The Walter Swan Poetry Prize 2019
Now in its fourth year, the Walter Swan Poetry Prize is open to all writers of poetry aged 18 and over. Previous prize winners have been praised for their unique voices, precise use of language, powers of observation and use of fresh imagery, and qualities such as lyricism and musicality.
1st Prize £200
2nd Prize £100
3rd Prize £75
The winning poets will be invited to read at the festival in October 2019.
Essential Info for All Entrants
- Entries can be on any subject.
- Poems should be not more than 30 lines (excluding the title).
- Entries received from anyone aged 18-25 will automatically be entered for consideration in the 18-25 years subcategory as well as the main Walter Swan Poetry Prize.
- The prizes are judged separately, and it is possible for an entrant aged 18-25 years to win or be placed in both prizes.
- Closing date for receipt of entries: 31 July 2019, 11.30pm
The entry fee is £5 per poem for writers aged over 25 years or £2.50 per poem for writers aged 18 -25 years. You can send as many entries as you like.
Fees are payable online or by cheque made out to ‘Ilkley Literature Festival Ltd’.
How to Enter
To submit your entry online click here and follow the on screen instructions.
Entries by Post
Entries by post must be accompanied by a postal entry form (click here to download). If you are submitting multiple entries, each entry must have its own form.
Please don’t put your name or address on the poem itself. Write your name, address telephone number and email address on the entry form accompanying it.
- Entries must be in English, typed, single sided, with the pages numbered and securely fastened. Each entry should be on a new sheet.
- Poems must be single spaced
- Entries must have a title and must show no name, address or other identifying marks.
- Entries will not be returned, please keep a copy.
- No corrections can be made after receipt of your entry, or any fees refunded.
- Please ensure that you use the correct postage.
Send postal entries marked clearly ‘Walter Swan Poetry Competition’ to:
Ilkley Literature Festival
9 The Grove
Terms and Conditions
The competition is open to anyone, including non-UK applicants (Ilkley Literature Festival is unable to offer any financial assistance for winners to attend the prizegiving), aged 18 years and over. Non-UK Residents are welcome to enter the competition but entries from overseas can only be submitted online. Please note there is a separate poetry competition for young people aged 12-18.
Entries must be entirely the work of the entrant and must never have been published, self-published, published on any website or online forum, broadcast nor won or been placed in any other competition (as at October 2019).
Entries submitted posthumously will not be eligible.
Prize winners will be notified by Friday 27 September 2019 and invited to receive their prize and read their work in Ilkley during the 2019 Festival which runs from 4 – 20 October 2019.
The list of prize winners will be displayed on the website after 20 October 2019.
Worldwide copyright of each entry remains with the author, but by entering the competition the entrant agrees that Ilkley Literature Festival will have the unrestricted right to publish the winning poems and stories, (including those of the runners up), on the Festival website or as ‘posters’, postcards and/or celebratory pamphlets for display and distribution during the Festival and the entrant waives his/her rights in relation to such publication to the extent that he/she is able to do so.
Walter Swan Poetry Prize Judge: Ilkley Literature Festival’s 2019 Poet in Residence
18-25 Years Judge: Ilkley Literature Festival’s 2019 Apprentice Poet in Residence
The judges’ decision is final and no individual correspondence can be entered into.
Judges are unable to comment on individual entries.
Judging will be fair and unbiased. Experienced readers will assist the named judges in selecting the shortlists.
The organisers reserve the right to change the panel of judges without notice and not to award prizes if, in the opinion of the judges, such action is justified.
Entry implies acceptance of all the above rules.
Failure to comply with the entry requirements will result in disqualification.