On May 16th 2022 – in conjunction with poetry collective Poets, Prattlers, and Pandemonialists – Ironbridge Festival of the Imagination opens its first ever poetry competition to poets from across the globe, welcoming poems on any and every subject. First prize in our competition will win £300, with a second prize of £125, and three third prizes of £25 each. In addition, poems sent in by people living in a TF postcode will also be eligible for our local prize of £50.
The 2022 festival takes place this autumn, from 16th September till October 2nd, bringing a diverse range of events and activities to our beautiful part of Shropshire. We hope to see you there.
The competition opens on May 16th, and entries need to be in before the deadline of midnight on July 31st.
You’ll find details of how to submit, and the rules for the competition, further down the page. Please read them carefully. Poems will be read, and winners chosen, by our judge Simon Fletcher.
Simon Fletcher is widely-published as a poet and lives in Shropshire. He’s also the manager of Offa’s Press.
He was a literature development officer, from 2000-2013, in Wolverhampton Libraries, and set up Offa’s Press in 2010 to promote/ publish poetry in the West Midlands.
He organises live literature events, including ‘Virtual Voices’, ‘Country Voices’ and the literature programme for the Ironbridge Festival of the Imagination, and has been a ‘poet on loan’ in West Midland libraries.
Simon has won various prizes and awards and read his poetry on BBC Radio Shropshire and the BBC Asian Network. He’s also read his work across Britain and abroad, including in Pakistan, Norway and Germany.
A note from Simon on judging the Ironbridge poetry competition
What do I expect from a good poem? I hope to find something that’s grounded in life today, that shows me something fresh and offers some uplift in these challenging times.
1) The competition opens on May 16th 2022, and the closing date for receipt of entries is midnight GMT on July 31st, 2022. Entries received after this time will not be considered.
2) The fee to enter is £4. If multiple poems are entered in the same submission, £10 will be charged for three poems and then £3 for each subsequent poem in that submission. Maximum number of poems in a single submission is five. Payment is by Paypal (see payment button below).
3) Poems from a TF postcode will additionally be entered for consideration in the TF prize.
4) Entries to the competition must be made by email to firstname.lastname@example.org In the body of the email, put your name, address, number of poems entered, and your Paypal reference number.
5) Each poem must be sent as a separate .doc or .docx file attached to your email, with the poem title as the document name. Do not put your name or any identifying marks on the poems – they are judged anonymously.
6) Poems must be your own unaided work, and on any theme.
7) Poems must be in English, and no more than 40 lines long.
8) Poems must not have been previously published in any public forum (either in print or on a website), nor should they be currently submitted for future publication elsewhere.
9) We can’t amend poems after they’ve been submitted, or refund fees paid.
10) The competition is open to anyone aged sixteen and over (with the exception of members of the core team of Ironbridge Festival of the Imagination).
11) Winners and shortlisted poets will be contacted a few days in advance of results being announced on the festival website on Monday 5th September 2022.
If you do not hear from us before Sep 5th, please understand that your poem has not been placed on this occasion.
The winning poets will be invited to read their poems at Ironbridge Festival of the Imagination at some point during the festival programme (subject to Covid restrictions).
12) Copyright of the poems remains with the author, but Ironbridge Festival of the Imagination reserves the right to publish successful entries on the festivals website.