Shextreme Poetry Competition

We are looking for the new voices of adventure. We want to discover poets who can explore their experiences and inspiration with clarity and originality. At Shextreme, we think poetry and adventure have the potential to be the perfect partners; they are both a search for meaning, a journey that strips an experience down to the bone.

Adventure has a fascinating tradition of literature, but the active female voice is largely underrepresented. We want to hear from women whatever their participation; arm chair adventurers, cyclists, paddlers, walkers, parkour runners, climbers, train travellers…

Share your words with us.

Submissions must be no longer than 35 lines.

Every poet is invited to submit one poem for free via FilmFreeway here

Once you are logged on to FilmFreeway, please select 'Script' category to submit your poem as a .pdf document. 

Looking for inspiration? Look no further than last year's winner Sarah Audsley who is now returning to join us as a judge this year. 

Shextreme Poetry Competition 2017 Winner was Sarah Audsley. Her adventure poem Questions: Ownership was praised by our judges for its: 

  • sense of immediacy and 'being there' 
  • excellent execution and most ’surprising’ which in this ‘genre’ is so important
  • the wonderful open structure and the careful attention paid to word voices

Sarah Audsley flew all the way from USA to perform her winning poem live at Shextreme Film Festival in Bristol, UK. 

A big thank you to Sarah’s family, friends and co-workers from Appalachian Mountain Club who helped support her creative adventure and first visit to the UK. Our Shextreme audience loved Sarah’s poetry performance: 

“Wow. Blown away.” “Beautiful and breathtaking” “Powerful and gentle all at once.”

Big congratulations Sarah. Here’s to supporting more female voices being heard in adventure writing! 


Sarah's Poetry Performance 


Shextreme Poetry Judges




Poet; filmmaker; runner; climber and Artistic Director at Kendal Mountain Festival. 


We are delighted multi-talented Claire is a returning judge to Shextreme Poetry Competition.






Helen is Co-Director of Swindon Poetry Festival and co-edits the online poetry film journal Poetry Film Live.

Helen is an Associate member of the Royal Photographic Society and approaches poetry film as a contemporary photographic artist, combining still and moving images. Helen has worked collaboratively with a number of poets and has been screened regularly in poetry festivals. She has also exhibited in solo and group photographic exhibitions. Helen is also an editor of two poetry anthologies and currently lives in Wiltshire.





Sarah Audsley is a freelance writer, poet, climber, and outdoor enthusiast living in New Hampshire's White Mountain region. She works seasonally for the Appalachian Mountain Club's Trails and Recreation Department, while pursuing a creative writing degree in poetry in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. Her non-fiction has appeared in Appalachia Journal and Alpinist magazine. She also helped published The Notches: A rock climber's guidebook to the Western White Mountains.