The Rebecca Swift Foundation is delighted to announce that it has received 572 submissions for its inaugural Women Poets’ Prize, from female poets based in the UK and Northern Ireland. The Board of Trustees would like to extend its thanks to those spreading the word, submitting work, and to our Project Manager Victoria Adukwei Bulley for co-ordinating the applications process.
A reading panel will now create a longlist of 40 applications from the 572 submissions, consisting of three poems and two short statements. All reading and judging is conducted anonymously. The longlist will be presented to the Women Poets’ Prize judges Moniza Alvi, Sarah Howe and Fiona Sampson, with the judges deliberating on a shortlist of 9 poets. The three inaugural winners of the Women Poets’ Prize are likely to be declared in early October. All poets who have entered work will be informed of the outcome by email.
We are particularly grateful to our donors who have made the running of the first year of the Prize possible, including enabling free entry for all of the poets entering work to make the Prize as accessible as possible. Fundraising for the second iteration of the biennial Prize will begin next year, and individual donations can be made at any time through the website.
We would also like to thank our industry partners Poetry School, Faber & Faber, City Lit, Bath Spa University, The Literary Consultancy, RADA, and Verve Poetry Festival, all of whom will be offering exciting creative and professional development opportunities to the winning poets through the year. Each winning poet will additionally be awarded a £1,000 cash prize, and will work with both an editorial mentor and pastoral coach.