Here are the rules for the 2020 The York Poetry Prize, in association with York Literature Festival / YorkMix.
1. Poems must be in English*, and may be on any subject.
2. Poems must be the entrant’s original work and not previously published in a collection or anthology, newspaper or poetry magazine. Work that has been posted in a closed poetry group online, or a personal blog online are eligible. Poems that have been broadcast on radio or podcasted online are not allowed.
3. Poems must not be longer than 40 lines of text, and must fit on a single A4 page. Poems must show the title and poem only. The poet’s name must not appear on the work. Poems may not be amended or edited after submission
4. Anybody aged 16 or over (on the closing date) may enter.
5. Poems must be submitted via the official form on the entry page. Attachments must be in one of the following formats: Word (.doc or .docx), Text, Simpletext or TextEdit, Pages or PDF. Postal entries are not encouraged, but will be allowed in special circumstances, and only from UK addresses. See note below. Payment is online via PayPal. To pay by PayPal you do not need a PayPal account. All major credit cards are accepted. Just follow the instructions on the entry form.
6. Poets may enter as many poems as they wish. The 2020 entry fee is:
£7.50 for a single poem;
£12 for two poems;
£15 for three poems;
£20 for four poems;
£22.50 for five poems.
There is no limit to the number of poems that can be submitted (to enter more than five poems, you will need to make a separate submission).
7. Acknowledgement of entries: When your entry payment is complete, PayPal will assign a transaction number to the payment; receipt of a transaction number is official confirmation of your entry.
On pressing ‘Submit’, please allow a few moments to be directed to the PayPal website. Once your payment is processed, to view your confirmation of entry, click on the ‘Return to Merchant’ link on the PayPal page. That will return you to a page where you can scroll down to see confirmation of entry.
8. No poet may win more than one cash prize.
9. Closing date: Deadline is midnight on Sunday, 19 April 2020.
10. The competition this year is open to international (non-UK) entrants too.
11. The title of International Prize will be awarded to the best entry from a non-UK entrant. If a non-UK entrant wins the first or second prize, the International Prize title and a £100 award will go to the next best non-UK entry.
12. Similarly, The Helen Cadbury Prize of £50 will be awarded to an excellent poem from an entrant with a York (YO) postcode.
13. Copyright in submitted poems remains with the author. Entrants agree to allow their poems to be featured fee-free on YorkMix.com (and on a separate website devoted solely to the competition and its history, to be launched by YorkMix later this year), and the website of York Literature Festival.
14. Winning and commended poems may not be published elsewhere before June 1, 2020, without the permission of the organisers. Winning and commended poems (and poets’ email contact details) might be shared with other publications. But it will be any such publication’s responsibility to seek the poet’s permission before publication.
15. Prize-winning and commended poems may be used by the organisers in publicity or promotional material that is relevant to the festival or by YorkMix.com in their poetry coverage.
16. York Literature Festival Committee members, and performers listed in the Festival programme, are not eligible to enter.
17. Winners will receive payment by cheque.
18. The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
19. Entrants agree to have their email address added to the York Literature Festival and YorkMix.com mailing lists, but can unsubscribe at any time. Any usage of these lists will be confined to announcements about poetry competitions.
20. The judge will read all entries; the entries will be presented to the judge anonymously.
21. A longlist and/or shortlist of poem titles will be published on or soon after April 27, 2020. Shortlisted authors will be contacted by email. Prizewinners and commended poets will be contacted (by email) on or near May 6, 2020. All prize-winning or commended entrants will be invited to a special prize-giving event on Bank Holiday Monday, May 25, 2020, at a York venue to be announced in YorkMix.com and on the Literature Festival’s website.
22. Any queries and the organisers’ response may be posted on YorkMix if it is deemed helpful to other entrants.
23. Entry implies acceptance of all rules.
24. The organisers reserve the right to amend or update the rules at any time.
Postal entries are not encouraged, as they add significantly to processing time and costs.
However, at the discretion of the organisers, entrants who encounter significant problems with the online entry or payment procedure may be allowed a postal entry.
If you need to make a postal entry, first write to the organisers by email to: [email protected] with the words York Poetry Prize in the Subject header.
There is a minimum entry fee of £25 for cheque payments (covering up to a five-poem entry). No postal entry will be accepted after April 7, 2019.
*Poems should be in English, but are allowed to contain occasional words, phrases or quotations in non-English languages.
[Brief footnotes are allowed, and are not included in the line-count of the poem]