Prizes: 1st prize £250, 2nd prize £100, 3rd prize £50

This competition is part of the Autumn Voices Project funded by Creative Scotland.
There is no entry fee.


  1. All entrants must be 70 or over by the closing date for the competition (30th July,2018).
  2. Please do not submit more than one entry. No poem should exceed 50 lines in length (excluding the title). Please indicate the number of lines at the end of the poem.
  3. Work submitted must be in English and must be your own work (no translations of others’ work and no ‘erasures’ of another’s text).
  4. No work submitted should have been previously published/broadcast/e-published or posted online in any form.
  5. Entries must be typewritten on A4 paper, using at least 12pt font. Double or single spacing is acceptable. No name or other mark which could identify the author should appear on the page. Entries should be accompanied by a separate cover sheet (no staples etc. please) setting out your name, age, address, email address, and title of your entry.
  6. If sending your entry by email, please send as a Word, rtf or pdf document.
  7. Entries will not be returned so please keep a copy of your entry.
  8. No alterations can be made to an entry once submitted.
  9. The judge’s decision is final. The judge cannot enter into any correspondence regarding entries.
  10. Closing date for the competition is midnight on 30th July 2018.
  11. Entry to this competition is free.
  12. Failure to comply with the above rules will result in automatic disqualification.
  13. Successful entrants will be notified by 30th September 2018. The names of the winners, the short list and the long list will be posted on the Autumn Voices blog ( Provided permission is granted, the prize-winning and short-listed poems will be posted on this blog, along with the judge’s report.



By email

Email your entry, with a separate cover sheet, as a Word, pdf or rtf document (see rules 4 & 5) to: to arrive by midnight on 30th July 2018. Use the Subject heading: AUTUMN VOICES POETRY COMPETITION.
Email submission of entries is preferred.

By post
Send your entry with a separate cover sheet (see rule 4) to:
Competition Secretary Autumn Voices Poetry Competition 26 East Clyde Street Helensburgh G84 7PG

Confirmation that your entry has been received
Email entries will be acknowledged by email.
Postal entrants wishing confirmation that their entries have been received should either include their email address on their cover sheet or enclose a stamped addressed postcard.

Once an entry has been submitted please do not contact the competition secretary unless the poem you submitted has been accepted for publication elsewhere or placed in another competition prior to 30th August 2018, which would automatically disqualify it.

Judging the competition

The Autumn Voices Poetry Competition 2018 will be adjudicated by the poet A.C. Clarke who lives in Glasgow and is a member of Scottish PEN. She has had nine books and pamphlets of poems published to date, two as a result of winning competitions. She has judged several poetry competitions including the Grey Hen poetry competition for women over 60, with Eleanor Livingstone, the SAW poetry competition, the Segora poetry competition, the Tyne and Esk Writers' poetry competition, the Perth Writers poetry competition. You can read more about her and samples of her work at

Judge's Advice to Entrants

A.C.Clarke writes:

There is no formula for winning. The best poems will take you by surprise every time. The best advice I can give is to choose what you (and others whose judgement you trust) consider your best unpublished work and see if you can make it even better.

Do re-read your poems carefully: read them aloud, so that you can pick up where you are actually breaking the line and any snags in rhythm or unintentional dissonance; read them to yourself on the page paying careful attention to spelling and punctuation. Poems use language as their medium. It's important therefore to respect the conventions of language just as musicians respect the conventions of harmony.

Look too at the words and images you've used – are they ones you've often seen used in poems and in danger of becoming hackneyed, could they be made more precise? Above all, don't over-explain.

Poems come in all shapes and sizes. When they are good they strike the reader as somehow being exactly right. I'll look forward to reading them all. And good luck!