The Red Shed poetry competition 2016: two weeks to go


Very shortly I’ll be doing something I never dreamed I’d be asked to do. I shall be judging a poetry competition. Poachers and gamekeepers come to mind. I’m very fond of poetry competitions…I’ve argued before that it’s more fun entering competitions than sending in submissions to poetry magazines. By the way, I’m not suggesting for a second that there’s an either/or choice here. You should be doing both. BUT when you enter a competition, your entry fee is going to support the business of small poetry presses and live poetry readings. It’s for a good cause. You can’t lose, AND you can always win a prize as well as feeling good about yourself.

AND what do you know… the deadline for the Red Shed Comp. is April 30th. That’s only LESS THAN TWO WEEKS AWAY. So… Get your poems entered for the Red Shed’s 2016 competition.According to Facebook, millions of you are writing a poem a day throughout the month of April, and statistically, there should be some absolutely cracking poems out there. And what with 11year olds being given grammar tests more demanding than 1950’s ‘O’ level English, the BBC studiously not reporting huge anti-austerity demonstrations in the country’s capital city, desperate refugees being demonised by the right-wing press (ie: all of it), the open secret of the Establishment’s tax evasion being discovered to be ,well, an Open Secret, America spiralling into a pissing competition between billionaire fascists who want to control the biggest nuclear arsenal on the planet, and North Korea starving itself to death in a bid to build a rocket that will fly beyond its borders….well you’ll not be short of subjects to hone your rhetoric and your pity on.

Alternatively,the sun’s shining, daffodils are convinced of the resurrection and the life, there are pale yellow catkins on the twisted hazel, blood red flowers on the quince, a haze of pale lilac light at the tips of the silver birch. All that stuff. Whatever.

By the way. Whatever you do, please don’t write me poems like that last paragraph. Not if you sincerely want to win.If you want to know about writing prize-winning poems then head on over to  Carole Bromley’s excellent post by following this link:

The York Competition is all done and dusted, so you now have no distraction and no excuse. Get enthused, follow Carole’s advice and then pick out a winner from your word hoard and send it off to the Red Shed Competiton. Make my day. The link to the competition is :

This is what you’ll find when you get there…just so you know you’ve reached the right place.

The Red Shed Open Poetry Competition 2016 entry form

Download this entry form and include it with your competition entry. Alternatively include all necessary information typed on a separate piece of paper and include it with your poems. Stamped addressed envelopes ensure notification of the results.


Sole adjudicator: John Foggin

Closing date: Saturday 30th April, 2016
Prizes: 1st— £100
Wakefield Postcode prize—£25


  •  The competition is open to anyone aged 16 or over.
  • Poems should be in English, they must not have been previously published, nor be currently submitted for publication elsewhere.
  • Poems must be the original work of the entrant, they must be typed on A4 paper and be no longer than 50 lines. Each poem must be on a separate sheet of paper which must not bear names or any other form of identification.
  • Entries must be accompanied by a completed application form or a separate sheet with all of the appropriate information included and a stamped addressed envelope. The results and the judge’s comments are sent out via this sae.
  • Entries must be accompanied by an appropriate entry fee: £3 for first entry, £2 for each poem subsequently entered. Cheques (sterling only) must be made payable to Currock Press. Entrants paying via PayPal should ensure that their PayPal confirmation of payment numbers are listed.
  • Entries eligible for the Wakefield postcode prize should be marked with a W in the top right hand corner.
  • We regret that we are unable to return poems or enter into any correspondence with entrants. The adjudicator’s decision is final.
  • The closing date is Saturday 30th April, 2016.
  • An awards event will be held at Mocca Moocho Café, Cross Square, Wakefield on Sunday 29th May at 2.00pm.
  • Copyright remains with the authors but Red Shed Readings reserves the right to print winning poems.

Entries should be sent to:

The Competition Organiser,
Red Shed Open Poetry  Competition,
3 Sandal Cliff, Sandal, Wakefield, WF2 6AU


You’ll be delighted to discover when you go to the site that you can use Paypal. So, no excuses. And I really do want to read your poems. Three months ago I posted a strand on the cobweb entitled :In it to win it…my ideas on what make for prizewinning poems. Have a rummage through the archives and have a read.

You’ve time to write a winner yet. Like I say, it’s National Poetry Month. All over the land poets are making themselves ill trying to write a poem a day…when they can take time off from bewailing their fate all over Facebook, and bemoaning the apathy of the Muses. Take the advice of the goddess Nike. Just do it.


2 thoughts on “The Red Shed poetry competition 2016: two weeks to go

  1. I’m convinced that I shall, Maria. Thanks for the comment…it’s lovely to know there are readers out there. And I certainly enjoyed the prizegiving last year, when Julie Mellor was the judge. It’s a really nice venue…and they make mega coffee xx


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