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National Poetry Prize

The National Poetry Prize is a South African competition for a poem of up to 60 lines. The guidelines and entry form for 2022 are available here.

Poets must reside in South Africa or be South African citizens. There is no theme; we are asking for each poet’s best original, unpublished work to be submitted. The competition is for poems in English. Poems can, however, be submitted in any of the official South African languages, provided they are accompanied by an English translation (judging will take place based on the English translation; any prize money awarded for a poem in translation will be shared equally between the poet and the translator). Multiple entries are permitted; there is an entry fee (please see the New Contrast website for details). All poems will be judged anonymously. A shortlist comprising of a maximum of ten poems will be announced on 28 February 2023. The winners will be announced on 3 April 2023. The winning poems will be published in New Contrast and the Jack Journal, guaranteeing wide exposure for the winners.