This year Ambit Magazine are delighted that Fred D’Aguiar is to be the judge of the annual Ambit Poetry Competition. Our editors had much discussion about the theme for this year and have come up with the word ‘Cataclysm’ as our prompt.

We hope this will inspire you to write not only about our natural world and climate crisis but also of all the particular political and health epidemics that we are facing.

Our winners will receive cash prizes and publication in the October edition of Ambit along with being invited to read at the launch. First prize will be awarded £500, second £250 and third £100.

To submit visit:

For every 5 paid submissions the submitter will receive a free vintage Ambit worth £20.
The competition is open for submissions from 1 April to 15 July 2020 and the winners and runners up will be announced on 1 September 2020.

Rules and regulations:

1. The entries must be the original work of the author. The competition is open to anyone, of any age of any nationality, aged 16 or over.
2. Poems must not have been previously published, either in print or online – this includes self-publishing and blogs.
3. There is no minimum line requirement, but poems must not exceed 50 lines.
4. Please do not put your name, address, email or any identifying marks on the word document in which you enclose your poems. These details must be in your cover letter only.
5. All entries must be written in English. Translations into English are accepted and encouraged, but the poem must be marked as ‘Translation’.
6. No simultaneous submissions – any poems or fiction that become published after submitting to the competition will be disqualified.
7. The winning entries will be announced on 1 September 2020.
8. The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Guide to Postal Submissions:

- Postal submissions must come included with a cheque made out to Ambit. Each submitted poem costs £6. If submitting from overseas please include Visa or Mastercard details including expiration date and security code or pay via Paypal using [email protected] We do not accept non-sterling cheques.
- Poems must come with a cover sheet, which will contain your name, postal address and email address. If you do not have an email address, please include an SAE with UK stamps. As the judging will be done anonymously, absolutely no names or addresses should appear on the individual poems.
- The competition deadline is 15 July 2020. Only submissions postmarked on or before that date will be accepted.
- Send your postal submissions to: Ambit Competition, Staithe House, Main Road, Brancaster Staithe, Norfolk, PE31 8BP, UK.

Submitting poetry and prose

Ambit is put together from unsolicited, previously unpublished poetry and short fiction submissions. When we say unpublished we mean completely original, never been on your blog, never been on a website and certainly never been in print.

Due to the amount of submissions we receive, we are only able to print about three per cent of the work that comes through our door. So how do you get into that narrow band?

First, get to know Ambit before you submit. Is your work a good fit? What sort of thing does Ambit print? Buy a copy to find out . . .

If you decide your work is right for us then log on to our submissions portal and send us up to 5 poems in one Word document, or 1 story up to 5000 words in length. We’re very enthusiastic about flash and very short fiction too which is under 1000 words that have not been published elsewhere including blogs and internet. Our portal opens twice a year on 1st of February and 1st of September. See Submittable for full details.

Please include your postal address, phone number  in your cover letter. For fiction please include the word count of your submission.

Click here to use our online submission portal

If you are not able to use the online submissions portal, we do have a postal address to which you can send your work: Staithe House, Main Road, Brancaster Staithe, Norfolk, PE31 8BP, UK. We would encourage you to submit online if at all possible.

- We do not read any email submissions. Use the portal above please.
- If sending via post, please include your email address. If you do not have an email address, include a self-addressed envelope with UK stamps. For international submissions, we can only reply via email.
- If you have sent your work in by post and want your manuscripts returned, please make sure the return envelope is big enough and includes sufficient postage.
- Our response times vary. We receive a huge amount of copy, have only a few readers, and like to read submissions carefully. We generally respond within two months.
- We do not accept simultaneous submissions, and please only send one submission per submission window.
- Keep a record of exactly what you have sent and when.
- We receive too many submissions to be able to give feedback on rejected work.
- We do not print articles, essays, interviews, memoirs or biography.
- By submitting your work you give us first print rights, and the right to reprint your work on our website and in digital form. Once we have printed your work, all rights return to you (except for our digital and internet reprint rights). Those electronic rights do not affect your right to publish your work elsewhere in any forms you wish. Please be aware that we use social media for marketing and we are in the process of working on our on-line digital archive so that is included in the digital rights.
- If work appears in Ambit, you must credit us in any future anthologies or collections in which your work appears stating that the piece was first published in Ambit Magazine and giving the year in which it was published.
- Once something has been published in Ambit we request that it isn’t posted on a blog or website for at least three months. After that please include a link to our site with a note that the piece was first published in Ambit.


The art in Ambit is the result of our art editors’ ongoing research. We like to discover new practices by visiting exhibitions and exploring artists’ studios.

As well as art features our illustration editor invites two illustrators per issue to illustrate prose selected by our prose editors.


Ambit is a charity and we run on a tiny budget, however any money we do make goes back into the magazine. Please see our payment schedule below:

For poets, flash fiction writers and illustrators from the UK – a copy of the Ambit you appear in plus either:  an extra copy, a half-price subscription (worth £15) or a cheque for £10

For UK story writers and featured artists – a copy of the Ambit you appear in plus either: three extra copies, a one year subscription (worth £30) or a cheque for £30.

For overseas contributors we are restricted due to currency exchanges and postage rates.  So the following applies:

For Overseas poets, flash fiction writers and illustrators – one copy of the issue you appear in.

For Overseas story writers and featured artists – three copies of the issue you appear in.

Here are a few more things to think about:

The editors are not overly fond of the following: wild flights of stylistic abandon (indiscriminately centre-justified poems, jazzy fonts, poems all in italics) and folders full of poetry or reams of stories in a single submission. We’re not afraid of genre fiction, but it should probably have an interesting relationship to the genre at hand – a straight-ahead detective or horror story probably won’t appear in Ambit.