Organisers of the Farnham Literary Festival have made a friendly request to poets.

Entries are now being accepted for the Farnham Poetry Competition 2023 with Friendship being the theme.

There are sections for adults and children with entrants being asked to write a poem on the theme of friendship: what it means to them, who their friends area, what they value about friendship, and anything about the theme.

The competition is being overseen by the Parish of Badshot Lea and Hale and is part of the literary festival that runs from March 1 to 10.

Coral Rumble and Linda Daruvala will judge the children’s and adult’s poetry sections, respectively. Entry is free and with prizes for the winners and runners-up in both categories.

The winners will be announced at the poetry final evening on Saturday, March 9, at St Mark’s Church on Alma Lane. The 5pm event will include an open mic session for anyone wanting to share their poetry, while the two judges will also perform their work.

Rev Stella Wiseman, a priest in the parish and organiser of the competition on behalf of the festival, is thrilled Coral and Linda are on board.

She said: “Friends are absolutely vital to human well-being and we really want to celebrate them, which is why we chose the theme for this year’s competition.

“So we’d love lots of people to send in their own celebration of their friends and what friendship means to them.”

Carol won the Caterpillar Poetry Prize in 2018 while her collections have been promoted by education magazines and shortlisted for awards. She has published five poetry collections while her Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat picture book was longlisted for the Oscars Book Prize Award.

Linda is the author of Selah, a book of her own poetry, while her poem Diamonds on the sole of his shoes inspired the commission of a stunning painting which hangs in a church in Oxfordshire. She has been a regular at the South Downs Poetry Festival and has been interviewed by UCB radio.

Entrants should state whether they are entering the adult or under-16 category. Adults with particular educational needs may enter the under-16s category, but should call 07842 761919 or email for further information.

Entries should be sent to [email protected] or by post to Farnham Poetry Competition, St Mark’s Church, Alma Lane, Farnham, GU9 0LT, to arrive by 5pm on Friday, February 23.