National Poetry Day: share your verse for freedom

It’s National Poetry Day on 1 October. Here at Anti-Slavery International, we’re passionate about the power of words to express injustice, to hear and to call others to action. That’s why we’re inviting you to enter our very own poetry competition on the theme of freedom.

The winning entry will be featured in our latest edition of Reporter – our members’ magazine that dates back the early abolitionist movement of the 1820s and 1830s. This will be sent to our dedicated supporters and shared on our website and social media platforms.

We’re looking for inspiring, thought-provoking entries that really grapple with the theme of freedom, slavery and justice, and we can’t wait to hear from you!

Perhaps you’re a longstanding poet, someone who’s looking for a new challenge or maybe even a new starter who took up writing during lockdown? Maybe you know your villanelles from your Spenserian stanzas… maybe you’ve never written verse at all. Whatever your background, we’d love to hear from you.

Here’s some poetic inspiration to get you started, from our colleague and resident poet Mide:

All we ask is that the poem be in written form, no more than 300 words in total, and your own original unpublished work. We’re open to creativity, new ideas and artistic inspiration, and poems in all shapes and forms. We look forward to reading your entries!

Competition details:

Deadline for submissions: Wednesday 22 September 2021 at 23.59 BST.

Please submit your entries as either a Word or PDF document via email to Elizabeth Arif-Fear at Please also include in your email: your full name, postal address, social media profiles (if available), a short bio (100 words) and a photo of yourself.

If you prefer to remain anonymous for privacy/security reasons, please do let us know. Please also confirm that you are over 18 years of age, or that you have consent from a parent/guardian/ward to enter and lastly that you are happy for your work to be published in Reporter magazine and distributed through our communications channels, in print and digitally. You will retain full copyright in your work.

The winning entry will be announced on Friday 1 October 2021 online and will feature in the Autumn 2021 edition of the Reporter.

Entries will be judged by our in-house team.

Meet the judges:


Mide Sotubo

Mide is an international spoken word poet and aspiring barrister from London. She currently works as a policy and monitoring assistant at Anti-Slavery International.

She uses her poetry to share stories inspired from her own and others’ experiences. In her spare time, she enjoys writing and performing poetry and working with children and young people. She is also an avid basketball fan.



Andy Wasley

Andy is Anti-Slavery International’s communications manager, and a writer on the environment, culture, and LGBT+ issues.

In his spare time, he is a nature photographer and hiker, and an avid reader of poetry and literary non-fiction nature and travel works.