‘Getting Older’ Poetry Competition

We’re looking for two brand new poems on the theme of getting older (gracefully or otherwise) to feature in our forthcoming pamphlet Ten Poems about Getting Older, edited by John McCullough. As well as publication, you’ll win copies of the pamphlet and a cash prize.

Timeline

The competition is now open for submissions and closes midnight 31st March 2020.

Poems

Your poem will ideally fit onto one page (37 lines) but should be no longer than 50 lines. It must be in English, new, unpublished, and not currently submitted elsewhere.

Entries

It’s free to enter. Email your poem to as a Word document or PDF file with your poem’s title and your own name as the file name. Please include your contact details in the body of the email.

Prizes

Two winners will be selected for inclusion in our pamphlet. As well as publication, you will receive 20 copies of Ten Poems about Getting Older and a cash prize of £75.

Judges

Entries will be judged by John McCullough and the Candlestick Press editorial team (Di Slaney, Ella Spencer and Kathy Towers). No correspondence will be entered into and the judges’ decision is final. The winners will be announced in April 2020 via social media.

About John McCullough

John’s latest collection Reckless Paper Birds (Penned in the Margins, 2019) was shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award. His first collection The Frost Fairs (Salt, 2011) was a Book of the Year for the Independent and a Summer Read for The Observer. He says:

“I’ll be looking for original poems that have been carefully crafted and that satisfy the heart as well as the head. As long as they adhere to the competition guidelines, they can take any angle on ageing and getting older and they can also adopt any approach to form. As a reader, I like being surprised and enjoy poems that take risks.”

Good luck! We look forward to reading your entries.


Previous competition winners


Snow Poem Competition

Winners

‘Snow Day’      Lucy Jeynes
‘for the love of snow’      Joanne Key
‘The Symmetry of Snow’      Meda Stamper

Highly commended poets

Kerry Darbishire
Gill McEvoy
Jill Munro

Shortlisted poets

Jeanette Burton
Pat Childerhouse
John Foggin
Rhiannon Hooson
Christopher James
Claire Lynn
Beliz McKenzie
Hilary Robinson
Tom Sastry
Hannah Stone
Polly Walshe
Nicola Warwick
Sarah Ziman


Breakfast Poem Competition

Winners

‘Toaster’      Olga Dermott-Bond
‘Breakfast with Mother’      Catherine Edmunds
‘Before the Lark’      Phil M Houghton

Shortlisted poets

Jeanette Burton
Pat Childerhouse
Christopher James
John Foggin
Rhiannon Hooson
Claire Lynn
Hilary Robinson
Tom Sastry
Hannah Stone
Polly Walshe
Nicola Warwick
Sarah Ziman


Cloud Poem Competition

First Prize

‘Hazy, Massed, Dappled’      Lesley Saunders

Second Prize

‘Flight’      Sarah Westcott

Highly Commended

‘Cloud Break’      Michael Brown

‘Musings on Board Spacecraft Oasis 1’      Jeanette Burton

‘8.04pm’      Miriam Calleja

‘Nudging Clouds’      Shirley Anne Cook

‘Clouding Over’      Jonathan Davidson

‘Cloud Souls’      Louise Greig

‘Cloud Content’      Caroline Hammond

‘The Cloud Collector’      Christopher James


Micropoem competition

First Prize: Roz Goddard @rozgoddard

Commended: Maria Taylor @MariaTaylor_

Commended: Matthew Paul @MatthewPaulPoet

Plus five additional runner-up prizes of a copy of The Twelve Poems of Christmas (Volume Seven) to:

Jeanette Burton @Nettie31
Karen Jane Cannon @KarenJaneCannon
Polly Atkin @pollyrowena
Maree Jaeger @MJPhotographer
Stephen Daniels @stephendaniels

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