Competitions and News

Please email details of competitions to:


Aesthetica Creative Writing Award

Deadline: 31 August 2019

Click here for details

Prole Poetry Competition

Deadline: 31 January 2019

Click here for details

The University of Leeds launches a new prize aimed at nurturing previously unpublished poets.

The Brotherton Poetry Prize

Deadline: 4 March 2019

Click here for details

The Rattle Chapbook Prize

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Deadline: January 15, 2019

Click here for details

Congratulations to OU poet Julie Anne Gilligan for achieving ‘Highly Commended’ for her prose poem in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition

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Julie G – Highly Commended.png

Judge’s comments:

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Congratulations to OU poet Julie Stamp for the shortlisting of her A Poem to Remember poem Still Here.

Still Here

Should I return to where it all began –
to unknown shores, to cold unsettled seas,
or stand beneath now-empty skies and scan
remote horizons, hoping I might see
a face that I once knew, a voice once heard –
brief flickers half-forgotten in Time’s haze –
would silence still the senses, or defer
to images that time cannot erase:
of standing fast, to face the storm ahead
as spirits waver with a strange unease,
or battling with panic, terror; dread,
while loss is felt inherent on the breeze.

Yet, should I go back to that place again,
where once I left soft traces of my years,
though mind and body marred, I will remain
the person I once was, and feel no fear.
My courage leads me to a new terrain,
a place wherein endurance shows the way;
a place in which my spirit can attain
serenity and strength for all my days.

I have this life, the will to persevere;
feel sun and rain and hope: I am still here.

Julie Stamp

Wonderful news from OU Poet Judi Moore, she has won the Georgina Hawtrey-Woore Award from ‘Words for the Wounded’ with her novella, ‘Little Mouse’. Congratulations, Judi.



There are no deadlines, as soon as one issue fills up, later submissions will automatically be considered for the next issue.

For details click here

Good news!

How wonderful to see that our OUP member Vicki Morley has won a competition. There were a few tweets about it but it wasn’t confirmed that it was ‘our’ Vicki Morley until Vicki emailed to say so!

Vicki has won the 2016/2017 Plough International competition prize of £1K with a poem called Double Zero Flour.

Huge, nay, HUGE, congratulations to you, Vicki. What a superb achievement. We will swell with reflected glory 😉

Here is Vicki’s winning poem:

The Plough Prize Open Poetry Competition 2016—winning poems


Double Zero Flour

You can travel fifty thousand miles in America without once tasting a piece of good bread  Henry Miller

San Francisco clocks chime the summer hour.
Rehearsed the route, left powdery footprints right across sidewalk,

the best double zero flour, weevils will dine well.
My head crusts, breaks through new white shirt.

It crackles, curdles, creaks along my arms,
sparks and conjures the new dawn with static.

Tie, the colour of an electric bruise,
shoes, best soft leather from Siena.

Look, a dangerous eggplant tie reflected
in coffee shop window. Is, a vivid purple, too vibrant?

No, not for a baker — before sunrise
I mix, pound, pummel, stretch, knead, knock the dough,

fill the maws of ever hungry ovens,
feel the heat, jaws of hell, fires of heaven.

Crisp the dough to beautiful bread babies,
ciabatta, focaccia, sour-dough, grissini, pizza, fruit pannetone.

I strut across the piazza, past nail bar
where slinky ladies flutter out to street.

An open window yawns,
a sharp-suited man hollers down to me.

Why it’s Antonio. Is he here for the chief baker job too?
Steady, breathe deep and slow, concentrate now.

I’m ready for probing questions,
about flour, yeast, pasta, bread-making, recipes.

Pour espresso, grappa, let’s celebrate!
My fruit panettone decided it.

Let’s stroll down to Venice Beach,
rinsed by the Pacific Ocean, and swim,

sip cold beers frosting our sticky palms,
sizzle fresh wolf-fish pan-roasted over hot coals,

watch bambini splashing in sea shallows,
while I dream new breads, like a salt-crust San Marino.

With acknowledgement to where you can see other prizewinners.

OU Poet Jenny Hamlett has a new collection of poetry, published by Indigo Dreams – click on this link for more info. Jenny takes as her guiding inspiration a sense of place and the people who inhabit it. Congratulations Jenny!


News from Orbis

Carole Baldock says: Join us online at the Orbis Facebook group.

Get a taste for Orbis: sample 2 back issues for just £7
(inc p+p – and that’s nearly a couple of quid; single copies: £5)

Copies of the magazine can be seen online at the Poetry Library website:

Orbis 176, Summer
£5 (Overseas: £9/€12/$16); Subs: £17/4 pa (Overseas: £35/€42/$58)
Front cover artwork: ‘Horizon’ by Peter Leslie Wilks
Back cover, detail from image:


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