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The William Bonar Poetry Prize 2023

Supported by St Mungo’s Mirrorball and Scotland-based publisher Red Squirrel Press

Submissions are now open for the third, 2023, annual poetry prize for Scottish-based poets in memory of William Bonar. This gifted and well-loved poet was the co-founder of St Mungo’s Mirrorball. He published three titles, his second pamphlet and full collection were published by Red Squirrel Press.


Entrants should be over 18 years old and currently based in Scotland. They should not previously have had a pamphlet or collection published by a publisher. Entry is free but restricted to one entry each year.


Entries should be of 10-12 poems, must be the original work of the poet and can be in English, Scots and Gaelic. The poems should not be more than five years old and entries should be accompanied by a short biography in a single document. Email entries marked ‘The William Bonar Poetry Prize’ to


The judges are Sheila Wakefield, Founder and Editor of Red Squirrel Press, Elizabeth Rimmer (Red Squirrel Press poet, reviewer, editor), Eleanor Livingstone (Former Director of StAnza), Padraig MacAoidh (Gaelic judge) and Lynnda Wardle, writer and William Bonar’s partner.


The winner will receive the following:

  • Publication of a pamphlet by Red Squirrel Press

  • 30 free copies and 50% discount on unlimited further copies

  • Editorial support in developing their pamphlet from poet, ‘The Dark Horse’ founder, editor, essayist, typesetter and designer Gerry Cambridge who is Red Squirrel Press in-house typesetter and designer.

Closing Date

The Closing date is 31st December 2023 and the winner is expected to be announced in February 2024. Last year’s winner of the William Bonar Poetry Prize (2022) was Jane Picton Smith and she read from her winning pamphlet at St Mungo’s Mirrorball on Friday 6th October 2023.

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