friends of the festival


We are pleased to announce that the 2017 Words & Music poetry competition is now open to entries! As well as cash prizes, entrants will have the opportunity to have their poems published in our special 10th anniversary anthology. The competition is open to anyone resident in the UK or Ireland and is for original, unpublished poems up to 40 lines.

Winners will be announced at the Roger McGough poetry reading at Words & Music Festival on Wednesday 11th October 2017. The competition will be judged by John Lindley, award-winning former Cheshire Poet Laureate and a small team of former winners and executive members of the Words & Music Festival.

  • 1st prize: £150 and 2 x tickets to Roger McGough
  • 2nd prize £75 and 2 x tickets to Roger McGough
  • 3rd prize £50 and 2 x tickets to Roger McGough

The winners and the best local poet (within 20 miles of Nantwich) will also receive each receive two tickets to see Roger McGough on 11th October 2017.

Entry fee: £4 per poem or £10 for three poems

Closing date: Monday 4th September 2017

Payment can be made online. When submitting details online please include the PayPal payment reference number on your contact details sheet.

Or you can post entries with a cheque payable to Words & Music Festival. Please see below for full details about postal entries.



  • The competition is open to UK or Irish residents of any nationality and poems must be in English.
  • Poems must be the sole work of entrants and by submitting you are confirming that the work is your own. Any evidence to the contrary will result in immediate disqualification.
  • All poems entered must not previously been published, broadcast or reproduced online or shortlisted (1st, 2nd, 3rd or runner-up) in any other competitions.
  • We cannot accept poems submitted posthumously.

Entry Format

  • Poems can be on any theme and in any form – free verse, blank verse or in rhyme.
  • Poems should be no more than 40 lines in length.
  • There is no minimum length. The title of the poem and spaces between text/stanzas will not be counted in the length.
  • All entries must be in English and either typed, word-processed or hand-written on a single-side of paper with any subsequent pages securely fastened by a staple. Please use plain or lined paper but not coloured paper. If word-processing your entry please use a standard font such as Times, Arial or Calibri rather than decorative or complicated typefaces.
  • Each poem submitted must be typed, written or printed on a separate sheet. Please use single-spacing if typing or word-processing.
  • Please do not enter your name or address on the sheet bearing the poem but use a separate sheet listing your name, the title/s of poems submitted and address, contact telephone number and email address if you have one.
  • If you live within 20 miles of Nantwich and wish to be considered for the ‘Best Local Poet’ category please mark your entries with an ‘L’. Other than this, entries must show no identifying marks other than the title.
  • You may not amend your entries or make substitute entries once you have submitted your work for the competition. If entrants wish to amend or correct entries they must withdraw them then resubmit with payment of the entry fee. We are unable to enter into correspondence or discussion about amendments.
  • We regret that we are unable to return entries. Please keep a copy.

Postal Entries

Please submit your entries to:

Phil William

4 Derwent Close

Alsager, Cheshire


Please enclose a cheque for payment (payable to ‘Nantwich Words & Music Festival’) and a self-addressed stamped envelope (for the results and judges’ reports) or a self-addressed stamped postcard if you require acknowledgement. Please ensure sufficient postage to cover the cost and to ensure that submissions arrive before the deadline.


You can submit our entries via email to Phil Williams at


  • The competition will be judged by John Lindley, a former Cheshire Poet Laureate supported by a small team of former competition winners and executive members of Words & Music Festival.
  • The judge’s decision is final and we cannot enter into discussion or correspondence about entries or provide specific individual feedback. There will be a judges’ report which will summarise the range and key features of the entries.
  • Prizes will be awarded by Roger McGough at the reading 11th October 20217 or forwarded by post if prize-winners are unable to attend.


Copyright will remain with the author but Words & Music Festival reserve the right to publish winning or short-listed entries in any format.

Number Of Entries
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