Entry Guidelines

Submissions for the 2019 Forward Prizes for Poetry will open on Monday 21st January and close on Friday 8th March.


Category A: The Forward Prize for Best Collection

A prize of £10,000 will be given to the author of the best collection of poetry published in the UK or Republic of Ireland between 19 September 2018 and 18 September 2019.

Category B: The Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection

A prize of £5,000 will be given to the author of the best first collection of poetry published in the UK or Republic of Ireland between 19 September 2018 and 18 September 2019.

Category C: The Forward Prize for Best Single Poem

A prize of £1,000 will be given to the author of the best single poem that has been published in a newspaper, periodical or magazine in the UK or Republic of Ireland between 24 March 2018 and 23 March 2019, or has been the winner of a poetry competition with a prize awarded between the same dates. It must not have been published in a collection or pamphlet before 23 March 2019. Book-length poems should be submitted in the Best Collection or Best First Collection category. We strongly advise submitting entries for this category via submittable.com



Entries and Eligibility 

Terms and conditions 

1) Collections of poetry (Categories A & B) must be submitted by the publisher. Single poems (Category C) may be submitted by the editors and literary editors of print newspapers, periodicals and magazines published in the UK or Republic of Ireland. Online journals and web-only publications may submit if a majority of their editors is based in the UK or Republic of Ireland, and if they conform to rule 2. Poems which have won competitions in the UK or Ireland (Category C) must be submitted by the organising body. 

2) Online journals and web-only publications may submit if their publication is included in listings on one of the following organisations’ websites before 22 March 2019: the National Poetry Library, the Scottish Poetry Library or Poetry Ireland, each of which have their own criteria for listing e-zines independent of the Forward Prize. Editors are themselves responsible for liaising with these organisations, in good time, to ensure they are included in a listing. 

3) Six copies of each book submitted must be sent to Forward Prizes, Forward Arts Foundation, Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA to arrive by 22 March 2019. 

4) All entries must have been published in the UK or Republic of Ireland within the dates specified above. Books published simultaneously in the UK/ Ireland and overseas are eligible, but only if the UK/ Ireland publication is simultaneous, eg. within 12 months of the first overseas publication. Translations from other languages are not eligible. 

5) Entries from individual poets of their own work will not be accepted. This includes self-published collections. 

6) Publishers may enter up to four collections of poetry for each Category A & B, and up to three poems in Category C. In addition to these four titles, publishers may also enter, for categories A and B, collections by poets who have been shortlisted for any Forward Prizes for Poetry over the previous 10 years. 

7) Collections (Categories A & B) may be submitted in bound proof form if the final book is not available before the submission deadline. 

8) Single poems (Category C) should ideally be submitted via Submittable, or as email attachments with this form. The name of the poet and publication/competition should be included on each document. 

9) A collection may be entered in one category only. 

10) Pamphlets are not eligible for the Forward Prizes. All collections should be more than 40 pages. 

11) All works entered for the Forward Prizes will also be considered for inclusion in The Forward Book of Poetry. This is a non-profit venture and it is therefore a condition of entry that publishers allow poems to be reproduced without payment of an anthology fee, but with appropriate acknowledgements, for distribution throughout the world in the English language, in print, as an eBook, on the Forward Prizes/National Poetry Day website, in our newsletter, in associated publications and on social media channels. 

12) Anthologies or collections of works by more than one author are not eligible. Books aimed specifically at children are not eligible. Collections should contain only new poems, or poems which have not yet been published in book form. Poems or collections of poetry must be written in English. 

13) Work submitted on behalf of an author who is deceased at the date of publication of the work is not eligible. 

14) Shortlisted and winning poets will be expected to be available for publicity around the awards and where possible to attend the ceremony. Poets may also be recorded at the ceremony or for promotion of the Prizes. 

15) Publishers must share with Forward Prizes’ organisers contact details of the shortlisted poets within a week of request. 

16) Please check the date and eligibility guidelines carefully. Any work that does not meet the rules will be disqualified. The Foundation’s decision on the eligibility of an entry is final and binding. 

17) No poem, or collection of poetry, entered for the Forward Prizes will be returned. Please enter on Submittable by 8 March. Books must be received by 22 March. 


If you have questions about the guidelines, do consult the FAQ on our website. 

If you have technical difficulties completing the online entry form, please email support@submittable.com. If you are unable to complete the online entry form for other reasons, please email Georgia Attlesey, Forward Prizes Manager, at Forward Arts Foundation, via info@forwardartsfoundation.org or call on +44 (0)207 845 4655 before Thursday 7 March 2019 to make alternative arrangements. 


The Forward Prizes for Poetry are organised by Forward Arts Foundation, a charity that celebrates excellence in poetry and increases its audience. Its initiatives include National Poetry Day, a mass celebration of poetry that falls this year on 3 October 2019. Forward Arts Foundation are supported by Bookmark, the estate of Felix Dennis, Arts Council England, John Ellerman Foundation, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Southbank Centre. Find out more on our website.