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WoLF poetry competition 2019

Opened for submissions: 01/11/2018 00:00 GMT
Closed for submissions: 31/12/2018 23:59 GMT

This competition has ended. View Competition Winners.

WoLF poetry competition 2019

In association with Wolverhampton Literature Festival, Write Out Loud is proud to organise the WoLF Poetry Competition 2019, open to poets across the globe. The theme for this year's competition is 'wanderer...'. Use this as a prompt to explore the theme of travel, contemplation, or the city's football team's proud history – or something else entirely – whichever you wish, and whatever inspires you!


The following prizes will be awarded:

First place: £400

Second place: £150

Third place: three prizes of £25

The prize-giving will take place as part of the WoLF festival over the weekend of 1-3 February, 2019. Winning and shortlisted poets will be invited to read their entry at this event.


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.

Poem length

Poems must be no more than 40 lines in length.


Prize-giving is on the afternoon of Sunday 3rd February 2019.

Results announced 25th January 2019. Shortlisted poems may be published in a WoLF anthology. The winning poets will be invited to read their poems at Wolverhampton Literature Festival on Sunday 3rd February 2019

Deadline for submissions 31st December 2018

Open for submissions 1st November 2018

Competition Judge

Roy McFarlane

embedded image from entry 83080 Roy McFarlane

Roy McFarlane was born in Birmingham of Jamaican parentage and spent most of his years living in Wolverhampton and the surrounding Black Country. He has held the role of Birmingham’s Poet Laureate, Starbuck Poet in Residence and presently the Birmingham & Midland Institute Poet in Residence.
Roy’s poems have appeared in anthologies; Filigree (Peepal Trees 2018), It All Radiates Outwards (Verve Poetry Press 2018), Disonance (Hesterglock Press 2017), Somewhere to keep the rain (Winchester Poetry Festival 2017), Out of Bounds (Bloodaxe 2012),
His previous publications includes Celebrate Wha? (Smokestack Books 2011) and Beginning With Your Last Breath (Nine Arches Press 2016). Roy’s latest collection The Healing Next Time is available from Nine Arches Press and he’s also completed his MA in Writing Poetry from The Poetry School and Newcastle University.

A note from Roy on judging the WoLF poetry competition

As a local poet from the Black Country it’s a pleasure to be judging the 2nd WoLF poetry competition. I’m looking forward to reading poems that sing out loud, that whisper with intensity, that colour the air with a thousand ideas but most importantly are lovingly, caringly put together.

Poems that rhyme, poems that are free, poems that take us on journeys across time and space, poems that have the unique stamp of the poet's voice. So go searching for those poems that write themselves, or catch you unaware with their internal magic. Or find that phrase or line, the half-completed poem hidden in a drawer or note book and go for it.


1.  Entries to the competition must be made online at

2.  The competition opens on November 1st, 2018, and the closing date for receipt of entries is midnight GMT on December 31st, 2018.

3.  Entrants pay £4.00 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.  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 ‘wanderer...’. 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.

This competition is assocated with the Write Out Loud profile Wolverhampton Literature Festival

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