WoLF poetry competition 2020

Opened for submissions: 12/10/2019 00:00 BST
Closed for submissions: 31/12/2019 23:59 GMT

This competition has ended. View Competition Winners.

WoLF poetry competition 2020

In association with Wolverhampton Literature Festival, Write Out Loud is proud to organise the WoLF Poetry Competition 2020, open to poets across the globe. The theme for this year's competition is 'vision'. Why? Because it's 20/20, of course. Use this as a prompt to explore any related theme – hindsight, a visit to the opticians, or dreams of a better world. Write about whatever you fancy, however it inspires you, and send your entries in before December 31st!


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 31 January - 2 February, 2020. 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 2nd February 2020.

Results announced 24th January 2020. 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 2nd February 2020

Deadline for submissions 31st December 2019

Open for submissions 12th October 2019

Competition Judge

Roz Goddard

embedded image from entry 94955 Roz Goddard

Roz Goddard is a former poet laureate of Birmingham and has published five collections of poems. Her latest, Spill, was published by Flarestack Poets in 2018; The Sopranos Sonnets and Other Poems was published by Nine Arches Press and featured on BBC R3’s The Verb. The Emma Press will be publishing her sixth collection, Lost City, in 2020.
She has collaborated on a wide range of poetry projects with organisations including The Poetry Society, Arts Council England, the International Festival of Glass and Birmingham University, and is a member of a mentoring scheme for writers in the West Midlands.

A note from Roz on judging the WoLF poetry competition

It's wonderful to see Wolverhampton Literature Festival going from strength to strength with its varied and ambitious programming and I'm delighted to be judging its 3rd poetry competition. What am I looking for? I’m partial to poems that are unexpected, inventive, filmic with a sumptuous spread, playful poems, intense poems that make me catch my breath, poems where I get a sense of the poet firmly in their own authentic territory, opening their shoulders, going for it.

I’m interested in poems that intrigue with their shadow sides, that delight in strange ways, that won’t leave me alone with an unmistakable thread of something amazing I can’t put my finger on. Poems that make me want to have a long conversation with the poet.

Send me your poems I can't wait to read them.


1. Entries to the competition must be made online at www.writeoutloud.net.

2. The competition opens on November 1st, 2019, and the closing date for receipt of entries is midnight GMT on December 31st, 2019.

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 ‘vision’. 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.

7. Poems must not have been previously published (either in print or on a website), nor should they be currently submitted for future publication elsewhere.

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

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

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