BBC Proms Poetry Competition 2017

The Albert Hall at night
Image: Zoe Toseland

The BBC Proms Poetry Competition, run by the BBC Proms in association with The Poetry Society, explores the connection between words and music by asking entrants to submit a poem about a piece of music in this year’s Proms season. The Proms is an eight-week series of music concerts and other events, held mainly at the Royal Albert Hall in London. 

The 2017 season includes classical composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, Holst and Tchaikovsky, as well as concerts showcasing contemporary music, show tunes and more. 

There are two age categories in the poetry competition: 12-18 and 19 and over, so all users of Young Poets Network are welcome to submit!

Lucy Thynne, winner of the 12-18 section of the 2016 Poetry competition, as well as being a Foyle Young Poet and YPN challenge winner, says:

Being chosen as a winner of the 2016 BBC Proms Poetry Competition was a surreal experience, and I am so grateful to the judges for choosing my poem, “Juliet on water”, which was inspired by Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Overture. Although I am not very musical myself, the piece seemed very special to me and stood out as the one I would write from when I first heard it. I would really encourage anyone who has a passion for writing, even if they have never written a poem before, to have a go at this competition – you never know what could happen! It’s a great way to get into poetry, and I would say that it definitely opens up more opportunities – since the competition I have been very lucky to have been selected as a Foyle Young Poet of the Year. The prize has done wonders for developing confidence in my own writing and I wish all of this year’s entrants the same.

All you have to do is:

  1. Choose a piece of music from this year’s Proms season. You can hear some clips on the event pages.
  2. Write your poem (up to 25 lines in length).
  3. Download an application form from the competition website and enter it with you poem(s).

The poems will be judged by a panel which includes Ian McMillan, presenter of Radio 3’s The Verb, poet Jacob Polley, Judith Palmer, Director of The Poetry Society, and a member of The Proms Extra Literary team or Radio 3 editorial team.

The closing date is Sunday 20 August.

To find out more about the competition and to enter your poems, visit the BBC Proms website

Please note that this competition is not run by YPN, so to enter you will need to do one of the following:

  • Post Proms Poetry Competition, 7th Floor, Zone D BBC Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London W1A 1AA.

Good luck!

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