Ledbury Poetry Festival 2021 Poetry Competition has a great first prize of £1000 cash. The competition has been an important first step in many poets’ careers, and has categories for Adults, Young People and Children. In addition to cash prizes, winners of all categories are invited to read their poems at the internationally renowned Ledbury Poetry Festival 2022.
Anthony Anaxagorou is a British-born Cypriot poet, fiction writer, essayist, publisher and poetry educator. His second collection After the Formalities published with Penned in the Margins is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and was shortlisted for the 2019 T.S Eliot Prize. It was also a Telegraph and Guardian poetry book of the year. In 2020 he published How To Write It with Merky Books; a practical guide to writing fused with tips and memoir. Among awards such as the H-100 Award (2019), Anthony is an honorary fellow of the University of Roehampton, Artistic Director of Out-Spoken, and publisher of Out-Spoken Press.
Closing Date: 5pm BST on Thursday 15 July 2021
Adult – 18 years or older
First Prize: £1000 cash
Second Prize: £500
Third Prize: £250
Young Person – 12 to 17 years old
Young People winners receive smaller cash prizes,
Child – under 12 years old
Child winners receive book tokens.
All winners are invited to read at the 2022 Poetry Festival.
Use the links below to enter the appropriate category of the competition.
- Poems must be received on or before Thursday 15th July 2021 at 5pm British Summer Time.
- All poems must be the original work of the entrant and should not have been previously published, accepted for publication by a magazine, nor entered in other competitions.
- The length of each poem must not exceed 40 lines.
- Each individual poem, regardless of length, must be typed on one sheet of plain A4 paper (except Children’s category, which can be handwritten). Please submit two copies of each poem – unless you enter online. If entering online, each poem must be on a separate page in your document.
- The competitor’s name must NOT appear on the poem.
- All poems must be accompanied by a fully completed entry form.
- Please keep a copy of your poem, as manuscripts cannot be returned.
- Copyright remains with the author, but Ledbury Poetry Festival 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.
- No acknowledgement of entry will be sent unless the competitor sends an SAE marked ‘Acknowledgement’.
- Competitors wishing to be informed of the results should enclose an SAE marked ‘Results’.
- The decision of the judge is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
- The Festival reserves the right to withhold prizes if such an action is justified.
- Entries not complying with competition rules will be disqualified.
Last Year’s Ledbury Poetry Festival Poetry Competition
JUDGE: Liz Berry was born in the Black Country and now lives in Birmingham. Her first book of poems, Black Country (Chatto 2014), described as a ‘sooty, soaring hymn to her native West Midlands’ (Guardian) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, received a Somerset Maugham Award and won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Award and Forward Prize for Best First Collection 2014. Her pamphlet The Republic of Motherhood (Chatto, 2018) was a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet choice and the title poem won the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem 2018.
Liz is a patron of Writing West Midlands and works as a tutor for organisations including the Arvon Foundation and The Poetry School.
Picture credit Lee Allen.