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International Poetry Competition
Terms and Conditions
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International Poetry Competition
Frequently asked questions
Terms and Conditions
2015 Winners and shortlist
2016 Winners and shortlist
2017 Winners and shortlist
2018 Winners and shortlist
2019 Winners and shortlist
2020 Winners and shortlist
Terms and Conditions
The Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition 2021 (the “Competition”) is organised by the Poetry Centre of Oxford Brookes University (“OBU”).
The competition is open to anyone aged 18 or over at the time of entering unless excluded by these Rules. By entering the Competition, you confirm that you understand and agree to accept these Rules.
International entries are welcome.
You do not have to be a published poet to enter.
The closing date of the competition is 23:00 BST/22:00 GMT on Monday 20 September 2021. The competition opens for entries at 01:00 (UK time) Monday 21 June 2021.
There are two categories in the Competition i) Open and ii) English as an Additional Language (EAL). To be eligible for the EAL category entrants must confirm that English is not their first language when they pay their entry fee online.
A single entrant can enter a maximum of ten poems.
Entries will not be returned, so please keep a copy.
Under no circumstances can alterations be made to poems once entered. If entrants wish to correct errors in their poem, they must withdraw it from the Competition and enter again with payment of entry fee. No correspondence or discussion about amendments will be entered into.
Current direct or indirect OBU employees and staff (who may also be students) and their spouses/partners are not eligible to enter; neither are any current or former Competition judges.
OBU cannot accept any responsibility for any damage, loss, injury or disappointment suffered by any entrant entering the Competition.
OBU reserves the right both to cancel the Competition and to amend these Rules where it is deemed necessary, or to account for circumstances beyond OBU’s control. Any notice of cancellation or changes to the Rules will be posted on the Poetry Centre website.
In the event of any dispute regarding these Rules or any other matter relating to the Competition, the decision of OBU shall be final and no correspondence or discussion shall be entered into.
Entries not complying with the Competition Rules will be disqualified, as will entrants in breach of the Rules.
Entrants must not approach or attempt to influence any judge or member of OBU staff over Competition matters.
The Competition Rules will be governed by English law and any dispute will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.
All entries are judged anonymously and
the poet’s name must not appear on the poem
itself. However, you must give your real name as part of your submission, even if you prefer that your work is published under a pseudonym.
All poems must have a title and must not exceed 50 lines in length (excluding title).
Entries can be on any subject.
Poems must be the original work of the entrant.
Entries must not have been published in print, on websites, public areas of social networking sites, broadcast, have featured among the winners of another competition or be submitted elsewhere for consideration.
Poems must be written primarily in English, though a few words or phrases in another language or languages can be included.
Entrants may submit poems translated into English providing the source text is their own original work and has not been published in print, on websites, public areas of social networking sites, broadcast, featured among the winners of another competition or be submitted elsewhere for consideration.
All entries must be submitted to the Competition’s e-mail account
Entries must comprise one poem per file and be submitted as a Microsoft Word file (.doc or .docx), Rich Text Format file (.rtf) or as a PDF file (.pdf).
Poems by EAL poets can be entered for consideration either in the EAL or the Open category. All entrants need to include
OPEN in the top right-hand corner of each entry.
Entries must be submitted to the Competition email account and open in a clear, legible font of a size that is easy to read.
Confirmation of receipt of all Competition entries will be by an automated e-mail reply.
You may withdraw your entry by email notification to
. However, unless the Competition is cancelled, entry fees will not be refunded unless you withdraw your entry by sending a notice of cancellation to Oxford Brookes University’s Poetry Centre (for this purpose please use
within 14 days
of the entry’s submission, in which case the submission fee will be refunded to the same bank account from which the fee was originally paid. If you have submitted more than one poem, please ensure that you identify clearly which poem is being withdrawn. OBU reserves the right to withdraw and not publish any entry which it considers to be plagiarized, defamatory or otherwise prejudicial to the reputation of OBU, its funders or its community.
The first three poems submitted cost £5 per poem. Subsequent entries in the same submission cost £4 per poem up to a maximum of ten poems.
All payments must be made via the International Poetry Competition shop website (
) using Visa/Mastercard Credit/Debit cards only. Confirmation of payment will be by automatic email reply.
Prizes are subject to 36 below. The winner of the Open category will receive a prize of £1,000. The winner of the EAL category will receive a prize of £1,000. The runner-up (second-placed poem) in the Open category will receive a prize of £200. The runner-up (second-placed poem) in the EAL category will receive a prize of £200. There will be one Special Commendation non-cash prize in the Open Category and one Special Commendation non-cash prize in the EAL Category.
Prize winners will be paid directly into the same bank account from which the fee for the entry was originally paid.
No poet may win more than one cash prize.
OBU reserves the right, in conjunction with the Competition judge, not to award the prizes, or to reduce or split the prize money if, in their opinion, such action is justified for any reason.
The prize money is generated entirely through entry fees and may be reduced if an insufficient number of entries is received.
Prize-winners and shortlistees will be notified by late October 2021 and invited to an award ceremony, physical or virtual, on a date to be given in the notification and publicly announced on the Poetry Competition website: /poetry-centre/international-poetry-competition/
Prize-winning and Special Commendation pieces will appear in electronic format on the OBU website and may be printed in publications and journals hosted by OBU or in other electronic forms. Shortlisted poems will be listed by author name and title on the OBU website. The copyright in each poem submitted remains with the author but prize-winning and shortlisted entrants grant OBU a non-exclusive, worldwide licence over each entry submitted for the duration of the Competition (which is deemed to end on 1 June 2022), and for publicity purposes (including in print and electronic publications and in translation) thereafter.
Entrants not selected for prizes or shortlisted are free to submit poems entered into the Competition for consideration elsewhere (i.e. to other competitions or for publication) after the winners are announced in October 2021.
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