Make us laugh, cry, sing, or applaud. But timorous beasties need not apply as our Burns Night Poetry Competition returns for 2023!

If you’ve always fancied yourself a poetic genius undiscovered or just really want to win some delicious whisky, then since 2019 our Burns Night Poetry Competition has been the right place for you. In honour of the Scottish Bard and the whisky-soaked celebration on 25 January which champions his legacy, we’re once again asking you to dazzle us with our artistic flair.

Last year was our biggest yet, with hundreds of entries, and while some would cause a luvvie to weep, there were some real standouts. Check out our previous winning entries from 2019,  2020, 2021, and 2022, if you don’t believe us. So we’ve gone even further this year, creating five categories to allow every poet who doesn’t know it the chance to excel, and selecting five sensational Scotch whiskies as the prizes. There’s one big prize, then four runners-up that will be chosen for different reasons.

The Burns Night poetry comp is back

Burns Night

Our competition is back!

Five winners, five prizes

Without further ado, here are the categories:

The Scotch Drink award for the best poem. Simply the poem that receives the most votes will be crowned the overall winner, and the writer will win a bottle of Benriach 27 Year Old 1991 #1865 Rum Barrel.

The Tam o’ Shanter award for the funniest poem. For the comedians, the entry that makes us laugh the most will win its writer a prize of Darkness 8 Year Old. No rhyming  ‘whisky’ with ‘frisky’.

The Auld Lang Syne award for the best belter. For those who would rather craft song lyrics in the Burns style and make us sing till like it’s Hogmanay, you could win a bottle of 70cl Johnnie Walker Blue Label Gift Set with 2x Crystal Glasses.

The Red, Red Rose award for the best heartbreaker. Draw a tear from our eyes as tell us how much you love whisky and may win a bottle of 70cl Deanston fill your own bottle, signed by Brendan McCarron Deanston Master Distiller.

The Scots Bard award for the poem we think Burns would like the most. Write something we believe Burns would pick if he was around to judge and you’ll receive a bottle of Seaweed & Aeons & Digging & Fire 18 Year Old. 

For all these categories, we’ll be picking our top three entries and then turning over the power of judge to you. That’s right, the three best will be posted on our Instagram Story, where you the public will vote to decide the respective category-winning poem. 

Burns Night

Top whiskies are waiting to be won

Enter our Burns Night Poetry Competition 2022

Each entry must be written in either English or Scots. No epics, we’re also asking once again you stick to 25 lines or less. There’s no rules other than that. Write a haiku, or sonnet, or invent a whole new genre if you’re that good. 

You can enter either using our dedicated entry page or by posting a comment comprising your poem in the comment section on our social media post on MoM’s Instagram or Facebook page. You can also post it in the comment section of this very blog if you’re feeling brave enough to let everyone else read your entry…

That’s it! As always, here’s a little something from the Bard himself, Robbie Burns, to get you in the mood. Best of luck, and Slange Var!

Is there for honest Poverty

That hings his head, an’ a’ that;

The coward slave-we pass him by,

We dare be poor for a’ that!

For a’ that, an’ a’ that.

Our toils obscure an’ a’ that,

The rank is but the guinea’s stamp,

The Man’s the gowd for a’ that …

The 2023 MoM Burns Night poetry competition is open to entrants 18 years and over with postage to UK addresses only. Entries accepted from 10:00:00 UK time on 6 January 2023 and closes at 12:00:00 UK time on 20th January 2023. Full T&Cs are below. The winner will be announced on Burns Night, 25 January.