The International Lumen and Camden Poetry Competition 2015/2016 is open for entries, giving you the chance to have 20 pages of your poetry published in a perfect bound chapbook while also supporting the homeless, with the added benefit of being selected by the competition’s prestigious judge, George Szirtes.

This competition is unusual as the entry fee per poem is just £2.50 to make it possible for everybody to have a try. The winner will be selected on the basis of just one prizewinning poem (maximum length 40 lines), so you don’t have to submit the whole chapbook for a chance of being published. If you want to submit more poems there are discounts, with 6 poems costing just £10.

The winner will receive 50 copies of their chapbook to keep, sell, or give to friends. They will also be invited to read at the regular Lumen and Camden venues, if they can make it and would like to, and their chapbooks will also be offered for sale online and at the twice-monthly events. Money raised from chapbook sales by the publishers and by the Camden and Lumen Poetry Series will go to the Cold Weather Shelters supported by this project.

The closing date each year is February 14th, but it’s never too soon to enter.

You can enter by post by sending your poems and a cheque (made payable to ‘Caris Camden’) to Ruth O’Callaghan, or you can send the poems by post and pay by Paypal if you prefer. For international and other entries it’s possible to enter by using Paypal and then either posting the poems or sending them in an email. We are adding a new email for online entries and Paypal, to be confirmed soon.

Regulars at the Lumen and Camden open mic events can hand their entry to Ruth, who will pass them on to George Szirtes. There is no need for an application form as you can put the titles of the poems plus your name, address and contact details on a separate sheet of paper. Email entries are made anonymous by an assistant before being passed to the judge.

For postal entries the address is: Ruth O’Callaghan, 49 Ripley Gardens, Mortlake London, SW14 8HF. Please make sure that cheques are made payable to Caris Camden and not to Ruth or the publisher.

Do join in and also post details about this competition on your own blogs and websites as the competition is likely to raise a substantial amount to help the homeless while also giving a poet a highly desirable prize.