Saltaire Festival 2020 – Poetry competition

Hirst Wood Lock in Saltaire.

Saltaire Festival 2020 – Poetry competition

As you know, due to the Covid-19 situation we have had to reinvent the 2020 live festival.

We have been exploring other ways of bringing some of the festival elements to you, and this is our first online event.

The Saltaire Festival 2020 – Poetry Competition

Our previous two competitions saw some brilliant poetry submitted, and we wanted to be able to offer the opportunity again to all you creatives out there.

This year’s theme is Green Aire.  We are looking for poems that explore some aspect of the Aire Valley and links with Saltaire.

So, these could be:

  • Reflections and/or concerns about the environment, positive or negative; comparisons about the floods/the sunny days/the pandemic and its impact on nature
  • Reflections on your time in lockdown – perhaps you’ve been out more in nature than normal, or not as much; perhaps you’ve begun to identify birds or marvelled at the bluebells. Maybe you’ve brought nature indoors because you haven’t been able to get out
  • Thoughts about mental health and well-being; the silence, the lack of cars, the time spent with family, crafts, arts, walking, writing

These are just examples, but judges will be particularly looking for the links to the Aire Valley and Saltaire, not just general ‘green’ poetry.

The competition is FREE to enter but donations would be appreciated if you are able to do, at

Before submitting your entry, please view the rules regarding the competition.

The best entries will be complied into an anthology which we will publish. There will be a launch event, ideally in the autumn to which all poets contributing to the anthology will be invited. Restrictions at the time may only allow an online launch.

The winners (up to 3 per category – refer to rules) will be invited to read their poems or hear them read.

The winners will receive a copy of the anthology, a certificate, and a book token.

All anthology contributors will receive a certificate.

Entries should be emailed to:

or posted to: 19, Cookridge Street, Leeds, LS2 3AG

Closing date is midnight Friday 17th July 2020

Need some inspiration to get going?

We have commissioned 6 short videos, the first an introduction then 5 exploring styles of poetry; three for children and young people and 2 for adults.

We are delighted that Irene Lofthouse has created and is facilitating our workshop videos. Irene is a writer, an experienced facilitator, writing tutor, social historian and creative learning consultant who designs and delivers inventive and engaging workshops and projects with Historic England, First Story, Freedom Studios, The Piece Hall, Bradford Libraries, Galleries and Museums She devises and leads on creative projects with many organisations, schools, festivals, theatres, community groups and has appeared in films, on TV and radio.  

The videos will be available on the website under events and they will be released every day starting on the 8th June 2020.

We look forward to reading your poems.

Take care everyone.