Janet Coats Memorial Prize

Be radical and submit your poems to the Janet Coats Memorial Prize.

Janet Coats was part of the renowned thread-making family, J&P Coats. The eldest daughter of Thomas Coats and Margaret Glen, her father was one of four brothers who inherited a Paisley-based thread manufacturing company that was renamed J&P Coats in 1830. She was also the wife of publisher, James Tait Black and Janet's own literary aspirations resulted in two volumes of nature-inspired poetry, one of which was published as Verses and Rhymes, in 1899.

Paisley Book Festival’s theme this year is Radical Voices and Rebel Stories and, motivated by the voices and actions of radical young people on climate change we would like to read, hear and see your poetry on the theme of climate change.

Please email your poems of up to 40 lines (either in a Word Document, MP3 or MP4 file) to prize@paisleybookfest.com with Janet Coats Memorial Prize in the subject line. You can enter once and the closing date for entries is 5pm on Friday 13th December 2019. And you don’t have to be over 18 to submit an entry, we have a prize for Under 18s too.

Shortlisted writers will be revealed online in January 2020 and will have their work published and presented at the Paisley Book Festival 2020 in February. Our judges have yet to be confirmed, and the winners will be expected to attend an Awards Ceremony as part of the Paisley Book Festival in Feb 2020. Winners will be announced on the night and there are cash prizes for both winners in the Under and Over 18s categories.

Closing date: Friday 13th December 2019 at 5pm.

Submitting your work: email your poems of up to 1,000 words to prize@paisleybookfest.com in a Word Document, MP3 or MP4 file with ‘Janet Coats Memorial Prize’ in the subject line.  Writers retain full copyright of their work.

Who can enter? If you are over 18 and were born in Scotland or you live or have lived in Scotland, you can enter the Janet Coats Memorial Prize. If you are under 18 and live in Renfrewshire, you can enter the Janet Coats Memorial Prize.

Prize: Over 18s: £850, Under 18s: £150

Supported by University of Edinburgh.

 Terms and Conditions

  1. Entries received after 5pm on Friday 13th December 2019 will not be eligible for the Janet Coats Memorial Prize.
  2. Writers may submit only once whether written, MP3 or MP4 file.
  3. Writers retain full copyright of their work and we will only publish work with the permission of each winning shortlisted writer.
  4. The competition is open to residents of Scotland over 18, those who have previously lived in Scotland over 18, or residents of Renfrewshire under 18.
  5. There is no entry fee, no purchase necessary and you do not need to attend any of the Paisley Book Festival events to enter this competition.
  6. Written poems submitted in ARIEL font at 12 point size, with single-spaced poem lines and double-spaced Stanza spacing

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