Wigtown Poetry Competition 2012

Wigtown Poetry Competition 2012

The 2012 Wigtown Poetry Competition is NOW OPEN. Entries can be made securely online or by post. To enter by post, please download the entry form here.
Click here to submit entries online.

Poetry Competition Judges 2012

Main Prize Judge:
George Szirtes
George Szirtes has written some 14 books of poetry. He has been awarded the Faber Prize, the Cholmondeley Award and the T S Eliot Prize. His most recent books are New and Collected Poems (2008) and The Burning of the Books (2009). His next, Bad Machine, will be published by Bloodaxe in 2013. George has written widely on other subjects. His background is in painting and fine art and he is also an acclaimed translator of Hungarian literature.
Gaelic Prize Judge:
Màrtainn Mac an t-Saoir ~
Martin MacIntyre
Màrtainn Mac an t-Saoir – Martin MacIntyre grew up in Lenzie, near Glasgow, and studied medicine at Aberdeen University. He later attained qualifications in broadcasting and Gàidhealtachd studies from Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Skye. Martin’s many accolades include winning the William Ross Prize for Gaelic Writing and the Saltire Society First Book of the Year Award, and he was crowned Bàrd at the National Mòd in 2007. He has written three novels and a book of poems, Dannsam Led Fhaileas / Let Me Dance with Your Shadow published by Luath Press in 2006. Martin is working on a second poetry volume and a collection of short stories. He has previously appeared at StAnza poetry festival, the Edinburgh International Book Festival and Toronto’s International Festival of Authors.
Scots Prize Judge:
Sheena Blackhall
Sheena Blackhall is a writer, illustrator, traditional ballad singer and storyteller in north-east Scotland. From 1998-2003 she was Creative Writing Fellow in Scots at Aberdeen University’s Elphinstone Institute. She has published four Scots novellas, 12 short story collections and more than 80 poetry collections. In 2009 she became Makar for Aberdeen and the North East. Sheena was the inaugural Scots Prize winner in the 2011 Wigtown Poetry Competition.

Fee structure

The first poem submitted costs £7.00
Multiple entries: the first three poems cost a total of £19.00. Each subsequent entry after the first three costs £5 or a total of £14 for every additional block of 3, ie:
1 poem £7; 2 poems £14; 3 poems £19; 4 poems £24; 5 poems £29; 6 poems £33; 7 poems £38; 8 poems £43; 9 poems £47; 10 poems £52; 11 poems £57; 12 poems £61 etc.


  • All poems are judged anonymously and the name of the poet must not appear on the manuscript.
  • Each poem must be typed on a separate sheet of paper and clearly state which part(s) of the competition it is entered for (main prize, Gaelic or Scots).
  • The same poem can be entered for more than one part of the competition but it must be typed up separately for each part and counted as a separate entry.
  • For postal entries please include two copies of each poem submitted.
  • Poems must not exceed 40 lines (not including title).
  • All entrants must be 16 years of age or over.
  • Entries may be in English, Scots, Scots/Irish Gaelic.
  • The competition is open to anyone throughout and outside the United Kingdom.
  • Poems must not be previously published, accepted for publication or currently entered into another competition.
  • There is no restriction on the number of poems submitted by each applicant to each category of the competition, provided the appropriate entry fee is included.
  • Competition entries cannot be returned.
  • Alterations cannot be made to poems once they have been submitted.
  • All poems will be read initially by a team at the Scottish Poetry Library prior to the final judging.
  • Winners will be notified by Friday 5th August 2011. Winning poem and runner up entries will appear in the Scotsman or its sister paper Scotland on Sunday and winners will be listed on the Wigtown Book Festival website from Saturday 29th September 2012. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • No employee or board member of Wigtown Festival Company, the Gaelic Books Council or the Scottish Poetry Library may enter the competition.

  • The copyright of each poem remains with the author. The authors of the winning poems grant the Wigtown Festival Company the right to use the poems in publicity material for one year from 23rd September 2011.