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The Magdalena Young Poets' Prize - Our Competition Rules (This Post Explains How to Enter)

Updated: Mar 20

The competition is now closed. We're sorry to say that any submissions sent now will not be read. Stay tuned for the results!


- The competition will open on 16th November 2020.

- All entries must be received by 11.59pm on 1st February 2021 in order to be eligible. We won’t be accepting entries after this date.

- The competition is open to anyone aged 16-25 (inclusive), residing in the UK. You need to be within this age range on the day you submit your poem.

- If you are under 18, please ask a parent or guardian for permission before you enter. If you send us your poem, we will assume you have read this and therefore asked for and been given permission.

- Your poem must be no longer than 20 lines. This does not include the title, white spaces between stanzas or any epigraphs/dedications. It can be as short as you like.

- Please email us at themagdalenayoungpoetsprize@gmail.com with your entry – copy-and-paste the email address, as this is a spam avoidance technique. Within the body of the email, please include your full name and date of birth, as well as your poem’s title. If you could attach your poem in a Word document – .doc or .docx – that would be fab. We'd prefer a Word document to a Google Doc or any other format. If you don’t have access to Microsoft Word, please drop us an email or a message/comment on one of our social media accounts and we’ll sort something out for you. Otherwise, we will only be accepting entries submitted by email, typed, in Microsoft Word format.

- Please use a clear 12-point font – Times New Roman is a good one.

- Please put your poem’s title (if it hasn’t got a title, call it ‘Untitled’) followed by your own name in the file name, for example: Sonnet 18 William Shakespeare. Please don’t put your name on the actual page, though – we’ll be judging anonymously to keep things fair.

- It’s completely free to enter, but we do ask for just one poem per entrant. If you send us more than one poem, then I’m afraid we’ll only judge the first one you send us.

- Your poem must be written in English.

- If you’ve previously self-published your poem in a book, on your own blog or on any of your own social media accounts, that’s fine by us and your entry will still be eligible. However, if your poem has ever been selected by someone else for publication anywhere, in print or online, or has placed or been shortlisted/commended in any other competition, then we won’t be able to accept it, out of fairness to other entrants.

- Unfortunately, you won’t be able to make any changes to your entry once you’ve submitted it.

- Your poem can be on any subject...if it interests you, we'd love to hear about it. Poems on challenging subjects are more than welcome (in fact, we want to see your poems on challenging subjects!) and poems that include swearing are permitted (although it’s always a good idea to make sure that, if you use swear words, they contribute to the poem in terms of voice, mood or sound, rather than being there for shock value). Please do not send us anything racist, ableist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic or offensive in any other way, though – we will not accept entries that endorse hate speech or bullying.

- The winner of first prize will receive £200, with second place receiving £100 and third place receiving £50. The winner of the Dragonfly Prize for Potential will win £25 worth of book vouchers.

- If you’ve previously self-published your poem in a book, on your own blog or on any of your own social media accounts, that’s fine by us and your entry will still be eligible. However, if your poem has ever been selected by someone else for publication anywhere, in print or online, or has placed in any other competition, then we won’t be able to accept it, out of fairness to other entrants.

- We're hoping to host an outdoor awards ceremony in June 2021, where we can meet our lovely entrants and present the prizes. If Covid-19 restrictions are such that we can't do this in person, the ceremony will take place via Zoom Video Communications and prizes will be posted out to the winners. Everyone is very welcome to join us (for free, although unfortunately we won’t be able to cover travel costs) at our ceremony, whether it’s in person or online. If you’re awarded a prize and can’t make this event, please don’t worry – we will get your prize to you.

- After the results have been announced and the prizes have been awarded, we’d really like to share the winning poems here on our website and on our social media pages. If you’re selected and would rather we didn’t do that, though, that’s no problem at all and this won’t affect your eligibility.

- We’ll aim to contact our winners and post the results here on our website by the beginning of April. If we’re running behind schedule, we’ll let all our entrants know. Please follow us on social media for regular updates on judging. There might just be the odd poetry prompt, book recommendation or cute animal video on there too!

- We reserve the right not to award prizes if we don’t get an adequate number of entries, or if our judge feels that’s justified.

- We reserve the right to change our judge without notice if we need to.

- If we discover that your work is plagiarised, or that you are ineligible for any other reason, we will have no option but to disqualify you. We reserve the right to ask you to return your prize if, following awarding you that prize, we find your work to be plagiarised or discover that it was ineligible for any other reason, such as your being outside the eligible age range.

- We promise our judging will be fair and unbiased. The decision will be final and no individual correspondence can be entered into regarding that decision.


Data Protection: We will only need your full name (and this does not have to be your legal name; preferred names are welcome - we just need a first and a surname), date of birth, email address and poem at this stage, and we will not share these with any third party. If we need any further information from you, we’ll contact you via email and ask. Once the prizes have been awarded, we will permanently delete all of our entrants’ data. If you would like to withdraw your entry or ask us to delete your data or correspondence, you can do this at any time by emailing themagdalenayoungpoetsprize@gmail.com


We know this is a fair bit of information to take in, so if you’ve got any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch, via email or any of our social media accounts. We can’t wait to receive your entries!

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