Prize-winning writer Mary Anne Smith Sellen's work has been recognised in both national and international competitions, most notably winning first prize in the 6th Five Words International Poetry Competition 2018-2019, for 'Monolith'. 

 Other recognitions include:

  •  Shortlisting in the 2020 Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year competition for 'Moonlight in Venice'. 

  • Highly commended in the 2020 Geoff Stevens Memorial Poetry Prize for a pamphlet of 15 poems.

  •  Joint third prize in the 2019 Barnet Poetry Prize for 'All My Little Fictions (After Katherine Mansfield)'.

  • Shortlisting in the 2019 PenFro Festival Competition for 'Cinnamon Girl'.

  • Second Prize in the August 2018 SLQ competition for 'Rural Living'.

  • First Prize in the November 2017 SLQ competition 'Dreamland'

  •  Two poems, 'Unbroken' and 'The Lych Bell' , on the shortlist/outstanding poems in the 2018 Hungry Hill Poets Meet Politics competition​.

  • Commendation in the 2017 Geoff Stevens Memorial Poetry Prize, for a pamphlet of ten poems.

  • Shortlisting in the 2015 O'Bheal Five Words competition for 'Night of the Nightjar'.

  •  Second-placed winner in a competition run by Paper Swans Press and The National Trust at Sissinghurst, for 'Like One Long Poem of Names', a villanelle on the theme of the roses at Sissinghurst Castle.  

  • Commendation in the 2016 Elmet Poetry Prize, for 'Out of the City', a poem written in response to Ted Hughes' poem The City.

Her work has also been published in magazines and anthologies, including Confluence Medway, Camden Lumen Poetry, Spilling Cocoa over Martin Amis, and The Kentish Gazette, and broadcast on radio programmes and podcasts in both the UK and the USA.


In 2017 she co-developed and took part in a poetry and music event 'The Colours of Love' at the Wise Words Festival in Canterbury, together with her partner, the poet Derek Sellen, and poet and musician Frances Knight. In 2019 the trio performed a new collaborative set 'Poetry Is Where You Find It' at the first Westgate-on-Sea Literary Festival.

Mary Anne has put together two small pamphlet collections of her poems, including some of those mentioned above, under her own imprint of BookSmith Books. 'First Flush' and 'Between Two Lives' are each priced at £3.99 (inclusive of UK postage - shipping for overseas orders will be charged at cost). To order directly, please email:  books.booksmith@gmail.com and you will then be sent a PayPal invoice. Alternatively, if you order via AbeBooks (via the link on the Book-Smith Home page), UK postage will be reduced to the minimum of 0.01 when your order is processed.


The natural world, landscape, biography, architecture, history, and art are all influences on Mary Anne's work. She is currently working on further poems towards her first full collection. A collaborative project with her sister, the photographer Margaret Smith (see the Links page for her website) is also planned.

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