As of today I’m not accepting any more submissions for the 2014 poetry book. But you can submit poetry for a competition starting now on October 17th, designed to battle mental health stigma. First prize will receive £50. Plus it wins schizophrenia poetry goodies. Other outstanding poems will receive schizophreniapoetry t-shirts. On top of that first prize gets their poem featured on YouTube.

I will be looking for poems that refute stereotypes about schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Names such as ‘schizo’ and ‘mental’ are still used every day and the media regularly focuses on money grabbing headlines about mental health and violence. As this poem will be on YouTube it should be family orientated and be something positive that critiques the stigma, but does not attack it. Please use your creativity to illicit emotions of compassion, love, peace, hope and empathy for the plight of those suffering with schizophrenia.

The video will be a short animation incorporating the content of the poem. To enter you must be the author of the poem, and it cannot be published elsewhere. You will keep the copyright to your poem, but agree to the use of your poem for a YouTube video. You may submit as many poems as you wish. I will post your poems on the blog. The closing date is 20th December. Good luck! I know stigma is a complex subject but please use your positive creativity to win the debate.

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