Women Poets’ Prize

The Women Poets’ Prize is a biennial award given to three UK-based women poets who demonstrate great ability and potential. It consists of a cash prize of £1,000 and 18 months of creative, professional and pastoral support.
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The Women Poets' Prize is currently on hiatus. Check back for updates later in the year.

Selection Criteria

The Women Poets’ Prize supports creatively ambitious practitioners – poets who are making or are capable of making a significant contribution to the UK poetry landscape. It gifts freedom and inspires potential, embracing excellence in poetic practice. Applications are open to women poets of all ages, at any stage in their development; emerging or more established, who are resident in the UK/Northern Ireland. The Rebecca Swift Foundation is invested in ensuring a culturally and creatively diverse shortlist and warmly encourages applications from individuals who may not normally consider applying for prizes, awards, or development opportunities. Following the initial application stage, a reading panel will select a longlist of 30 applicants whose work will then be read by a panel of industry judges. A resulting shortlist of nine poets will be revealed, before the final selection of three awardees is made by the mentors who will work with the winning poets.


The Women Poets’ Prize 2020 submissions window is now closed.

How to Enter

The Women Poets’ Prize aims to be accessible to as many women poets as possible. Our definition of poetry is, therefore, broad and dynamic: we are as interested in the ideas running through your work as we are in the way that your work appears visually on the page. As such, applicants are asked to send the following:

  • Three poems, across no longer than four pages of text. Example: this may look like three poems, each on its own page, or two short poems followed by a poem that heavily uses blank lines (blank lines are not included in the 40 line poem limit) and stretches across two pages. Every poem must have a title, and we encourage you to submit what you feel is your best work.
  • A statement detailing why you write poetry. What do you aim for your poems to achieve? What influences and inspires your work? Please include a very brief overview of where you are in your writing career currently. (300 words max)
  • A statement explaining what you feel you have to gain from the Women Poets’ Prize. What would you like to develop, and why? (300 words max)
  • An equal opportunities monitoring form. This is optional and anonymous, but will help us analyse the demographics of women poets applying for the Prize more accurately.

Save your application document, including your 3 poems and 2 short statements, as a single PDF, Word or Docx file titled ‘Surname, First Name – WPP20’. Download and complete the (optional) Equal Opportunities form. Submit your documents separately using the forms below, by the deadline.

Before entering, please ensure you have read the Women Poets’ Prize terms and conditions.

Prize T&Cs – PDF
Prize T&Cs – Word doc
Please select a valid form.

Optional Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form

Please download the form here:

Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form
When you have filled in the form and saved it please upload it here:
Please select a valid form.