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The third Janet Coats Memorial Prize for poetry is open for submissions.

The third Janet Coats Memorial Prize for poetry is open for submissions.

To celebrate 2022 the Year of Scotland’s Stories, we’re looking for short poems that tell great stories of today’s Scotland. They could be in the old narrative style, mini-epics of heroes and great deeds. They could be in the Scottish tradition of ballads of love or loss. Or they could be contemporary Scottish tales of journeys, chance meetings or intriguing characters. At their best, they should draw an audience to the hearth on a cold February evening. We would like to read, hear and see your poetry on the theme of Scotland’s Stories.

Shortlisted writers will be revealed online in January 2021 and will have their work published and presented at Paisley Book Festival 2022 in February. All short-listed entries will be included in a pamphlet celebrating the Janet Coats Memorial Prize in 2022 and the winner will receive a cash prize of £850.

Renfrewshire Leisure’s Arts Manager Rikki Payne said, “Janet Coats was part of the thread-making heritage of Paisley and a great lover of poetry. It’s great to celebrate her legacy in such a creative and inclusive way. The quality of entries has always been outstanding and we can’t wait to read how Scotland’s poets respond to the theme.”

Entries should be no more than 40 lines long and should be submitted as a document, MP3 or MP4 file. For full terms and conditions, please click here. The closing date for entries is 14th November 2021.

A separate Janet Coats Memorial Prize for young people attending school in Paisley will launch very soon.


The Janet Coats Memorial Prize is part of Future Paisley, a radical and wide-ranging programme of events, activity and investment using the town's unique and internationally-significant cultural stories to transform its future.

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