Email: Robyn Donaldson
Telephone: 020 7420 9880



January 2015
All ten NPC Filmpoems will be shown at the Dean Clough gallery spring exhibitions opening, 17 Jan, in Halifax. Find out more.

January 2015
NPC 2013 commended poet Patricia Wooldridge will read at Tongues&Grooves with Ted Hughes Award 2013 winner Maggie Sawkins, 28 Jan, in Portsmouth. Find out more.

October 2014
NPC 2012 commended poet Zaffar Kunial leads a workshop at The Poetry School examining Imperial War Museum North’s 'From Street to Trench: a World War that Shaped a Region' exhibition. 13 Dec. Find out more.

September 2014
Five upcoming events with NPC winners:
The Pity, 2 Oct, Southbank Centre, featuring Zaffar Kunial
Cheltenham Lit Fest event, 8 Oct featuring Linda France, Carolyn Jess-Cooke and Julia Copus
The Poetry Review autumn launch party, 15 Oct, Sheffield, featuring Danica Ognjenovic
Guardian Masterclass with Paula Bohince, 1-2 Nov
Paula Bohince at Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, 8 Nov
More Poetry Society events on our calendar!

September 2014
Liz Berry, NPC 2011 commended poet, wins the Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection with Black Country, which contains her NPC-winning poem Birmingham Rollers

September 2014
Commended NPC poet, and former judge, Jane Yeh is named as one of the Poetry Book Society Next Generation Poets

June 2014
Jane Draycott, NPC 2nd Prize winner in 2012, has won the Hippocrates Prize 2014.

June 2014
Colette Bryce, NPC winner in 2003 and THA nominee in 2012, has reached the shortlist for the Forward Prize for Best Collection.

June 2014
Listen to Linda France talking about prize-winning poems here

June 2014

All ten filmpoems of the winning poems are now available to view online.

May 2014
The National Poetry Competition 2014 opens for entries

May 2014
Events upcoming with the NPC winners include those in London, Ledbury and Newcastle upon Tyne.

March 2014
The National Poetry Competition 2013 winner is announced as Linda France, for her poem 'Bernard and Cerinthe'

March 2014
Stuart Pickford, who was commended in the National Poetry Competition in 2012, wins the 2013/14 Yorkshire Poetry Prize in the Poetry Business Book & Pamphlet Competition.

January 2014
Sinéad Morrissey, National Poetry Competition winner in 2007, wins the TS Eliot Prize for her collection 'Parallax'

December 2013
Zaffar Kunial who was placed 3rd in the 2012 National Poetry Competition to be Poet-in-Residence at The Wordsworth Trust. 

November 2013
Congratulations to Kaddy Benyon and Marj Faith, who have won the NPC Flyer On Tour Competition. Click here to see the pictures.

October 2013
Pascale Petit, commended in the National Poetry Competition in 2012, wins the Manchester Poetry Prize

July 2013
NPC 2007 winner Sinéad Morrissey has reached the shortlist for the 2013 Forward Prize for Poetry

Competition Flyers

Do you work in a library, university, cultural centre, coffee shop, art gallery, bookshop, or are you running a poetry or literature festival? Would you like some National Poetry Competition 2014 flyers to display? Please get in touch with your UK postal address or click here for a copy of the 2014 poster. 

With thanks

We are glad to work with the organisations below to extend the reach of the National Poetry Competition

The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival


Keats House

Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts



If you or your organisation is interested in sponsoring the National Poetry Competition, please click here.


National Poetry Competition 2014 - Now closed!

National Poetry Competition

The competition is for previously unpublished poems and has a first prize of £5,000. The winners will be announced early in April at an awards ceremony where we will also reveal the winner of The Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry.


First Prize: £5000
Second Prize: £2000
Third Prize: £1000
Seven Commendations: £100

The top-three winning poems are published in the Spring issue of The Poetry Review. The winners will be invited to appear at various events and festivals around the country, including Ledbury Poetry Festival. Up to 150 longlisted entrants are also offered a discount on selected activities from the Poetry School. Winning and commended poems are published on the Poetry Society website.

Artwork by Matthew Richardson


The judges of the 2014 National Poetry Competition are: Roddy Lumsden, Glyn Maxwell and Zoë Skoulding. The National Poetry Competition is an award for individual poems that are previously unpublished. Each entry remains anonymous throughout the judging process. Find out more about the judges

Roddy Lumsden, Glyn Maxwell and Zoë Skoulding

 Glyn Maxwell image credit: Kelly Hill

Competition Resources

About the National Poetry Competition

NPC Icon Flower

Established in 1978, the Poetry Society’s National Poetry Competition is one of the world’s biggest and most prestigious poetry contests. Winners include both established and emerging poets, and for many the prize has proved an important career milestone. Win, and add your name to a roll-call that includes the current UK Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Tony Harrison, Ruth Padel, Philip Gross and Jo Shapcott. Read poems by previous winners of the National Poetry Competition.


The National Poetry Competition 2013

Winning poems

First Prize: 'Bernard and Cerinthe' by Linda France (£5000)
Second Prize: 'Among Barmaids' by Paula Bohince (£2000)
Third Prize: 'Love on a night like this' by Josephine Abbott (£1000)

Seven Commendations: (£100 each)
'Push-bike' by Elaine Gaston
'Hare' by Carolyn Jess-Cooke
'Gift of the Sloth' by Debbie Lim
'Birdfall' by Danica Ognjenovic
'crepuscule with nellie (take six)' by Ken Taylor
'CCTV Central Control' by Tom Warner
'I Stop Wearing the Mini-skirt, 1972' by Patricia Wooldridge


In a collaboration between the Poetry Society and artist Alastair Cook, the ten winning poems of the National Poetry Competition have been reimagined as filmpoems. All ten winning poems are available to view on our website.

All ten films will be screened at the Filmpoem Festival in Antwerp on 14 June, in partnership with Felix Poetry Festival; please see for details. The films will also be shown at the Poetry International Festival at the Southbank Centre in London in July.

Watch all ten poetry films

National Poetry Competition Events

Upcoming events with winners from the 2013 National Poetry Competition:

28 January 2015: Tongues&Grooves: Patricia Wooldridge and Maggie Sawkins
NPC winner Patricia Wooldridge reads at this special Poetry Society Tongues&Grooves event, with 2013 Ted Hughes Award winner Maggie Sawkins. Find out more
The Cellars at Eastney, 56 Cromwell Road, Southsea PO4 9PN. Tickets £6 on the door.

Past events:

5 June: NPC at the NCLA
with readings from Linda France, Carolyn Jess-Cook and Danica Ognjenovic
NCLA, Newcastle upon Tyne. 

9 June: Poetica Botanica at Keats House Festival
Presented by the National Poetry Competition winner Linda France
Keats House, London.

14 June: NPC Filmpoems at the Felix Poetry Festival
Filmpoem presents poetry-film of the ten winning entries, including the premier of the seven commended poems
Felix Poetry Festival, Antwerp.

11 July: NPC at Ledbury Poetry Festival
National Poetry Competition winners read their work, featuring Linda France, Elaine Gaston and Josephine Abbott.
Burgage Hall, Ledbury Poetry Festival.

20 July: NPC at the Poetry International Festival
Winners of this year's National Poetry Competition, Linda France and Tom Warner, give a celebratory reading in the company of past winners Jo Shapcott and Liz Berry.
Southbank Centre, London.
Filmpoems of all ten winning poems will also be shown at the Southbank Centre throughout the festival.

8 October: NPC at Cheltenham Literature Festival
Winners of this year's National Poetry Competition, Linda France and Carolyn Jess-Cooke, join judge Julia Copus to read and discuss their work. Linda France details the poetic unfurling of her recent botanic garden Grand Tour experiences, including her winning poem 'Bernard and Cerinthe'. Carolyn Jess-Cooke performs her winning poem 'Hare', and others from her new collection exploring motherhood, Boom!

8 November 2014: International Duets: Paula Bohince and Ron Egatz at Aldeburgh Poetry Festival
NPC winner Paula Bohince reads with Ron Egatz at an event at Aldeburgh Poetry Festival.
Two fresh American voices. Sumptuous and sorrowful, Paula Bohince dramatises questions of selfhood with a luminous clarity. Ron Egatz confronts fear, shame and desire in his explorations of the dilemmas of post-feminist masculinity.


Poetry Society Events

For more informaiton about upcoming events with the Poetry Society, all around the country, visit the Events Calendar.