Winchester Poetry Festival opens the ever-popular Winchester Poetry Prize for submissions

Winchester Poetry Festival opens the ever-popular Winchester Poetry Prize for submissions

Winchester Poetry Festival is calling on poets from around the world to submit their best, unpublished work to be in with a chance of winning £1000.

Poems can be on any subject and in any form or style but must be written in English and be no more than 40 lines.  The 2023 Winchester Poetry Prize judge is multi-award winning poet and author Zaffar Kunial (pictured). 

Winchester Poetry Prize offers prizes for poems judged as being the top three, with a special prize for the best poem by a poet living in Hampshire. The Winchester Poetry Prize is one of the few literary competitions where the winners are announced live at the Award Ceremony with no knowledge of their placing in advance. Additionally, Winchester Poetry Festival also publishes all winning and commended poems in a competition anthology which is also launched at the live ceremony.

This exciting prize-giving event will take place in front of a live audience at The ARC, Winchester, as part of the Winchester Poetry Festival programme, which runs from October 13 to 15,  2023.  

Zaffar Kunial said, I’m really looking forward to reading your poems, and whatever their subject and whatever their style. Good luck!”

Chair of Winchester Poetry Festival, Jane Bryant, said: “The Winchester Poetry Prize has grown in popularity since its inception in 2016.  It acts as a creative catalyst for some tremendous poets and writers locally, nationally, and internationally. We welcome entries from all writers.  Last year we were delighted to receive poems from more than 2000 people from more than 35 countries.  What a fabulous indication of the value of poetry in people’s professional and personal lives.”

Winchester Poetry Prize is an annual competition that attracts writers of all abilities from all over the world. Entry is £6 for the first poem, and £5 for subsequent poems. There is a pay-it-forward scheme originally set up by 2020’s competition winner, Lewis Buxton. This enables those who can afford to enter the competition to support emerging poets who cannot. Details of how you can contribute to, or benefit from, this scheme can be found here:

The competition closes at 23:59 on 31 July  2023. Poems can be submitted by email or by post.  Further details, including guidelines and how to enter can be found on the website:


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