Ledbury Poetry Competition 2024

Ledbury Poetry is thrilled to announce that this year’s poetry competition is now open for applicants.

Maya C. Popa
Maya C. Popa

The judge this year will be Maya C. Popa. Maya is most recently the author of Wound is the Origin of Wonder (W. W. Norton, 2022; Picador, 2023), a finalist for the 2023 Levis reading prize from VCU. Her first collection, American Faith (Sarabande, 2019), was a recipient of the North American Book Prize and a runner-up in the Kathryn A. Morton Prize judged by Ocean Vuong. She holds a PhD on the role of wonder in poetry and her newsletter, Poetry Today, is one of Substack’s 2024 best-selling featured publications. The Poetry Editor of Publishers Weekly, she teaches at NYU and runs Conscious Writers Collective, an online writing community.

Maya C. Popa: “Audre Lorde remarked that ‘Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought.’ This is among the many profound and vital truths about poetry, that it rushes forth to dismantle a silence or otherwise render it on the page. There are just as many ways to name as there are poets to do the naming. I look forward to widening my own hearing, my own thoughts, by spending time with these poems.”

Who can enter?

  • The competition is international, open to poets writing in the English language
  • You must be 18 years of age or over to enter

What’s the deadline?

  • The closing date is Mon 8th July 2024 at 23.59 BST

What’s the prize?

  • First Prize: £1000 cash and a week’s poetry course with Arvon
    Second Prize: £500
    Third Prize: £250
  • Winners will be invited to perform their work at Ledbury Poetry Festival 2025

How much is it to enter?

  • Each entry costs £6.00

The first prize for the competition is £1,000 cash and a week’s poetry course with Arvon.

Arvon is the UK’s leading creative writing charity with a wide range of residential and online writing courses. The winner will have one calendar year from the prize being announced to claim either a residential or online week of their choice.

Competition Entry Rules/Guidelines

If you have any questions or need assistance with the competition entry process please email sabeen.chaudhry@ledburypoetry.org.uk

  1. You may enter up to 10 poems at any time.
  2. Poems must be received by Monday 8th July 2024 at 23:59 BST. Entries will not be accepted after the closing deadline.
  3. The length of each poem must not exceed 40 lines. (This applies to the written lines of the poem. Titles, epigraphs, line spaces between stanzas and dedications are not counted as lines.)
  4. You must be 18 years of age or over to enter.
  5. All applications must be submitted online through the entry form on this page.
  6. Please submit each poem as a single PDF file. Each poem must be submitted as a separate document, up to 10 documents can be attached to your application online.
  7. Please include the title of your poem in the poem and name your file with the title of your poem.
  8. The competitor’s name must NOT appear in the poems or in the document file name – names must be included on the entry form details only.
  9. All entries must be the original work of the entrant and should not have been previously published, broadcasted, or accepted for publication by a magazine, or have won competitions elsewhere.
  10. Copyright remains with the author, but Ledbury Poetry reserves the right to have entries performed at the Festival, on radio, TV, or stage, published on the internet, in an anthology or used for publicity purposes at any stage in the future.
  11. An automated acknowledgement of the entry will be sent (please check Spam or Junk folders if you don’t see one).
  12. The decision of the judge is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  13. Ledbury Poetry reserves the right to withhold prizes if such an action is justified.
  14. Entries not complying with competition rules will be disqualified.
  15. Winners/runners up/highly commended entries will be notified directly once the judging has been completed and details of the winners event in 2025 will be sent in due course.
  16. Ledbury Poetry is a registered charity – Charity No. 1059465

Entry to Ledbury Poetry Competition 2024 has now closed.

Come back in 2025 for next year’s competition.

Need inspiration?   Why not check out last year’s winning entries.

Arvon logoArvon

Arvon is the UK’s leading creative writing charity, founded in 1968. Arvon hosts writing courses and events in a range of genres, both in-person and online. Residential writing weeks are held in three rural writing houses in Devon, Shropshire and Yorkshire. With the opportunity to live and work with professional writers, participants transform their writing through workshops, one-to-one tutorials, time and space to write. An online programme of writing courses, masterclasses and free weekly readings also runs year-round. Grants and concessions are available to help with course fees.