Call for Poetry and Spoken Word CLOSED


Are you an aspiring poet exploring spoken word performance? Are you an established writer experimenting with new ways to engage your audiences?

This call for submissions aims to explore poetry in its many forms and traditions.

We are inviting submissions of written poetry and, for the first time, video recordings of spoken-word.

We strongly encourage submissions in mother tongues and/or oral languages, provided they are accompanied by an English translation or include English subtitles.

Send us your work either in written form or as a video recording.

Deadline: 22 October 2023, 23:59 in your time zone.    


This call is open to poets and spoken word artists who are writing and performing individually or as a collective. Only one submission per writer or collective will be considered.

This opportunity is open to all Commonwealth citizens, aged 18 and over. We encourage submissions from young writers and from countries with fewer publication opportunities. 

Entries must be original and unpublished. Please note that previously published work, whether in print or online, in whole or in part, will not be considered. Let us know immediately if your work has been submitted elsewhere and has been accepted for publication.

Submission guidelines

For poetry on the page, we accept entries in English and entries translated from any language into English. If a translated work is selected, we will publish the original work and its English translation.

For spoken word, we welcome work in mother tongues and/or oral languages, provided it contains subtitles in English or a word document containing an English translation.

Frequently asked questions: spoken word poetry

  1. What is spoken word?

Spoken word is a poetic genre with its roots in oral traditions of recitation. It is also known as performance poetry.

Spoken word is more than simply recording a poem which has been written for the page.

For more information about spoken word, read this interview with spoken word poet and fiction writer Keith Jarrett.

  1. Can I submit a written poem and a spoken word piece?

No. Only one submission per writer or collective will be considered.

  1. Is self-published work eligible?

We accept submissions which have been published on any personal social media channels (YouTube, X, Instagram, Facebook and so on), providing the content is original.

  1. How many poems can I submit?

You may submit a maximum of three poems, provided the number of lines in total does not exceed 100.

  1. What file formats are accepted for spoken word video submissions?

We recommend mp4 files, but we accept all video formats.

  1. Is there a particular genre or theme for the 2023-2024 Call for Poetry and Spoken Word?

Submissions can be in any genre and about any theme.

  1. Can I submit it in a language other than English, even if I’m the one who wrote the translation?

Yes, the accompanying translation may be by either the author of the work or a professional translator.

  1. Can I submit a translation of a piece if it has been published in another language?

Yes, you may submit a translation of your poem into English, with the permission of the translator and the publisher.

How to submit your entry

Entries should be submitted via the online entry form. Select one of the two categories in the submission form and attach the following:

1. Poetry on the page: up to 3 poems in a single word document (up to 100 lines in total), Font: Arial 12-point, Line spacing: single  

2. Spoken word video: a video recording via the submission form with a maximum runtime of 3 minutes. If the video is not recorded in English, the submission should include English subtitles or be accompanied by a text document containing an English translation. 

Submissions are selected anonymously. Please name your file with only the title of the work and enter all personal information in the application form.

Send us a summary of your creative experience or a description of the work (300 words maximum). Let us know if you need any support with your submission, whether to record your poem or add English subtitles. You can also inform us here if the entry is from a collective.

We will contact successful entrants by February 2024. Up to 24 pieces will be selected by a team of poets and spoken word artists and published over the year. This is a paid opportunity.

We are unfortunately unable to provide feedback on individual submissions.

If you have any questions or technical issues when submitting your work, please email us via

Deadline: 22 October 2023, 23:59 in your time zone.

Illustration © Gisela Mulindwa