Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival – Ayrshire Poetry and Flash Fiction Competition

Mental Health Foundation (Scotland) Ayrshire Writing Competition

The competition opens on 4th March and closes on 14th April at 12 midnight. Shortlisted entrants will be notified by no later than 1st May 2019. It is open to anyone from Ayrshire or living and working in Ayrshire.

There are three categories:

  • poetry in English up to 30 lines (judge Caroline Johnstone)
  • poetry in Scots up to 30 lines (judge Tracy Harvey)
  • flash fiction of up to 600 words (judge Fiona McFadzean)

Titles are not included in the word count. The theme is “Connected” and how that relates to Mental Health. The first prize in each category is £20, second prize is £15 and third prize is £10.  All entrants must be 16 years or over.

You can enter all categories and enter as many times as you wish, as long as the entry fee is paid each time.  £5 for up to three  entries (one donation can be made for 3 people; the person making the donation just needs to tell us who else they are paying for) .  You will not receive more than one prize in each category.  The fee will go directly to the Mental Health Foundation (Scotland).

The winners will be announced at a drinks reception and prize-giving at The Park Hotel, Kilmarnock on Thursday 23rd May from 6.00 to 8.00 p.m.  Shortlisted entrants will be contacted by 1st May 2019 and invited to attend this event with a guest.  After the ceremony, the winners will be formally announced on social media.

Copyright remains with the authors.

General rules

Work submitted must be your own work. No use of or translation of another person’s work is permitted. Your entry will be acknowledged.  It will be considered as submitted, and cannot be altered. It can be withdrawn, but your entry fee will not be refunded.

No work submitted should have been broadcast or published in any format, including online. If you have submitted your poem elsewhere, you must tell us as soon as possible.  The piece would be automatically disqualified from our competition.  We just have an eight week window so that’s not long to wait before submitting elsewhere.

Without the entry fee, your poem will not be considered for the competition.

The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

To enter:

Go to to pay your entry fee of £2 or £5.  In the subject box on this page, give your name as Poetry Entry – Name of piece(s) and initials

Once the entry fee has been paid, please email with the following in the body of your email: the title of your piece(s), the first six words (of each piece, if more than one), your initials and your real name. You can submit using a pseudonym but must provide your real name at the time of entry.

Attach your typewritten piece(s) in a word document.  Poems should be single spaced in 12pt Times New Roman, flash fiction should be double spaced in Times New Roman. Pages should be numbered and the title included as a header/footer.  This document must only contain the piece(s) and title of the piece(s) and the word count. If it contains any information that would identify you, it will be disqualified. No bios are requested for the initial stage, but will be required if shortlisted