About the Foundation

Nurturing the craft, creativity and wellbeing of women poets in the UK

The Rebecca Swift Foundation is a UK registered charity set up in memory of Rebecca Swift – a much-loved editor, novelist, diarist, poet, and founder and director of The Literary Consultancy.

The Foundation provides support and creative professional development opportunities to women poets through the delivery of its biennial Women Poets’ Prize. The Prize, which is free to enter, aims to maximise vital creative space for women poets within a supported environment. It combines the holistic (pastoral support and creative opportunities from performance to bookbinding) with the practical (a monetary award of £1,000 for three winners in each prize year, digital skills training, childcare cover), allowing the poets, and their poetry, to flourish. The Women Poets' Prize has supported two cohorts of prize-winners to date, and we have received applications from a diverse range of over 1,000 women poets from across the UK. The Foundation receives no external funding, and we rely entirely on the generosity of our donors, whom we thank for their vital support of the Women Poets' Prize, and our work with women poets.

The Women Poets' Prize re-opens in 2022

Join our mailing list

For news about the Prize, our Partners, and other related opportunities:

Join our mailing list

About Rebecca Swift

Rebecca was a prolific writer, and a great lover of poetry. Her biography of Emily Dickinson, Dickinson: Poetic Lives, was published in 2011 with Hesperus Press, and she wrote poetry throughout her life. She was also a Trustee of the Maya Centre, a charity supporting vulnerable women in Islington through psychodynamic counselling, and a vocal supporter of their mental health therapy programmes which focus on enabling women to heal through learning to tell their stories.

Rebecca was always very clear that her wish for TLC, as for the Foundation, was to shift the emphasis away from 'outcomes' that focussed on publication, and instead to maximise vital creative space for poets within a supported environment, giving them the opportunity to explore their writing and develop their poetic voice and their central sense of self, as well as improving skills through the learning modules, combining the holistic with the practical and allowing the poetry, and the poets, to flourish.