Poetry Prize

1st Prize: CHF 250 | 2nd Prize: CHF 125 | 3rd Prize CHF 100*

All shortlisted poets are invited to the  Writing Workshop, the Winner’s Reception and will receive a copy of The Anthology

Submissions: Poems can be submitted from 26th October 2020 until midday, 2nd April 2021.

Shortlisted students will be contacted at the end of April and invited to the Workshop and Reception to take place in Luzern at the end of May 2021.

Submission is free, but is limited to two poems per student. Students may submit to both the Poetry Prize and the Short Story Prize.

Theme and Line Limit

Poetry Judge Carla Drysdale has chosen the theme of ‘Connection’ for this year’s Prize.

She writes:

“The theme for 2021 is “connection.” Even if they’re about disconnection, death, loss or alienation, the most powerful poems connect us, to ourselves, to each other, to the oceans, skies, trees and animals — and to the flow of ideas and history we call time. To the invisible forces of emotion, experience and memory.

Poet Emily Dickinson said, “If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.” That feeling she refers to is, at its essence, a real connection being made between the poem and the reader (or listener). Real poems pierce us with feelings and a spark of insight that can change our life.

Send me poems from your life that connect me to mine — and to our world which – even in its brokenness — is still our unspeakably beautiful home. Send me poems that aren’t afraid to tell the truth, to experiment, to make new connections, that remind me I’m alive and can see new things. If your poem doesn’t make you laugh or cry or realize something, it won’t likely do that for me.”

Line Limit

There is a 40-line limit per poem, and Carla writes, “any style, from formal sonnet to free verse. Please don’t rely on rhyme unless it’s fresh and surprising. I love unusual, (yet accessible) diction, syntax, imagery and rhythm.”

Entry requirements: The Poetry Prize is open to any student high-school-aged student in Swiss public upper-secondary education. There are currently no age divisions, however students must note whether they are mother-tongue English speakers, or following a bi-lingual study programme, and whether they are studying for the Maturity Certificate. The competition is not open to students from schools where the teaching is primarily in English, such as international schools, or students studying for international examinations.

Please read the rules before submitting.

*Prizes are paid in 50% cash/50% book tokens