The Forward Prizes for Poetry

There are presently no open calls for submissions.


The prizes will be awarded at London's Southbank Centre on 18 September 2018.

The Forward Prizes are sponsored by Bookmark. Bookmark's consistent and generous backing of the Forward Prizes and the Forward books of poetry reflects its staff's commitment to creativity in writing, design and audience-building. With this support, the Forward Arts Foundation has given awards since 1992 to more than 70 poets, including many early in their careers. 

Category A: The Forward Prize for Best Collection 

£10,000 sponsored by Bookmark

Category B: The Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection 

£5,000 sponsored by the Estate of Felix Dennis

Category C: The Forward Prize for Best Single Poem 

£1,000 sponsored by Bookmark

All works entered for the Forward Prizes for Poetry will also be considered for inclusion in The Forward Book of Poetry, an anthology of the year's best poetry, as chosen by the Prizes' judges. 


Categories A & B: Books
is open to book published 1 Oct 2017 - 18 Sept 2018

Category C: Single Poems 
is open to single poems published in a magazine (online or print) or which have won a competition 25 March 2017 - 24 March 2018

Publishers should let us know their titles and authors via the forms below by Friday 9 March 2018. 

Once the publisher has successfully completed the online form, they will be sent an email acknowledging receipt of the submission.

Editors submitting to categories A and B, please print out this email and post it with six copies of each eligible collection to the address below. It should arrive no later than Friday, 23 March 2018.

Editors submitting to category C do not need to send physical (paper) copies of individual poems: scans, Word Documents or PDFs are all acceptable and should be uploaded via submittable. Please mark each poem with the name of the poet and the submitting magazine/journal/competition somewhere on the page.

Please send six copies of each book or bound proof to: 

The Forward Prizes for Poetry
Forward Arts Foundation
Somerset House, Strand
London, WC2R 1LA


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 are based in the UK or Republic of Ireland, and if they conform to rule 2. Poems which have won competitions (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 24 March 2018: the National Poetry Library, the Scottish Poetry Library or Poetry Ireland. 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 23 March 2018.

4) All entries must have been published in the UK or Republic of Ireland within the dates specified above. UK publication may include simultaneous publication (within a period of 18 months in other countries). 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 in categories A and B, and up to three poems in Category C. In addition to these four titles, publishers may also enter, into categories A and B, collections by poets who have been shortlisted in any of the 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 Prize 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 decision of the Foundation 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 or email this form by 9 March. Books must be received by 23 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 If you are unable to complete the online entry form for other reasons, please email Holly Hopkins, Forward Prizes Manager, at Forward Arts Foundation, via or call on +44 (0)207 845 4655 before Thursday 9 March 2017 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 28 September 2017. Both the Forward Prizes and National Poetry Day are supported by Bookmark, Arts Council England, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Southbank Centre. Find out more on our website.