Competition Rules and Guidelines 2020



Join the Limerick Experience!

What is the ‘Limerick’ ?

The Limerick is a verse form  which originated in Croom, Co Limerick in the 18th century . It is a verse which must contain the following elements:

  • Five lines

  • Lines 1,2,5 must rhyme

  • Lines 3 and 4 must rhyme

  • A good Limerick will have a clever unanticipated punch line as line 5 will often have puns,word play or a witty feature as part of it.

Please note the following rules for entry:

  • We welcome a maximum of three Limericks per entrant

  • The competition is free to enter

  • The closing date is midnight (BST) on 31st July 2020. Late entries will not be accepted

  • Online entries are accepted at or Postal entrants should include their own name, age, address and telephone number. Postal entries may be sent to: the Limerick Writers’ Centre, Limerick Competition, 12 Barrington St., Limerick, Ireland

  • By entering the competition you give permission for your Limerick to be used by the Limerick Writers’ Centre and any media partner free of charge

  • It is a condition of entry that all rules are accepted as final and that the competitor agrees to abide by these rules. The decision of the judges is final. Submission of an entry will be taken to mean acceptance of these terms and conditions

  • All entries must be received by the advertised closing time and date. Postal entries must be received by Friday 31st July 2020.

  • Submitted entries MUST be original and conform to the Limerick rhyme scheme. It is the responsibility of each entrant to ensure that any limericks do not infringe the copyright of any third party or any laws. By submitting limericks, entrants confirm that the content they are submitting is their own work and that they own the copyright to it.

  • Copyright for all limericks submitted to this competition remains with the respective entrants. However, in consideration of their providing them for the Competition, each entrant grants a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual licence to The Limerick Writers’ Centre to feature any or all of the submitted limericks in any of their publications, their websites and/or in any promotional material connected to this competition.

  • Entries received after the closing date may not be accepted. No responsibility can be accepted for lost entries and proof of transmission will not be accepted as proof of receipt.

  • Entries will be judged on the quality of the Limerick (form, humour, punch line etc)

  • The judging panel will adjudicate entries and select a long list of 25 Limericks. This long list will be announced in due course and the authors of those Limericks chosen will be notified to give them the opportunity to compete in the final of the competition in August at Dolans Music Venuel, Limerick

  • Only those who can attend the competition in Limerick will be eligible to compete in the final (Sat 22nd August). Therefore, the final prize and runner up prizes will only be available to those who attend the Festival. Finalists can nominate someone to read their limerick on the night but they themselves must be present in the room.

  • There will be one winning prize plus 2 runner up prizes (to be announced). The winner will receive a cheque for €500

  • The judges decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into

Best of luck!

For further information, E Mail: or visit our webbsite

Some additional advice for entrants:

Although initial judging will be of the written submission, finalists will need to recite their Limerick at the live final. Competitors are advised that Limericks whose comic effect is based on eccentricities of spelling and pronunciation of the written word should be aware that such subtleties may be lost when their Limerick is performed…”

For those who want to write top class Limericks here are some tips for you to follow:

1. Good rhyming will be taken into account and competitors should take especial note of the following:
1) take care with the use of Self-rhymes. A self-rhyme is when two identical words end two or more of the rhyming lines. So Edward Lear’s famous rhyme:

There was a young fellow from Dutton

Whose head was a small as a button

So to make it look big
He purchased a wig
And rapidly rushed about Dutton

May not be a winning Limerick these days.

2) You should also be careful of Homonym rhymes . An example of homonym rhymes might be rhyming “pragmatic”, “rheumatic” and “dogmatic”. The stressed (rhyming) syllables are identical even though the words themselves are not.

3) You may also want to avoid Rhymes that rely on miss-stressing . For example, “empire” and “desire” would not usually work as the former is stressed on its first syllable and the latter on its second. There will be exceptions, of course, but deliberate “stress-stretching” should be avoided.

2. Scansion.

The limerick should flow naturally with its stresses in the correct places and with each rhyming line stressed in the same way and with the same syllable count (although one or two extra unstressed syllables can usually be included). Again, there can be exceptions to this rule – but such exceptions must have good reason. Note how the stresses work in this exemplar limerick (stressed syllables shown in upper case):

In ENGland each OLD drystone WALL
Is MADE with no MORtar at ALL.
They’re FOUND in the NORTH
And they WEND back and FORTH
To MARK out the FIELDS , large and SMALL.

3. Topicality and relevance.
Self-explanatory. Limericks that make reference to a topical happening or to this event are likely to be looked on with favour – providing, of course, that they meet the standards in other ways.

4. Performance.

The final judging will also take into account the entrant’s performance of the Limerick. Those who read their works will lose marks to those who recite them from memory.


Sample of a good Limerick:

As a beauty I’m not very pretty

There are others more handsome and witty

But my face I don’t mind it

Because I’m behind it

‘Tis the folks in the front that I pity


 Book your tickets for three days of fun. Writing workshops, art exhibitions and historic walking tours are just some of the activities at this year's festival. See our line up of fantastic events for this year's Bring your Limericks to Limerick festival. We have put together the perfect programme for all the family to enjoy. Don't forget to submit your entry to our International Limericks Competition, which takes place Sat 22nd Aug in Dolans Music Venue, Dock Road, Limerick, for the chance to win up to €500.





maigue poets.jpg
Masthead FB 14.70.jpg
And the finalists are....jpg
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • Facebook Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon

Copyright Limerick Writer's Cenrre

This site was designed with the
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now