnership for Ledbury Poetry with Arvon, the first prize for the competition is £1,000 cash and a weeks’ Poetry course with Arvon, the UK’s leading creative writing charity, who have a wide range of Residential and Online writing courses. The winner will have one calendar year of the prize being announced to claim either a Residential or Online week of their choice. Visit Arvon’s website to see how the courses work.

The competition has been an important first step in many poets’ careers. In addition to these prizes, the winner is invited to read their poems at the internationally renowned Ledbury Poetry Festival.

Opening date: 1st April 2022   Closing date: 5pm BST 24th August 2022

Categories for Young People and Children: this year we are launching these categories later in the year.

Adult – 18 years or older

First Prize: £1000 cash and a weeks poetry course with Arvon.
Second Prize: £500
Third Prize: £250


Competition Rules

  1. Poems must be received on or before Wednesday 24th August 2022 at 5pm BST.
  2. All poems must be the original work of the entrant and should not have been previously published, broadcasted, or accepted for publication by a magazine.
  3. The length of each poem must not exceed 40 lines.
  4. All applications must be submitted online. Please submit all entries online as a Word or PDF file. Each poem must be submitted as a separate document.
  5. The competitor’s name must NOT appear on the poem.
  6. All poems must be accompanied by a fully completed online entry form.
  7. Copyright remains with the author, but Ledbury Poetry reserves the right to have entries performed at the Festival, on radio, TV, or stage, published on the internet, in an anthology or used for publicity purposes at any stage in the future.
  8. No acknowledgement of entry will be sent.
  9. Competitors wishing to be informed of the results should email operations@poetry-festival.co.uk
  10. The decision of the judge is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  11. Ledbury Poetry reserves the right to withhold prizes if such an action is justified.
  12. Entries not complying with competition rules will be disqualified.

Arvon is the UK’s leading creative writing charity, founded in 1968. Arvon hosts writing courses and events in a range of genres, both in-person and online. Residential writing weeks are held in three rural writing houses in Devon, Shropshire and Yorkshire. With the opportunity to live and work with professional writers, participants transform their writing through workshops, one-to-one tutorials, time and space to write. An online programme of writing courses, masterclasses and free weekly readings also runs year-round. Grants and concessions are available to help with course fees.

Joelle Taylor

Don’t like online forms?

You can enter on paper if you prefer.  Simply download and print the entry from below and enter paper copies.  You must submit TWO copies of each poem.  These copies must not have your name on them – just the title and the poem itself.  Separate pages for each poem.

Stuck for ideas?

Transcripts of LPF poetry workshops packed with warm up writing exercises and prompts

Resource page for Young Writers

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