Contest Rules

We recommend all entrants read the rules carefully before entering. If you have any questions please contact the organiser at Please click donate above to help our cause after you submit!


  1. There are two competitions:
    1. 16-17 year olds 
    2. Aged 18 or over at the time of entering
  2. The closing date of the competition is midnight (BST) 23rd April 2021.
  3. Under no circumstances can alterations be made to poems once entered.
  4. The competition organisers reserve the right to change the judging panel without notice and not to award prizes if, in the judges’ opinion, such an action is justified.
  5. The judges’ decision is final. The judges nor the team will enter into any correspondence.
  6. All poems must have a title and must not exceed 30 lines in length (excluding title). Entries must be on the topic of human rights as determined by the age categories.
  7. Poems must be the entrant’s original work.
  8. Entries must not have been published, self-published, published on a website or made public on social media, broadcast or featured among the winners in another competition.
  9. Winner entrants must be willing for their poem to be read at an event (the poet can read or assign the reading to another person). 
  10. Only one or two max entries per poet
  11. All entries will be considered anonymously by the judges.

Poem submission

  1. Your poem should be submitted as either a word or pdf document in English
  2. Enter by e-mail attaching your poem to: with your preferred contact details and the competition you are entering in the subject heading
  3. or via google forms upload here
  4. Telephone or email confirmation of receipt is not available. The team are unable to confirm the content of documents submitted by email, so please ensure you send the correct version.
  5. It is important for judging to be impartial that actual scripts of poems contain no personal identification marks. All entries will be judged anonymously and the poet’s name must not appear on the poem itself.
  6. Entries will not be returned, so please keep a copy.

No fee but donations are welcomed

There is no fee to enter the competition but we welcome donations to Amnesty International Donate here to help their human rights work. Since 1961 Amnesty International have helped free over 50,000 people who have been unjustly imprisoned. Also bringing torturers to justice and exposing the truth about human rights violations, and have made those in power change their ways. We recommend a donation of £3 to help!


  1. Prizewinners will be notified by the middle of May 2021 and invited to an awards/reading event on the 27th of May 2021. 
  2. All winners will be expected to provide a biography and photograph.
  3. All entrants who provide a valid email address will be notified about the outcome of their entry by the end of May 2021.
  4. The copyright of each poem remains with the author. However, authors of the winning poems, by entering the competition, grant Amnesty International the right in perpetuity to publish and/or broadcast their poem. Use of the poems elsewhere for one year from May 2021 is subject to permission from the team
  5. The Reading Amnesty International poetry competition aims to raise the understanding of human rights abuse through poetry.

A selection of prizes is available in both the 16-17 and adult categories, and have been kindly donated by organisations that have no affiliation with Amnesty International.  

This is a selection of the possible prizes: A course of up to 4 weeks from the The Oxford School of Poetry or a course to an agreed value from the Poetry School  or a Rob Ryan print 

The winners and runners up will be invited to perform their poem at a virtual event on Thursday 27th May between 18:00 and 20:00 (BST). We have some very distinguished judges and poets reading at the event.Reading Amnesty International group will keep your data for the next 12 months to contact you regarding  prizes and/or for using your poem for a future purpose and to inform you about other Amnesty International events.