Skip to main content

Frederik van Eeden Poetry Competition

April 3, 2010

By Holland Park Press

On the 3rd of April, it was the 150th birthday of one of Holland Park Press’ authors, Frederik van Eeden. To celebrate this day we are holding a poetry competition.

The Task

The history of a woman’s life. How she sought the cool deeps wherein lies deliverance, and how she found it.

These lines form the opening sentences of the novel Hedwig’s Journey (Dutch title: Van de koele meren des doods) by Frederik van Eeden which was published by Holland Park Press earlier this year.

They also define what the novel is about. You should take your inspiration from these lines and write a poem on the theme of the purpose or indeed the futility of life from your point of view, male or female.

We are looking for poems that are based on your personal experience but have a universal appeal. These are some of the subjects that could inspire you: the changing seasons, illness or good health, addiction to drugs or alcohol, differences in social background, spirituality or humanism, music and sexuality.

Who was Frederik van Eeden?

Frederik van Eeden (1860 – 1932) was a novelist, dramatist, poet and critic and also studied medicine and became interested in psychiatry. If this was not enough he was also interested in reforming society and was a pacifist. He used this background beautifully in Hedwig’s Journey, a brilliant novel which provides a gripping portrait of a young woman.

What is the prize?

The author of the winning poem will receive £100 plus this poem will be published in our online magazine.

Who can take part?

Anyone who submits an entry that complies with these guidelines:

  • The poem has to be written in English
  • Translations are not accepted
  • The poem should be 30 lines or less
  • Poems must be the original work of the entrant and must not have been previously awarded or published
  • You can only send in one poem per entrant


When is the closing date?

You can send in your entries from 3rd of April and the competition closes at the 30th of June.

How to submit your entry

In order to enter the competition you have to email us. We regret that we cannot process entries that do not follow the guidelines set out below, so please read these instructions carefully.

  • The Poem must be attached as a single Microsoft Word file

  • You need to use Word 97-2003 file type (.doc extension not .docx)

  • The font should be 12-point, Times New Roman

  • The Word file has to be named as follows: ddmmyy_firstnamesurname_frederikvaneeden.doc 

  • ‘Frederik van Eeden Poetry Competition’ must appear in the subject line of the email

  • The body of the email should contain your contact details

This competition is now closed. If you are looking for details about our short story competition Living under Fire which is running at the moment please go to this page.