Christmas 2021 Poetry Competition

We’re looking for new poems to feature in our forthcoming festive title Together for Christmas. As well as publication, you’ll win copies of the pamphlet and a cash prize.

The pamphlet will be an uplifting celebration of reunions and gatherings with family or friends – something that many of us have missed so much in recent times.

A PDF copy of this information can be downloaded here.


The competition is now open for submissions and closes at midnight on 13th August 2021.


Only one poem per poet please.  Your poem should be no longer than 37 lines. It must also be in English, new, unpublished, and not currently submitted elsewhere.


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.


The winners will be selected for inclusion in our pamphlet. As well as publication, you will receive 20 copies of Together for Christmas and a cash prize of £75.


Entries will be judged by the Candlestick Press editorial team (Di Slaney and Kathy Towers). No correspondence will be entered into and the judges’ decision is final. The winners will be announced in September 2021 via social media.

Good luck! We look forward to reading your entries.

Previous competition winners

Getting Older Poem Competition


Alasdair Paterson

Elvire Roberts

Mark Granier

Commended Poets

Cheryl Pearson
Clint King

Jacquie Shanahan
Marianne Jones

Tina Cole

Shortlisted Poets

Akwe Amosu
Alison Campbell
Anya Trofimova
Ben Wilkinson
Bernie Crawford
Bob Cooper
Christine Macfarlane
Consuelo Marshall
DA Prince

Darrell Hugueley
Deborah Harvey
Fiona Ritchie Walker
Gita Ralleigh
James Heaney
Jeffa Kay
Jill Sharp
Jo Field
Julian Turner

Massey Armistead
Michael Ray
Olga Dermott-Bond
Pamela Butler
Robert Hamberger
Sarah Grout
Stephen Keeler
Vanessa Lampert
Vic Pickup

Snow Poem Competition


‘Snow Day’
Lucy Jeynes

‘for the love of snow’
Joanne Key

‘The Symmetry of Snow’
Meda AA 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


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

Sarah Westcott

Highly Commended

‘Cloud Break’
Michael Brown

‘Musings on Board Spacecraft Oasis 1’
Jeanette Burton

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


Maria Taylor

Matthew Paul

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

Jeanette Burton

Karen Jane Cannon

Polly Atkin

Maree Jaeger

Stephen Daniels

"...a thoughtful stand-in for a card."The Guardian

Follow us

  • 0115 967 4455