Competitions for Children and Young People

The 2019 New Poets Prize

Judged by Mary Jean Chan // Entry: £8 

A pamphlet competition for writers between the ages of 17 and 24

Deadline: Friday 1st March

Prizes: Mentoring, publication, a place on an Arvon residential course in 2019/20 and more

The Poetry Business is delighted to announce that the 4th New Poets Prize is now open for entry, this year judged by Mary Jean Chan.

The New Poets Prize is a short collection competition for writers between the ages of 17 and 24 (inclusive). This prize is run alongside the renowned International Book & Pamphlet Competition organised by The Poetry Business, which has now been established for 33 years.

Four outstanding collections will be selected to receive a year of support and mentoring led by Ann and Peter Sansom of The Poetry Business: a publisher and writer development agency with a strong reputation for discovering, developing and publishing outstanding new poets. They will also have their winning collection published under The New Poets List, our imprint dedicated to discovering, mentoring, and publishing young and emerging poets.

For more information or to enter go to:

Betjeman Poetry Prize 2019

The Betjeman Poetry Prize annual creative writing competition inspires children and young people to read, write and perform poetry. The competition 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

You can find more information on how to enter on our Betjeman Poetry Prize page.

Keats Young Poets & Artists Competition

200 years ago, John Keats was inspired to write his best–loved poem To Autumn during a visit to Winchester. Now you can be inspired by Keats! We invite you to write a poem or create a picture  celebrating the theme ‘The Seasons in Hampshire’.

Open to young people across Hampshire in three age categories: 4-7 years, 8-11 years, 12-16 years. For more information on entering and the prizes, please visit the website.

Closing date: Wednesday 31 July 2019

An exhibition of entries selected for judging will take place at City Museum, The Square Winchester, 13 – 29 September 2019.

The winners and runners-up will be announced at an awards ceremony at City Museum on Sunday 29 September.

National Poetry Day The Lost Words Competition 2018

“It was a joy to read these entries. Wow – what vividness of language and vision, what wit, what passion! They lit me up on a bone-damp morning. It was a pleasure and a privilege to be able to read them, and many thanks to National Poetry Day for running the competition.”

Robert Macfarlane

To celebrate National Poetry Day 2018 we ran a special The Lost Words competition with the support of publisher Hamish Hamilton. We received thousands of entries, wonderful poems from schools and children across the country.

The winners were Teigan Flockton for her poem Parrot, and Iona Mandal for her poem Flamingo.

Runners up in the younger category (7 – 9), Lark Haselden came second with her poem Squirrel, Arthur Bache is third for his poem to a crow, One of a Kind, and Halima Yasir is highly commended for her poem to a honey bee.

In the older age group (10 – 12) Pauline Burrows is second with her poem Weeping Willow, Beatrice Widmer is third for her poem Deer, and Josh Copson is highly commended for his excellent poem on a Rowan tree.

Congratulations to everyone who entered, and to all the teachers, staff and parents who ensured the entries reached us. Please download, print out and personalise a special certificate to give to each child who entered a poem into the competition.

Royal Society of Literature Poems for Peace Competition

100 years ago peace came to Europe. Can you write a poem for the future you want to see? The RSL Poems for Peace competition is open for entries from those aged 11 to 18 who are resident in the UK. Win a signed copy of the Peace Poetry anthology and National Book Tokens for yourself and your school library. A number of poems entered will also be published on the RSL website.

This competition is now closed.

Please visit the Royal Society of Literature’s website for further information.