How is the judging carried out?

All entered poems will be read first by a panel of published poets, lecturers and other experts. This panel will draw up long and short lists, the length of which will vary according to the number and quality of entries. No poem will be rejected without having been read by at least two panel members. The short lists will be sent to the year's final judge/s for their adjudication.

Details of the long and short lists will be available by post (with an sae) and from the website. This will enable each entrant to find out exactly how far through the rounds his/her poems have progressed.

Can I enter by email?

You can pay your entry fee online and upload your poem/s via the website, but please don't send entries via email and post us a cheque.

We use PayPal to process payments: it's secure, and you don't need a PayPal account of your own to pay in this way - just a debit or credit card.

What happens to the poems and entry forms after the competition closes?

We allow about a month after the announcement of results for any queries to be settled, then we shred all the poems and entry forms. The shredded paper is recycled. We remove the stamps from all envelopes and donate them to charity.

Will you look at all my poems and tell me which ones to enter?

Even if we had time to read all of the poems sent to us with this request, it wouldn't really help. The judging of poetry is highly subjective, and we probably haven't got much more chance than you of second-guessing the judge's decision.

Can I enter the same poem more than once?

If your poem is unsuccessful one year, you can enter it again in a subsequent year. Any poem that has already won a prize (in any competition) is barred from entry.

Can children enter the Plough Prize?

There is no age limit for entrants, and a good poem's a good poem, whatever the age of the poet - however, younger children are obviously at a disadvantage when competing against experienced adult poets.

Why can't I put my name on my poems?

The competition is judged anonymously, i.e., the judges have no idea who wrote the poems they are reading. That means that they can't be influenced by an entrant's reputation (or lack of it), even subconsciously, and everyone has an equal chance of winning.

The copyright in your poem is yours by default, so you don't need to worry about not including a copyright notice.