First pamphlet contest 2021

The 2021 contest offers two poets the prize of publication of their first poetry collection as a pamphlet book. Each prize includes 50 free copies, publication of some sample poems in wildfire words, and headline poet status in an international online Zoom event.

Plus! This year we are offering another prize specially for poets who are 25 or less — New Voices. DETAILS

Judges for 2020 Frosted Fire Firsts

Angela France
David Luken
Lee Potts

Judges will be led, as in previous years, by Angela France who will decide the winners and commended poets. Angela will consider entries in a long list produced by two triage judges, who are the poets who won publication of their first pamphlet in the 2020 contest  — David Lukens and Lee Potts. All entries will be read by David or Lee at the triage stage. Every entry will be anonymous at all stages of judging.

Rules for Frosted Fire Firsts 2021

Closing date: 15 February 2021

The prize books will be published as a pamphlet of 32-pages (or less), containing up to 28 pages of poetry. Entries for the competition should be as a single file containing up to 10 poems that showcase the poet’s work.

  • The contest is open to all poets who have not had a pamphlet or collection published by an independent publisher. A self-published pamphlet or collection does NOT exclude a poet from entering.
  • All poems must be entirely the entrant’s own work. Individual poems in an entry may have been published online, in journals or magazines, or multi-author anthologies, provided the writer retains copyright.
  • International entrants are welcome.
  • Your entry must contain no more than 10 poems, each of no more than 60 lines. Each poem should start on a new page. (Winners will be invited to submit enough poems for a 32-page pamphlet.)
  • You may submit up to three entries, each of 10 poems, provided an entry fee is paid for each.
  • Your entry’s title should appear on a separate first page. The title may relate to a key poem or suggest the collection’s theme if it has one.
  • To maintain anonymous judging, there must be no identifying marks on any poem or title page.
  • Each entry should be in one file in Word or Rich Text format.. Each poem should be on a separate page.
  • Do not put any identification on the work. The competition administrator will match your entry title to your email address after the anonymous judging is complete.
  • Simultaneous entries in other contests are accepted, but an entry must be withdrawn in the event of it winning a prize or publication elsewhere.. Entry fees are not refundable once an entry has been received.
  • Work will not be returned, so please keep a copy.
  • We are unable to give feedback on individual entries or on the results of the competition — the judges’ decisions are final.
  • Results will be emailed to all winners by 31 March 2021 and published on this website shortly afterwards.
  • The fee is £12 per entry. (The Early bard discounted fee ended on 22 January 2021.)
  • All entries must be paid for, and entry form and entry file received, by the closing time of 11.59 pm on 15 February 2021.


Step one is to pay for your entry or entries. Payments, by credit or debit card, will all be processed by PayPal. You do not need a PayPal account to pay by card. But if you do an account, you can use it to pay if you wish. If you have two or three entries, you can make one payment for your files. The entry form allows you to enter each file name, and to upload all your entry files together.

First, please pay for your entry or entries

Frosted Fire Firsts entry

Payments, by credit or debit card, will all be processed by PayPal. You don’t need a PayPal account to pay by card — just CLICK ON THE CARDS in the button below.. To pay by your PayPal account, click on PayPal. Confirmation of your payment to CHELTENHAM POETRY FESTIVAL will be emailed to you, including a payment transaction number. You will need that number to enter the competition.


Now please complete your entry form

You can send your entry any time after confirmation of your payment. To complete the entry form, you need to copy the payment transaction number and paste it into this entry form:

Have a problem with your payment or entry? Please email to:

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