Nature And Place Poetry Competition 2018

The Rialto working with the RSPB, BirdLife International and the Cambridge Conservation Initiative

Poems are invited that deal with any aspect of nature and place – these terms will be given a wide interpretation by the judge.
Closing Date March 1st 2018


1st prize – £1000
2nd prize – £500
3rd prize – A place on a creative writing course
at Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre in 2018

Two additional prizes

A personal tour with Mark Cocker of his most cherished wildlife places in East Anglia.
A personal tour with Nick Davies of his beloved Wicken Fen to learn about his research there.

Tŷ Newydd (Third Prize) National Writing Centre of Wales and offers an impressive range of Creative Writing courses in the beautiful coastal surroundings of north-west Wales. (*

Mark Cocker is one of Britain’s most celebrated writers on nature. He is author of the magnificent Birds and People as well as the award winning Crow Country and Birds Britannica. He writes and broadcasts regularly in national media and his column in The Guardian has run for more than 30 years.**

Nick Davies is Professor of Behavioural Ecology at the University of Cambridge. For many years his work has focused on the evolutionary battle between cuckoos and their hosts and has been based at Wicken Fen in Cambridge. In 2015 Nick published Cuckoo: Cheating by Nature, a book David Attenborough describes as, ‘an amazing detective story by one of the country’s greatest field naturalists’.**

*The prize is for a shared room accommodation, and does not include the cost of travel to and from the Centre.
**The prize does not include the cost of travel or accommodation.

The prizewinners will be invited to read their poems at an event with Michael Longley at CCI in Spring 2018. The winning poems will be published in The Rialto, Britain’s leading independent poetry magazine.

All profits raised by the competition go to support conservation.


Michael Longley

Michael Longley’s eleven poetry collections have received many awards, among them the Whitbread Prize, the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Hawthornden Prize, the Irish Times Poetry Prize, the Griffin International Prize and the PEN Pinter Prize. His Collected Poems was published in 2006, and Sidelines: Selected Prose in 2017. In 2001 he received the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry, and in 2003 the Wilfred Owen Award. He was appointed a CBE in 2010, and from 2007 to 2010 was Ireland Professor of Poetry. He and his wife, the critic Edna Longley, live and work in Belfast. In 2015 he was elected a Freeman of the City.


Submitting your poems

You can submit up to six poems in one batch, the entry fee for the first poem is £6 and includes an administration fee, the fee for each subsequent poem in the batch is £3.50.

If you wish to submit more than six poems you will need to make a second submission which will include a second administration fee.

Please note we require poems to be sent as either as a Adobe PDF or a Microsoft Word .doc or a .docx. Please paste all your poems into one file which you can upload on the submission page after you’ve made your payment. You must retain your Paypal Transaction ID and Paypal account name and enter it on the form and fill in all the required fields.

Enter here.

If for any reason your poems failed to send, please attach them in a new email in Adobe PDF or a Microsoft Word .doc or a .docx format and send to


Enter the competition

Enter the competition

£6 for your first poem £3.50 for each subsequent poem.

Postal Entries – Download form below

If you hate the internet or just find the technology and payment system intimidating and would prefer your entry to be on paper in an envelope you can download the leaflet and entry form here. (PDF)

Competition Rules

•    Closing date of the Competition is midnight on March 1 2018.
•    The Competition is open to anyone over the age of 18, other than Rialto team members and staff of the RSPB, CCI and UK staff of BirdLife International.
•    Poems must have a title and must be no more than 40 lines, excluding the title, and be typed in black ink on one side of A4.
•    Poems must be the original work of the entrant and must not have been published, self-published or published on online or broadcast. Poems are judged anonymously so the poet’s name address etc., MUST NOT appear on the poem.
•    Poems must be written in English.
•    No corrections can be made to poems entered, nor can fees be refunded.
•    Entries cannot be returned.
•    If you require confirmation that your postal entry has arrived please enclose a stamped self-addressed postcard marked ‘Acknowledgement’.
•    Copyright of each poem remains with the poet, but by entering the competition you give the organisers the right to publish the winning poems both online and in printed media.
•    The judge’s decision is final and neither he nor the organisers will enter into any correspondence.
•    Prizewinners will be notified during April, and lists of the prizewinners and the long-listed contestants will be published on The Rialto website.
•    The competition organisers reserve the right to change the judge without notice and not to award prizes if in the judge’s opinion such an action is justified.