Poetry on the Lake 


2021 International Poetry Competition

closes midnight (your local time) 30th April 2021

1st Prize: Silver Wyvern & cash. Other prizes, see below.

suggested theme (not obligatory): from dusk till dawn - interpret as wished 

JUDGE: JAMES HARPUR               


ENTRIES & FEES: please note the suggested fees below. All fees are donations to the competition costs, organisation and events of Poetry on the Lake. However, if you genuinely can't afford the fee, send one poem for nothing  (Those who can, please donate generously.)

Fees  €6 per poem, or 4 poems = €20, then €5 per poem.

Pay Paypal: click the following Donate icon to be taken to our account.

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Please note: our Paypal account is in euros, so insert your fee directly in euros, pay Paypal *, note transaction ID, copy in body of email with contact details; subject of email 'Poetry Comp entry 2021' . Attach file/s with all poems - no identification on poems - preferably in one Word, .doc or .docx file (NOT pdf) named: 

YOUR NAME COMP 2020, send to our email address poetryonthelake@yahoo.co.uk 
*Paypal: calculate total amount for entries then pay Paypal 

(click yellow Donate icon above to connect directly to the Paypal account of poetry on the Lake,  poetryonthelake@yahoo.co.uk  account address. You don't need a Paypal account, Paypal accept credit/debit cards)  

POSTAL ENTRIES (UK only): fees 8 GBP per poem or 3 x 20 GBP. UK cheques only, payable to G. Griffin-Hall. Send to Poetry on the Lake 2021, 28016 Isola San Giulio NO, Italy

(WARNING- the postal service here is erratic, not to say disastrous, and you are advised to send email. Note: we always acknowledge entries, so if you don't receive an email of receipt, please contact.)


Usual competition rules apply. There must be no identification of author on the poems, which should be marked top right with the category entered (SW or FORMAL or SHORT.  Do not send SAE, we send a receipt of entry email.

Poems must not have been printed or published (including on internet magazines, but ok if only on a personal or friend's blog with restricted access, or in a limited print edition of a competition anthology without payment , nor have won a previous prize. 
Entrants must be over 16 years old.
Silver Wyvern Open category embraces all poetic forms providing they do not exceed 42 lines (title, notes, dedication excluded); free verse, traditional or formal verse, short poems - anything goes!)
Formal category: max 42 lines embraces traditional verse forms: sonnets, sestinas, ballads, haiku (up to five haiku on one page count as one entry) villanelles etc. NOT free verse, and just dividing a free verse poem into couplets without a rhyming or metrical scheme doesn't make for a Formal poem, just as a poem of 14 lines without a traditional metre and rhyme scheme isn't a sonnet.


The same poem may be entered in both categories but will count each time as a separate entry. A competitor may win 2 or 3 prizes, each in a different category, but no more than one prize in a single category,
Results on website, winners contacted earlier

Possible publication for winning and selected poems (however, we contact all authors first, although entry to the competition implies automatic permission to publish). Copyright remains with the author. The judges' decision is final.   

Last year's winning poems HERE


2021 - 2nd Competition for Short Stories

Short stories: closes 31st July 2021   No word limit - but be sure not to lose the judges' attention! 

Theme: Haunted. Yes, uneasy stories - poems, too - for Hallowe'en and Christmas Eve! 

Prize:  €200. Winner may read at October Celebration on Lake Orta.

Stories may have already been published providing author retains copyright and has not received a previous cash prize or payment.

We intend to publish an anthology of the best stories in time for Christmas 2021. Authors will be asked for permission first, and receive a complimentary copy. Further copies may be purchased at a reduced price.

Fees:  First story €12 , then €8.

Paypal Donate button below or go to Paypal.

Single or double spacing. email: Stories, attached in doc; docx, or rtf (not pdf), titled, must not bear author’s identifying details. Put contact and payment details in body of mail

online entry for stories or enquiries poetryonthelake@yahoo.co.uk  subject line: HAUNTED 2021 STORY (or ENQUIRY)



2020 1st Short story Competition 





We would welcome donations and eventual sponsors to cover the costs of the competition and the autumn events and awards. Donations may be made clicking the Paypal yellow Donate button above, or the Ko-fi square pink button above.

      Ko-fi: buy poetry on the lake a cappuccino = € 3

      a packet of cat biscuits for our seven cats  =   € 6

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Silver Wyvern category    

 themed, any form, max 42 lines 

1st: €300 & 2 nights at Orta hotel

2nd: €200


Short poems category

themed, max 10 lines

 € 100 1st prize

Formal poem category

open theme,

max. 42 lines


€100 prize


for traditional poetic forms only: e.g. sonnet, sestina, villanelle etc. Mark the poetic  form top right

19th International Competition  CLOSED  31st March 2019.


Two categories and an extra prize of 100 euro to the best poem in either of the two categories inspired by the theme 'Spirit' (interpreted widely). Other prizes to winners present at awards. (To read winning poems 2019 (and 2018), click here)



SILVER WYVERN - Results 2019 - Adjudicator: Paul Henry


Silver Wyvern + 500 euro  1st prize:     ‘Rower, Battersea Lake’ by Helena Goddard, Tewkesbury

2nd prize - 200 euro :    ‘Dead in the Water’ by Graham Burchell, Devon


Highly commended:


‘Hautdesert Terminus’ by Oz Hardwick, York

‘Cornering the French Horn’ by Roger Elkin, Biddulph Moor

‘Chocolate Waltz’ by Alex de Verteuil, Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago

‘Balance’ by Michael Swan, Oxford


Shortlisted poems:


‘Was that you?’ by Bridget Frost, Limekilns

 ‘Vernal Equinox’ by Patrick Lodge, Yorks

‘Of Fire and Water’ by Mary Gilonne, Pourrières, France

‘Muscovy Ducks’ by Virginia Griem. Kinsteignton

‘Au Moulin de la Galette’ by Derek Sellen, Canterbury

‘At the Chapel of Apparitions’ by Olivia Dawson, Sintra, Portugal

FORMAL CATEGORY - adjudicator Kevin Bailey

Winner - 100 euro : What will survive of us by Ian Royce Chamberlain, Teignmouth

Highly Commended: When the trees were still dangerous by Paul Nash, Dublin

Shortlisted by Paul Henry: 

The Unburdening by Peter Duff, Ireland

The isolation of the long distance runner, Carolyn King, Isle of Wight

The Mission by Peter Duff, Ireland

Caesium lioness by Chris Scriven, Weymouth


 'SPIRIT' -  adjudicator Paul Henry

Best poem overall inspired by the theme 'Spirit' 

winner (100 euro)‘Mardale Common’ by Erica Bell, Surrey



Stone Star  - What will survive of us... -The rituals of others - Lady Cooper Parvenue - The moon yawns and keeps yawning - Climate of Opinion - Hautdesert Terminus - Paris Blues: Global Warning - Au Moulin de la Galette - in our family house - Me, Tammy Wynette, Soren Kierkegaard, Karl Marx and Adele  – Balance - Special Delivery  - Without words - A fishy thing the soul  - Of fire and water - Instead, think of this - Rower, Battersea Lake - In Loudhams Wood - Dead in the water - At the Chapel of Apparitions -  Was that you?  - perhaps a manifestation of Buddha - Life in three bags – Revenant - Malus -  Meeting a monster in Anglesey - In the Flit of a Wing - The Isolation of the Long-Distance Runner -   Caesium Lioness - see you around - Meili Su - The Silver Cord - The Unburdening - The Mission - Green Flash - Vernal Equinox – Responsibility - Chocolate Waltz  - Cornering the French Horn -  Unknown Young man with a background of flame –Fava leaves  -  Killing Inside the Wall  -  This winter  - Evening  - Muscovy Ducks - Mardale Common - When the trees were still dangerous     

Adjudicators: Paul Henry - Kevin Bailey - Gary Bills

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Poetry on the Lake - Isola San Giulio - 28016 Orta NO - Italy  poetryonthelake (AT) yahoo.co.uk

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