In association with the Milestones Society (www.milestonesociety.co.uk) and in conjunction with their Finding The Way (www.findingtheway.org.uk) project, Write Out Loud is proud to organise the inaugural Milestones Poetry Competition, open to poets across the globe.
The following prizes will be awarded:
First place – £500
Second place – £100
Third place – £25
U-16s prize – £100
Free anthology for prize winners and commended poets.
The prize-giving will take place on 7 October 2017 in Warwickshire, UK.
The fee to enter for those aged 16 and over is £5. If multiple poems are entered in the same submission, £10 will be charged for 3 poems and then £3 for each subsequent poem.
Entrants aged 15 and under pay £1 per poem.
Poems must be no more than 40 lines.
Prize-giving – 7 October 2017
Results announced – early August 2017
Deadline for submissions – 21 June 2017
Open for submissions – 21 March 2017
Results will be announced in early August. The winner will be invited to read their poem at an award ceremony in Long Compton, Warwickshire on October 7th, 2017.
Happy writing, and good luck!
Brian Patten was born in Liverpool in 1946 and is one of the UK’s most distinctive and popular poets. When he was fifteen he began publishing underdog, a little mag which featured the early work of both Adrian Henri and Roger McGough along with other local and later international poets. His books include Selected Poems (Penguin Books) and Collected Love Poems (Harper-Perennial). He has also written books for children as well as writing for the theatre and radio. His poems are translated into many European languages. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of both Liverpool University and John Moores University and has been honoured with the Freedom of the City of Liverpool.
A note from Brian on judging the Milestones Poetry Competition
I’m looking forward to being involved with the Milestones competition, though I see no point in trying to define what kind of poem I’ll be looking out for. I’d rather be surprised. Once, when he had a touch of poetic indigestion, A. E. Housman said, ‘I could no more define poetry than a terrier can define a rat.’ But people keep on trying, and poetry keeps on changing. Bob Dylan said: ‘I consider myself a poet first and a musician second.’ That great thief, TS Elliot, said: ‘Immature poets imitate, mature poets steal.’ The craftsman Robert Frost said, ‘There are three things that a poem must reach: the eye, the ear, and what we may call the heart or the mind. It is most important of all to reach the heart of the reader.’ Our present laureate Carol Ann Duffy said, ‘Like the sand and the oyster, it’s a creative irritant. In each poem, I’m trying to reveal a truth, so it can’t have a fictional beginning.’ Then there was the great French urchin across the English Channel, Arthur Rimbaud. Central to his poetic vision was the notion that the sacred cows of traditional verse, such as the concept of what was and what was not poetic, needed to be challenged. So, all in all, trying to explain what poetry is and is not is like trying to explain the workings of a sundial to a bat.
Full Competition Rules
1. Entries to the competition must be made online at www.writeoutloud.net.
2. The competition opens on March 21st, 2017, and the closing date for receipt of entries is midnight BST on June 21st, 2017.
3. Entrants aged 16 years or over pay £5.00 for the first poem entered and can enter three poems in the same submission for £10. Subsequent entries (also in the same submission) are £3 each.
4. Entrants aged 15 or under pay £1 per entry.
The competition is open to anyone, with the exception of members of the core team of Write Out Loud.
5. Poems must be your own unaided work and on the theme of ‘milestones’. You may interpret this theme as literally or figuratively as you wish.
6. Poems must be in English and no more than 40 lines long. They must not have been previously published (either in print or on a website), nor should they be currently submitted for future publication elsewhere.
7. We can’t amend poems after they’ve been submitted, or refund fees paid.
8. Copyright of the poems remains with the author, but Write Out Loud reserves the right to publish successful entries in the competition anthology, and on the Write Out Loud and Milestones websites.
9. Information on how to enter will be available on the Write Out Loud website in advance of the opening date of the competition.
10. The judge’s decision will be final. No correspondence can be entered into. Entry in the competition implies acceptance of all the rules.
When the competition is open for submissions, you will be able to submit your poem in one of the following categories.
The fee to enter a single poem is £5. If multiple poems are entered in the same submission, £10 will be charged for 3 poems and then £3 for each subsequent poem.
Under 16 Competition
Entries in this category are £1 per entry.
This competition is associated with the Write Out Loud profile Milestones Poetry Competition