Throughout history, the resilience and accomplishments of black women have frequently been overshadowed or taken for granted. This year, the Black History Month Magazine, in a pivotal collaboration with the esteemed Black Writers Guild (BWG), seeks to shine a light on these unsung heroines. The BWG, a beacon for black literary talent in the UK, has for years been a platform for championing voices from the African and Caribbean diaspora, providing mentorship, fostering networking, and pushing for representation in the broader literary community.
We’re proud to collaborate with such a significant entity, and together, we proudly present the National Black History Month Poetry Competition for 2023. Anchored around the empowering theme “Saluting Our Sisters,” it’s more than just a theme—it’s a heartfelt invitation. We’re reaching out to poets of all backgrounds and ages to celebrate the myriad contributions, challenges, and vibrant legacies of black women. In the spirit of inclusivity, this competition is open to everyone, inviting voices from every corner to share in this grand poetic tribute.
Everyone! Poetry knows no boundaries. Whether you’re a novice scribbler or a seasoned poet, we want to hear from you. To make participation smooth, we’ve divided the competition into four age-based categories:
- Primary (Ages 5-10)
- Secondary (Ages 11-16)
- College/University (Ages 16-24)
- General Public (Aged 25 and above)
The Essence of the Poem
For this competition, we want your words to weave stories around black women. Dive deep into narratives that celebrate:
- Trailblazing black women who have made notable strides in their professions or endeavours.
- Personal accounts of black women who have been pillars of strength and inspiration.
- Candid introspections on the joy, pride, and essence of being a black woman.
Whether you write about internationally acclaimed figures, cherished family members, community heroines, or draw from personal experiences, every story is valued and vital.
The Judging Process
Ensuring fairness and transparency, our poems will be critiqued by a select panel from the Black Writers Guild. This esteemed committee will gauge entries for their creativity, originality, and how well they align with the competition’s theme. The objective? To discover poems that truly encapsulate the spirit of Black History Month and duly honour the vast contributions of black women.
Perks and Prizes
Winners from each category will receive a cash prize. But that’s not all. Selected poems will be immortalised in our anthology, Saluting Our Sisters. And to add a cherry on top, winners will be the guests of honour at a special celebration in March 2024.
Important Dates to Remember
- Submission Deadline: 15th November 2023
- Judging Period: 16th November 2023 – 2nd February 2024
- Winner Announcement: World Poetry Day, 21st March 2024