FORWARD PRIZES FOR POETRY 2023


Submissions open on 6 January 2023.

The deadline to submit entry forms is 5 March 2023.


Categories


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 2022 and 18 September 2023.


Category B: The Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection
A prize of £5,000 will be given to the author of the best debut collection of poetry published in the UK or Republic of Ireland between 19 September 2022 and 18 September 2023.


Category C: The Forward Prize for Best Single Poem – Written
A prize of £1,000 will be given to the author of the best written single poem that has been published in a newspaper, periodical or magazine in the UK or Republic of Ireland between 5 March 2022 and 4 March 2023, or has been the winner of a poetry competition with a prize awarded between the same dates.


Category D: The Forward Prize for Best Single Poem – Performed
A prize of £1,000 will be given to the author of the best new performance or a new poem to camera performed or produced between 5 March 2022 and 4 March 2023.


Eligibility

Applicable to all submissions

  1. All entries must have been published or produced in the UK or Republic of Ireland, including works from within the British Isles.
  2. Poems or collections of poetry must be written in English.
  3. Collections of poetry (Categories A & B) must be submitted by the publisher. Written 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. Poems which have won competitions in the UK or Ireland (Category C & D) must be submitted by the organising body.
  4. Publishers submitting entries must be headquartered in the UK or ROI; or they must have a substantial UK/ROI presence involved in the acquisition and editing of the book submitted. This includes, but not limited to, the acquiring editor being based in the UK/ROI; the majority of the editors working on the publication being based in the UK; the publication being specifically targeted and packaged for the UK market. This includes online journals and web-only publications.
  5. For categories A, B & C, entries from individual poets of their own work will not be accepted. This includes self-published collections. If an author has been a part of the editorial team at the publishing house at any point across the relevant eligibility period, we view this as a conflict of interest, and the book is not eligible for the purposes of these prizes.
  6. Publishers may enter up to four collections of poetry each for Category A & B, and up to three poems each in Category C. In addition to these allocations, 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. Category D, the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem – Performed, is the only Forward Prizes category that allows for self-submission, as such we will accept only one submission per poet, and we will set a cap on submissions in the first year at 2500. These will be sifted into a longlist of 200 for judges to review.
  8. A collection or poem may be entered in one category only, but a poet’s work may be submitted in multiple categories..
  9. Anthologies, collections, performances or poems of works by more than one author are not eligible.
  10. Books and poems aimed specifically at children are not eligible.
  11. Work submitted on behalf of an author who is deceased at the date of publication of the work is not eligible.
  12. Publishers must share with Forward Prizes’ organisers contact details of the shortlisted poets within a week of request.
  13. 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. However, this should not be a barrier to entry.
  14. 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.
  15. Poets may only be shortlisted for one Forward Prize per year.
  16. Anyone working for Forward Arts Foundation, or related to our staff, trustees, and judging panel may NOT submit.


Additional criteria by category

Category A: The Forward Prize for Best Collection

  1. Collection must be published between 19 September 2022 and 18 September 2023.
  2. 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.
  3. Pamphlets are not eligible for the Forward Prizes. All collections should be more than 40 pages.
  4. Collections should contain predominantly new poems or poems which have not yet been published in book form (excluding pamphlets).
  5. Collections may be submitted in bound proof form if the final book is not available before the submission deadline. However when the book becomes available, it’s imperative you send 6 additional copies as stipulated with the original submission.
  6. 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 websites, in our newsletter, in associated publications and on social media channels.


Category B: The Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection

  1. Collection must be published between 19 September 2022 and 18 September 2023.
  2. 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.
  3. Pamphlets are not eligible for the Forward Prizes. All collections should be more than 40 pages.
  4. Collections should contain predominantly new poems or poems which have not yet been published in book form (excluding pamphlets).
  5. Collections may be submitted in bound proof form if the final book is not available before the submission deadline. However when the book becomes available, it’s imperative you send 6 additional copies as stipulated with the original submission
  6. 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 websites, in our newsletter, in associated publications and on social media channels.


Category C: The Forward Prize for Best Single Poem – Written

  1. Poems must be new work published between 5 March 2022 and 4 March 2023.
  2. We will only accept the submission of a single poem. Where multiple sections with distinct titles are submitted, these may be deemed a sequence and will not be considered as eligible for a single poem category.
  3. Book-length poems should be submitted in the Best Collection or the Best First Collection category.
  4. 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 websites, in our newsletter, in associated publications and on social media channels.


Category D: The Forward Prize for Best Single Poem – Performed

  1. Video/audio submissions must be produced between 5 March 2022 and 4 March 2023.
  2. We will only accept the submission of a single poem by each poet in this category, though all poets may have their work submitted in other categories.
  3. All entries must be performed and produced by UK-based/ROI-based poets, or poets with a significant relationship (touring, performing) with the UK/ROI.
  4. Performers must have a track record of working in the form that must fit at least two of the following criteria: feature in or regular performance in a spoken word/open mike night; 2 years of developing your practice outside a formal educational context; working with a mentor/workshop leader to develop your practice; and/or significant prizes, fellowships or residencies to allow you to develop your creative work.
  5. All submissions must be accompanied by a written transcript of the poem, to ensure the poem is accessible to all audiences, though the poem will be assessed on the virtue of the performance and the poem together rather than the written piece.
  6. By submitting your work, you give permission for the Forward Prizes, National Poetry Day, and our delivery partners to share the video via our channels and platforms. We are a non-profit venture and it is therefore a condition of entry that entrants allow videos to be shared without payment.


Submissions

  1. All submissions must be registered via submittable and an eligibility questionnaire must be completed.
  2. For Categories A and B, six copies of each book will need to be submitted to Omar Fadhil, Unit 4, 5 Fountayne Road, N15 4QL
  3. Copies must arrive by 17 March 2023.
  4. We advise you to write your return address and phone number on the outside of all parcels.
  5. For Category D, we will accept audio or video entries via a private Youtube video link.
  6. No poem, or collection of poetry, entered for the Forward Prizes will be returned.


If you have questions about the guidelines, please 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 info@forwardartsfoundation.org before Wednesday 1 March 2023 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 5 October 2023. Forward Arts Foundation are supported by Bookmark, The Literary Estate of Felix Dennis, Arts Council England, John Ellerman Foundation, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Southbank Centre. Find out more on our website.

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 2022 and 18 September 2023.

If you have not already done so, please read the entry guidelines on our website.

A prize of £5,000 will be given to the author of the best debut collection of poetry published in the UK or Republic of Ireland between 19 September 2022 and 18 September 2023.

If you have not already done so, please read the entry guidelines on our website.

A prize of £1,000 will be given to the author of the best written single poem that has been published in a newspaper, periodical or magazine in the UK or Republic of Ireland between 5 March 2022 and 4 March 2023, or has been the winner of a poetry competition with a prize awarded between the same dates.

Book-length poems should be submitted in the Best Collection or Best First Collection category.   

Please upload poems as an individual document and include the poet's name and the publication/competitions name in the document.  

If you have not already done so, please read the entry guidelines on our website.

A prize of £1,000 will be given to the author of the best new performance or a new poem to camera performed or produced between 5 March 2022 and 4 March 2023.
If you have not already done so, please read the entry guidelines on our website.

The Forward Prizes for Poetry