Frequently Asked Questions

We thought it might be useful for you to take a look through these FAQs, along with the rules if you are thinking of submitting to the Prize this year. If you have a question about the Prize, please take a look through these FAQs to see if it’s answered.   

On this page the FAQs are available in text (scroll down).

FAQs in Alternative formats

FAQs – BSL video:

FAQs – Audio

FAQs – a .docx download:

FAQs – text

This Prize is for deaf and/ or disabled poets. By this, we mean poets who have faced disablist and/ or audist barriers in accessing their careers. 

Within this, we explicitly include the following: 

  • Deaf, deaf and hard-of-hearing people
  • Blind and visually impaired people
  • People with mobility and physical impairments
  • People with chronic illnesses and long-term health conditions 
  • People with mental health conditions or experience of mental distress
  • Neurodivergent people and people with cognitive impairments and learning disabilities 

We are aware that this list is not exhaustive and that there may be other people who consider that they have faced disablist or audist barriers, or who identify as deaf or disabled, and also encourage these people to apply

If you are not sure this applies to you please feel free to contact us by emailing [email protected] 

You can view the BSL video, listen to the audio and download a .docx version of these FAQs on the Prize here on the website from Thursday 7 September.


How many categories does the Prize have?

The Prize has three categories: 1) best single poem, 2) best poem performed in British Sign Language and 3) best unpublished pamphlet.

Can I submit to all three categories of the Prize?

Yes, you can submit work to all three Prize categories. You can use one form to submit to one, two or three categories; you do not need to submit more than one form. 

Can I submit more than one entry to each category?  

Only one entry per category per poet will be accepted. Please adhere to this; if we see multiple entries to any category we will read your first entry and discount the others. 

Can I submit the same poem to the best single poem and best poem performed in British Sign Language categories? 

You cannot submit the same poem to each of these categories.

The best single poem category is for poems as written on the page, and the best poem performed in British Sign Language category is for poems as they are performed. 

You can submit a written version of the poem to the best single poem category and a video to the best poem performed in British Sign Language category

I entered the 2023 Disabled Poets Prize, can I enter this year’s Prize?

Yes. You can enter the 2024 Prize regardless of whether your poem/s were placed (i.e.: longlisted, shortlisted or won) in the 2023 Prize or not.

Is there a fee to submit an entry? 

There is no fee for entering but we suggest a donation of £7 per entry if you can to help us cover our costs. 

Can I submit a video or audio entry?

For best poem performed in British Sign Language your submission must be a video entry with recording length no greater than 4 minutes.

For best single poem, and best unpublished pamphlet, your submission must be a text document and you cannot submit by audio or video. Please refer to the Prize’s Terms and Conditions for the line and page lengths for each of these categories.

For all categories you may submit your answers to the submission questions (writers’ bio) by text in English, audio in spoken English or video in spoken English or British Sign Language.

You can download the entry form from the Prize website which gives more details. The entry form is available in .doc, audio and BSL video formats.

How do I make my submission?

Online entries should be made through the online form which is linked on the Prize website. You can use one form to enter multiple categories. Please note you will need to create an account with Submittable which is free to do, to submit your entry. For your reference, we have provided BSL video, audio and .doc versions of the entry form on the Prize website so you can prepare your submission prior to entering the Prize. 

If you prefer to post your entry for the best single poem and best unpublished pamphlet categories of the Prize, you can can post your poem/s with the entry form, which can be downloaded from the Prize website, and send it and your poem/s to: Disabled Poets Prize, Spread the Word, The Albany, Douglas Way, London SE8 4AG. 

We can only accept printed text postal entries. Please make sure you send us copies of your work as postal entries cannot be returned. We will acknowledge receipt. 

Will you be providing feedback for all the entries? 

Unfortunately, we aren’t able to provide feedback for all the entries we receive. Judges will provide a paragraph of feedback for the top twelve entries. If you are looking for feedback, we suggest that in the first place you ask a trusted critical friend, whose opinion you trust.  

Does my entry have to be entirely poetry?  


What are the prizes? 

The Prizes on offer for shortlisted poets in each category include: First place prize of £500, second prize of £250, third place prize of £100, and three highly commended prizes of £50 each.

In addition, the Prizes on offer for shortlisted poets in each category include: an online professional development session with CRIPtic Arts and Spread the Word; one full year of membership to The Literary Consultancy’s Being a Writer community platform. 

In addition, the Prizes on offer for winning poets include: publication by Verve Poetry Press for the winner of the best unpublished pamphlet category, two Arvon Zoom Masterclasses for the winning poets in each category and an Editor one to one session with The Literary Consultancy for the winning poets in each category.

Can I submit a piece that has been published elsewhere?  

For the best single poem and best poem performed in British Sign Language categories of the Prize, entries must not have been previously published, so no.  

For the best unpublished pamphlet category of the Prize, entries must all be new unpublished work.

Can I submit something from a book that already has a publishing deal but has not yet been published?  

Extracts or complete poems that are already due to be published are not eligible for this Prize.  

Why are CRIPtic Arts, Spread the Word, Verve Poetry Press and Verve Poetry Festival collaborating on the Prize?  

The barriers faced by deaf and disabled poets building their careers are significant, and there are very limited opportunities designed around the needs of deaf and disabled poets. By collaborating on the Prize, we hope to illuminate the incredible work produced by deaf and disabled poets, bringing them to greater prominence and supporting their further development.

I have self-published poetry previously. Can I enter?  

It is ok to submit to the Prize if you have only self-published poetry, as long as you have not had a publishing contract or been published by a press or publishing house. In addition, for the best unpublished pamphlet category, you cannot already have self-published a pamphlet or collection if the print run was over 50 copies. 

I want to enter a poem/ poems that I’ve published on my blog. Can I enter it?  

Unfortunately not. If you want to rewrite it significantly and submit it to us, that’s ok. We want the Prize to be for new pieces of writing that are yet to find readers.  

I have previously lived in the UK but am now based abroad. Can I enter?  

Unfortunately not. The competition is open to deaf and disabled poets based in the UK. We want to ensure that those who do well in the competition are supported and are able to take up the offers available to the winners and shortlisted poets, so you do need to be based in the UK to enter.  

I was not born in the UK, but I now live here. Can I still enter?  

Yes, deaf and disabled people over 18 residing in the UK are welcome to enter, you do not have to have been born in the UK.  

Who are the judges for the Prize?  

The best single poem category will be judged by Stephen Lightbown and Jamie Hale. The best unpublished pamphlet category will be judged by Pascale Petit and Jamie Hale. The best poem performed in British Sign Language category will be judged by Kabir Kapoor. 

Why has the Prize been established?  

Deaf and disabled poets face significant barriers to developing their creative careers. The Prize has been established to find the best work created by UK based deaf and disabled poets, in written English and in British Sign Language. It aims to bring the work of the winning writers to new prominence, focusing attention on the exceptional work being produced by deaf and disabled writers. The Prize is the first of its kind in the UK. 

How long has the Prize been running for?  

This is the second year of the Prize.

How is the Prize funded?  

The 2024 Prize is supported by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) and donations. The Prize also benefits from support from Spread the Word, CRIPtic Arts and Verve Poetry Press and Verve Poetry Festival.

How can I connect with the Prize on social media?

You can connect with the Prize in the following ways:

On Twitter:

On Instagram:

How can I support the Prize?

We welcome donations to support the Prize to grow and be able to take place on an annual basis. A suggested donation per poem entered is £7, but we recommend that people on income-related benefits should donate less or enter for free. If you can afford to donate more, to cover the costs where people cannot afford to do so. If a donation is given by a Prize entrant, this will not affect the decision making of the judges. Donations can be made via the Prize website or through the Prize’s Total Giving weblink:

I’m a publisher or agent. How can I get involved?  

We’d love to hear from you. Email [email protected] if you’d like to be involved in the Prize and we’ll see what we can do.  We are very keen that these awards open up opportunities for the winning writers and would appreciate a chance to have a conversation.

I’d like to enter the Prize but I still have a question.  

Email [email protected] and we’ll do our best to answer your query.  

The Prize’s website is: 

If you are considering submitting an entry to the Prize please make sure you have read the Prize’s Terms and Conditions and Eligibility Criteria. We have also created a Quick Guide to entering the Prize. All of these are available on the Prize website in audio, BSL, and .docx formats.