Poetry can act as an outlet to speak the words we have previously left unsaid. The ghosts that haunt us appear on the page; bare and honest. Showing the struggle of mental illness through stanzas of illustrated emotion allows others to understand what we are going through. Poetry can be a beautiful way to remind those who suffer similarly that they are never alone in their feelings, however much it may feel like it.  

Find power in poetry

The last few months have been particularly difficult, with a whole host of uncertainties. It has been a triggering and isolating time for many. This is why we want our members and others to find power in poetry and enter our competition, running in collaboration with Arkbound Publishing, to celebrate the release of author Harriet Knock’s debut poetry collection ‘Emerging From the Storm’. This collection of emotive poetry focuses on the author’s personal experience of being a young mother suffering from mental illnesses such as depression, self-harm, anxiety and anorexia, as well as her amazing victory of recovery.

The poetry competition will be open from the 1st-27th of September, with the winner announced on the 10th October, aligning with both with the release of Harriet’s ‘Emerging From the Storm’ and World Mental Health Day 2020. The winner will receive a copy of Harriet Knock’s ‘Emerging From the Storm’  and have their poem published on Arkbound and Changes Bristol’s platforms.  

Poems must be written in response to the phrase ‘Emerging From the Storm’ and no longer than 40 lines long. 

To enter as a Changes Bristol Member, please send a copy of your original poem to: changespoetry@changesbristol.org.uk.
To enter as a member of the wider public, please send a copy of your original poem to: UKpoetry@changesbristol.org.uk.
Alternatively, for postal submission please send a copy of your original poem with your contact details attached to Changes Bristol, Barton Hill Settlement, 43 Ducie Road, Bristol, BS5 0AX. Please clearly state whether you are a Changes Bristol member or member of the wider public.

If you are unable to write your poem down, but able to speak it aloud instead, please do not hesitate to contact our team on 0117 941 1123. We will be more than happy to help you submit your work.    

Additional Submission Guidelines
  1. The competition is open to anyone aged 18 or over at the time of entering. UK entries only. 
  2. The closing date of the competition is midnight (UK time), 27th September 2020.
  3. Each entrant is limited to three entries. All entries will be considered anonymously by the judge(s).
  4. Entries will not be returned, so please keep a copy.
  5. Alterations cannot be made to poems once entered.
  6. Entries will receive a confirmation of receipt once submitted. 
  7. All poems must have a title and must not exceed 40 lines in length (excluding title). Entries should be written in response to the phrase ‘Emerging from the Storm’.
  8. Poems must be the entrant’s original work and must not have been previously published or featured among the winners of another competition. 
  9. Winners will be announced on 10th October 2020- World Mental Health Day and will receive a free copy of Harriet Knock’s debut poetry book ‘Emerging From the Storm’.
  10. The winners will be invited to write a review of ‘Emerging From the Storm’ by Harriet Knock for Changes Bristol.