Imagine a Poem: competition winners

For National Poetry Day 2017, we ran a special competition in association with Frances Lincoln and Amnesty International, asking children to write a poem inspired by the topic of Freedom, the theme of the year’s National Poetry Day and a theme of John Lennon’s immortal song Imagine, which is being released as a beautiful picture book, illustrated by Jean Jullien.

We can now announce the winners! Click here to read the winning poems and congratulations to all who entered.

Win, win, win! Enter one of these competitions for the thrill of writing poetry – and you could win some amazing prizes too.

The University of Lincoln has launched an international poetry competition commemorating next year’s centenary of Armistice Day with support of the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, and winner of the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry, Imtiaz Dharker.

The Armistice 100 Prize for Schools Poetry Competition is open to young people aged nine to 18 years with prizes in three age categories (first place, £300; second place, £200; and third place, £100) for the best original poems on the theme of armistice. This could be about the First World War, the cessation of hostilities more generally, or a more personal interpretation.

The competition is open now and the deadline for entries is midnight on Friday 8th June 2018. Submitted poems can take any format with a maximum word count of 500 words (excluding title).

For more information and entry details visit the University of Lincoln website.

Keats-Shelley Young Romantics Prize

Calling all 16-18 year olds to write a poem on Liberty, to mark the anniversary of Shelley’s Prometheus.

First prize: £2,000. Deadline 15 Jan, 2018. No fee to enter.

The chair of this year’s judges is Liz Lochhead.

Visit the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association page for terms and conditions.

Never Such Innocence Art and Poetry Competition

Never Such Innocence, the project commemorating the men and women of the Great War has opened its 2017-18 Poetry and Art Competition. It is open to all children aged 9-16, and welcomes poetry and song entries in all languages, and art in any medium. The competition is completely free to enter. Each child receives a personalised Certificate of Commendation for entering, there are prizes up for grabs for pupils and their schools (up to £400), and winners will be invited to a special awards ceremony.  The closing date for the competition is Friday 16th March 2018, and winners will be announced in April 2018.






A medal for poetry

Enormous congratulations to Georgia Barham whose inspiring quote from Alice in Wonderland has won our National Poetry Day competition with Cassandra Goad. 

Georgia will shortly be receiving a silver pendant engraved with these words from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. 

Thank you to everyone who entered this competition – and well done to all those who made the final five.



ART UK competition

Amani Saeed wins Art Speaks poetry competition with ‘Jesus Christ Goes Clubbing’ inspired by The Disrobing (Despoiling) of Christ (after El Greco) held in Scarborough Art Gallery.

Watch Amani Saeed perform ‘Jesus Christ Goes Clubbing’


To many it is a familiar scenario. Matthew Arnold Bracy Smith’s The Disrobing (Despoiling) of Christ (after El Greco) vividly captures the moment of Jesus’ trial by the Pharisees, just moments before he is stripped and tortured. As the title suggests, Smith’s style and composition of the painting also pays homage to El Greco’s famous The Disrobing of Christ (1577-79) created for the Cathedral of Toledo, where it still hangs.

Student Critics competition

The 2017 Forward/emagazine Student Critics competition has now closed.

We were hugely impressed with the quality of the entries. The poet Sarah Howe and Barbara Bleiman and Lucy Webster of the English and Media Centre chose four student winners, four student runners-up and two highly commended teachers.

To read their entries and the judges’ comments, visit the English and Media Centre website

Betjeman Prize 2017 competition

Congratulations to Amineh Abou Kerech of Oxford Spires Academy, Oxford, who was today announced the winner of the Betjeman Poetry Prize 2017 for her poem Lament for Syria, praised by judges Chris Riddell and Rachel Rooney for its vibrancy and immediacy, and for the confidence of expression that provided a window into the poet’s private world, and the world she was describing.

Congratulations too to runners up Daisy Foley and Jemima Webster and to the following young poets who were highly commended: Shanelle Furtado, Sammy Loenhis and Niamh McCarthy. You can read all of their poems on the Betjeman Prize website, and we recommend you have a look.