2017 Biennial Poetry Competition
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Printable Comp Rules


Unfortuately the 2017 MLF Poetry Competition is now closed for entries. Results will be announced at the Festival Award Ceremony on Sunday 15th October 2017. However, please view the remainder of this page for a reminder of this year's competition rules.


Write a poem on any topic of no more than 40 lines for a chance to win a cash prize.


1. All entries must be the original work of the entrant and must not have been previously published, broadcast on radio or TV or awarded a prize in a competition.

2. Entries must be in English and typed or very clearly written on one side only of A4 paper.

3. Submissions must not bear the name of the author which should only appear on the Cover Sheet. Submissions bearing author identification will be disqualified and entry fees will not be returned. Entries will be coded for the judging.

4. Any number of entries may be submitted providing they all are listed on the cover sheet and the relevant fees are enclosed.

5. No competitor may win more than one major prize. This limit does not apply to supplementary or special prizes.

6. Entries will not be returned and competitors are advised to keep a copy of their work. All reasonable care will be taken but the Mere and District Linkscheme and PennyBank Writers of Mere accept no responsibility for the loss or damage to manuscripts.

7. Submissions will not be acknowledged unless a suitably worded, stamped addressed postcard is included with the entry.

8. The judge's decisions are final. No correspondence will be entered into.

9. Copyright of material remains with the author but the Mere and District Linkscheme reserve the right to use entries at festival events.

10. Trustees of the Mere and District Linkscheme and anyone helping to organise the festival are not eligible to enter any competition.

11. Shortlisted entrants and merit awards will be notified by 30th September and all winners will be announced at the Festival Sunday event. Results will be made available to the Local and Writing Press. Competitors wanting a copy of the results or monies raised should enclose a s.a.e. marked ‘Results’ or ‘Money’ with their entry.

12. In the event of the competition being cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances, all monies will be refunded in full.


1. Main Competition

1st Prize £200
2nd Prize £100
3rd Prize £50

Three runners-up £15 + Certificates of Distinction & Merit

2. Local Competition

Poem by a resident within a 10-mile radius of Mere. Please send two copies of your poem and mark your cover sheet with a capital ‘L’ if this applies to you.

3. Junior Section

12 Years and Under. Cash prizes available, of amounts to be confirmed at the Award Ceremony

4. Performance Prizes

Short-listed poems will be showcased at a Festival event and judged by the audience, prior to the announcement of competition results.

Note: The names of prize-winners may be published on the festival website



1.Entry Fees
OPEN:- £3.50 first poem; £2.50 second and subsequent entries.
JUNIORS:- £1.00 per poem – 25% discount on school entries of ten or more poems.

2. Please make cheques payable to: PennyBank Writers

3. Entries must not bear the name of the author but should be sent with a cover sheet with author’s name, address, phone number, email where possible and title/s of poem/s submitted together.

4. Send with the correct entry fee to:

M.L.F. Poetry Competition,
Monkswell Cottage,
Mill Lane,
BA12 6DA

5. Please indicate on cover sheet eligibility for the Local Award.



Dawn Gorman

Dawn Gorman

Dawn Gorman, Award Winning Poet, Arts Practitioner & Journalist will be judging all adult entries this year.

Dawn Gorman is a poet and freelance editor, and devises and runs arts events including the popular Bradford on Avon poetry reading series 'Words & Ears'.

She was a poet-in-residence at Edinburgh Fringe in 2015 and 2016, and at Greenhill Cottage Gallery in Southwick, Wiltshire, 2015-16.

She collaborates with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, who wrote a symphony based on her poem Replenishment, which was premiered at the Wiltshire Music Centre in 2015; her film poem, devised as the overture, appeared at Cannes Short Film Festival the same year.

Dawn is widely published in literary journals and anthologies, and her pamphlet 'This Meeting of Tracks' was published in the Pushcart Prize-nominated four-poet book 'Mend & Hone' in 2013.

Dawn's website is: