What is the Women Poets’ Prize?

The Women Poets’ Prize is open to any woman poet living in the UK. All entries are read and judged by women poets. Three winners are selected, who receive a generous 18-month package of practical and pastoral support for their creative and professional development through opportunities donated by our partners.

What do the three winners actually get?

  • £1000 cash prize each
  • One-to-one and group resilience coaching with Shamshad Khan
  • One-to-one mentoring via The Literary Consultancy’s Chapter and Verse scheme
  • Introduction to film-poetry and digital practices with Bath Spa University
  • Performance coaching with national spoken word charity Apples & Snakes
  • Introduction to poetry festivals and presses with Verve Press
  • Craft workshops with the Poetry School
  • History of UK Poetry workshop in-house with Faber & Faber
  • Bookbinding workshop with CityLit

In addition to these opportunities, winners and alumnae receive the continued support of our staff team, who support and amplify their achievements via our social media channels, and membership of our Women Poets’ Network, which seeks to foster lasting connections between women poets across the UK.

All long listed poets also receive one year’s free access to the Being A Writer platform which focuses on cultivating creativity and building resilience.

How do I enter?

The 2022 Women Poets' Prize has now closed.

What is the entry fee?

Entry to the Women Poets’ Prize is completely free. We recognise that cost can be a barrier and note that many of our applicants have applied to us because there is no fee. We thank everyone who donates to the Foundation - you are helping us to make sure it stays this way.

How does the judging work?

The judging process is supported by filter readers who are all published women poets themselves. The filter readers - who are paid for their time - present a longlist to the judges, who then read the entries closely, and select a shortlist. They then meet to discuss the shortlist, and to decide on three winners.

What are the judges looking for?

Take a look at statements from our 2022 judges here.

Can I enter if I am based outside of the UK?

At the moment, in line with our charitable objectives, the Women Poets’ Prize is open only to poets who are ordinarily resident in the UK.

Is this a Prize for unpublished poets?

The Women Poets’ Prize is open to all women poets regardless of whether they have never been published or been published many times over. We recognise that publication in and of itself does not guarantee that a woman poet will feel supported, financially stable, or able to be fully creative. We also trust that those entering will be doing so because they feel they would genuinely benefit from the opportunities this particular Prize offers.

Is there an upper age limit?

No! There is no upper age limit. You must however be over the age of 18 to enter.

What is the Foundation's position on trans women?

The Rebecca Swift Foundation stands in full support of the trans community and the Women Poets’ Prize has, since its inception in 2018, welcomed applicants from all women including trans women. The RSF was founded as an inclusive space to nurture the craft, creativity and wellbeing of women poets across the UK, and we remain committed to equality and supporting women of all backgrounds to raise up their voices.

I am a woman poet looking for support in my day-to-day practice. Do you have any advice?

Yes, please see our Women Poets’ Network for more information on how we support women poets, including resources.

Women Poets' Network