Announcement Our competition is now closed for 2021 and we will be announcing the winners in later October. Many thanks indeed to all who entered! We will email everyone when the results are released.
International Poetry Competition
The Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre's International Poetry Competition celebrates the power of poetry across the world!
If you have questions about the competition, please consult our FAQs page. If your question isn’t answered there, contact us at. firstname.lastname@example.org
Do I have to be a UK resident to enter the competition?
No. The competition is open to anyone from around the world who is aged 18 or over at the time of entering (unless excluded under the Terms and Conditions).
Do I have to be a published poet to enter?
No. We welcome poems from unpublished writers as well.
Who’s excluded from entering?
Current OBU employees, staff (who may also be students) and contractors, their spouses/partners and current or former Competition judges.
- 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 email@example.com
- 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 either EAL or 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com) 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 (https://shop.brookes.ac.uk/conferences-and-events/faculty-of-humanities-social-sciences/events/oxford-brookes-international-poetry-competition-2021) using Visa/Mastercard Credit/Debit cards only. Confirmation of payment will be by automatic email reply.
- Prizes are subject to point 5 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: https://www.brookes.ac.uk/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.
Do line spaces between stanzas in my poem count as part of the 50-line limit? What about titles, epigraphs and dedications?
Only lines of text are counted, not the lines between stanzas. Titles, epigraphs and dedications are not counted as lines.
What if I enter a poem with more than 50 lines?
Your entry will be disqualified. Please ensure you keep within the line limit.
I left my name or contact details on my entry, will it be disqualified?
Yes it will. Entries need to be anonymous.
How will you know which entries are mine if I don’t write my name on them?
All entries are logged and numbered by Poetry Centre staff so that they can be judged anonymously and matched back to your entry once the judge has made their decision.
Can I make alterations to my entries after they have been submitted?
No, alterations cannot be made to entries after they have been submitted (see our Terms and Conditions). If you want to submit a more recent version of your entry you will need to withdraw your original entry and make a fresh submission.
Are simultaneous submissions to other publishers or competitions allowed?
Can I enter more than one poem?
Yes. Entrants may enter a maximum of ten poems.
Can I use a pen name?
We do allow pseudonyms although we ask that entries are made using your real name. Please let us know your pseudonym when you e-mail us your poem(s).
Must entries be unpublished?
Yes. Entries that have already been published are not eligible.
Does having a poem on my own blog count as previous publication?
Yes. It would not be eligible.
I’ve workshopped my poem in a closed group online and/or face-to-face, does this count as being published?
No. If you’ve shown your work to a closed group of other poets or writers as part of the drafting process, this does not count as being made public or published. Your poem is eligible.
Do you accept translations?
Yes. As long as it is a poem you have translated into English from your own original, unpublished work.
Do you accept poems in languages other than English?
No. Poems must be written primarily in English, though a few words or phrases in another language or languages can be included.
Can I send the same poem that I entered and was unplaced in last year’s competition?
What are the categories and prizes?
There are two categories - Open and English as an Additional Language (EAL). Each has two cash prizes: £1,000 for the winner and £200 for the runner up, plus a non-cash Special Commendation in each category.
How will the cash prizes be paid?
Prize winners will be paid directly into the same bank account from which the fee for the entry was originally paid.
How do I enter?
Entry is a two stage process:
- Register and pay for your entries via the online shop.
- Mark your entries either EAL or OPEN in the top right-hand corner of each entry and e-mail them, one poem per file, as Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx), Rich Text Format (.rtf) or PDF (.pdf) files to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may attach several poems to your e-mail, but please ensure that they are in separate files.
I’m a poet whose first language isn’t English (EAL). How do I enter?
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.
How can I check that you received my entries?
You will receive two automatic messages: one from the online shop when you pay for your entry, and one from the competition e-mail confirming your submission when you e-mail us your poem/s.
Will you return my entries after judging?
No, entries are not returned. Make sure you keep a copy.
How much does it cost to enter?
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.
How many poems can I enter?
You may enter a maximum of ten poems.
I am entering from overseas. How can I pay the entry fee?
Payments must be made using the Oxford Brookes Online Shop using Visa/Mastercard Credit/Debit cards only. Confirmation of payment will be by automatic email reply.
Can I pay with cash or PayPal?
No. Entry is by card payment through our online shop only.
When will the competition winners be announced?
Prize-winners and shortlistees will be notified by late October 2021 and invited to an award ceremony at a date TBC in Oxford. If current Covid-19 restrictions make such a social gathering impossible, the Poetry Centre will host an online version of the awards event. Check the website in late October for the list of winners. We will email all entrants when the results are announced.
Will the judge comment on my work?
No, the judge is unable to comment on individual entries, other than a short report on the winning poems.
Do you pass on my personal details to anyone else?
In accordance with the 2018 GDPR regulations, your details will be held on a secure database and will not be released to any third party without your explicit and written consent.
If you have agreed to let us do so through the questionnaire we provide when you enter the competition, we may contact you by e-mail once or twice a year with details of the next year’s competition and any other relevant information that may be of interest to you.
Does copyright remain with me?
The copyright in each poem submitted remains with the author but prize-winning and shortlisted entrants grant OBU a non-exclusive, worldwide licence for the duration of the Competition (which is deemed to end on 1 June 2022), and for ongoing publicity purposes.
Who can I contact for further help?
For all queries, please email the Competition’s e-mail account: email@example.com