2018 Poetry

Our 2018 Inaugural Poetry Competition theme:

Every issue of The Woolf follows a theme. In December 2018 we’ll be interrogating the theme “Snowflake”.

Your challenge is to write a poem inspired by the same theme. Interpret it however you like. Release your imagination, and get writing.


  • 1st Prize – 150 CHF plus publication in the December 2018 issue of The Woolf
  • 2nd Prize – 100 CHF plus publication in the December 2018 issue of The Woolf
  • 3rd Prize – 50 CHF plus publication in the December 2018 issue of The Woolf

Closing Date

1st September 2018 (midnight CET).


A longlist will be publicly announced on 1st October 2018.


A shortlist will be publicly announced on 1st November 2018. Shortlistees will be notified in advance via email.


All three winning entries will be published in The Woolf December 2018 issue. All entrants will be notified in advance via email with the results.

Judge: Padraig Rooney

Born in Ireland, Padraig Rooney studied at Maynooth College and at the Sorbonne. His books include In The Bonsai Garden which won the Patrick Kavanagh Award for Poetry in 1986, The Escape Artist which won the Poetry Business Competition in 2005 and The Fever Wards, published by Salt in 2010. He won the Strokestown International Poetry Prize in 2009 and has been the recipient of two Irish Arts Council bursaries. He has taught abroad for many years and lives in Basel, Switzerland.

His poems and stories have appeared in Best Irish Short Stories 2 & 3 (Paul Elek, 1977, 1978), Phoenix Irish Short Stories (Phoenix, 1997), Scanning the Century: The Penguin Book of Poetry in the Twentieth Century (Penguin Viking, 1999), Haiku World: An International Poetry Almanac (Kodansha International, 1996), The Haiku Seasons (Kodansha International, 1996), The Backyards of Heaven: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry (2003), Dancing With Kitty Stobling: The Patrick Kavanagh Award Winners 1971-2003 (Lilliput Press, 2004) and Our Shared Japan: An Anthology of Contemporary Irish Poetry (Dedalus, 2007) and Best Irish Poetry in English 2010 (Southword editions, 2010).


Competition Rules

✎ Each entry submitted is 10 CHF.
✎ You may submit more than one entry.
✎ Entries may be up to, but not exceeding, 500 words, excluding your poem’s title.
✎ Entries can be published OR unpublished.
✎ Entries submitted online must be uploaded as Word documents.
Do not put your name anywhere on your entry, as it will be judged anonymously.
✎ We will not return or keep entries after the winners have been announced. Please keep your own copy.
✎ Entries must be in English.
✎ You must be 16 years or over.
✎ Online entries will be acknowledged within 48 hours, when we have had chance to give them a reference in our system.
✎ No alterations may be made to an entry once it has been submitted.
✎ Copyright remains with the author. The Woolf retains the right to publish the winning entries in publicity and on its website.
✎ Entries from regular contributors to The Woolf, or any person assisting in the judging process, will not be accepted.
✎ Prizes will be paid within 30 days of publication of the winning entries either by bank transfer or Paypal.

To Enter

You can enter by Post or online via PayPal.


  1. Pay the submission fee of CHF 10 with PayPal by clicking on the link below, and make sure you record the Transaction ID.Pay Now Button
  2. When your payment has been processed you will be redirected to the entry form, where you can upload your Word file. You will need to enter your PayPal Transaction ID at the top. If you close the page by mistake, you can always continue the process at: thewoolf.org/uploads.

  3. If you have any problems completing the online entry form, please email your Word Document to competitions@thewoolf.org. In your email body only (not in your attachment) please include: Your first and last name, your address, your email address, your PayPal Transaction ID and your word count.

By Post

  1. Print out and complete a cover letter. You can download a PDF by clicking this link: COVER LETTER. Or you can paste this link into your browser: http://thewoolf.org/launch/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Woolf-Competition-Cover-Letter.docx
  2. Print out your poem on A4-sized paper, making sure your formatting is: double-spaced, 12-point, Times New Roman. Make sure stanza breaks are clearly indicated. Make sure your name is ONLY on your attached cover letter, NOT on your poem. We cannot accept poems with a writer’s name on them.
  3. Include your entry payment in the envelope with your submission, or make a deposit to this account:
    *  Bank: Postfinance, Berne
    *  IBAN: CH77 0900 0000 8967 2796 7
    *  Account: The Woolf, Zurich
  4. Post your entry to:
    *  The Woolf Poetry Competition
    *  Schützenwies 5
    *  8926 Kappel am Albis
    *  Switzerland

Good luck!

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