Betjeman Poetry Prize

As National Poetry Day celebrates its 25th anniversary, we are delighted to announce a new partnership with The Betjeman Poetry Prize.

The Betjeman Poetry Prize is a charity working to promote literacy, foster creativity and provide a platform for new voices, via its annual poetry competition plus a creative learning programme in schools and holiday clubs across the UK and Ireland.

“Entering the Betjeman Poetry Prize is the best thing I’ve done since I’ve been in England.”

2017 winner, Syrian refugee Amineh Abou Kerech

The Betjeman Poetry Prize annual creative writing competition inspires children and young people aged 10 – 13 (KS 2&3) to read, write and perform poetry.

Outcomes for pupils:

  • Direct engagement with arts and culture
  • Development of creativity
  • Inspiring future careers
  • Enriching childhood
  • Improved literacy and communication leading to better life chances

Outcomes for teachers and schools:

  • “Poetry is a thing that makes me happy.” Boy, Y4. We recently surveyed 3,000 school pupils for a definition of poetry: their responses revealed that poetry is indeed “a thing that makes me happy” because it makes them feel creative, gives them freedom to write how they like, and is great for self-expression. The Betjeman poetry competition gives children and young people in Y5, Y6, Y7 & Y8 the chance to play with language and express thoughts and feelings that are truly individual. During the crucial transition between primary and secondary school, poetry allows pupils to find their voice.
  • Direct involvement in arts and culture, plus national Artsmark Awards“Cultural education gives children and young people the opportunity to develop their creativity, both individually and collectively, and that’s why our goal is for every child and young person to have the opportunity to experience the richness of the arts.” Darren Healey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England.

 The Betjeman Poetry Prize is open to 10-13 year olds in the UK and Ireland, who are invited to write a poem on the theme of ‘place’. Deadline 31st July 2019.

      • Enter online or by post as an individual or via teachers/schools
      • The winning poet receives £500
      • Finalists receive cash prizes/book tokens and family Eurostar tickets
      • The school of the winning poet receives £5000
      • Ten finalists are invited on a Betjeman Poetry Camp – camping and poetry in the countryside, for development, literacy and fun
      • Top 50 poems are printed in a poetry anthology which is used as a teaching resource in schools and holiday clubs across the UK and Ireland

Discover the 50 poems included in the 2018 Betjeman Poetry Prize anthology here.

For information and queries, poetry resources and applications for poetry workshops at your school or holiday club contact BPP administrator Barbara Doherty on or discover poetry at

Make sure you are signed up for the National Poetry Day mailing list for more news on the prize plus poetry writing tips, resources and inspiration.