Photography Competition

Submit a photo to our monthly competition

For a chance to feature in one of our masks, send us your photo(s) on the theme of pandemic or epidemic.

We particularly like photos that capture the changed urban landscape and images that explore this extraordinary time of lockdowns.

Submission Guidelines

  • The photo must have been taken by you, and you must have submitted poems to the website.
  • We particularly like unique urban landscapes, cities and towns that have shifted dramatically since the beginning of 2020.
  • Surprise us! Take the theme of pandemic or epidemic in unexpected and creative directions.

July Winner: Oz Hardwick

Oz’s photo of a cat prowling down a deserted street in York is our new ABOUT icon on our homepage.

Congrats Oz and thanks for this unique slice of the early days of lockdown in York.

Check out Oz’s Four Poems, published 8th August 2020, here.

August’s Winner: Sarah Dixon

Sarah’s photo of the pastoral/urban landscape of The Colne Valley, in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, is our August photo of the month, and will feature in our new VIDEOS icon.

Sarah: Once lockdown started I was so glad we (I live with my 10 year old son) moved from Manchester suburbs three years ago. Here there is the space to breathe, we can do school work by the weir, feed the ducks and heron spot.

Check out Sarah’s Three Poems, published 3rd September 2020, here.

September’s Winner: June Torrance

June’s photo of a deserted London is our September winner. We love the play with architectural lines and the starkness of what was one of London’s busiest spots. June’s photo has also made it to our new Poems icon, which you check out on our homepage.

June Torrance: I have always loved photography and once Lockdown started I decided to take any opportunity to visit well known places in London and see and capture the atmosphere of the day. On my daily allowed walk I’d search out places usually bustling with tourists and people. I live near the Royal Marsden Hospital in Fulham Road and have spent over 30 years as a volunteer there with the Friends and in the last 15 years a member of the hospital’s Arts Forum. I am now the photographer in residence of the Trust and have asked the artist/poet in residence Audrey Ardern-Jones (who has poems on this site) to write something to compliment this photograph. I have previously had photographs selected for the Evening Standard Photographic Competition in 2018 on ‘London’ and much of my work is up in the Trust and elsewhere.

You can find Audrey Ardern-Jones accompanying poems here.

October’s Winner: Sarah James

Congratulations to Sarah James, whose ‘splattered’ is our October winner. We liked the grit and dirt in this piece, and how the textures are flooded with bright purple and orange. Splattered is now nestled in our ‘SUBMIT’ icon on the homepage. You can check our Sarah’s Two Poems here.

Sarah James: ‘Splattered’ was taken in September 2020 while I was out walking on the ‘edgelands’ of Droitwich, Worcestershire. Because I have type one diabetes, I’ve kept to self-isolation even outside of official lockdown. I love nature’s reclamation of town edges generally, and these are also places where I’ve found it easier to safe distance while walking or cycling. This photo features part of the graffiti under a road-bridge across the River Salwarpe. I chose to focus on what looks like a water/land-drainage outlet at the bottom of the art rather than the whole design because this seemed most symbolic of my pandemic experience: the need to find an outlet for anxiety/fear; creativity as one common distraction from worry; the grey mundanity of lockdown life below even a sometime apparently upbeat/colourful superficial appearance; the way that everything right now feels splattered by mud, even the unexpected moments of beauty. I don’t know the graffiti artist’s/artists’ intentions, but in this section I see three blood drops or red tears (that have lurked behind everyday life for months now ), but there’s also a bright splodge of light (the end of the tunnel/hope?).

January’s Winner: Diane Cockburn

Diane Cockburn’s Frost on Gorse and Cobweb is December’s Photography Competition winner, and the new image in our ‘Photography Competition’ icon on our homepage. We love the seasonal shadows and cool yet sunny colours in this image. Perfect for sweeping through these long locked-down evenings. For some accompanying reading, check out Diane’s Poem here.

Diane Cockburn: This photo was taken at the Woodland Trust site at Low Burnhall, Durham. A wonderful place.

I often go there with the dog to take exercise and to breathe in nature. It’s my escape and a haven for wildlife.

It was a beautiful frosty morning. I was looking for flowers on the gorse bushes as they usually bloom all the year round and I couldn’t find any. This worried me. Just then the weak December sun struck the bushes and I noticed the frozen cobwebs everywhere. The dark jagged spikes of the gorse. Spiders had spread out their nets, ready. Everything stopped, as if holding its breath. I had to take the photo.

I’m glad to say just after this I found a small clump of brilliant yellow gorse flowers, as  if to say. ‘Come on. We’re still here. Growing.’ 

Poetry and Covid-19 ARCHIVE (This website archives the over 1000 poems submitted by over 600 poets, and viewed by over 100,000 from over 125 countries during the Covid-19 pandemic, June 2020-June 2021). Thank you to all who took part in the Poetry and Covid project.