Submit your poems that explore mental health and wellbeing for the Happiful Poetry Prize 2024
The Happiful Poetry Prize 2024 is now closed for entries.
We’re looking for poems that explore the topic of mental health and wellbeing in relatable, original, and empowering ways. The competition is free to enter, and welcomes new and seasoned writers alike. No prior experience is necessary, the only thing we require is a passion for writing!
The winner will receive £100, and four shortlisted poets will receive a £25 National Book Token. All five poems will be published in issue 84 of Happiful.
To enter, please submit a Word document or PDF to [email protected], which includes:
- One entry per person, of a poem no more than 25 lines long.
- Your poem’s title.
- Your full name and address.
- A short biography, no more than 50 words long.
The deadline for entries is 23:59 Monday 20 November 2023. All poets will be contacted with the results in February 2024. UK & NI only. Good luck!
New to writing poetry, but ready to give it a go?
The beginner’s guide to writing poetry
Poetry is for everyone, and the only thing that you need to get started is the desire to do so. But there are also some tools you can use to bring out the best you have to offer:
1. Seek out inspiration. The best way to get writing is to read widely. You’ll discover new ways of approaching poetry, different ways of expressing tone and voice, and topics that impassion you. Visit poetryfoundation.org to read poems from all corners of the world.
2. Find your topic. If you’re going through something specific, the topic might be right there in front of you. But if you’re planning on writing for general wellbeing, or would prefer to write for a distraction, you can look for ideas elsewhere. You can try responding to a news story from that day; use a random word generator, and write on whatever it brings up; write a response to another poem; or write from the perspective of someone else.
3. Save moments of inspiration. It could be a single word, or a fleeting thought. It may be a subject, a title, or an opening line. Whatever it is, when inspiration hits, write it down! You never know what it may turn into.
4. Most importantly, be bold. Don’t let fear of the page overwhelm you, or worry about ‘being bad’ – what does that even mean, anyway? The process of writing poetry is about creating a space to dive into your thoughts and feelings, and escape day-to-day life. All you have to do is put words down; you may be surprised by what you can do once you’ve given yourself permission to try.
We can’t wait to read your poems!