Entries are coming in from as far afield as Canada and Ecuador for this year’s .
This year the competition has introduced major changes to celebrate the richness of Scotland’s three national languages.
For the first time the £1,500 prize will be open to English, Scottish Gaelic and Scots language poems, with entries invited from around the globe.
The change marks the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages in 2019.
As in previous years there will also be dedicated categories, with top prizes of £500, for the best Scots and Scottish Gaelic poems.
A new pamphlet award has been introduced commemorating Alastair Reid, who was born in Whithorn in 1926, and became one of the country’s foremost literary figures.
Marjorie Lotfi Gill, who chairs the Wigtown Book Festival Board of Trustees, said:“One of the really impressive features of the Wigtown Poetry Prize is its international reach.
“This year we have received entries from all across Scotland and the UK and beyond to countries such as France, Canada and Ecuador.
“We are also very pleased with the response to our new pamphlet award. This allows us to celebrate not just terrific individual poems but short collections of work.”
The deadline for entries is 7 June and the prizes will be awarded at the Wigtown Book Festival which takes place from 27 September to 6 October.
For the second year there will be a Dumfries and Galloway Fresh Voice Award to help nurture emerging poets based in, or from, the region.
This year the competition has new partnerships, including with StAnza, and is building on its established relationships with the Gaelic Books Council, the Saltire Society, The Scottish Poetry Library and others.
The competition, which is organised by the Wigtown Festival Company, is now working with an even broader group of partners and supporters.
One benefit is that the winner of the Fresh Voice Award will have a free residency at the Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre.
The pamphlet category winner will have 30 copies of their work set by Gerry Cambridge and copies will be distributed to those attending the awards ceremony, at The Wigtown Book Festival this autumn (27 September to 6 October).
This year’s competition takes place in association with:
- The Gaelic Books Council
- Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre
- Saltire Society
- Scottish Poetry Library
- Scottish Review of Books
- StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival
The competition has a distinguished line-up of judges including John Burnside, Gerda Stevenson and Kevin MacNeil.