The Troubadour Poetry Prize

Troubadour International Poetry Prize 2018

judged by jo shapcott & daljit nagra

  • first prize £2,000
  • second prize £1,000
  • third prize: a week-long creative-writing course at the arvon centre of your choice
    with thanks to arvon: home of creative writing
  • plus for all prizewinners, an invitation to read at coffee-house poetry on prize night, mon 26 nov 2018, with jo shapcott & daljit nagra

submit via e-mail or post by mon 22 oct 2018

(check out 2017 winning poems & judges’ reports — along with previous years’ — on our poems page)


  • Jo Shapcott has been awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry & has won a number of literary prizes including Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Collection, Forward Prize for Best Collection, National Poetry Competition (twice), & the Costa Book Award for her most recent, Of Mutability. Poems from her three award-winning collections, Electroplating the Baby, Phrase Book & My Life Asleep are gathered in a ‘selected poems’ entitled Her Book.
  • Daljit Nagra was the first poet to win the Forward Prize for both his first collection of poetry, in 2007, and for its title poem, Look, We Have Coming to Dover!, three years earlier. His other publications include a retelling of the Ramayana, a Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition winner, Oh My Rub!, & two further poetry collections, Tippoo Sultan’s Incredible White Man Eating Tiger Toy Machine & his latest, British Museum (Faber, 2017).

judges will read all poems submitted


  • Poems: Poems may be submitted from any country & must be in English, must each be no longer than 45 lines, must fit on one A4 or US-Letter-size page, must show title & poem only, must not show poet’s name, must be the original work of the entrant (no translations) & must not have been previously broadcast or published in print or online; no text alterations accepted after submission; no limit on number of poems or number of separate submissions from any entrant; failure to comply with all rules results in disqualification.
  • Fees: £6/€7/$7.50 for 1st poem & £4/€5/$5 for each subsequent poem in same submission (Sterling/Euro/US-Dollars only); payment via PayPal (see options at bottom of page, PayPal account not required) OR via cheque/postal-order payable to Coffee-House Poetry.
  • By Post: No entry form required; submit two copies of each poem; include following details on a separate page: Poet’s Name & Address, Phone Number, E-Mail Address (if available), List of Titles, Number of Poems, Total Fees, & EITHER PayPal Receipt Number OR enclose cheque/postal-order; post to Troubadour International Poetry Prize, Coffee-House Poetry, PO Box 16210, LONDON W4 1ZP; no paperclips or staples, no Special Delivery, Recorded Delivery or Registered Post; entries are not returned.
  • By E-mail: No entry form required; e-mail poems to as attachments (.doc, .docx, .pdf, .rtf only); do not send to or; include following details in e-mail: Poet’s Name & Address, Phone Number, List of Titles, Number of Poems, Total Fees, & EITHER PayPal Receipt Number OR send cheque/postal-order by post.
  • E-mail address: By including e-mail address you agree to receiving e-mails regarding annual Troubadour International Poetry Prize. You will not automatically receive regular e-mails regarding Coffee-House Poetry readings & classes unless specifically requested.
  • Timeline: E-mail submissions by midnight (your local time) on Mon 22 Oct 2018; postal entries postmarked on or before Mon 22 Oct 2018. Prize-winners only will be contacted individually in week commencing Mon 19 Nov 2018. Prize-giving will take place at Coffee-House Poetry on Mon 26 Nov 2018.
  • Acknowledgement/Results: E-mail entries acknowledged within 14 days of receipt of both entry & payment; postal entrants may include stamped, addressed postcard or envelope marked Acknowledgement &/or stamped, addressed envelope marked Results; results will be posted on website (& mailed to all postal entrants who included a Results envelope) after Mon 26 Nov 2018; no correspondence will be entered into.

Our secure online payments are handled by PayPal.

You don’t need a PayPal account; all major credit cards will be accepted.

To identify your payment:

  • Please note the Receipt Number that PayPal gives you on–screen after completing your payment, and in your payment–receipt e–mail, and include it in your e–mail submission of poems (or on your postal submission).
  • Additionally, only if your PayPal name differs from the Poet’s Name, please include the PayPal name on your e–mail or postal submission. No need to add anything in the ‘Note to Seller’ box.

Our PayPal options allow payment for up to 10 poems at a time. If making a second or subsequent payment, whether immediately or at a later date, there is still no need to add anything in the ‘Note to Seller’ box.

If you are unsure about how to use PayPal, we have provided a page of illustrated instructions.

Poems: copyright © various named authors. All rights reserved.

Other content: copyright © Coffee–House Poetry 2008–2018. All rights reserved.

The Troubadour is at 263–267 Old Brompton Road, London SW5.

See for details, and our contact page for directions and a map.

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