Poetry writing competition

Poetry Prize

1st Prize £5,000 | 2nd Prize £1,000 | 3rd Prize £500

10 x £100 for Highly Commended


The poetry competition is open to writers of any nationality from any country. The top three poems are entered for the Forward Prize for Poetry (Best Single Poem), an award not open to the general public.

Line limit: 42 lines maximum (no minimum). Title not included.

Entry fee: £9 for each poem submitted. You may enter as may poems as you wish.


What is the judge looking for?

"The poem can be conventional or outlandish and show very few features of a regular poem. The only test of pleasure for me is to feel surprised, moved (logically or emotionally) and feel as though I’ve been on a journey. I’m happy to read poems about any subject matter and whatever tone suits so long as the poem commits to its own constraints and teaches me how to read itself. Above all, I want to feel the poet has enjoyed writing the poem, I want to feel their authority over the words and layout

Daljit Nagra 2018 Poetry Prize Judge
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We know writers usually have multiple draft versions of their work. Please double check you have the correct version of your poem/s ready to upload. You won’t be able to substitute work once it has been submitted. The top three poems from the competition each year are entered for the Forward Prize for Poetry (Best Single Poem category), an award not open to the general public.

Postal Entry


1st £5,000
2nd £1,000
3rd £500

10 x £100 for Highly Commended

“The news that I’d won the Bridport Poetry Prize took months to sink in with a mixed feeling of responsibility and assurance. After such a prestigious vote of confidence I feel I have a duty to continue writing no matter how much I might doubt myself in future.

"Yet at the same time, I feel that the cure for any future doubt is hard work – for this prize has also given me the belief that I have some potential to create writing of worth”.

Mark Pajak (UK), winner, Poetry competition 2016

Judge 2018

Daljit Nagra

“When judging a poetry competition, I approach the poems with a state of almost unknowing."

Read more

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