The Seamus Heaney Centre are currently calling for submissions for their First Collection Poetry Prize. The Poetry Prize celebrates the work of the Seamus Heaney Centre and honours Seamus Heaney himself. The Seamus Heaney Centre are dedicated to excellence and innovation in creative writing and criticism. 

The First Collection Poetry Prize is ‘awarded to a writer whose first, full collection has been published in the preceding year, by a UK or Ireland-based publisher.’ 

The successful candidate will be awarded £5,000 and invited to read at a prestigious public event with all travel, accommodation and relevant expenses paid for. This may be subject to health and safety restrictions – last year’s event took place online. 

The winner will be decided by a judge’s panel selected by The Seamus Heaney Centre, who will then compile a shortlist of five books. The shortlist will be announced in June 2021 and the winner will then be announced in July 2021. All shortlisted candidates will be invited to participate at the Award Event.

To be eligible to enter the submission must be the first collection by the author and be a minimum of forty pages long and must not be part of an anthology or compilation with other authors. Entrants can be any nationality, but your book must be written in or translated to English and have been published in the Uk or Ireland. Submissions are also being welcomed from publishers who are free to make as many applications on behalf of authors as they want. 

To enter you must send 3 hard copies of your book in with your entry form (these are unfortunately not returnable). If you have had any press coverage be sure to include this in your application as well. All books must carry an ISBN. You can find the address to apply on your entry form. 

To more information and to download the entry form visit