A huge thank you to everyone who entered this year’s Love the Words international poetry competition. As in previous years, there were many entries – just over 200 in total – from all ages around the world. We were pleased to read poems from the UK, US, Italy, India, Nigeria, Malta, the Philippines, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa. In the end, only 30 poems could make the final anthology, however, so judges Hannah Ellis and Mab Jones were faced with the difficult task of reducing the number of poems received to this figure.

In the first instance, some excellent poems were removed from the running because they were not on the theme of ‘hope’. This was a terrible shame to both judges but an important rule to stick to. Others were then removed because they did not adhere to the 25 line rule of the competition. Some fabulous poems were lost because of both these factors, sadly.

Hannah and Mab then compared and contrasted their favourite poems out of those left. They easily agreed on 20 of the poems, and then wrangled and reduced the remainder to an additional 10, making some very difficult choices regarding who to leave out and who to put in. This was not easy and took some days to accomplish.

The judges then had the task of choosing the single winners in each age category, but this proved easier and, again, was down to which poems Hannah and Mab personally preferred. These 3, and the other 27 poets, are listed below, and you can read all of these wonderful poems in our online anthology.

In addition, Hannah and Mab would like to say that they really enjoyed the poems from all the children who entered this competition. There were very few of them in the end (unlike in previous years), so we were unable to add a children’s section to the book as hoped. The judges compared the children only to each other, of course, rather than to older writers.

All 3 main winners stood out because of their ages, however, in relation to the quality of their poems. Young winners Ava and Eurion are, impressively, a brother and sister (so much talent in one family!), and Bailee is just 21 years old. Their poems were brilliant, but impressed the judges even more when considering these factors. Congratulations to all 3 of you! We will be in touch with you all shortly regarding your small individual prizes.

We were, by the way, unable to offer this ebook on Amazon, as we had hoped, as Amazon demanded that we charge a fee for the book, even though we see many books on there for free! So, we offer it instead as a PDF which you can download. Copyright of the poems remains with the individual writers.

Again, we’d like to thank you for your incredible contributions and entries to this year’s competition. We absolutely loved reading your words, and we hope that you all enjoy the fantastic anthology that is the result.

Happy International Dylan Thomas Day 2020!

Love the Words winners

Ava Gwenan John, 10, Wales – Winner in our 10 and under age category
Eurion Gwyn John, 13, Wales – Winner in our 11-18 age category
Bailee Wilson, USA – Winner in our adult age category
Rebecca Sian Brown, Wales
Donna Nemmers , USA
Maggie Harris, UK
Huw Meirion Lewis, Wales
Barbara Meredith, England
Hannah Newberry, Wales
Maggie Wang, USA
‘Lakelorn’, Finland
Rebecca Lowe, Wales
Kavya Pradeep, 10, India
Lizzie Ballagher, UK
Sanjyokta Deshmukh, India / Wales
Emily Cotteril, Wales
Kate Lucas, 17, UK
Ellie Nevin, England
JLM Morton, England
Iona Mandal, 13, UK
Julia Angell, UK
Richard Daly, Wales
Lidia Chiarelli, Italy
Mark Lewis, Wales
Fiona Ritchie Walker, UK
Louisa Guise, UK
Denni Turp, Wales
Taz Rahman, UK
Jessica Douthwaite, UK
Christina Thatcher, Wales

Click here to download the PDF