Poetry Competition Terms & Conditions 2023


  1. Entrants must have links to Sussex – ie has lived, worked, studied or was born here.
  2. Each poem should be in English, a maximum of 40 lines and be on one side of A4 paper.
  3. Please do not include your name on the poem.


  1. Entry to the main competition is open to anyone over the age of 16 years by the closing date, with links to Sussex – ie has lived, worked, studied or was born here.
  2. The Student competition is open to all students with links to Sussex (as above), currently attending courses, up to the closing date of the competition which is midnight UK time on Sunday October 15 2023. Proof of study will be required.
  3. Entries may be on any subject provided they are in English and have not previously been published in any form including on the internet.
  4. Entries should not be submitted to other competitions or for publication until the results are announced at the BHAC Poetry Festival.
  5. Members of the Executive Committee of Brighton & Hove Arts Council are not eligible to enter.
  6. The competition closing date is Sunday 15 October 2023 (midnight UK time). Poems received after this date will not be accepted and entry monies will be refunded.
  7. Submissions not meeting the conditions of entry will not be put forward for judging. Entry monies will not be refunded.

CONDITIONS OF ENTRY – both competitions

  1. Each poem should be in English, have a title, not exceed 40 lines and should be on one side of an A4 sheet of paper.
  2. Each poem should be on a separate sheet.
  3. Poems can be on any theme or subject.
  4. Please do NOT include your name on the actual poem. All poems are judged anonymously. Names will be redacted.
  5. All hard copy entries must include a completed entry form. The entry form may be photocopied.
  6. The fee is £6 for the first poem and £5 per additional poem. There is no limit to the number of entries.
  7. Entry to the Student competition is free.
  8. Send entries to: Sussex Poetry Competition, Brighton & Hove Arts Council, F4-7, 159 Marine Parade, Brighton, BN2 1EJ or enter online at www.bh-arts.org.uk
  9. No entrant may win more than one prize.
  10. Payment must be by cheque or postal order made out to Brighton & Hove Arts Council, or by debit/credit card online.
  11. For confirmation that your entry has been received please enclose a stamped addressed envelope or postcard.
  12. Entries will not be returned so please keep a copy.
  13. Competition entrants can purchase Festival tickets at the reduced rate of £10. Tickets can be purchased online when entering or via this application form when submitting your entries.
  14. Winners will be required to take part in any publicity surrounding the Competition.
  15. The Prizes will be presented by Liz Berry at the Poetry Festival at St. Georges Church, Kemptown on November 26.


  1. Judge for the BHAC Sussex Poetry Competition 2023 will be John McCullough.
  2. The judge’s decision is final and neither the judge nor Brighton & Hove Arts Council will enter into any correspondence.
  3. Overall winners will be notified in November 2023. The exact nature of their win will be announced in full at the Awards Ceremony at the St. Georges Church, Kemptown on Sunday 26 November.
  4. Winners will be invited to read their poems on stage and given free entry to the festival; pre-purchased tickets will be refunded.
  5. Copyright remains with the author, however, winning poems will be published on Brighton & Hove Arts Council’s website.
  6. ‘Poems On The Buses’ – Selected entries (not just competition winners) will be displayed on Brighton & Hove Buses. Author’s permission will be sought.