The Forward Prizes for Poetry

There are presently no open calls for submissions.


The prizes will be awarded at London's Southbank Centre on 21 September 2017.

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. 

This year's judging panel is chaired by Andrew Marr, journalist and television presenter, and includes poets Ian Duhig, Sandeep Parmar and Mona Arshi, and artist Chris Riddell.

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
(Published between 1 Oct 2016 - 30 Sept 2017)

All publishers submitting poetry collections in Categories A or B should let us know their titles and authors by Friday, 10 March 2017 via the forms below. 

If eBooks or PDFs of the collections submitted are available, do please submit them at this time so the judges can start on their reading. 

Once the publisher has successfully completed the online form, s/he will be sent an email acknowledging receipt of the submission. 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, 24 March 2017.

These six copies may be submitted as bound proofs or finished books.

Address for submissions:

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

Category C: Single Poems
(published or winning a prize 25 Mar 2016 - 24 Mar 2017)

All publishers, prizes, magazines and online publications wishing to submit individual poems under Category C should register on submittable by Friday 10 March. We do not require physical (paper) copies of individual poems: scans, Word Documents or PDFs are all acceptable. Please mark each poem with the poet's name somewhere on the page. (Editors submitting by post, using paper entry forms, may submit work before Friday 24 March 2017.) 


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). Winners of poetry 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 2017: the 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. The organisations advise us that, to be included by 24 March 2017, online magazines should submit details to them no later than 10 March 2017.

3) Six copies of each book submitted, and one copy of each single poem submitted, must be sent to Forward Prizes, Forward Arts Foundation, Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA to arrive by 24 March 2017.

4) All entries must be published in the UK or Republic of Ireland within the dates specified in each category below. UK publication may include simultaneous publication (within a period of one year) 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. Each publisher may nominate a total of six further collections across Categories A and B, which the judges may choose to call in at their discretion.

7) Single poems should be submitted via Submittable or on A4 sheets which include the poet’s name. Collections may be submitted in bound proof form if the final book is not available before the submission deadline.

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

9) Pamphlets are not eligible for the Forward Prizes. All collections should be more than 36 pages.

10) 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, and on the Forward Prizes/National Poetry Day website, in our newsletter, associated publications and social media channels.

11) Anthologies or collections of works by more than one author 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.

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

13) Shortlisted and winning poets will be expected to be available for publicity around the awards.

14) 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.

15) No poem, or collection of poetry, entered for the Forward Prizes will be returned. 

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 alternate 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.