Munster Literature Centre
Ionad Litríochta an Deisceart

Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition

Open for entries 1 September – 30 November

Most recent results here

Line limit: 40
Closing date: 30th November (midnight)
Entry fee: €7 per poem or €30 for a batch of five

The competition is open to original, unpublished and unbroadcast poems in the English language of 40 lines or fewer. The poem can be on any subject, in any style, by a writer of any nationality, living anywhere in the world. Translated work is not in the scope of this competition. Once entered, no alterations can be made to the submission. Simultaneous submissions are accepted but please notify us immediately should your work be accepted elsewhere.

Prizes

1st Prize
2nd Prize
3rd prize
ten Runners-Up

Judge

2024 JUDGE TBA

Submission Details

Email entry

Send to: godcomp@munsterlit.ie
Subject: GOD entry

Attach the poem(s) for submission, with each poem attached separately (Word / RTF/ ODT – we cannot accept PDFs or weblinks such as Google Drive). Please use the title of the poem (or the first few words of the title) as the title of each document. As the competition is judged anonymously, we request that you do not write your name or personal details anywhere on this document.

Attach the cover letter (separate text document (Word / RTF / ODT – we cannot accept PDFs or weblinks such as Google Drive) attached to the same email, not in the body of the email). The cover letter should include:

  • Your name
  • Poem title(s)
  • Email address
  • Email associated with your PayPal account (if different from your contact email address)
  • Phone number
  • Postal address
  • Image of PayPal receipt or the PayPal transaction ID number
  • How your heard about the competition
  • A brief bio (optional)

Payment of the entry fee can be made through PayPal below. PayPal will deduct the fee in your own currency. LINK WILL APPEAR HERE DURING SUBMISSION WINDOW.

Postal Entry
  • Poem(s) for submission (typed). To ensure anonymity, please do not write your name or any other personal details on the page. Each poem should be printed on a separate page with no back to back printing.
  • Cover letter: see required details above. Cover letter should be on a separate page to ensure anonymity.
  • Payment: If you have paid through PayPal, just quote the PayPal transaction ID. Alternatively, we accept cheques or bank drafts payable to the “Munster Literature Centre” in Euro, U.S Dollars or Pounds Sterling at a rate of €7 EUR per poem (or €30 EUR for a batch of five), $7 USD per poem (or $30 USD for a batch of five), or £6 GBP per poem (or £25 GBP for a batch of five). We also accept postal orders from the Republic of Ireland only. Please note that we cannot accept cash payment or Western Union money orders.
  • Send to:
    Gregory O’Donoghue Competition,
    The Munster Literature Centre,
    84 Douglas Street,
    Cork, T12 X802
    Ireland
  • Please do not send entries by registered post. Unfortunately, we are less likely to receive entries sent by registered post and your submission may be ineligible due to the delay incurred.
  • If you would like us to send you confirmation of your postal entry, please include a self-addressed stamped postcard or envelope (if posted within Ireland). We can confirm the receipt of international entries via email.
  • Postal entries postmarked on or before 31st November (even if received by us after the deadline) will be accepted.
Fees-Free entry

In a social justice initiative, the Munster Literature Centre is offering free entries of two poems each for thirty poets currently residing in a developing country (Africa, Central and South America, South East Asia, the Philippines, in the main) who do not have the financial means to pay the entrance fee for this year’s Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition. The places are offered on a trust basis. If you can afford the fee, we implore you not to use this facility as you will be depriving someone who really needs it. Only one free entry of two poems per person is allowed. Anyone who submits more than one free entry of two poems will have all their entries disqualified.

SUBMISSION PORTAL WILL APPEAR HERE DURING SUBMISSION WINDOW

The above Submittable portal will bring you to the fee-free submission option. Entries will not be accepted by other means outside of this time. The portal will close automatically when 30 entries have been received. Prepare in advance the following information, ready to input into an online form (copy and paste) as soon as the submission opens on 1st September (12 p.m. midday Irish Standard Time).

  • Your name
  • Titles of your poems (maximum of two)
  • Your complete postal address
  • Your email address
  • Your complete phone number (including country code)

You will need to upload two documents:

  • Cover letter containing a bio note and the same information listed above
  • Your poems, maximum of two, each with a maximum of 40 lines in Word or other text documents – we cannot accept PDFs. Please use the title of the poem (or the first few words of the title) as the title of each document. As the competition is judged anonymously, we request that you do not write your name or personal details anywhere on this document.

No changes to entries can be made after they have been submitted. The Submittable portal is for fees-free entries only.

More about the competition

The Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition was first held in 2010. It is a poetry prize for a single poem, open to writers from around the world from September to November annually. Sponsored by the Munster Literature Centre, the prize is named in honour of the late Irish poet long associated with the Centre.

Due to the large volume of entries, the judge will not be able to notify the authors of non-winning entries or give individual feedback. A shortlist will be posted on our website homepage by late February / early March, with winners and runners-up contacted contacted before the public announcement. If you need to withdraw an entry, please email info@munsterlit.ie. We recommend following us on social media or signing up for our newsletter to stay up to date with all competition developments directly:

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The Munster Literature Centre is a not-for-profit organisation; all money raised from the competition benefits writers and writing.

Previous Winners

YearAccoladeAuthorTitleSouthword
20231st PrizeJenny MitchellWhen Our Mother DiesIssue 44
2nd PrizeYesol KimBurying Grandfather
3rd PrizeNeverJudith H. Montgomery
20221st PrizeTimothy McBrideThe Last Kodak MomentIssue 42
2nd PrizeJames FinneganOperating Room
3rd PrizeSeán HickeyRuritanian Episode: A Fable of Sorts
20211st PrizeNicholas HoggConcertoIssue 40
2nd Prize Damen O’BrienA Smallholding
3rd PrizeGerry BolandThe Dog, The Accordion and The Stars
20201st PrizeJennifer SaundersCrosswalkIssue 38
2nd PrizeChris BurkeThe mighty salmon 
3rd Prize Jed MyersLastness
20191st PrizeShangyang FangArgument of SituationsIssue 36
2nd PrizeRon CareyLászló Kovács and His Sons Cross the Border
3rd PrizeChloe WilsonAt the Torturers’ Convention
20181st PrizeRobert LiptonOfficial StoryIssue 34 (online)
2nd PrizeMajella KellyPortrait of the City with Mastectomy
3rd PrizeKim AddonizioBlack Hour Blues
20171st PrizeMark WagenaarLate SongIssue 31A (online)
2nd PrizeAlan GarveyTara’s Thong
3rd PrizeSuzanne ClearyI Have Never Slept with an Animal
20161st PrizeLeila ChattiAfter Another Attempt at EighteenIssue 29A (online)
2nd PrizeMichael Derrick HudsonThe Invisible Man’s Blind Date
3rd PrizeJames O’SullivanDifferent Kinds of Life
20151st PrizeBreda Wall-RyanSelf Portrait in the Convex Bulge of a Hare’s EyeIssue 27A (online)
2nd PrizeCaitlin CowanLove Meter
3rd PrizeJane SatterfieldRadio Clash
20141st PrizeMaya C. PopaHummingbirdIssue 25A (online)
2nd PrizePaula CunninghamThe Weather in the Mournes
3rd Prize Matthew SweeneyBenito
20131st PrizeJudith BarringtonThe ConversationIssue 23A (online)
2nd PrizeGerry Bolandin the space between
3rd PrizeMaya C. PopaSashimi
20121st PrizeSuji Kwock KimSonogram SongIssue 21A (online)
2nd PrizeAlinda WasnerOde to the Night and the Morning Following an All-Day of Arguing
3rd PrizeTom MooreMeteorites
20111st PrizeSandra Ann WintersDeath of AlaskaIssue 19A (online)
2nd PrizeTadhg RussellSuperstition
3rd PrizeMike CaseyBulloch Harbour, Winter 09 
20101st PrizeJohn F. DeaneShoemakerIssue 17A (online)
2nd PrizeSiobhan CampbellClew Bay from the Reek
3rd PrizePatrick DeeleyGeezer