Marsden the Poetry Village Competition

Opened for submissions: 07/03/2019 00:00 GMT
Closed for submissions: 01/06/2019 23:59 BST

This competition has ended. View Competition Winners.

“Together” Theme for International Poetry Competition

embedded image from entry 88076

Patience Agbabi will be judging the 2019 Marsden the Poetry Village (MPV) International Poetry Competition for poems submitted on the theme of “Together”, with a deadline of 1st June 2019. First prize is £300, second £100 and a third-place £50 prize.

Winning entries and those of selected runners-up will appear in a competition anthology, to be published in Autumn 2019, (subject to funding). This will also contain poems selected from local poetry workshops run for children and young people as part of a project funded by local charities.

Marsden the Poetry Village is a group of enthusiasts creating poetry initiatives within its community and nearby, including poetry pubs and cafes where customers can read poetry books whilst drinking a beer or coffee; regular poems on posters in shop windows in the village too.

Marsden is a West Yorkshire Pennine village with a plethora of community and cultural activities, like a community cinema, library-based authors’ readings, regular live music, Mechanics’ Institute cultural centre, Mikron canal-boat-based travelling theatre, a renowned Jazz Festival, and its Imbolc and Cuckoo Festivals.

Marsden is Oxford Professor of Poetry Simon Armitage’s birthplace, that of Victorian dialect poet Samuel Laycock and extant published and performing poets; it is the Stanza Stones trail starting point, has a successful, long-running monthly poetry night and other poetry events, and is the home of international poetry organisation Write Out Loud.

Marsden the Poetry Village recognises, with grateful thanks, the contributions made to this initiative by local charities the Marsden Cuckoo’s Nest, Avalanche Dodgers and One Community.


The following prizes will be awarded:

  • First place: £300

  • Second place: £100

  • Third place: £50

Winning entries and those of selected runners-up will appear in a competition anthology, to be published in Autumn 2019, (subject to funding).


The fee to enter is £4. If multiple poems are entered in the same submission, £10 will be charged for three poems and then £3 for each subsequent poem.


embedded image from entry 88073 Patience Agbabi (photo Lyndon Douglas)

Patience Agbabi’s poetry has been featured on radio and TV worldwide and she has spent over 20 years celebrating the written and spoken word. Active on the literature and arts scene, she was on the Council of Management for Arvon from 2009 to 2016. Her poem, ‘The Doll’s House’, was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem 2014. She studied English Language and Literature at Oxford University, and is a former Poet Laureate of Canterbury. The author of four books, her latest, Telling Tales (Canongate, 2014), is a vivid retelling of Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales for the 21st century and was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Prize for New Work in Poetry 2014 and Wales Book of the Year 2015.

“The liveliest versions of Chaucer you're likely to read” Simon Armitage.

Terms and conditions

In the following, the terms ‘we’ and ‘our’ refer to Write Out Loud and its Marsden the Poetry Village group.

By submitting your work, you are deemed to have read and agreed to abide by these terms and conditions.

All poems must:

  • Be entirely your own work;

  • Be in English (non-English words within and relevant to the text are acceptable);

  • Have a title;

  • Be no longer than 40 standard lines;

  • Have lines left-justified only – we cannot accept poems needing special layout (e.g. concrete poems), for which we do not have the resource;

  • Be suitable to appear in an anthology which will contain poems, and be read, by children;

  • Contain no material that in our judgement might cause offence;

  • Not contain your name or any other means of your being recognised – judging is done anonymously.

Each submission can contain as many entries as you wish on payment of the appropriate fee. All poems must be by separate entry.

The closing date for submissions is midnight (UK time), 1st June 2019.

Winners will be announced in September 2019.

Those whose work is selected will be contacted by email and results announced on the Write Out Loud website, on social and related media, and in the press where appropriate.

If selected, you will be required to provide your full name and address.

We reserve the right to withdraw poems and substitute alternatives where necessary.

Only poems submitted on are eligible. All submissions must conform to the Write Out Loud website terms and conditions.

By submitting work for this competition you grant to Write Out Loud limited rights to use the work as follows:

  • On for the purposes of informing the public of your success;

  • For inclusion in a printed anthology (subject to funding);

  • For display on posters in local businesses during the Marsden Jazz Festival (11-13 October and a week either side).

No other use will be made of your work without your permission being sought. All poems remain the copyright of the originating author.

By submitting, you are deemed to warrant that all work submitted is your own work and contains nothing that breaches copyright, plagiarises others’ work or infringes any intellectual property rights whatsoever.

Others’ work can be included or referenced within your poem, with appropriate permissions. Responsibility for securing written permission rests with the individual submitting the work. We accept no responsibility or liability whatsoever in the event of any failure to secure such agreement.

Once submitted, poems cannot be amended. They may be resubmitted (before the deadline) on payment of the appropriate fee.

Correspondence on individual work cannot be entered into except for technical matters to do with uploading.

We accept no responsibility for any damage, loss, injury or disappointment suffered by any entrant submitting poems to this event, howsoever caused.

We accept no responsibility for loss of poems, so do keep a copy.

We accept no responsibility to any party for any technical failure whatsoever.

In any dispute judges’ and curators’ decisions will be binding and final and no correspondence can be entered into regarding such decisions.

The project is managed by Write Out Loud (2015) CIC,

This competition is assocated with the Write Out Loud profile Marsden the Poetry Village

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