Saltaire Festival is Calling All Poets to Action

Saltaire Festival reinvented online for 2020 due to social distancing. Here’s your chance to take part.

Enter the 2020 Saltaire Festival Poetry Competition.

This year’s theme is Green Aire. We are looking for poems that explore some aspect of the Aire Valley and links with Saltaire.

So, these could be:

  • Reflections and/or concerns about the environment, positive or negative; comparisons about the floods/the sunny days/the pandemic and its impact on nature.
  • Reflections on your time in lockdown – perhaps you’ve been out more in nature than normal, or not as much; perhaps you’ve begun to identify birds or marvelled at the bluebells. Maybe you’ve brought nature indoors because you haven’t been able to get out.
  • Thoughts about mental health and well-being; the silence, the lack of cars, the time spent with family, crafts, arts, walking, writing.

These are just examples, but judges will be particularly looking for the links to the Aire Valley and Saltaire, not just general ‘green’ poetry.

Entries open now, closing date is midnight Friday 17th July 2020

3 categories, children (4 to 11 and 12 to 17) adults (18 and over) 

The best entries will be complied into an anthology which we will publish. There will be a launch event, ideally in the autumn to which all poets contributing to the anthology will be invited. Restrictions at the time may only allow an online launch. The winners will be invited to read their poems or hear them read.

The winners will receive a copy of the anthology, a certificate, and a book token. 

All anthology contributors will receive a certificate.

Entries should be emailed to:

or posted to: 19, Cookridge Street, Leeds, LS2 3AG

Full details and competition rules can be found on:

Need some inspiration to get going?

We have commissioned 5 short videos exploring styles of poetry; three for families and children, two aimed at 18+.

We are delighted that Irene Lofthouse has created and is facilitating our workshop videos. Irene is a writer, an experienced facilitator, writing tutor, social historian and creative learning consultant who designs and delivers inventive and engaging workshops and projects with Historic England, First Story, Freedom Studios, The Piece Hall, Bradford Libraries, Galleries and Museums. She devises and leads on creative projects with many organisations, schools, festivals, theatres, community groups and has appeared in films, on TV and radio.

The videos will be available on the website under events and they will be released every day starting on the 8th June 2020.

Get writing, we look forward to reading your poems.

Further details available from Ros Garside on

Guest Blog by Saltaire Festival