• International Poetry Competition

    Poetry Competition 2020

    The Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre is excited to launch its 2020 International Poetry Competition to celebrate the power of poetry across the world!

    Categories: Open and English as an Additional Language. Deadline: Monday 14 September 2020 (23:00 BST/22:00 GMT). £1000 to winners.

    Please read the information below and then ENTER HERE!

    The competition is open to both new and established poets aged 18 and over from across the globe and has two categories:  

    • Open category (open to all poets aged 18 years and over)
    • English as an Additional Language (EAL) category (open to all poets aged 18 and over who write in English as an Additional Language)

    The winners of each category will receive £1000 and both runners up £200.

    We are delighted to say that this year's judge is the highly-acclaimed and award-winning poet Fiona Benson. You can find out more about Fiona below.

    The competition deadline is 11pm BST/10pm GMT on Monday 14 September 2020. It costs £5 to submit one poem or £4 per poem for more than three entries. Each poet can enter a maximum of ten poems. Please follow the instructions in the Brookes Shop. All entries must be unpublished work. Please read the full competition criteria and terms and conditions before entering.

    How to enter

    There are two steps to entering the competition:

    1. Please visit the Brookes Shop and click on 'Book Event'. Then you can register as a new customer and pay for your entry/entries.
    2. Once you have paid, please e-mail your poems to poetrycomp@brookes.ac.uk

    Please note that entries must comprise one poem per document and be submitted as a Microsoft Word file (.doc or .docx), Rich Text Format file (.rtf) or as a PDF file (.pdf). Do not include your name on the submission. Poems by EAL poets can be entered for consideration either in the EAL or the Open category. All entrants need to include either EAL or OPEN in the top right hand corner of each entry. For more guidance on submission, please visit our terms and conditions page.

    You will receive an automatic e-mail in response, confirming that we have received your poem/s. Please note that there is no entry form for this competition. The Poetry Centre will match the details you submit via the Shop with your e-mailed poems.

    About the judge

    Fiona Benson won an Eric Gregory Award in 2006 and was a Faber New Poet in 2009. Her pamphlet was Faber New Poets 1 in the Faber New Poets series, whilst her debut collection  Bright Travellers  won both the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry Prize for First Full Collection in 2015. Her latest collection,  Vertigo & Ghost , was published by Jonathan Cape in 2019, shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize, and won the Forward Prize for Best Collection and the Roehampton Prize. Fiona lives in rural Devon with her husband and two daughters, and is currently working on a commission of poetry celebrating insects with Arts & Culture at the University of Exeter. You can hear Fiona read from her most recent book  here and watch her talk about her work  here.

    If you have questions about the competition, please consult our FAQs page. If your question isn’t answered there, contact us at: poetrycomp@brookes.ac.uk

    You can find out about last year’s competition and the winning poems of 2019 here.

    The Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre is based within the School of English and Modern Languages at Oxford Brookes University. The Centre publishes poetry pamphlets through ignitionpress and hosts an annual programme of events for members of staff, students and the local community including conferences, research seminars, workshops, exhibitions and community projects. Why not sign up for our  Weekly Poem to receive a free contemporary poem in your inbox each week and news of our other activities?