Mslexia, the magazine for women who write | www.mslexia.co.uk
Please make sure you have read the rules before submitting
If I am sending more than one entry do I need to send a separate £7 cheque for each entry?
No, please send one cheque for the total amount of your entries – and send them in one envelope with one cover sheet listing the titles of all your poems.
I live in the UK – can I email my entry?
Yes. We now accept online entries from entrants anywhere in the world. Please follow the online instructions very carefully, so that we can match up your poems and payment and process your entry correctly.
How do I enter online?
When you click on the online entry link you will be taken to the payment page. Select the payment for the number of poems you are submitting. Complete your payment and you will then be redirected to the form where you can submit your poems. Poems must be sent as an attachment. Payment of entry and the submission of poems must be done at the same time.
How do I make sure the formatting of my poems is correct when entering online?
If your poem has unusual formatting, the safest way to send us your entry is by post. Mslexia cannot be held responsible for any adverse changes inadvertently made to poem formatting when it is submitted through the online entry form.
How should my poems be formatted on the page?
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the format of your poems, as long as they are legible. Single-spaced, size 11 or 12 in Times New Roman or Arial is the usual, and the easiest to read. Please make sure your name does not appear on the same pages as your poems as they are judged anonymously.
How should I lay out my cover sheet?
Make sure you include your name, address, email address and phone number, as well as the titles of all of the poems you are entering. You only need to send us one cover sheet with all of your poems listed on it, as long as they are all sent in one envelope. Click here for a .doc downloadable version which can be filled in on your computer and printed out; printed out and filled in clearly by hand; or just used as an example.
Is Freepost really free? Even for A4 envelopes?
If you are sending your work from the UK, then yes, there is no need for a stamp. It does tend to take a little longer than second class though, so if you're sending your work very close to the deadline, it is best to put a stamp on it and send to our normal PO Box address instead: Mslexia Women's Poetry Competition, Mslexia Publications Ltd., PO Box 656, Newcastle upon Tyne NE99 1PZ. We regret that the Freepost service is not available for entries posted from overseas. Please see our competition rules for guidelines of how to submit your work.
I have made changes to my poem since submitting my entry to the competition. Can I send a replacement poem?
No, we cannot make any changes to poems once they have been submitted. However, if you would like your revised poem to be considered, you can enter it again with the relevant fee. Both poems will then be considered.
My poem has been published in my writing group's pamphlet/website or on my personal blog. Can I still submit the poem to the competition?
In general, any poems that have been published before are ineligible. However, if your poem has been published by your writing group or on your personal website and has had a relatively small audience we would usually accept the poem. You must not have received any prize/payment for the published poem. If an editorial decision by someone else has been made to include your work – i.e. it has been chosen from a selection submitted to a site – it is ineligible. Please make a note of any publication like this on your entry and we can then consider each case individually.
Can I enter the poetry and pamphlet competition at the same time, with the same poems?
Yes. As long as any poems entered into the single poem competition are previously unpublished and fulfil all of the other eligibility criteria, then these poems can be included in your pamphlet collection entry. The competitions are judged anonymously and separately, and the outcome of one competition will not influence the other. The judging schedules are also different – winners of the poetry competition are announced in the September issue of Mslexia; the pamphlet competition winner will be announced in the December issue. If you are entering both competitions, make sure you read the rules for both competitions thoroughly before entering.
You are welcome to send in a sequence of poems, but they will be treated and read as individual poems when it comes to the judging process – separated from each other, anonymous, and not seen as part of a larger whole. Because of this, each poem in the sequence counts as an individual poem and should be formatted, and paid for, as such: i.e. each poem should appear on a separate page with a title.
If your poem is one long poem in parts, then we can accept this as one poem, but it must be formatted as such: i.e. each part of the poem must run on from the last, rather than appearing on separate pages, and we would expect one over-arching title or for each part of the poem to be numbered. We understand that there is often a fine line between a sequence and a poem in parts, and there are innumerable ways to format a poem, so if you are unsure please contact us before you send your poem in. +44 (0)191 204 8860. Please be aware that we do check every poem before we send it on to be judged, so we may contact you ourselves if the format of the poem is unclear in this regard.