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Library competitions

Current competitions

Photography and poetry competition 2016

Surrey Libraries have partnered with Hurtwood Press and Blue House Festival to produce a one-off high quality photography and poetry book – Words in Focus – which will tour around libraries at the start of 2017. All of the entries included in the book will be selected from this competition and will showcase the best of Surrey’s landscapes and poetry.

This is the perfect opportunity for both professional and amateur entrants to have their work featured in print and showcased across libraries in Surrey.

Poetry competition only

Your poetry submissions can be on any subject. We will be shortlisting the entries for the poetry competition and the top 20 poets will be contacted to recite their poetry at our poetry evening at Oxted Library on 20 October. If you feel unable to recite your poem in front of an audience then a member of staff will recite it on your behalf however we would still appreciate you attending the evening.  We will also be shortlisting poetry for the book, which will include the poems included in the poetry recital evening and also poems submitted to the competition. If you have any queries please email

How to Enter

Each entrant may submit up to a maximum of four images of Surrey landscapes as a high resolution jpeg image (minimum 300dpi) or four poems by email to Include your name, mobile number and email address. You may enter both competitions but please do so separately.


  • All photography submissions must have been received by 11pm on Sunday 2 October
  • Title your photo file as follows: yourname_titleofimage.jpeg
  • Please also state the location of where each image was taken.


  • All poetry must have been received by 11pm on Monday 10 October.
  • Please put your name in the subject/title of your email.
  • All entries must be attached as .doc or .docx files and should feature your name either before or after your poem/poems.

Rules for entry

  1. Applicants of any age are encouraged to participate, if under the age of 18 then parental/guardian consent must be given.
  2. All images or poems submitted must be the work of the individual submitting them and must not have been published elsewhere or have won a prize in any other competition. Entrants must warrant that the image or poem they are submitting is their own work and that they own the copyright.
  3. Copyright for all images or poems submitted for this competition remains with the respective entrants.
  4. However by entering the competition, you grant Surrey Library Service and its partner Hurtwood Press a non-exclusive, irrevocable licence to reproduce, enlarge, publish or exhibit, on any media, the images or poems for any purpose connected with the Competition. This may include, but is not limited to:
    a) inclusion in the competition book – print & digital versions;
    b) display at any exhibitions;
    c) on a secure web browser for judging purposes;
    d) on the Surrey County Council website and on the websites of our partner Hurtwood Press;
    e) for use in press, promotional and marketing materials – both print & digital;
    f) on social media used by Surrey Libraries and its partner Hurtwood Press.
  5. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  6. (Photo competition only) Your digital image must be of a Surrey landscape (min 300dpi image) and ideally should have been taken within the last three years.

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Time Machine Reads – Photography competition

Congratulations to our winner Sean who was photographed reading the War of the Worlds on Horsell Common where HG Wells' Martians first landed. A perfect Time Machine Read that links reading and H G Wells to the past and maybe the future.......

See the winning picture and the other entries on our Pinterest Board.

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Shakespeare Competition – To Quote or Not to Quote

This competition closed on 4 September.

Prize winners will be notified by email or phone shortly and no later than Friday 9 September. Failure to claim a prize within 14 days may result in disqualification and selection of a new winner. Only one prize per entrant will be awarded.

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