Tuesday, 13 July 2021

The 9th Ó Bhéal Five Words International Poetry Competition

July 13th – 20th 2021

pine elude wheel depend jazz


The 2021/2022 (9th) competition runs for 41 weeks.

Every Tuesday at midday (UTC) from 13th April 2021 – 25th January 2022, five words will be posted on this competition page. Entrants have one week to compose and submit one or more poems which include all five words given for that week.


A prize of 750 euros will be awarded to the winner, plus 500 euros for second place and 250 euros for third place. These three, if available will be invited to read at Ó Bhéal’s fifteenth anniversary event, on Monday the 11th of April 2022. Should we be able to host a physical event at that time, then an additional travel fee of 100 euro plus B&B accommodation will be provided for this. The overall winner also receives a physical award, hand-crafted by acclaimed glass artist (and poet) Michael Ray.

The shortlisted poems and winning entry will also be published in Five Words Vol XV – the next annual anthology of five word poems, to be launched at the same event. A shortlist of twelve poems including the overall winner will be announced by the first week of March 2022.

The judge for 2021/22 is Maurice Riordan.
The five words offered each week for the 9th Five Words competition (2021-22) are sourced from Ó Bhéal’s ninth year of live Monday evening Five Word Challenges (held during 2015-16). A small, varied selection of additional words are also used due to deletion of duplicates, colloquialisms, etc.

Submission Guidelines

Download your submission form here.

Entry is open to all countries. Poems cannot exceed 50 lines in length (including line breaks), and must include all five words listed during this week. A modicum of poetic license is acceptable. As long as the original spelling is intact within your syntax, you’re welcome to extend, pluralise or even split the words to appear across two adjoining words. Poems should be newly written, during the relevant 7-day period. There is no limit to volume of entries. Each payment and submission should be made separately.
NB** Entrants should be at least 18 years of age at the date of submission.

Entries to be sent no later than 12pm on the relevant Tuesday.

Submissions carry a 5 euro entrance fee.

Payment should be made via this paypal button before continuing.

Once payment is made, please copy your poem into the completed submission form (one poem per form), and email to

fivewords [at] obheal.ie

or by post (postmarked by Tuesday at latest) to:

Ó Bhéal
Five Words Poetry Competition
c/o Civic Trust House
50 Popes Quay

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