Kent & Sussex Poetry Society Open Poetry Competition, 2023


We are pleased to announce that our annual Open Poetry Competition is now open for your entries. It is judged this year by Jonathan Edwards. Jonathan’s first collection, My Family and Other Superheroes (Seren, 2014), received the Costa Poetry Award and the Wales Book of the Year People’s Choice Award. It was shortlisted for the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. His second collection, Gen (Seren, 2018), also received the Wales Book of the Year People’s Choice Award, and in 2019 his poem about Newport Bridge was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. He has read his poems on BBC radio and television, recorded them for the Poetry Archive, and led workshops in schools, universities and prisons. He has been a judge for the National Poetry Competition and the Wales Book of the Year, a Literature Wales mentor of emerging writers, and a Gladstone’s Library writer-in-residence. Jonathan lives in Crosskeys, South Wales.

The deadline for entries is 31st January 2023.

As in previous years, we offer seven prizes:

1st Prize: £1000

2nd Prize: £300

3rd Prize: £100

4th Prize: 4 x £50

Entry fee: £5 per poem; or, for 3 or more poems, £4 each. (PLEASE PAY USING THE PAYPAL BUTTONS BELOW)



Deadline for receipt of entries: 31st January 2023.

Any number of poems can be submitted, on payment of £5 per poem, or £4 each for three poems or more.

  • The competition is for anyone aged 16 and over, from anywhere in the world.
  • Poems must be in English, your original work, on any subject, in any style, no longer than 40 lines.
  • Poems should have neither been published elsewhere (including self-published) by 18th April 2023. Nor should they be entered into any other competition for which the results will be announced prior to 18th April 2023.

Please send your poems by email to in a single Word or pdf attachment, formatted A4, and with each poem starting on a new page, after paying the entry fee using PayPal on our website.

Please ensure the poem is formatted as you wish it to be read. If the form is complex, it is advisable to use a pdf format.

All poems are judged anonymously, so should not bear your name, nor any other form of identification. 

In your covering email, please give:

  • Your name and postal address
  • List of the names of all poems submitted
  • The date you made your Paypal payment (and the name under which it was made).

We will acknowledge receipt of entries by means of an automated reply. Only prize winners will be contacted with news of the judge’s decision, by mid-April. The results will be announced on our website on April 19th.

All entries are read by the judge, whose decision is final. There can be no correspondence concerning the result. No person may win more than one prize.

Prize-winning poems will be posted on our website, and also included in our annual Folio publication. The first prize winner will also be invited to read their poem at our monthly meeting in Tunbridge Wells on April 18th 2023, where Jonathan will also read from his own work.

Closing Date: 31st January 2023.


Pay here if you are entering UP TO TWO Poems, at £5 each

Pay £5 each here for UP TO TWO poems



Pay here for THREE OR MORE poems, at £4 each

Pay £4 each here if you are entering THREE OR MORE poems