Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How can I pay my entry fee?

A. You can pay by PayPal, debit/credit card, cheque or postal order. Please do not send money in the post, as we cannot be held responsible if this is lost or stolen.

Q. I live overseas, can I still enter?

A. You are welcome to enter even if you live outside the UK and you will still receive your five free copies of the book if you are chosen as a finalist. However, please bear in mind that the slam final will be held in the UK and you will not be eligible for the prize if you do not attend the slam final, which you will need to attend at your own expense.

Q. I haven’t had to pay to enter in the past. Why do I have to pay this time?

A. Previously we produced several poetry anthologies featuring selected work. These collections helped fund the finalist event, enabling us to run Poetry Rivals for free. This year, only the top 100 finalists will be published, making Poetry Rivals a far more prestigious competition. In previous years we have had to charge for copies of the anthology – now, every finalist will receive five copies free of charge. Unfortunately these changes mean that we can no longer feasibly run the competition for free, but the entry fee does mean that we can focus much more on the quality of the entries rather than the quantity. This allows us to remain a credible competition.

Q. Can I enter more than one poem?

A. Only one poem per person please! Please ensure you have read the rules and T&Cs before you enter your work as by entering your work you are accepting these.

Q. I have changed my mind about the poem I entered and would like to enter a different one. Do I have to pay again?

A. We will only accept one entry per person so please do not send your entry fee more than once. Make sure you are happy with your decision as the editorial team will usually only be able to accept your original entry.

Q. When will I know if I am a successful finalist?

A. Our editorial team reads every entry and this can be quite time-consuming. However, we aim to inform all finalists by letter on or before the end of November 2014. We will not write to you unless you are chosen as a finalist. We will also publish the list of finalists here on the website.

Q. When and where will the slam final be?

A. The slam final will be held in spring 2015. Details of the location will be confirmed shortly.

Q. I’ve never been on a stage before. Won’t I be at a disadvantage?

A. No, you will find that many other finalists are in the same situation. Our host Mark Grist will ensure you feel at ease and that the microphone is positioned correctly. The judges are aware that this may be your first time on stage and will take that into consideration when judging your piece. If you’re nervous, see our Tips On Reading Aloud for some sound advice!

Q. What will happen to my poem if I am not selected as one of the top 100 finalists?

A. Your poem cannot be returned to you and will be destroyed via our confidential waste company, Data Shred. Only the Top 100 finalists will be notified in writing, but we will announce the finalists on our website too.

Q. What do I get out of having my work published in the finalists’ edition?

Apart from the satisfaction in your achievement of becoming a Top 100 finalist, you’ll also receive 5 free copies of the anthology and will be invited to attend the slam final, where you could win the fantastic publishing package!

Q. What qualities would make my work suitable for a finalist place?

Please see our blog post ‘What Our Editors Look For’ to give you an insight on what our editorial team look for. We’ll also provide some guidance from our judges in the near future!