Who can run a writing competition?

Running a poetry or prose competition can be hard work, but you don’t have to be a writer to do it:  the Writers' Competition Resource website offers all the know-how and support you need to make it a success.

Well-run writing competitions can provide much-needed income for good causes, and they offer writers an outlet and focus for their work, and sometimes a degree of feedback too. As long as you have organisational ability, good people skills, a little office space and some basic equipment, you can launch a competition to raise awareness of your cause and engage the community - and once established, a writing competition can generate significant funds.


As contests have proliferated, entrants have grown rightly more selective and demanding: small scandals have erupted when judging has appeared biased or organisers have refused to divulge the identities of filter judges, and in 2012/13 a plagiarism scandal hit the international press when a prizewinner was found to have stolen his entry almost word for word from another poet. Such situations are easily avoided, but with little or no collaboration between contests, organisers tend to discover potential pitfalls the hard way, from experience.

This website aims to support both new and established writing competition organisers in offering the best possible service to their entrants, and to provide a link between good-quality competitions and writers seeking outlets for their work. The upkeep and development costs of the site are met from the Light Verse Unlimited competition.

See our Find a judge page for a directory of judges, their qualifications and experience, location, areas of interest and judging credits. They've all agreed to work for a standardised fee, making budgeting ahead a realistic proposition for organisers. To engage a judge, simply email them through their directory page and ask whether they're available. This is a completely free service: Writers' Competition Resources charges no fee to either judge or organiser, and is not involved in any negotiations.

Free downloads


Simple MS Word entry form (poetry), up to 8 entries

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Basic conditions of entry template (poetry)

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Coming soon