The PRS Poetry Prize and Essay Competition

These competitions are open to members and non-members alike.

The Pre-Raphaelite Society Poetry Prize 2014

Rules for Entry

1st Prize:  £50

The three winning poems will be published in the Pre-Raphaelite Society’s Review, along with two Commended poems.


Entry is open to all writers of any nationality, aged 18 years and over.

The competition will be judged by the Editor of the Society’s Review, Serena Trowbridge; and by the Society’s Poet-in-Residence, Sarah Doyle.  All entries will be seen by both judges.

Poems may be in any style, but must be written in English.

Poems must in some way reflect an aspect (or aspects) of the lives or works of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood or their broader circle.

Every poem should be accompanied by a brief (maximum 100 words) explanation of how the poem relates to the Pre-Raphaelites.

Poems must be typed/printed on A4 paper; hand-written entries are not permitted.

The maximum length for each poem is 100 lines.

The closing date for the competition is 30th November 2014.

A maximum of three poems per entrant may be submitted.

Entry is £2 per poem, or £5 for the maximum of three poems


Poems must be the entrant’s own work.

Poems may not have been previously published – in print, electronically or online; nor broadcast via any means (including podcasting); nor exhibited in a public place.

Poems should not be submitted for consideration elsewhere during the competition and during the subsequent period of adjudication.

Winning poems should not be submitted for publication elsewhere prior to appearing in the Review.

Poems may not have won a prize in previous competitions.

Poems may not be withdrawn or altered once submitted into the competition.

How to Enter

No identifying marks should appear on the poem/s or on accompanying explanation/s.

On a SEPARATE sheet of paper, please include your name, address, telephone number, email address and the name/s of your poems.

Cheques should be made payable to ‘The Pre-Raphaelite Society’.

Please send TWO COPIES of your poem/s and explanation/s, along with the entrance fee, and one copy of your personal details to:

The Competition Secretary, 21 Shaw Lane, Stoke Prior, Worcestershire B60 4DP

The judges’ decisions are final and no correspondence can be entered into.

Entry into the competition implies an understanding and acceptance of the Rules of Entry.


The John Pickard Essay Prize 2014

You are invited to enter a monograph of not more than 2000 words for The John Pickard Essay Prize. The monograph may be on any individual related to the Pre-Raphaelite circle.

The winner will receive £100 prize and publication in the Spring 2015 Review and subsequently the essays of runners-up may also be published. The final decision will be made by the Committee of the Pre-Raphaelite Society.

Entries are to be received by the Editor by 31st December 2014, and may be emailed to


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Photograph of Emma Sandys?

I have recently been contacted by the Leighton House Museum, who are seeking a photograph of Emma Sandys to feature in a catalogue alongside a painting by Sandys (Reverie, c. 1873). If you happen to know of a photograph from an acknowledged source which the Museum would be able to access, please leave a comment below and it will be passed on to them.

The Museum are also interested in reproducing photographs of the equally obscure painters Talbot Hughes (1869-1942), John William Godward (1861-192) and William Clarke Wontner (1857-1930), and are also seeking information on these.


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Lecture: ‘Marginal Masculinities?: Regional and Gender Borders in William Bell Scott’s Wallington Scheme’

A lecture by Dr. Rosemary Mitchell entitled ‘Marginal Masculinities?: Regional and Gender Borders in William Bell Scott’s Wallington Scheme’ will take place on the 19th of July at 11am at the Birmingham & Midland Institute, Margaret Street, Birmingham.

This analysis of W.B. Scott’s eight Wallington paintings argues that the choice of male figures from Northumbrian history questions both the nature of Borders history and the character of performances of masculine identity and achievement. The choice of Bede, Cuthbert, and Bernard Gilpin as subjects emphasizes cultural and religious achievements (of both border communities and border men), validating those who preferred a miminal existence and obscurity over worldly advancement and national prominence. Rather than being seen just as uncivilised and violent frontier region, Northumbria is constructed as an arena for genuine social, and spiritual progress. This will be linked to W. B. Scott’s own sense of marginalisation within the Pre‑Raphaelite art world and his quest to shape a viable identity as pictor ignotus, and of the significance of his work at Newcastle as the first master of its School of Design.

Dr Rosemary Mitchell is a Reader in Victorian Studies and Director of the Leeds Centre for Victorian Studies at Leeds Trinity University. She is also associate editor of the Journal of Victorian Culture, and a member of the steering committee for the British Association of Victorian Studies.

For further details relating to the event mentioned above please email info@Pre‑

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London and Southern Group Inaugural Meeting

The very first London and Southern Group meeting will take place at the Cittie of Yorke pub (22 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6BN. Google map link.) at 6:30pm Wednesday the 11th of June.

We will kick off with sharing stories of how we came to the Pre-Raphaelites and the Pre-Raphaelite Society, and discussing books we might enjoy for the formation of the book club. The pub serves great food and drinks and we have the space in the cellar bar reserved until closing for socialising.

Contact the organizer Madeleine Pearce ( if you have any questions. The public Facebook event is here.

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New PRS Regional Group – London and the South

The Pre-Raphaelite Society is pleased to announce the formation of a new regional group, based in London, to accommodate members in London and the South of England. The group will be a chance for current Society members to gather in a relaxed and casual atmosphere to socialise and enjoy activities such as pub meets, a book club, local visits and activities and will be open to all PRS members.

The first meeting will kick off in early June with a visit to a central London pub for drinks, a chance to share how you discovered the Pre-Raphaelites and a short-discussion to decide the first book for the book club. More meetings are planned for 2014, to be announced.

If you are interested, please contact Sharon Peedell-Pandya, PRS Secretary,  ( or Madeleine Pearce, the new London and Southern Group coordinator,  (, before April 30th so that an appropriately-sized venue can be chosen.


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Pre-Raphaelite Poetry

ImageThe Pre-Raphaelite Society has published a small book of poems drawn from the entrants to the second Pre-Raphaelite Society Poetry Prize. The poems included are inspired by Pre-Raphaelite paintings, poems and people, and represent the range of inspiration the Pre-Raphaelites provide for poets today. The book’s cover features a new painting by Joanna Gration, called Lizzie and Laura, which was the winner of the 2013 PRS Painting and Drawing Competition.

The book is available on for £3.99 plus £2.99 p&p. Given rising postage costs, it is cheaper for you to buy it direct from than for us to bulk buy copies and post them out. We hope you will enjoy the book.

You can find the book here.

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Rarely-seen Jane Morris portrait now on display at the De Morgan Centre

Rarely exhibited Jane Morris portrait now on display at the De Morgan Centreto mark the centenary of her death A
rarely-seen striking pastel portrait of Pre-Raphaelite artists’ model Jane Morris, drawn by Evelyn De Morgan, is now on display alongside Evelyn’s oil paintings at the De Morgan Centre in south-west London.

Jane Morris (1839-1914) was the wife of Arts and Crafts designer William Morris. She played the part of muse and model for a number of Pre-Raphaelite artists including Edward Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti – the latter of which she shared an infamous deep personal relationship with. Jane’s enigmatic, brooding qualities were captured for posterity in Rossetti’s Proserpine and William Morris’ La Belle Iseult, among many others. Though often depicted in her radiant younger years, this portrayal shows Jane in her advanced age. Jane died on 26th January 1914, and the De Morgan Centre is displaying this remarkable portrait to mark the centenary of her death. The portrait was drawn by Evelyn De Morgan, symbolist painter and wife of Arts and Crafts ceramicist William De Morgan. The sketch was intended as a study for Evelyn’s painting The Hourglass (1904-05), in which the
figure contemplates the passing of time and the journey towards death. Although the portrait depicts the ageing Jane Morris with silvery grey hair, in the final oil painting Evelyn has adorned Jane with her distinctive kinked brunette locks. For conservation reasons, Evelyn’s sketches, drawings and compositional studies are not kept on permanent display but are carefully stored and
brought out for special exhibitions; the display of this portrait in the permanent gallery is a unique occurrence. The sketch is displayed on the easel that Evelyn De Morgan used in her studio.

Curator Claire Longworth says, “Drawn circa 1904, the ‘Jane’ in this portrait is a rare, more mature, reflective representation of the iconic pre-Raphaelite beauty that we know so well from Burne-Jones and Rossetti’s images of the 1860s and 1870s.  Her inclusion as one of Evelyn De Morgan’s models is fascinating and an endorsement of the younger artist’s inclusion within the Pre-Raphaelite circle.

The display of this sketch is a fitting accompaniment to the Centre’s temporary exhibition ‘Men in Pants’ which explores Evelyn’s experience of life drawing at the Slade School and throughout her artistic career. This exhibition opens on 7th February 2014. For more information and the press release for this exhibition, please contact The De Morgan Centre will be open until 8pm on 6th March and 3rd April.

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