Poetry Writing Contest

The Blue Nib Poetry Writing Contest

Poetry Writing Contest V is now closed
Our next Blue Nib Poetry Writing Contest will be announced in our September issue.

Poetry Writing Contest

The Blue Nib Poetry Writing Contest 2019 round 5 €1000.00 prize fund

The Blue Nib Chapbook Contest series started in Autumn 2017 and is now in its fifth round. The raison d’être for the series was to discover exciting talent in the poetry world. The poetry writing contest gives established & emerging poets the opportunity to get their work in front of a well known poet and have it judged by a credible authority. To date we have had Michael Blackburn, Kevin Higgins and for our last round Helen Mort. We are delighted to have Canadian/UK poet Paul Sutherland judging this round of the poetry writing contest. 
Paul Sutherland has published  eleven collections of his own poetry and edited several others. His latest book, New and Selected Poems (2017) contains a compendium of that work. Paul is founding editor of Dream Catcher, a popular international poetry journal which is now in its 35th issue, Paul runs creative writing workshops, seminars and writers’ retreats.

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You can find the rules governing the contest HERE

Submit Your Entry Here

Past winners

Winning the Blue Poetry writing contest constituted a major milestone in my poetry career. There is a distance to travel between having individual poems published to having a body of work collected together in one place – and the Blue Nib brought me there. Presented like this in a chapbook, my poems got the opportunity to work together as parts of a cohesive whole, and I like to think that this allowed readers to be properly introduced to me as a poet. I also found Vivien Jones’ judging comments illuminating – amazing what an objective eye can see. Sincere thanks to all at the Blue Nib.
Ruth QuinlanWInner of chapbook contest III
Ruth Quinlan
The Blue Nib poetry writing contest is the first poetry competition I have won. Seeing eight of my poems in print in a chapbook is a huge acknowledgement and validation of my writing. When I write I tend not to censor what comes out of my head and tumbles onto the page. It means so much to me that the Blue Nib team and judges are open, unbiased and appreciate a voice that shouts to the beat of its own drum, no matter how madcap it can be. The win has given me the confidence to continue to work on my first collection with certainty that
it will be published. Thank you Blue Nib.
Anne Walsh DonnellyWinner Of Chapbook Contest II
Anne Walsh Donnelly
What a thrill and an honor to win the Blue Nib Poetry writing contest! For the sense of validation, of course, and because to be named the first place winner of an international poetry writing contest opens doors. But just as much, or even more, because now there are poems of mine that can be read in a set; that can talk to each other. I’ve been writing for a long time, and in dribs and drabs, I’ve published a lot of poems, a score or more this year alone. The Blue Nib Chapbook 1 was the first publication that allowed my drib, drab cries to raise a collective voice
Derek KennemeyerWinner Of Chapbook Contest I
Derek Kennemeyer

Previous Chapbook contest winners & books.

Poetry Writing Contest


  1. Derek Kennemeyer
  2. Jackie Gorman
  3. Christopher Meehan


  1. Anne Walsh Donnelly 
  2. Akshaya Pawaskar
  3. Bobby Sparrow

poetry writing contest


  1. Ruth Quinlan 
  2. Bernie Crawford
  3. Finola Scott

Poetry Writing Contest


  1. Pat Anthony
  2. Mike Farren
  3. Sharon Flynn