How has cancer affected you? Has your experience led you to find a creative outlet as a method of support and strength? We are looking for poets, whether first-time or experienced, to submit their work. This competition is driven by the efforts to join in awareness about how cancer affects a survivor, a patient–their surrounding family and friends–as well as the doctors and researchers involved in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Winners will have their poems promoted widely to the cancer research community through BMC news, mailing outlets and at suitable conferences in 2019.

Opening date: Monday 4 February 2019
Closing date: Thursday 4 April 2019
Winners will be announced on: Thursday 2 May 2019

Any poem (in any style) on the topic of cancer or cancer research can be submitted to the competition. Submitters can be from any occupational background. Please submit only one poem per submitter.

Two winners will be announced. Judging will be based on originality, creativity, and the overall compelling writing style.

  • Winning entries will be duly recognized on the Oncology Open Access Research BMC web page and on suitable promotional outlets alongside participant’s name and affiliation  after receiving due consent from the participant(s). 
  • The BioMed Central Blog Network will also post a Q&A with the winners of the competition, where they get a chance to expand on their poem and creative process.

How to submit
It’s easy. First ensure that your poem conforms to the guidelines below*. Then please submit your poem using this form. Mandatory fields are marked with an asterisk.

*Guidelines for entry
One poem per entry, maximum length 250 words, including title, on one page**.
**Specifications for a page:

  • Standard 1’’ margins
  • Single spaced
  • 12 point font in Arial
  • Acceptable file formats are .doc or .docx.

All submitted work must be original, previously unpublished, and not awaiting publication anywhere. Previously published is considered to be any appearance in print or online, including on or in a newspaper, newsletter, magazine, anthology, chapbook, book, website, electronic magazine, personal blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

This competition is not open to BMC affiliates. BMC affiliates include Editors-in-Chief, Section Editors, Associate Editors, Managing Editors and any individual employed by Springer Nature or any of its subsidiaries.

Entries will be blind judged. To assure anonymity please do not put your name on your poem in the contents of the file you upload or in the file name. Make sure the title of your piece is in the file name.

We’ll be posting regular updates on the competition throughout the coming months, so keep up to date by reading our blog or by following us on our Twitter @OncoBioMed.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to email us at with the subject line: ‘Cancer Awareness Poetry Competition.’


Please read these terms and conditions carefully. By entering into this BMC ‘World Cancer Day’ poetry (“Promotion”), you agree that you have read these terms and that you agree to them. Failure to comply with these terms and conditions may result in your disqualification from the Promotion.

  1. Information about how to enter and prize details form part of these Terms and Conditions. Entry into this Promotion is deemed to be an acceptance of these Terms and Conditions.
  2. This Promotion is run by BioMed Central Limited, with its registered office at The Campus, 4 Crinan Street London, N1 9XW (“Promoter”).
  3. To enter this Promotion you must be: (a) resident in a country where it is lawful for you to enter; and (b) aged 18 years old or over (or the applicable age of majority in your country if higher) at the time of entry. This Promotion is void in Cuba, Iran, Myanmar, Russia, Ukraine, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria or where otherwise prohibited or restricted by law. Any government officials that enter the Promotion are responsible for ensuring that they may enter and/or receive a prize if they win and that the prize does not exceed the relevant limit for their role and jurisdiction. If a winner is not able to accept the prize then a charity donation can be made instead to a Springer nature approved charity.
  4. This Promotion is not open to directors or employees (or members of their immediate families) of Promoter or any affiliate of Promoter. Affiliates include Editors-in-Chief, Section Editors, Associate Editors, Managing Editors and any individual employed by Springer Nature Limited or any of its group companies. Promoter reserves the right to verify the eligibility of entrants.
  5. The Promotion is open for entries between 00:00 on February 4, 2019 and 23:59 on April 4, 2019 BST.
  6. No purchase is necessary to enter this prize Promotion and will not increase your chances of winning.
  7. You can enter this Promotion by filling out this form.
  8. Entries must be a poem in any style on the topic of cancer or cancer research. Entrants can be from any occupational background. Two winners shall be chosen.
  9. All entries must be original, previously unpublished, and not awaiting publication anywhere. Previously published is considered to be any appearance in print or online, including but not limited to on or in a newspaper, newsletter, magazine, anthology, chapbook, book, website, electronic magazine, personal blog, Twitter, Facebook.
  10. Only one entry per eligible person. Multiple entries will be deemed to be invalid and may lead to disqualification. Entries should be no more than 250 words including the title and on one page. The page specifications should have standard 1’’ margins, be single spaced and in 12 point font in Arial. Acceptable file formats are .doc or .docx.
  11. Promoter accepts no responsibility for any entries that are incomplete, illegible, corrupted or fail to reach Promoter by the closing date for any reason. Proof of posting or sending is not proof of receipt. Entries via agents or third parties are invalid. No other form of entry is permitted. Please keep a copy of your entry as we will be unable to return entries or provide copies.
  12. The prize for the winners consists of the following: Winning entries will be published on the Oncology Open Access Research BMC web page and on such promotional outlets as determined by the Promoter alongside the winner’s name, geographic location and a short biography. Winners can also opt in or opt out of having their picture published alongside the poem.
  13. The winning entries will be chosen by a panel of Springer Nature employees, who will be looking for poems that reflect originality, creativity, and an overall compelling writing style. Springer Nature reserves full editorial discretion in choosing winner(s), and may decide to award none of the entries.
  14. Winners will be notified via email about their prize within 4 weeks following the close of the promotion. Winners will be selected by a panel of Springer Nature editors. Full names of the judging panel will be available on request. Any decision will be final and binding and no further communication will be entered into in relation to it.
  15. By submitting your poem for the Promotion, you specifically grant to the Promoter a non-exclusive, irrevocable, worldwide license to publish, display, use and store the poem in all forms and editions, revisions, translations and derivatives for the full period of copyright in all media. The poem may be used in promotional or marketing material in print and online. You confirm that your entry is your own original work, is not defamatory and does not infringe any laws, including privacy laws, whether of the UK or elsewhere, or any rights of any third party, that no other person was involved in the creation of your entry, that you have the right to give Promoter and its respective licensees permission to use it for the purposes specified herein, that you have the consent of anyone who is identifiable in your contribution or the consent of their parent, guardian or carer if they are under 18 (or the applicable age of majority), it is lawful for you to enter and that you agree not to transfer files which contain viruses or any other harmful programs. Please note that it is the responsibility of the entrant(s) to obtain permission from the copyright holder to reproduce third party intellectual property. Any identifiable person in the entry may be required to sign a model release.
  16. The winner(s) of the Promotion shall be notified as follows: contacted by email no later than 2nd May 2019
  17. The winners will be required to confirm acceptance of the prize within ten working days and may be required to complete and return an eligibility form stating their age and residency details, among other details. Promoter will endeavour to ensure that winner(s) receive their prizes within 45 days of the date they confirm acceptance of the prize and have fulfilled any post-promotion requirements. If a winner does not accept the prize within ten working days of being notified, they will forfeit their prize and Promoter reserves the right to choose another winner(s). Promoter’s decision is final and Promoter reserves the right not to correspond on any matter.
  18. The name, region of residence and likeness of the winners may be used by Promoter for reasonable post-event publicity in any form including on Promoters website and social media pages at no cost.
  19. You can find out who has won a prize by checking
  20. Promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend these Terms and Conditions or change the Prize (to one of equal or greater value) as required by the circumstances.
  21. All personal data submitted by entrants is subject to and will be treated in a manner consistent with Promoter’s Privacy Policy accessible at By participating in this Promotion, entrants hereby agree that Promoter may collect and use their personal information and acknowledge that they have read and accepted the Promoter Privacy Policy.
  22. Promoter may at its sole discretion disqualify any entrant found to be tampering or interfering with the entry process or operation of the website, or to be acting in any manner deemed to be disruptive of or prejudicial to the operation or administration of the Promotion.
  23. Other than for death or personal injury arising from negligence of the Promoter, so far as is permitted by law, the Promoter hereby excludes all liability for any loss, damage, cost and expense, whether direct or indirect, howsoever caused in connection with the Promotion or any aspect of the Prize. All activities are undertaken at the entrants own risk. Your legal rights as a consumer are not affected.
  24. These terms and conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with English law. Disputes arising in connection with this Agreement shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.