Enter the 2021 Keats-Shelley Poetry Prize

Poets are asked to write on the 2021 theme of ‘Writ in Water’.

Our inspiration is John Keats’ gravestone in Rome, whose epitaph reads: ‘Here lies one whose name was writ in water.’ This year’s Keats-Shelley Prizes are part of our wider KS200 programme, commemorating the death of John Keats, who was aged just 25, 200 years ago on 23rd February 1821.

Rules and Formatting

Poets can interpret ‘Writ in Water’ freely – whether about water, writing, death, immortality, time, or any combination thereof. Poems can be comic or serious, avant garde or traditional, but the judges do advise that works drifting too far from the theme will not be considered.

Poetry judge Deryn Rees-Jones writes: ‘For me good poems adhere to no rules…except the one necessary to their own creation. Often a poem will stand out because of its precision and its ability to harness and also liberate a particular kind of energy. I think that’s to do with being able to feel and know something which is acute and subtle at the same time. The poem will be able to say something that only it can say.’

Poems should be:

Entries must be original. Plagiarism will not be accepted. The poem must not have been published previously, either in print or online or in any other media, nor previously submitted to us.

You can enter more than one poem, but each entry requires a separate payment.

Cost of Entry per poem: £10.

Your Details


Your entry

The title of your poem

attachmentPlease upload your entry as a Word document or a PDF

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Please read carefully and tick the box to confirm your agreement: In consideration of our providing you with the opportunity to have your entry/entries published in the Keats-Shelley Review, you hereby grant to KSMA a non-exclusive, worldwide license to publish your entry/entries in this journal. Copyright remains vested in you.

After you have submitted your poem, please follow the link to pay your entry fee. If this is the second poem that you are entering and you have already paid the fee, please ignore this.