3 great competitions for poets

Australian Writers' Centre

Whether you're already a pro at prose, or would simply like to dip your toe into the poetry writing waters – there's nothing quite like a deadline to spur you on. That's why writing competitions are such an effective motivational tool. We're giving you the gentle nudge you may need and have listed three great ones for you to enter. You may be an award-winning poet, who doesn't yet know it. Get writing!

1. Wigtown Poetry Competition 2016

Entries close Friday 27 May 2016.

Why not don a kilt and enter one of Scotland's most prestigious poetry prizes – The Wigtown Poetry Competition. Entries are now open and international submissions are welcome.

From the press release:

Scotland's National Booktown is again celebrating the art of poetry writing with its international competition, now in its tenth year and invites entries from now until the end of May.

The Main Prize this year is £1,500 with £250 for category winners.

Operational Director Anne Barclay said: “We have been so impressed with the standard of entries in previous years. We look forward to receiving new poetry submissions from all over the world in this our tenth year.”

All entrants must be 16 years of age or over. Entries may be in English, Scottish Gaelic or Scots. And the theme may be of your choosing.

You can find out all the details and conditions on how to enter by visiting the Wigtown Book Festival website.

2. Newcastle Poetry Prize 2016

Entries close midnight Friday 17th June 2016.

Entries are now open for the renowned Newcastle Poetry Prize. With a lucrative total prize money pool of $22,000, the winner of the prize will walk away with a whopping $15,000. The competition is now in its 35th year and is one of the major events of the literary calendar, bringing entries from across the nation. If you're well versed in verse and have a passion for poetry – you need to enter this prize!

Budding poets can submit as many entries as they wish. The prize accepts poems, or a suite of poems, of up to 200 lines. A distinctive feature of the Newcastle Poetry Prize is that it is judged anonymously, meaning judges do not see the name of the poet on their entry. This anonymous judging process gives both established and emerging poets an equal opportunity for recognition and publication. New judges are selected each year, with the honour in 2016 given to award-winning poets Samuel Wagan Watson and Carol Jenkins.

The Newcastle Poetry Prize is also unique for producing an accompanying anthology. The anthology provides a rare opportunity for being published outside of the literary journals and internet magazines and offers an annual snapshot of the thriving state of Australian Poetry, and in particular longer poems.

Winners will be announced at the prize ceremony on 22 October 2016, with a live reading and launch of the anthology.

For more details on how to enter, check out the Hunter Writers Centre website.


3. The John Marsden & Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers 2016

Entries close 9am Friday 1 July 2016.

For all of the creative teenagers out there, this one's for you!

The John Marsden & Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers awards unforgettable opportunities to writers aged 18 and under, across the categories of poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction.

From the website:

Now in its eleventh year, the prize is open exclusively to Australian secondary school students. The prize is judged by John Marsden, Express Media and Hachette Australia.

Fifteen shortlisted writers will be invited to meet John Marsden and participate in an exclusive workshop with bestselling author James Phelan.

Prize winners will also receive a cash prize and a book pack of YA titles, courtesy of Hachette Australia, plus publication of their work in the national youth literary journal, Voiceworks.

The prize will be presented in a special event at the 2016 Melbourne Writers Festival from 1.45pm on Thursday 1 September.

For more information and to submit your entry, visit Express Media website.

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