On November 1st 2023, Wolverhampton Literature Festival opens its poetry competition to poets from across the globe for the seventh consecutive year. The competition this year will once again be an ‘open’ one, so send us poems on whatever subject you like. Surprise us, enthral us, astound us, but make sure you send your entries in before December 31st!
1st prize for this competition is £400. 2nd prize, £150. There are three 3rd prizes of £25. There is an additional prize of £50 for the best poem sent in by someone living in a WV postcode. You’ll find details of how to submit, and the rules for the competition, further down the page. Please read them carefully. Poems will be read, and winners chosen, by our judge Romalyn Ante. (The WV postcode winner will be chosen by outgoing Wolverhampton poet laureate, Kuli Kohli.)
Romalyn Ante is a British poet, essayist, and editor. She grew up in the Philippines and migrated to her second home, Wolverhampton, at sixteen. She is co-founding editor of harana poetry, a magazine for poets who write in English as a second or parallel language, and the founder of Tsaá with Roma, an online interview series with poets and other creatives. Her debut collection is Antiemetic for Homesickness (Chatto & Windus). She was recently awarded the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship. For more info, visit her website.
A note from Romalyn on judging the WoLF poetry competition
Send poems that capture my attention from the first line to the last. I am looking for verses that sing gracefully, and those that dare to disrupt the usual rhythm. My favourites contain vivid imagery, clear expression, and, most importantly, evoke a lasting, emotional response.
- The competition opens on November 1st, 2023, and the closing date for receipt of entries is midnight GMT on December 31st, 2023. Entries received after this time will not be considered.
- The fee to enter is £4. If multiple poems are entered in the same submission, £10 will be charged for three poems and then £3 for each subsequent poem in that submission. Maximum number of poems in a single submission is five. Payment is by Paypal (see button below)
- Poems from a WV postcode will additionally be entered for consideration in the WV prize.
- Entries to the competition must be made by email to firstname.lastname@example.org In the body of the email, put your name, address, number of poems entered, and your Paypal reference no.
- Each poem must be sent as a separate.doc or .docx file attached to your email, and NOT as Google doc links. The poem title should be the document name. Do not put your name or any identifying marks on the poem – they are judged anonymously.
- Poems must be your own unaided work, on any theme you choose.
- Poems must be in English, and no more than 40 lines long.
- Poems must not have been previously published in any public forum (either in print or on a website), nor should they be currently submitted for future publication elsewhere.
- We can’t amend poems after they’ve been submitted, or refund fees paid.
- The competition is open to anyone aged sixteen and over (with the exception of members of the core team of Wolverhampton Literature Festival).
- Winners and shortlisted poets will be contacted a few days in advance of results being announced on the festival website and our website on Monday 29th January 2024. If you do not hear from us before Feb 1st, please understand that your poem has not been placed on this occasion. Winning and shortlisted poets will be invited to read their poems at Wolverhampton Literature Festival on Saturday 3rd February 2024.
- Copyright of the poems remains with the author, but Wolverhampton Literature Festival reserves the right to publish successful entries on the festival website.
P.S. If you’re looking for further competitions which are free to enter, Cathy’s Comps and Calls has an extensive list of competitions you can enter.