2017 Competitions

Why compete?

• enhance your technical skills
• pit yourself against others
• break through the barrier of self doubt
• see your work in print or hear it being performed

The PF is into its seventh year. Over time we find that the popularity of the competitions is growing. This is understandable. Entering competitions is daring to dip your toe in the water and face competition with others in the same field. It is beneficial not only because you may win, thereby gaining a nice cash prize or - even better - professional, editorial help, but because you are taking steps to put your work out into the world. Whether your work be a poem, a play or the beginnings of a novel, it is worth honouring it in this way. It is also worth honing and developing a piece to put forward for a contest.

Last year we experienced a surge in entries, with our newly added competition: The First Chapter, attracting record numbers. Because they have proved so popular and because we believe competitions are helpful to writers, we have expanded our remit this year to include Short radio drama and Welsh poetry. We have excellent judges, who not only assess the entries but who act as mentors to help the winning entrants take their craft to a higher level. David Llewelyn, judge of The First Chapter award, undertakes to work over several months with the top three entrants. Likewise, Kate McAll and Derek Webb, will be working with the winning radio drama entrants to produce a polished product which will be presented at the festival itself. 

So, this year we have three writing competitions: our ever-popular poetry competition, a first chapter competition which we launched last year and was a fantastic success.  And, new for 2017, a short radio drama competition and a Welsh poetry competition.  To find out more, just click here:  2017 Poetry Competition   2017 First Chapter Competition  2017 Short Radio Drama Competition  Cystadleuaeth barddoniaeth PENfro 2017


2016 winners There was a fantastic response from all over the UK and abroad to the 2016 PENfro Poetry and First Chapter competitions – and as you will see from the judges’ comments the entries presented them with a difficult and challenging task to choose the winners.

The winners of the Poetry Competition are:

1st – (£300) Kathy Miles, Aberaeron, Ceredigion, with ‘Unexpected Guests’
2nd – (£125) Rachel Plummer, Edinburgh, with ‘The Woman who Married Indiana Jones’
3rd – (£75) Elsa Fischer, Bern, Switzerland, with ‘ex ossibus’

Commended poems are:

Just passing – John Baylis Post, Co Cork, Ireland
Unspoken – Kittie Belltree, St Dogmaels, Pembrokeshire
Bed Bath – Roger Elkin, Biddulph Moor
Love letters between a window and a door – Kelsey Granger, Surrey
A Photograph of my Mother – Richard Lewis, Cardiff
Once the Spaceship in Close Encounters has Lifted – Angela Readman, Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne
Summer ’76 – Wendy White, Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire

First Chapter Winners:
David Llewelyn had a tough time choosing between the 13 writers on his original shortlist and he decided to award joint first place to two entrants.

The Winners are:
Catriona Shine, from Oslo, Norway, and Catherine Conlon, from Co Kildare, Ireland.

David will work with both of them over an extended period of time to work towards getting their manuscripts ready to submit for publication. He also selected five shortlisted writers as runners up, and, if they wish, he will work with them later to help them develop their manuscripts further.

The five runners up are:
Julian Mountfield, Thailand
Harriet Connides, London
Mark Vincent, Cheshire
Linda Fennelly, Carlow, Ireland
Anne Wilson, Guildford

See the winning poems, judges’ comments and the full list of those commended or shortlisted in both competitions here:

Poetry competition results 2016

First Chapter competition results 2016 

Sponsors 2017

Back to top