Open Poetry Competition 2024

Slipstream Poets invite entries to their Open Poetry Competition 2024!

Prizes: £300; £150; £75 with a prize of £50 for the best West Sussex entry

Closing date 29th February 2024

Winners will be notified by 31st March 2024 and all results and the prize winning poems will be published on the Slipstream website

Adjudicator – Catherine Smith

In 2004, Catherine Smith was included in the Poetry Society/Arts Council ‘Next Generation’ poetry awards, to celebrate ‘the twenty most exhilarating poets of their generation.’ She has published two poetry pamphlets – The New Bride, (The Poetry Business) and The New Cockaigne, (Frogmore Press), and three full collections (The Butcher’s Hands, Lip and Otherwhere, all Poetry Business). Two of her books have been shortlisted for Forward prizes. Widely anthologised, her poetry has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4, and adapted for a Live Literature  performance. She has taught ‘enjoying and writing poetry’ for over 25 years, for Sussex University, Kent University, The Poetry School, The Arvon Foundation, and numerous schools and colleges. Her students range in age between 6 and 96. She has judged several poetry competitions and is really looking forward to this one!


  • Poems must not have previously won a prize in any competition, been accepted for publication or have been published, either online or in print
  • The 4 winning poems will be published in full on the Slipstream website
  • The copyright of all poems remains with the author
  • Entry Fees: £5.00 for the initial poem and £4.00 for each additional one
  • Each poem must be typed in Arial 12 on a single side of A4 and not exceed 40 lines
  • Poems must not carry any means of identifying the author
  • Entries may be made by post enclosing a cheque, or online by debit or credit card
  • Postal entries – 2 copies please
  • Please use the correct postage for the size and weight of your work and no recorded mail (it’s an 11 mile round trip to the sorting office)
  • Online entries – go to – please submit multiple poems in a single document with page breaks (not line spaces) inserted between poems
  • Entry forms and poems to the Competition Secretary by 29th February 2024 please
  • Entry fees and Prize Money to be paid in pounds sterling
  • Winners will be notified by end of March and the results will be on our website
  • No correspondence entered into

Additional Prize for West Sussex entrants

West Sussex entrants will be further judged and the best poem by a West Sussex writer will be awarded The Jim Johnston ‘Chanctonbury Cup’ and a separate prize of £50.00.  The Winners and commended poets will be invited to read their poems at a Presentation event in May.

You can see last years winners here!