u3a - Poetry Competition Rules

The poem

  • It must be in English.
  • It must not have been published before or submitted to another competition.
  • It must be a maximum of 16 lines, plus the title.
  • Your poem must have a rhyming component.
  • We are only looking for humourous poems – those intended to make the reader laugh.
  • Your poem should contain no swear words, and should be suitable for a mixed audience.
  • Your poem should contain no photographs or pictures.
  • Your submission must be on the theme of: ‘hobbies or interests’.
  • Any poem not conforming to these guidelines will not be read by the judges.

Data and copyright

  • Worldwide copyright for the poem will remain with the author but all entrants must give permission as the author of the submitted poem for the Third Age Trust and Third Age Trust Trading Ltd. to hold, process and display the work on their website, social media accounts and in other Trust media e.g Third Age Matters magazine, in relation to this competition. You will always be credited alongside your poem, if chosen.
  • The Third Age Trust and Third Age Trust Trading Ltd. will have the right to edit & publish the submitted work on its website, social media accounts, in Third Age Matters and/or in an eBook.
  • The Third Age Trust may contact you only in relation to your poem and your data will not be used for any other purpose.

Eligibility and submission

  • The competition is open to current members of a U3A. For the avoidance of doubt, any entrant must be a member on Monday 12th October 2020 and remain a member until the end of 2020.
  • Entry is free but limited to one poem per person.
  • Entries must be received by 12 noon on Friday 20th November 2020.
  • You must submit your entry via the online form on the Third Age Trust website, which will be open until the deadline. You can send an entry in as soon as it is ready, within this window only. Please ensure you submit your entry in good time and preferably not on the last day. Please note that the Third Age Trust can make no allowances for any technical issues which prevent or delay submission e.g. internet problems, and you are encouraged to submit your entry in good time. 
  • We regret that postal entries cannot be accepted.

Presenting your poem

  • The poem must be clearly typed in black with a ‘normal’ font. Entries must be submitted in MS Word (we are unable to open .odt files).
  • You must include a title at the top of the poem.
  • You must complete your details on the submission form. These details will not be seen by the judges and the forms will be deleted after the competition ends.
  • Your name and U3A MUST NOT appear in your poem.

Judging and the prize

  • The top ten will be decided by a panel of judges and will be notified. An overall winner will be determined.
  • The top three, including the overall winner will be announced in January 2020. 
  • The top three poems will be featured on the Third Age Trust website and published in Third Age Matters magazine, which is distributed to over a quarter of a million households.


The Judges’ decision is final in all matters. Judges and organisers will not enter into any correspondence/discussion with any entrant.

Any poems not conforming to the above rules and specifications will not be accepted.