About the theme

The Dead Cat Poetry Prize is a prize dedicated to poetry about... yes, dead cats. For more details about what this theme means in practice, please see our FAQs

How to enter


1.    Entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m GMT on October 31 2023.

2.   In lieu of an entry fee, we can accept donations to the Prize on a pay-what-you-decide basis. A minimum donation of £1 can be submitted via Donations of larger amounts are welcomed, but this will not influence the judges' decision in any way. Donations are not a requirement for entry but they will help to ensure the future of the Prize.

3.   The poet’s name must not appear on the poem itself or the file name of the submission, so that entries may be judged   anonymously.

4.   All submissions must be sent to as a .doc .docx, or .pdf file.

Terms of entry


1.   The competition is open to anyone aged 16 and over at the time of entering. International entries are welcome. 


2.    Poems must be your own original work.


3.   Poems submitted must not have been previously published, either online or in print. Entries must not have been named among the prize winners, commendations or shortlist of another competition.


4.   Poems must be written in English. Translations (in English) of your own poem in another language are welcome, as are poems in any variant or dialect of English.


5.   Poems must be no longer than 60 lines on no more than 2 pages.

6.  There is no limit to the number of poems you can submit.

7.  Poetry not related to the theme will not be considered. For more details on the theme, please refer to the FAQs.

8. Donations will not be refunded under any circumstances.




1.   The 2023 prize winners will be announced on The winning poems (1st, 2nd and 3rd place) will be published on the website and credited to the winning poets. By submitting your work, you grant The Dead Cat Poetry Prize the right to publish any poem you enter, in part or in whole, on the competition website and in any relevant promotional material, including press releases. 


2.   Subject to the above, copyright for each entry remains with the respective author. 

3.   Prizes of £75, £30 and £15 will be awarded to the overall, second and third prize winners respectively.

4.  The judges’ decision is final. Judges of The Dead Cat Poetry Prize are not able to enter into discussion about their decisions, or to offer feedback.


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