Spelt Poetry Competition

Welcome to the inaugural Spelt Single Poem Competition. We can’t wait to see your work. We are absolutely delighted that award winning, internationally acclaimed poet, Maggie Harris will be judging this year’s competition.

What We’re Looking For

The theme is ‘rural’ and this is open to interpretation. We want to see poems that validate and celebrate the rural experience. We want to see interesting view points. We want to see poems about nature and landscape. We want to see poems that celebrate the personal with the rural. We want to see poems that describe the true, non romanticised, rural experience and poems about how we, how you connect to the rural landscape.

The competition is open for poems of up to forty lines in any style with a rural theme.

Good luck!


First prize: £300

Second prize: £200

Third prize: £100

All three winners will be published in the Autumn edition of Spelt, and invited to an awards ceremony, which may be either physical, or via zoom.

We are delighted that Maggie Harris has agreed to judge this competition. Maggie will read all entries which meet the entry requirements. All admin will be handled by Wendy Pratt.

2021 competition is open for entries on 1st April 2021

The competition closes for entries at midnight 31st July 2021

Our Judge:

Maggie Harris is a Guyanese/British writer living in the UK. Winner of the Poetry Wales Award 2020, The Guyana Prize for Literature, and The Caribbean Winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, she has taught Creative Writing for the University of Kent and was International Teaching Fellow at Southampton University. She has published six collections of poetry, three short story collections and a memoir, Kiskadee Girl. Her writing is widely anthologised and she has performed her poetry internationally, most recently in Mangalore, India. Her BBC commissioned poem for Kent, ‘Lit by Fire’, on the North Foreland Lighthouse, is available to read online, and her prize-winning poem ‘Canterbury’ is an art installation in the city’s Westgate Gardens. Her poem ‘Cwmpengraig, Place of Stones’ was part of the Windrush Exhibition at the British Library as part of Out of Bounds (Bloodaxe), ‘‘an exploration between poetry, ethnicity and place’; of which John Siddique writes ‘ Water is swapped for land, but these are intimate Atlantic histories – 20th century immigrant imagining mill- worker – and are crafted in the contrasting realisms of sat-nav, quadrant and footfall’.

Competition Rules

  • The competition is open to poets from anywhere in the world.
  • The poet’s name must not appear anywhere on the poem submissions.
  • Poems must be the entrant’s own work and not previously published anywhere, either in print or online, including on personal blogs and social media pages.
  • All poems must be in English.
  • All poems must be typed; no handwritten entries will be accepted.
  • All poems must be forty lines or less. This does not include titles.
  • Entry is online only and must be sent as a word document attachment, with each poem on a separate page of that attachment.
  • Each poem should have a title.
  • The name of the attached file should be the title of the first poem in the attached document.
  • You may enter up to three poems per £10 entry fee.
  • you may enter the competition as many times as you wish, as long as the £10 entry fee is paid each time.
  • Entry fees are non refundable.
  • Work will not be returned. Please ensure you keep a copy.
  • We are unable to give feedback.
  • Simultaneous submissions are not accepted.
  • All entries will be notified of the result by 1st September, winners will be announced publicly through this website and on social media soon after.
  • The entry fee is £10 for up to three poems.

How to Enter

  1. Pay your fee and take a note of the PayPal reference number of your sale.
  2. Email your entry to speltmagazine@gmail.com:
  3. In the body of your email (NOT on your poems) put your name, contact email, address, poem title/s and PayPal reference number.
  4. Attach your poems in one word document, with each poem on a different page of that document.
  5. In the subject line of your email, write POETRY COMPETITION
  6. You will receive confirmation of your email within a week of submitting.

Pay here:


One entry of up to three poems in the Spelt Poetry Competition

This payment entitles you to one entry of up to three poems to the Spelt Poetry Competition. Please follow the guidelines above.