Thank you to all who supported wildfire words and frosted fire at Cheltenham Poetry Festival during 2021. Whether you entered or judged our competitions, submitted poetry to our ezine, attended winners’ events & book launches, or bought books from our wonderful authors, you are a valuable part of our best publishing year yet.
Our raison d’etre is sponsoring the Cheltenham Poetry Festival. We are grateful for all the collaborative support of Anna, Zoe, and Annie, the Festival management team, particularly for hosting our online events.
More than 700 poets from 15 countries submitted their work to wildfire words through our three competitions or our online magazine (ezine). We published nearly 100 poets online, and more than 60 of them read at Festival Zoom events. We are proud of publishing award-winning debut pamphlets for six wonderful poets – Ben Verinder, David Lukens, Imogen Osborne, Lee Potts, Maeve Henry, and Natalie Perman.
For 2022, we plan to build on our growing momentum. Our three competitions will run again, and previous winners of each will play a key role in anonymous judging of the entries. Once again, the total prize fund will be well over £3,000. After paying the judges and publishing expenses, any surplus will be donated as usual to sponsor Cheltenham Poetry Festival events and outreach programmes. We are also beefing up our free submission programme for poems published in the wildfire words ezine.
If you are building your debut poetry collection one of these competitions may be your best stepping-stone to success:
New Voices First Pamphlet Awards for poets 25 or younger – open until 28 February 2022
Frosted Fire First Pamphlet Awards for poets of any age – open until 18 April 2022
For either contest, you can enter with a file of 10 of your best poems. Four entries will win their author publication in 2022 of a pamphlet of up to 32 pages – plus a publishing contract, 50 free copies, a book launch as a Cheltenham Poetry Festival Event, marketing support, and an opportunity to be a paid judge in the next competition.
Every Breath is a theme with all sorts of possible images: our planet, Covid, life force, energy, speech, singing, misting a window in winter…
The prizes for first, second, and third are £350, £150, and £75 respectively. Up to three highly commended poets will receive £25. All the above, plus the long-list of commended poets, will be published in an online anthology in wildfire words.
We suspended our ezine submissions window last spring as we coped with long Covid alongside the publishing programme. However, we are reinstating it on steroids in January.
From 1st January 2022, we are featuring a continuous programme of open submissions of up to 3 poems to be considered for publication in wildfire words. They can be on any topic, or in response to one of the prompts we suggest from time to time.
Very best wishes for a happy and creative 2022. We look forward to receiving and sharing your poetry next year
Marilyn & Howard Timms December 2021