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  • Roger McGough Annual Poetry Prize 2020: Identity

    The Roger McGough poetry prize is a national poetry competition welcoming submissions inspired by this year’s theme of identity.

    Monday 17 August 2020 - Friday 18 December 2020
    09:30 - 12:30

    ETNA Community Centre

    TW2 2AR

    The Roger McGough poetry prize is a national poetry competition welcoming submissions inspired by this year’s theme of identity.

    First prize is £150, second prize is £75, and third prize is £50.

    Winning and shortlisted poems will be published in an anthology, with featured poets receiving a free copy. There will also be a winners’ ceremony in Spring 2021 (details to be confirmed).

    The closing date is Friday 18th December 12.30pm.

    A panel appointed by Arts Richmond will shortlist the top 40 poems, which will then be judged by Roger McGough. The judges' decision is final.

    About Roger McGough

    Prolific poet, author, playwright and broadcaster Roger McGough CBE has published more than 50 books of adult and children’s poetry. Liverpool born and bred, McGough also dabbled in pop singing and song-writing as a member of The Scaffold, where one of his band mates was Mike McCartney, brother of Beatles member Paul.

    McGough embraces freedom of expression through his poems’ subject matter and verse structure, and is known for writing accessible and popular poetry. Sky in the Pie (1983) and Bad, Bad Cats (1997) earned Roger McGough two Signal Poetry Awards for outstanding work in children’s poetry. Other collections include Defying Gravity (1992), The Way Things Are (1999), and joinedupwriting (2019).

    How to enter

    Poems cost £5.00 to submit, or 3 poems for £10.

    Participants must be aged 16 years or over and live in the UK.

    Poems must be original and previously unpublished, and no longer than 40 lines, including line spaces.

    Entries must be typed and single-spaced, with the poem title at the top of each entry. Your name must not appear on the manuscript.

    Send your poem(s), along with an entry form (below), to with the subject line ‘Roger McGough Poetry Competition’.

    Alternatively, you can post your poem(s) and entry form to:

    Arts Richmond

    Room 21

    13 Rosslyn Road

    Twickenham TW1 2AR

    The copyright of each poem remains with the author. However, by entering the competition authors of the winning poems grant the organisers of The Roger McGough Annual Poetry Prize 2020 the right to publish and/or use the poems in promotional displays.


    You can pay by cheque or BACS transfer. Cheques should be made payable to Arts Richmond.

    BACS transfer details

    Co-op Bank Account

    Account number: 65130096

    Sort Code: 089299

    Payment reference: Poetry Competition 2020


    You can also purchase copies of last year's anthology here.

    Download the application form