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Is Royalty Relevant? A Poetry Competition

October 10, 2019

The Task

We invite you to write a poem about a member or members of royal families from countries around the world.

This is the theme but first and foremost we are looking for outstanding poems, literary and subject wise, we don’t need to agree with your views, but we want to feel your poem comes from the heart and adds something new to our poetic legacy.

You can write about any aspect of royalty: their role, actions, dress sense, sense of duty, scandals, economic relevance, artistic or sporting interests, their dogs and other pets or even their handbag (what’s in it?). You can be a royalist or staunch republican, that’s all fine, as long as, we are moved, excited, amused, annoyed or inspired by your poem.

Some countries have created the role of poet laureate to provide a poetic comment on current events. This often presents quite a challenge for the poet in question, so take inspiration from these two noteworthy examples:

The last lines of ‘The Younger Sister’, a poem by former poet laureate Andrew Motion after the death of Princess Margaret:

A daughter gone before her mother goes;
A younger sister heading on before;
A woman in possession of the fact
That love and duty speak two languages.

The last lines of ‘In the Land of Kings’, a poem by former Dutch poet laureate Ramsey Nasr following an attack on the royal family during the (then) Dutch Queen official birthday celebrations:

a new order naturally starts
along festively cordoned-off lanes
a last queen will see her last subjects’ remains
run over like animals’ parts

Translated by Paul Vincent. You can read the entire poem in 100 Dutch-Language Poems.

What is the Prize?

The author of the winning poem will receive £200. The winning poem and runners-up will be published in our online magazine

The Judges

Publisher Bernadette Jansen op de Haar and her brother, poet and author Arnold Jansen op de Haar, will judge this competition and read all the poems.

Who can take part?

We accept poems from authors of all nationalities and based anywhere in the world provided you comply with these guidelines:

Your poem must be written in English
Translations are not accepted
Poems should not exceed 50 lines
The poem must be the original work of the entrant
The poems must not have been previously awarded or published
You can only send in one poem per entrant
You must be eighteen or over
You can be based in any country, but your poem needs to be in English
You can be of any nationality, but your poem needs to be in English
We only accept email submissions

The good thing about this competition that you do not need to pay a fee to enter your poem. So it doesn’t cost you any money but we do look for outstanding, literary poems.

When is the closing date?

You can send in your entries from 14 October and the competition closes on 27 April 2020 at midnight GMT. In the spirit of this competition, 27 April is King’s Day in the Netherlands.

How to submit your entry

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

The poem must be attached as a single Microsoft Word, Text or PDF file
Please use your name and the title of the poem when you save your poem
Royalty must appear in the subject line of the email
The body of the email should contain your contact details
Please do not add your name or contact details to the attachment that contains the poem
Please do not add your poem to the body of the email

Good luck! We look forward to receiving and reading your poem.