Open Theme:  Judge Dr. Rhiannon Hooson

Prize: 20 winning poems receive £25 each plus publication in anthology 

Judge Dr. Rhiannon Hooson writes “Above all else I am looking for a deep appreciation of language and all the ways it can dazzle, illuminate, and confound; a heartfelt demonstration of joy in words.  Poems should display sensitivity, a specificity of language, and hopefully surprise in some way.”

Dr. Rhiannon Hooson is a Welsh poet and author.  She has won major awards for her work, including an Eric Gregory award from the Society of Authors, and performed at literature festivals and venues across Europe and the UK. Her work has been featured in the GuardianMagma, and Poetry Wales among others.  Her first full length collection, The Other City, was shortlisted for the Wales Book of the Year award, and in 2018 she won the PENfro first chapter award for the opening pages of a novel.  She is one of Literature Wales’ writing bursary recipients for 2019, and lives in the Welsh marches, dividing her time between writing and working as the poetry editor of Creative Countryside magazine.



Rules for this year’s poetry competition.

  1. There is an open theme.
  2. Maximum length is 40 lines. Entries should be typed with the title of the poem at the top of the page. There should be no personal details about the writer on the poems. Postal entries should be on A4 paper and printed on one side only (please send two copies of each poem if entering by post). Online entries must be submitted as described on the website.
  3. Closing date for receipt of entries is Monday 1st July 2019.
  4. Entries can be made online or by post and are open to everyone (locally/nationally or internationally). There is no limit to the number of entries but there is a fee of £4 for each poem submitted. Entries submitted online must be paid for via PayPal or by debit/credit card (there is a PayPal button on the online entry page). Postal entries are payable by cheque or postal order. Postal entries should be addressed to PENfro Poetry Competition, Rhosygilwen Mansion, Rhoshill, Pembs. SA43 2TW
  5. For postal entries use the online entry form or write your poem title/s and full contact details on a separate sheet of paper.
  6. Entries must not have been previously published in print or online, including personal blogs or on social media, or been broadcast, or placed in a competition.
  7. Entries will be read and judged anonymously, so do not put your name on your poem.
  8. Entries will not be returned so please keep a copy. No corrections or alterations can be made after entries have been received.
  9. The prize will be publication in an anthology, to be launched at the Penfro Festival. Twenty-one of the winning poems will be published, with one overall winner, and a £25 fee will be paid to each winning poet, plus a copy of the book.
  10. By entering, competitors accept that prize-winning poems, with the authors’ names, may be published on the PENfro website and used in promotional material.
  11. Entries that fail to comply with rules and requirements will be disqualified. No correspondence can be entered into and the judge’s decision is final.
  12. The competition is open to anyone aged 16 or over. Poems should be in English, they must not have been previously published, nor be currently submitted for publication or competition elsewhere.