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The TripFiction ‘Voyages by Verse’ Poetry Competition

14th April 2021

In the autumn of 2020 we held the inaugural TripFiction Sense of Place Creative Writing Competition. Inspired by the success of that literary adventure, we are now proud to launch our very first

TripFiction ‘Voyages by Verse’ Poetry Competition

Poetry has recently captured imaginations more than ever. Poetry slams are extremely popular, and who can forget Amanda Gorman’s amazing delivery of her poem The Hill We Climb at Joe Biden’s inauguration on Capitol Hill back in January?

Poetry:  literary work in which the expression of feelings and ideas is given intensity by the use of distinctive style and rhythm; poems collectively or as a genre of literature

There’s just one key rule to follow – your entry has to be strong on location. The geographic location and innate sense of place at the heart of your poem will play as important a role as the rest of your words. Otherwise, there are very few rules and guidelines: we want to encourage creative adventure and freedom. So use your own distinctive style and rhythm to express your feelings and creative ideas on the page – from haiku to epic.

The maximum word count is 1,000, with no minimum. All rules and guidelines for the TripFiction ‘Voyages by Verse’ Poetry Competition are set out below, including the closing dates for submissions.

The judging panel will include Ana Sampson, editor of best-selling poetry anthologies; Allie Esiri, an accomplished anthologist and curator and host of live poetry events, and Tolu Agbelusi, a renowned Nigerian British poet, playwright, and performer.

The winner will receive a cash prize of £300 / US$400, second prize £150 / US$200 and third prize £50 / US$67. The three winners will also receive hard copy editions of She Will Soar by Ana, A poem for Every Day of the Year by Allie, and Locating Strongwoman by Tolu.

The closing date for submissions is 13th June 2021.

The winning entries will be published on the TripFiction website and promoted on our social media channels.

Before you enter you must be a member of TripFiction (it’s free!). Click here to register.

Good luck, and we look forward to seeing where you and your poem take us.

The judges and judging process:

  • There will be three judges on the judging panel – Ana Sampson, Allie Esiri, and Tolu Agbelusi
  • A short list of ten entries will be selected by TripFiction for submission to the judging panel
  • The judging panel will select winners of the of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes – these together with the names of others on the short list of ten will be announced on 25 July 2021

About the Judges:

Ana Sampson

Ana has two jobs, both of them bookish! She has edited seven poetry anthologies, including I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud (the third best-selling poetry title of 2009), She is Fierce (a number one Amazon category bestseller) and She Will Soar. Her books have sold over 240,000 copies and she writes and speaks often about books and poetry in the media.

Her other job (as Ana McLaughlin) is as Deputy Publicity Director at Quercus Books as part of a job share, working on a great range of fiction and non-fiction.

She lives with her husband, two young daughters, and two middle-aged cats. Her favourite things are books, cats and bike rides.

Ana’s wise words to entrants:Write from the heart, and don’t be afraid to tinker with your work – pull it this way and that and find out how it best fits together’.

Allie Esiri

Allie Esiri is an accomplished anthologist and curator and host of live poetry events at London’s National Theatre, Bridge Theatre, and at major literary festivals.

Allie has recently released A Poem for Every Autumn DayA Poem for Every Winter Day, and A Poem for Every Spring Day, with a further seasonal anthology to follow in summer.

Shakespeare for Every Day of the Year was launched with a show at the National Theatre and was highly recommended by national newspapers. The audiobook is a Top Pick on Audible and is read by a cast that includes Sir Simon Russell Beale, Damian Lewis, Helen McCrory, Paapa Essiedu, Jade Anouka and Hattie Morahan.

Allie’s wise words to entrants: ‘I’d recommend any chapter of Kate Clanchy’s book, How to grow your own poem. She’s the Yoda of poetry guides’.

Tolu Agbelusi

Tolu Agbelusi is a Nigerian British poet, playwright, performer, educator and lawyer whose work addresses the unperformed self, womanhood and the art of living.

Her debut poetry collection Locating Strongwoman was published on 1 October 2020. Her work was shortlisted for the 2018 White Review Poetry Prize and she was a 2017 BBC Slam Finalist. She has been published widely. She has also featured on many stages and platforms including Cheltenham Literary Festival, Stanza International Poetry Festival, Lagos International Poetry Festival, the London Southbank, and for the BBC.

Tolu’s wise words to entrants: Send work that paints a picture and makes the reader feel something, and it sounds redundant but given how many people don’t, I’d say follow the instructions‘.

Competition rules 

  • Write a poem in which the sense of place or the geographic location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.
  • One entry allows one poem to be submitted. You may make additional entries
  • Language – English
  • Word count: maximum 1,000, no minimum
  • You must be at least 16 years of age
  • Your competition entry must be original and previously unpublished, and you must have full authorial rights over the submission
  • At the top of your submission you must include an identification code that will be sent to you on entry. This is to preserve anonymity for the judges
  • At the top of your submission you must include the geographic location of your poem
  • The results will be announced on 25 July 2021
  • Entries must be submitted by email to [email protected].  Please submit your entry as a Word document, without illustration or images of any kind. Include your name and the title of the entry in the email heading. Include a short personal biography (maximum 50 words) and a short summary of your entry (maximum 50 words) in the body of your email
  • Entries must be in Times New Roman, size 12, and spaced 1.5/2.0
  • The cost per entry is £6/US$8 (and you can pay in most major currencies).
  • If you are not already, you must sign up to become a member of TripFiction. You can do that here.
  • By submitting an entry, you agree to allow TripFiction to publish, link to, and promote your poem. The copyright remains yours.

Enter now

Click here to be taken to the special page to pay your entry fee and process your entry

About TripFiction

TripFiction is the ‘go to’ website for readers who wish to match their reading choices with books set in over 2,200 locations – countries, regions, and cities – around the world. The site features fiction, memoirs, travelogues and poetry and can be searched by location, by author, or by genre. TripFiction is a respected resource for both physical and armchair travellers.

The very best of luck!

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