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Magma 2020/21 Poetry Competition

The Magma 2020/21 Poetry Competition is now open for entries in both categories.

The Judge’s Prize – poems of 11 to 50 lines

The Editors’ Prize – poems of up to 10 lines



Award-winning poet Theresa Lola is the judge for the Judge’s Prize for poems of 11 to 50 lines and she will be reading all entries – there are no sifters.

The Editors’ Prize is judged by a panel of Magma Editors and is for poems of up to 10 lines. The prize money for both competitions is the same, so double your chances and try your luck at both.


First prize for the Judge’s and Editors’ Prize is £1000, second prize £300 and third prize £150. The six prize-winning poems will be published in Magma and there will also be five special mentions for the Judge’s Prize and for the Editors’ Prize. Winning and commended poets will be invited to read their poems at a Magma Competition Event in Spring 2021.


Picture credit: Hayley Madden

Theresa Lola is a British Nigerian poet. She was joint winner of the 2018 Brunel International African Poetry Prize and was shortlisted for the Bridport Poetry Prize. She has held poetry residencies at Bethlem Museum of the Mind and St Paul’s Cathedral, and has taught workshops at St Mary’s University and University of Surrey. Lola was appointed 2019-2020 Young People’s Laureate for London and featured in the 2019 ‘Forces for Change’ issue of British VOGUE edited by the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle. Her debut poetry collection ‘In Search of Equilibrium’ is published by Nine Arches Press.


How to enter the Magma 2020/21 Poetry Competition

You may enter via submittable here


Download and print the Competition Entry Form



Competition Rules

The competition is open to anyone, including non-UK residents, except Magma Poetry Board members and their families.

POSTAL ENTRIES: Please enclose a completed entry form found either in our competition leaflet,
or available to download here. Each poem must be on a separate sheet. Poems longer than one page must give their title on the second page and the pages should be stapled together. Do not include your name or any other identifying marks on the poems themselves. Send entries to: Magma Competition, 46 First Avenue, London SW14 8SR.

Poems may be on any subject, and must be in English and your own original work. They must not have been published, self-published or accepted for publication in print or online, broadcast, or have won or been placed in another competition at any time.

Magma Judge’s Prize for a poem of 11–50 lines awarded by Theresa Lola, who will read all eligible entries. 1st prize £1000; 2nd prize £300; 3rd prize £150. 5 special mentions.

Payment must be made in sterling, by cheque or money order payable to “Magma Poetry”.

Magma Editors’ Prize for a poem of up to 10 lines awarded by a panel of Magma editors.

The judge’s and editors’ decisions are final and no correspondence can be entered into. No entrant may win more than one prize in each section.

1st prize £1000; 2nd prize £300; 3rd prize £150. 5 special mentions.

Should the named judge be unable to proceed, we aim to substitute an alternative judge of equivalent standing as a poet.

The competition is open for entries from 1 September 2020 to 15 January 2021.

You may submit as many poems as you like, accompanied by the appropriate fee. The entry fees are £5 for the first poem, £4 for the second and £3.50 for the third and each subsequent poem. Magma subscribers benefit from reduced fees, £4 for the first poem, £3 for the second, and £2.50 for the third and each subsequent poem. Payment must be made in sterling, by cheque or money order payable to “Magma Poetry” for postal entries, and via PayPal for online entries. (PayPal can process payments by cards as well as from PayPal accounts.)

Prizewinners will be notified individually before 1 March 2021. The results will also be published on the Magma Poetry website after the prize-giving event.

Visit Submittable, where you will be able to upload your poem entries and pay the appropriate entry fee securely via PayPal (see above). Full instructions and conditions for online entries will be found at the point of entry.

Magma Poetry is a registered charity, no. 1141075

GENERAL: No alterations can be made after receipt, nor fees refunded.
Copyright of each entry remains with the author, but Magma Poetry has the right to first publication of the winning poems in print and/or online within six months of the competition deadline.
Entry implies acceptance of all the rules. Failure to comply with the rules will result in disqualification.



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