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Milestones Poetry Competition 2017

Opened for submissions: 21/03/2017 00:00 GMT
Closed for submissions: 21/06/2017 23:59 BST

This competition has ended. View Competition Winners.

Milestone poetry competition 2017

embedded image from entry 65214 Finding the Way project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund

In association with the Milestone Society and in conjunction with their Finding The Way project, Write Out Loud is proud to organise the inaugural Milestones Poetry Competition, open to poets across the globe.

embedded image from entry 65067 Milestone photo by Robert Norbury


The following prizes will be awarded:

  • First place - £500

  • Second place - £100

  • Third place - £25

The prize-giving will take place at the Milestone Society ASGM, Long Compton, Warwickshire, on October 7th 2017


The fee to enter is £5. If multiple poems are entered in the same submission, £10 will be charged for 3 poems and then £3 for each subsequent poem.

Poem Length

Poems must be no more than 40 lines.


  • Prize-giving - 7th October 2017

  • Results announced - 23rd August 2017

  • Deadline for submissions - 21st June 2017

  • Open for submissions - 21st March 2017

Results will be announced on 23rd August 2017. Shortlisted poems will be published in the Milestone anthology. The winning poet will be invited to read their poem at an award ceremony in Long Compton, Warwickshire on October 7th, 2017.

Happy writing, and good luck!

Competition Judge

embedded image from entry 65100 Brian Patten

Brian Patten

Brian Patten was born in Liverpool in 1946 and is one of the UK’s most distinctive and popular poets. When he was fifteen he began publishing underdog, a little mag which featured the early work of both Adrian Henri and Roger McGough along with other local and later international poets. His books include Selected Poems (Penguin Books) and Collected Love Poems (Harper-Perennial). He has also written books for children as well as writing for the theatre and radio. His poems are translated into many European languages. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of both Liverpool University and John Moores University, and has been honoured with the Freedom of the City of Liverpool.

A note from Brian on judging the Milestones Poetry Competition

I’m looking forward to being involved with the Milestones competition, though I see no point in trying to define what kind of poem I’ll be looking out for. I’d rather be surprised. Once, when he had a touch of poetic indigestion, A. E. Housman said, ‘I could no more define poetry than a terrier can define a rat.’ But people keep on trying, and poetry keeps on changing.  Bob Dylan said: ‘I consider myself a poet first and a musician second.’ That great thief, TS Elliot, said: ‘Immature poets imitate, mature poets steal.’ The craftsman  Robert Frost said, ‘There are three things that a poem must reach: the eye, the ear, and what we may call the heart or the mind. It is most important of all to reach the heart of the reader.’ Our present laureate Carol Ann Duffy said, ‘Like the sand and the oyster, it's a creative irritant. In each poem, I'm trying to reveal a truth, so it can't have a fictional beginning.’ Then there was the great French urchin across the English Channel, Arthur Rimbaud. Central to his poetic vision was the notion that the sacred cows of traditional verse, such as the concept of what was and what was not poetic, needed to be challenged. So, all in all, trying to explain what poetry is and is not is like trying to explain the workings of a sundial to a bat.

Full Competition Rules

1.  Entries to the competition must be made online at

2.  The competition opens on March 21st, 2017, and the closing date for receipt of entries is midnight BST on June 21st, 2017.

3.  Entrants aged 16 years or over pay £5.00 for the first poem entered, and can enter three poems in the same submission for £10. Subsequent entries (also in the same submission) are £3 each.

4.  Entrants aged 15 or under pay £1 per entry.
The competition is open to anyone, with the exception of members of the core team of Write Out Loud.

5.  Poems must be your own unaided work, and on the theme of ‘milestones’. You may interpret this theme as literally or figuratively as you wish.

6.  Poems must be in English, and no more than 40 lines long. They must not have been previously published (either in print or on a website), nor should they be currently submitted for future publication elsewhere.

7.  We can’t amend poems after they’ve been submitted, or refund fees paid.

9.  Information on how to enter will be available on the Write Out Loud website in advance of the opening date of the competition.

10.  The judge’s decision will be final. No correspondence can be entered into. Entry in the competition implies acceptance of all the rules.

Entry Categories

Poems were entered in the following categories.

General Competition

If you are aged 16 or over, enter this category.

The fee to enter a single poem is £5. If multiple poems are entered in the same submission, £10 will be charged for 3 poems and then £3 for each subsequent poem.

Under 16 Competition

Please enter this category if you are aged 15 or under.

Entries in this category are £1 per entry.

This competition is assocated with the Write Out Loud profile Milestones Poetry Competition

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