The Ripon Poetry Festival Competition 2019


As part of the second Ripon Poetry Festival (10-13 October), local people of all ages are invited to submit poems to the festival poetry competition.


The best of the poems will be collected in a book published during the festival. Everyone who has a poem in the book will be invited to the launch (Saturday 12 October) where you will receive a free copy of the book.


There are three age-groups:

Children under 11 (£1 entry fee per poem)

Between 11-16 (£2 entry fee per poem)

Adults (£3 entry fee per poem or £5 for 2)

Schools (£10 for up to 20 poems)


Poems are invited on any subject.

Because this year marks the 150th anniversary of the first publication of Lewis Carroll’s ghost-poem Phantasmagoria, we are also looking for poems about ghosts and haunted things:


Through driving mists I seemed to see

A Thing that smirked and smiled...


You can submit as many poems as you want. Maximum length for each poem is 45 lines. Poems must be your own work and should not have been previously published. All entries are judged anonymously so please do not include your name on the same page as the poem.

Closing date: 19 July 2019

How to enter

You can send your entry by post (enclosing a cheque) to Ripon Poetry Festival, c/o 21 Wellington Street, Ripon HG4 1PH. Please make cheques payable to ‘Ripon Poetry Festival’.

You can hand in your entry at the Little Ripon Bookshop and pay by cash, debit or credit-card.

Or you can send your entry by e-mail to submissions@riponpoetryfestival.co.uk.

The Judges


Sarah Moor has published two pamphlets,

V-Notched Tales and Helplines. Philip Trewhitt is a member of the Festival committee. James Turner was one of the winners of the Foyles Young Poet of the Year Award in 2017.

The Ripon Poetry Festival Competition 2018


The winners of the 2018 competition are:

First Prize

David Ault, And the Wheel Turns


Second Prize

Shari Lawrence Pfleeger, Watchfires


Third Prize

John Tunaley, The Stone Bathyscaphe


Joint First Prize Under 10

Stuart Monks (aged 10), On the Battlefield

Beatrice Harrison (aged 8), The Hidden Garden


"We received some remarkable poems, clvere, entertaining, moving and well-crafted, including meditations about peace and war, loss and memory, a villanelle, a sonnet, an acrostic and a hymn to a dialysis machine; there are poems about starling, a bus-station and a Starship-trooper going shopping." Andy Croft, Festival organiser.


Copies of this year's anthology The Wheel Turns and tickets for all events are available from The Little Ripon Bookshop (01765 602906)


If you would like more information about the poetry competition, or the launch, please contact Andy Croft on 01765 658917 or info@smokestack-books.co.uk