Poems up to 55 lines long

Poetry Competition

This years Poetry Competition is now closed for online entries

1st prize – £300

2nd Prize – South Bank Poetry Membership

3rd prize – 2 Year Subscription to South Bank Poetry Magazine

4th Prize – 1 Year Subscription to South Bank Poetry  Magazine

The Contest

South Bank Poetry is delighted to announce its poetry competition for poems up to 55 lines long. Poems can be on any topic and in any form.

A special anthology featuring the prizewinners will be published alongside the specially commended poets and up to 40 poems from the short list.


The Judge

Clare Pollard was born in Bolton in 1978 and lives in London. She has published five collections with Bloodaxe: The Heavy-Petting Zoo (1998), which she wrote while still at school; Bedtime (2002); Look, Clare! Look! (2005); Changeling (2011), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation; and Incarnation (2017).

Her translation Ovid’s Heroines was published by Bloodaxe in 2013. Her first play The Weather (Faber, 2004) premièred at the Royal Court Theatre. She works as an editor, broadcaster and teacher.

Her documentary for radio, My Male Muse (2007), was a Radio 4 Pick of the Year. She is co-editor, with James Byrne, of the anthology Voice Recognition: 21 poets for the 21st century (Bloodaxe Books, 2009), and translator (with Maxamed Xasan ‘Alto’ and Said Jama Hussein) of Asha Lul Mohamud Yusuf’s The Sea-Migrations (Somali title: Tahriib), published by Bloodaxe Books in 2017 with The Poetry Translation Centre. In 2017 she took over the editorship of Modern Poetry in Translation.

Her non-fiction book Fierce Bad Rabbits: The Tales Behind our Picture Books was published by Fig Tree in 2019.

how to enter

Entry Fee

The entry fees are £4 per poem. South Bank Poetry subscribers benefit from reduced fees: £3 per poem entered. You can subscribe to SBP when entering the competition in order to take advantage of the reduced rates by adding the relevant fee to the overall total paid.

Online Entries

A quick and easy way to enter is online. You’ll be able to upload your poem entries until our extended deadline of midnight 12th September, and pay the appropriate entry fee securely.

When uploading please upload 2 pdf files, one containing all your poems, with no name or contact details, and the second with all your contact details on.

If you experience any issues please email editor@southbankpoetry.co.uk

Postal Entries

Another quick and easy way to enter is by post. Sending 2 copies of each poem entered to

South Bank Poetry, The Editors,
Kemp House 152-160 City Road, London EC1V 2NX

One copy with all your contact details on it and another copy that is anonymous, along with payment in the form of a cheque or postal order. Cheques should be made out to SOUTH BANK POETRY.


The Rules of the Competition

  • Poems must be no more than 55 lines long excluding title, and be typed on A4 paper.
  • If submitting by post please send 2 copies of each poem- one with your details clearly shown and the other with no details on.
  • Poems can be on any topic and in any form.
  • Poems must be in English and your own original work.
  • The competition is open to anyone aged 16 or over.
  • Poems must be typed, in English, unpublished, (They must not have been published, self-published or accepted for publication in print or online, broadcast, or have won or been placed in another competition at any time) have a title, and be your original work. No translations.
  • Please ensure you attach the correct postage. If we have to pay the post office for any shortfall, we reserve the right to reduce the number of poems you have entered, to cover our loss.
  • No entry form required, send two copies of each poem, one anonymous, the other with name and contact details. An e-mail address is essential for contact with regard to publication in the special anthology, if your poem is chosen.
  • If on two pages they should be stapled in the top left hand corner.
  • The judge’s decision is final.
  • No person may win more than one prize.
  • The copyright of each poem remains with the author, although the organizers have the right to publish winning and commended poems once, in a future issue of South Bank as well as online and on social media.
  • No traveling or accommodation costs will be paid in connection with any prize awarded or attendance at any subsequent launch reading(s) of winning poems.

The Prizes

Additionally, five commended poets will have their poems published in SBP, along with the prize winners.  There will be a reading and celebration in central London, if possible (Covid 19 circumstances). All those included in the list will be invited to read with extended readings for the prize-winning and commended poets.


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