The Cafe Writers OPEN POETRY COMPETITION 2018 is now closed.


The winners will be announced at Cafe Writers on 11th February 2019.


1st £1000

2nd £300

3rd £200

Five Commended Prizes of £50

Norfolk Prize £100

(best poem from a permanent Norfolk resident not winning another prize)

Entry Fee

£4 per poem; or £10 for 3 poems & £2 per poem thereafter

Sole Judge Daljit Nagra

Daljit Nagra is from a Sikh background and was born and grew up in West London then Sheffield. He’s published four books of poetry, all with Faber & Faber. His poem Look We Have Coming to Dover! won the Forward Prize for Best Individual Poem in 2004. His first collection of the same name won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection in 2007 and the South Bank Show Decibel Award in 2008. His subsequent two collections, Tippoo Sultan’s Incredible White-Man Eating Tiger-Toy Machine!!! and his version of the Ramayana were nominated for the TS Eliot Prize. In 2014 he was selected as a New Generation Poet by the PBS. In 2015 he won a Royal Society Travelling Scholarship. His latest collection is British Museum which was published in 2017. He is the inaugural Poet in Residence for Radio 4/4 Extra and teaches at Brunel University, London.

Competition Rules

  1. Closing date for receipt of entries: 30th November 2018
  2. Maximum of 40 lines (excluding title) on one side of A4.
  3. The Prize is open to anyone other than Café Writers’ committee members.
  4. Entries must be entirely the work of the entrant and must never have been published, self-published, published on any website or broadcast.
  5. We regret that entries cannot be returned.
  6. Entries must be your own original work and in English.
  7. No corrections can be made after receipt, nor fees refunded.
  8. Entries must show no name, address or identifying marks other than the title.
  9. Worldwide copyright of each entry remains with the author, but Café Writers will have the unrestricted right to publish the winning poems on its website and in press releases publicising the competition.
  10. The Norfolk Prize is awarded to a permanent Norfolk resident, for a poem not winning another prize.
  11. The judge’s decision is final and no individual correspondence can be entered into.

Entry implies acceptance of all the rules. Failure to comply with the entry requirements will result in disqualification.

You can download an entry form here in Word or here as a PDF



Save your poems in A SINGLE Word document or PDF, allowing only ONE POEM PER PAGE, and add as an attachment to a covering email which will include your name, address, email address and titles of your poems.

And please include no name, address or identifying marks (other than the poem’s title) to the attachment containing your poems.

As the subject heading to your email, please write your name and the title of the first poem in your attachment.

Send to: (please cut and paste this address to limit the amount of SPAM we receive)

You will be sent a receipt of your entry via email.

Please pay for online entries using Paypal here:

Number of poems