UK’s bestselling poet to judge first ever Morecambe Poetry Festival competition

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The UK’s number 1 bestselling poet Donna Ashworth is set to judge at the first ever Morecambe Poetry Festival competition, ahead of her appearance at the event taking place September 20-22.

Poems on every subject are welcome with cash prizes for the top three entries and a special category for submissions from poets from Morecambe.

The deadline for entering is 6pm August 4 2024.

Winners will be chosen by Donna Ashworth, the Sunday Times bestselling author and the UK’s number 1 bestselling poet.

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Poet Donna Ashworth. Picture - Chris Watt Photography. 07887554193. www.chriswatt.comPoet Donna Ashworth. Picture - Chris Watt Photography. 07887554193.
Poet Donna Ashworth. Picture - Chris Watt Photography. 07887554193. [email protected].

Winners and shortlisted poets will be announced on September 1 2024.

The winning poets will be invited to read their poems at Morecambe Poetry Festival and their submissions included in this year’s festival anthology.

Appearing at this year’s festival will be Mike Harding, Pam Ayres, Donna Ashworth, Alistair McGowan, Lemn Sissay MBE, Henry Normal, Thick Richard, Raymond Antrobus, Tony Walsh, Kate Fox, Emma Purshouse, Steve Pottinger and Chris Lynam.

Taking place at the Winter Gardens, the second stage will be upstairs at The King’s Arms.

Tickets for the individual shows by the headline poets starting from £20 are now available from the festival’s ticketing page on Skiddle.

Donna started posting on social media in 2018 in a bid to create a safe social space for women to come together and connect, but her love of all things wordy quickly became the focus, and a past love for poetry was reignited.

Seven books and over 1.4 million followers later, Donna is delighted daily with her mission to shower the world with words and bring poetry back into focus. Donna’s bestselling books include Wild Hope, I Wish I Knew, Love, Loss, Life and To the Women.

On judging the competition, Donna said: “The beauty of poetry, as with any creative art form, is in the eye of the beholder. How can it be judged, therefore? For me, it is in the feeling. What atmosphere has the poet conjured up within their words, what message have I received and how strongly did that energy come through to join with my own?

“I believe words carry what they are and poetry is permission to infuse simple gatherings of letters into droplets of gold from the soul, which will stir up, create or release emotions, from within the reader.

“I am searching for those droplets amongst the entries and very much looking forward to reading the selection. I already know each one will be wonderful because how could they not be? Poetry is the inner workings of someone’s soft heart, poured onto paper for us to readily consume and be intoxicated by.”

The BBC is also bringing two of its leading Radio 4 spoken word and performance shows to the festival. Loose Ends will take place Friday September 20 at 6pm and The Verb presented by Ian McMillan will take place on Saturday September 21 5.45pm to 7pm. Both events are free to attend, with weekend ticket holders receiving first preference.

Weekend passes £65 standard / £80 premium. Individual show tickets are £20 standard / £25 premium.

Morecambe Poetry Festival is supported by Waterstones, T S Eliot Foundation, Morecambe Town Council, Eden Project Communities, Wordsworth Grasmere and the Arts Council.

Keep up to date on Morecambe Poetry Festival Facebook.