A Poem for Switchboard

To help us celebrate our 50th anniversary, we’re launching a poetry competition and calling for submissions around the theme of “A poem for Switchboard”.

The theme of this poetry competition is quite wide (we know!)- it focuses on how you’ve communicated or engaged with Switchboard.

The reason it’s a big, open theme is that we want to hear from a wide variety of people across the LGBTQIA+ community. You may have volunteered with us before, used our services, fundraised for us or thought about doing so but never had the time or chance to!

Some examples of things you could write about include Your experience calling or chatting with us in the past and the impact this had on you Reasons why you might have never reached out to us, but would like to or wanted to The importance of safe spaces for the LGBTQIA+ community LGBTQIA+ role models People who were there for you, but may no longer be The need to have someone to listen to or communicate your thoughts and feelings with Your hopes and fears for the future 50 years of activism and change

The examples hopefully inspire creativity, we certainly don’t want to restrict the creative juices from flowing. Please approach this wide theme from any angle you may want to.


Whether you’ve contacted Switchboard before as a service user, have supported us over the past 50 years as a volunteer or donor, or have thought about doing so but never had the chance, this poetry competition is open to you!!

To submit your poem, please email [email protected], attaching your poem in Word Doc or PDF format and letting us know whether you’d like it to remain anonymous or be attributed to yourself.


Please be aware that:

  • The deadline to submit poems is 5pm on Monday 5th February 2024.
  • Winners will be announced in mid-April 2024.
  • There is no minimum word count, but we would suggest a maximum line count of 50 lines per poem.
  • The poems submitted can be done so anonymously or attributed to their author, the choice is yours to make when you submit the poem.
  • There is no payment received by writers. If you submit a poem, you agree to not receive payment for it, and you also agree to your poem possibly being published in an anthology that Switchboard can sell for fundraising purposes.
  • All poems you submit must be original works. You must not have submitted these to other poetry competitions.

If you have any questions at all, please contact [email protected]