Buzzwords poetry Competition 2023


Judges:  Helen Ivory and Martin Figura

who will read all entries

Closing date for entries. Midnight, 10th September 2023.

1stt prize-£600.          Runner-up £300.   5 x commended £50 each.

The Gloucestershire Prize £200. (for Gloucestershire residents only).

Gloucestershire runner-up £50 (donated by Alison Brackenbury)

 Helen Ivory is a poet and visual artist. Her fifth Bloodaxe collection is  The Anatomical Venus (2019). She edits the webzine Ink Sweat and Tears and teaches creative writing online for the UEA/NCW. A book of mixed media poems Hear What the Moon Told Me is published by KFS, and chapbook Maps of the Abandoned City by SurVision.  She also has work translated into Polish, Ukrainian, Spanish and Croatian as part  of Versopolis. Wunderkammer: New and Selected Poems (2023) is published in the US by MadHat Press. She is currently working on her next collection for Bloodaxe Constructing a Witch which will appear in 2024.

Martin Figura’s collection and show Whistle were shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award and won the 2013 Saboteur Award for Best Spoken Word Show.  Shed (Gatehouse Press) and Dr Zeeman’s Catastrophe Machine (Cinnamon Press) were both published in 2016.  In 2021 he was Salisbury NHS Writer in Residence, with a pamphlet My Name is Mercy from Fair Acre Press. A second pamphlet from Fair Acre Press Sixteen Sonnets for Care came out in October. The Remaining Men is due out with Cinnamon Press in 2024. The show Shed is returning to the stage in April 2024, three years after its Covid Postponement.


Entry fees: Postal entries; £4 per poem or 3 poems for £10.

Email entries will carry a surcharge for admin & printing costs. For postal entries, go to to download the entry form and instructions

Proceeds of the competition will be used to fund ‘Buzzwords’, which is the longest running and most respected regular poetry gathering in Cheltenham.


Rules of Entry.

1     Poems should be no longer than 70 lines.

2     No translations are accepted.

3     Poems must not have been previously published in print or on the internet.

4     Entries must be clearly typed on single side(s) of A4 paper in a clear font e.g. Arial     12 point. No curly or obscure fonts please. One poem per page.

5    Please leave a reasonable margin on the paper so that it is legible when printed and filed.

6      Handwritten entries will not be considered.

7     Entrants’ names should not appear on the poems. An entry form or email should accompany all entries and contain name, phone number, address, email address and titles of poems entered.

8       Entries must be received by midnight on 10th September 2023

9     Entries for the Gloucestershire prize should mark their poems with ‘GL’ in the top right hand corner.

10.     Gloucestershire, for the purposes of the competition, includes South Gloucestershire

11.     Results will be published on the Buzzwords Competition Website.

12.     Prize winners will be contacted in November 2023; winners will be welcome to read their poems at the next ‘Buzzwords’

13.   The judge’s decision will be final and we regret that no correspondence will be entered into.

14.   Copyright will remain with the competitor, but Buzzwords reserves the right to publish the winning ppoems on the website, or to use them in publicity, for 12 months after the results are announced.

15.   Poems may not be altered after entry.


Email entry instructions

 Pay for the appropriate number of poems through the paypal button below. Please note, you do not have to have a paypal account and can use a debit card through paypal.

Send the poems, one per page, as an attachment to . No name or identifying marks on the poems, except for ‘GL’ on the top right-hand corner if you are a Gloucestershire entrant.

 In the body of the email, include the paypal receipt or transaction number, name,  phone number, address, email address and titles of poems entered.



Top of Form

Number of Poems

1 comment:

  1. Curious. Is there a reason this is called Buzzwords? Is there something I should know? Does it have to be about bees hah hah