‘Word Up’ is the search to find the Young Poet Laureate for Worcestershire. It’s open to young people aged 13-19 who live in or go to school, college, university or a youth club in Worcestershire. Closed, reopening 2019.
Closed for 2018, re-opening 2019. The biggest poetry competition for young writers is once more on the hunt for the very best poems by writers aged 11-17. This year’s judges are Caroline Bird and Daljit Nagra. The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award has kick-started the career of the some of the freshest names […]
Closed. Poets are invited to enter the Padraic Colum Children’s Poetry Competition. It is an open theme and entries will be adjudicated by acclaimed writer, Alan McMonagle. There are categories for children (aged 8-16) and adults (age 17+). Terms and conditions and entry details can be found on their website (click here).
Closed. Categories for KS1 and KS2 in English and Welsh. Enter a poem on diversity no more than 20 lines or 150 words. The judging panel includes former Premier League footballer Rio Ferdinand, singer and songwriter Olly Murs, Waterstone’s Children’s Laureate Lauren Child, poet Joseph Coelho. Casia Wiliam, current Bardd Plant Cymru (Welsh-language Children’s Poet […]
Closed. This prize welcomes poetry, short stories, script-writing and creative non-fiction from anyone over 16 (you don’t have to be a fresher!). Please note there is a £6 entry fee per submission.
For poems in two age categories: under 8 and 8-11. Winners receive lots of signed books, and their schools receive books too. Closed, reopening 2018. For more information visit their website.
Currently closed. This competition is open to all state secondary school students across the UK, who are asked to write 850 words or less of poetry or prose.
Open, closing 1 March 2019. The Out-Spoken Prize for Poetry 2019 is now open to published and unpublished writers and poets living in the UK. Entry £5 per poem. There are three categories: page poetry, performance poetry and poetry in film. There will be three category winners selected with the overall Prize for Poetry award […]
Open, closing 14 January 2019. Young Romantics is a new prize for 16-18 year olds, for poems and short stories inspired by the Romantics. Prizes include a week-long Creative Writing Course with Arvon. The theme for both poems and short stories this year is Lost Angels. The Judges are Matthew Sweeney and Kate Clanchy with […]
Open, closing 31 January 2019. The Chaucer Heritage Trust is holding its second school writing competition inspired by The Canterbury Tales. The theme of the competition is Magic and Trickery. In 500 words or less students aged 5-19 can choose to write one of the following: A poem or story about someone or something magical. […]
Open for Entries October 1st to November 30th 2018. A major new annual poetry prize of £3000 aimed at the development, celebration and promotion of poetry from Africa. The prize is open to poets who were born in Africa, or who are nationals of an African country, or whose parents are African. You must submit […]
Closed for 2018. This festival is looking for poems in any poetry style, about science. It is free to enter for 5-16 year olds based in Oxfordshire who are at school or homeschooled. It will be judged in three age categories: School Year 2 and below (i.e. Key stage 1) School Years 3 – 6 (i.e. Key […]
Closed. First prize is pamphlet publication, plus a launch reading and up to £200 travel expenses. Poets on the shortlist of 10 will each get a paragraph of feedback from Hannah. The winner and 3 others will have a poem published in The Rialto and all shortlisted poets will have one on the Rialto website. […]
Closed for 2018, re-opening 2019. The Connell Guides Essay Prize is open to any sixth form pupil studying English Literature as part of an AS Level, A Level or IB Course. There will be a prize of £1,000 for the winning essay. Each of five runners-up will receive a £100 book token.
Cash prizes await for three winners of two age groups, plus the opportunity to appear in an anthology later in the year. Choice of subject, layout, and style are entirely your own. Just let your creative talents flow. Full details are available on the website and entry for junior categories is free.
Closed. Poetry competition for younger writers on the theme of ‘birds’. The competition has four age groups: under 7; 7 to 10; 11 to 14; and 15 to 18. Poems up to 20 lines. Entry is free.
Deadline July 31, 2018. The Muslim Young Writers Award is for poems and short stories from 5-16 year olds. There are different categories for each key stage.
JAL FOUNDATION is delighted to announce its 15th biennial World Children’s Haiku Contest The theme of this competition is ‘Morning’. Originating from Japan, Haiku is the shortest form of poetry in the world. In a short descriptive verse, it captures a moment in the poet’s life, or simply expresses the beauty of nature. All Grand-prize […]
Never Such Innocence asks 9-16 year olds to send poems or artwork in all languages, inspired by the events of the First World War. First prize is £400 split between the poet and the poet’s school; there are also prizes for second, third, and runners up in each language category. Open for school sign-ups now.
Closed. NB there is an entry fee for this competition. The eighth Battered Moons Poetry Competition is open to all UK residents aged 18 or over and accepts poems on any topic and style of up to 40 lines. Guest judge Malika Booker and Cristina Navazo-Eguía Newton will both read all the poems. The 3 winners and 4 […]
Mother Tongue Other Tongue is a national project, led by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, with regional events and competitions taking place throughout the year. Mother Tongue encourages children, who do not have English as a first language, or who speak a different language at home, to share a lullaby, poem or song from their […]
Closed. The Ilkley Literature Festival’s Apprentice Poet in Residence is an opportunity for an exceptional, emerging poet who is based in the Northern region and at the start of their career. As Apprentice Poet in Residence they will shadow this year’s Poet in Residence, Daljit Nagra. The apprentice will also spend time at Festival events […]
This competition opens on Friday 15 June 2018 and closes on Sunday 19 August 2018. Write a poem inspired by any piece of music in this year’s BBC Proms season. Winners will be invited to a special event, a Proms concert, and have their poem broadcast on BBC Radio 3. There are two age categories in the […]
Reopening 2019. For residents of Brighton & Hove, East and West Sussex, an annual competition produced by Brighton Festival and Brighton, Hove & Sussex Sixth Form College (BHASVIC) to encourage young writers to explore the written word from a creative point of view. There are three categories of ages: Ages 11–13, 14–16 & 17–19 You […]
Reopening 2018. Poetry Rivals is open to all poets in the UK and has categories for both under 18s and 18 and over. Note: there is an entry fee for adult entrants. Under 18s Entrants are invited to submit a poem on any subject and in any poetic style. Whether you want to put the world to […]
The sum of £20,000 will be awarded biennially for the best collection of poems, published or unpublished, by a Scottish poet aged 30 or under. If the winner is an unpublished collection, the Edwin Morgan Trust will support its publication by a Scottish small press. The runner-up will receive funding to attend a short course […]
Closed. In the bicentenary year of the first publication of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s ‘Kubla Khan’, the Friends of Coleridge invite poets to enter poems for a prestigious celebration of this visionary poem under the theme, “Imagined Worlds”. Young Person’s (10-17) entries are free of charge for up to three poems. The First Prize is £75, with £25 each […]
Open now for 2019. The Pushkin Prizes are awarded to young people in Scotland studying S1 or S2 (or equivalents). Entrants are invited to submit a portfolio of three pieces of writing, these might be poetry but they could also be fiction, drama, non-fiction or journalism. Ten winners receive places on a five-day residential creative […]
This competition is open to anyone aged 16 and over, and is judged this year by Catherine Smith. Poems may be on any subject and in any form or style. Closed now, reopening 2019. First prize: £1,000 Second prize: £300 Third prize: £100 Plus 4 x £50
Open to all young poets across Suffolk, 18 years old and under. Entrants may submit poems based on any theme, up to a maximum of 30 lines. There are two categories: Junior (7-11) Senior (12-18) Closed, reopening 2019.
Closed, re-opening 2019. Planet Magazine invites anyone under 30 to submit an essay of between 1,5000 – 2,000 words to their annual competition. The brief is extremely broad – Planet welcomes creative and unconventional ways of exploring the essay form as well as a more traditional style. Planet features writing which is in-depth, yet sufficiently accessible […]
Open now! For poems and essays on any aspect of the work or lives of the Romantics and their circles. Enter up to 2 poems or 2 essays. Essays should be no more than 1,500 words including quotations. For 16-18 year olds, for whom entry is free; there is also an adult category and a […]
The theme of the 2016 Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month competition is great sporting or physical achievements. The National Association of Teachers of Travellers + Other Professionals invites young people up to 18 years old to express their ideas on this theme using any medium – a picture, a painting, a piece of writing or poem or […]
Closed for 2018. Red Room holds Australia’s largest poetry writing competition Poetry Object. The competition targets years 3 – 10 student and provides teachers with a comprehensive resource to teach poetry and creative writing to a broad range of students, across different classroom contexts. Students, teachers and schools compose poems in response to special talismanic objects […]
An annual national competition hosted by Buxton Festival and the University of Derby. It has three categories: poets aged 18 and over, 12-17, and up to 11. Shortlisted poems are displayed during the Buxton Festival in the summer. Winners are announced at the annual awards ceremony in July. Reopens 2018.
Open to any Year 12 and 13 students in the UK, with categories in Criticism, Fiction and Poetry. First prize £200 and publication in Cake Magazine, plus prizes for second and third place. Reopening 2018.
Closed for 2018. For children and young people aged 10-13 living anywhere in the UK. Write a poem on the theme of ‘place’. 2018 judges are poets Jackie Kay and Zaffar Kunial. The top fifty poems are printed in the BPP 2018 anthology. Finalists read their poems on National Poetry Day in front of an audience at St Pancras […]
Faber New Poets exists to encourage new writers at a crucial point in their career. Open to those who have yet to publish a first collection or pamphlet, the scheme offers mentoring, pamphlet publication and financial support. Closed.
The Poetry Society’s annual competition is open to poets aged 17 and over. Poems cost £7 to enter, then subsequently £4. Members get a free second entry. First prize £5000. Closed, re-opening summer 2019.
Closed. Basil Bunting dedicated his Complete Poems (1968) to “Unabashed boys and girls [who] may enjoy them. This book is theirs”. Now the competition in his name has a Young Persons Award, open to those aged 19 and under. £2 entry, with cash prizes.
Barnet Borough Arts Council’s annual competition is open for submissions of poems on any subject. Small £1 entry fee for non-Barnet residents. With categories for 7-11 year olds and 12-16 year olds. Reopens 2019.
Closed. The Ledbury Poetry Festival Competition has two categories for young people: 12-17 (first prize £100) and 11 & under. First entry is free and subsequent poems are £1.50. Winners are invited to read at the prestigious Ledbury Poetry Festival in July.
Closed for 2018. Kirkgate Shopping has partnered with literacy charity Reading Matters to launch its annual ‘Bradford’s Young War Poet’ competition on National Literacy Day, Friday 8 September. Local schools, young writers and students of drama, speech and writing groups across the district are encouraged to write a poem on the topic of war. Email your poems to the address on […]
Closed for 2018, re-opening 2019. Staffordshire County Council is looking for the next Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Young Poet Laureate. The role is open to applicants aged 14-18 years who live or go to school or college in Staffordshire or Stoke-on-Trent.
Closed. Respond to the poems on this year’s Forward Prizes shortlist. Read ten of the Forward shortlisted poems on the English and Media Centre website and choose one that appeals. They welcome two kinds of entries: either a short (500 word max.) essay or a poem plus a critical commentary. There are separate categories for […]
Reopening 2019. An annual competition as part of Deddington Festival which is open to children and young people who live or attend school in Oxfordshire, South East Warwickshire and South West Northants and who are in the following age groups: 5-7 years, 8-10 years, 11-16 years.
Closed for 2018, re-opening autumn 2019. The Eric Gregory Awards, for a collection by poets under the age of 30, are administered by the Society of Authors. Awards are given annually, for submissions of up to 30 poems, with prize money totaling up to £24,000.
Open, closing 10 February 2019. Voices 2019, Coram Voice’s annual creative writing competition for children in care and care leavers, is now open! This year’s judges include BBC news reporter Ashley John-Baptiste, rap artist Ric Flo, author Jenny Molloy and many more brilliant writers, authors, poets, and journalists. The theme is ‘Growing Up’, and children […]
The Poetry Society’s Slam Championship for 12-18 year olds aims to involve as many young people as possible in reading, writing, and performing poetry.
Closed. Rewrite brings together young people from different backgrounds to fight prejudice and injustice, through the power of drama and creative writing. Their annual competition in two categories for writers aged 11-14 and 15-18 accepts poetry, prose and play writing, and the theme for 2016 is ‘Welcome’. You must live in inner or Greater London.
Closed. Organisers are hoping for budding wordsmiths to wax lyrical in verse about the village Saltaire, with the winners getting to read theirs out at the festival’s Poetry Night. Full details of how to enter can be found on the festival website. Free to enter and categories for 18 and under, and over 18.
Poetry competition run by GCSE Poetry Live. Reopens 2017.
Open. The Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine is an annual international award for an unpublished poem on a medical subject. There is a category for young poets aged 14-18 with a small entry fee of £2 per poem. First prize £500. Closing 14 February 2019.
Open, closing 4 March 2019. The Humanitarian Aid Relief Trus (HART) Prize aims to engage young people (11 to 25 years old) in global issues by encouraging them to create written or creative pieces from conducting independent research. There are two competitions: the essay competition and the creative competition. Prizes include tea in the House […]
Closed for 2018, re-opening 2019. The National Young Writers’ Awards is judged in 2018 by comedian and author David Walliams. It is a free writing competition for children aged 4 to 14 with the theme of HEROES. Winners awarded a trip to Disneyland Paris and £500 of books for their school. David Walliams will surprise the […]
Consider the two stone chairs that make up the ‘Hafez-Goethe Monument‘ in Weimar, Germany and write a poetic response. Categories for under 18s and over 18s; a piece in English and in German will be picked from each category, and all four prize-winners will win £250 each, plus workshops and performance. Judges include Ian McMillan and two […]
Closed for 2018. The prestigious Young Walter Scott Prize, the UK’s only creative writing prize specifically for budding historical writers, is open for entries until 31st October 2018. Entries are judged in two age groups – 11 to 15 years and 16 to 19 years. Any kind of fiction is accepted – prose, poetry, drama, fictional letters […]
The Poetry on Loan competition is for poems of up to 20 lines long on the subject Onwards, upwards, freedom, by poets living, studying or working regularly in the West Midlands. There are separate categories for adult and young poets. Closed, reopening 2018.
Due 20 April 2018. The Oxfordshire Science Festival schools poetry competition is open to any child at primary or secondary school in Oxfordshire. Poems can be up to 150 words in any style, but must have a scientific theme. It could be about a scientific idea or discovery; a science lesson or experiment; a scientific issue […]
Not strictly a poetry competition, but flash fiction – every month, the Scottish Book Trust posts a prompt and you take the story somewhere exciting! Ongoing.
Poetry By Heart is a national competition designed to encourage pupils aged 14-18 and at school and college in England to learn and to recite poems by heart. The competition is a pyramid of participation from individual classrooms to whole school/college contests, then county contests, regional semi-finals and the grand final. In the process, pupils […]
Open, closing 7 February 2019. If you’re aged 12-19 you can enter the young people’s categories of the New Writing North’s Northern Writers’ Awards. If you are older, you can enter many of the other categories. The Young Northern Writer Award is part of New Writing North’s mission to recognise and support writing of exceptional promise. Open to 12-18 […]
Open for entries, closes 1 March 2019. All UK students, between 16-18, are encouraged to enter the 2019 Christopher Tower poetry competition. This year’s theme is ‘underwater’. First prize £3,000; second prize £1,000 and third prize £500.
Reopening 2019. The competition is open to Wirral Adults and Students of all ages. Cash prizes will be awarded to both winners and runners up in each age category and they will be invited to attend a workshop hosted by a renowned local poet. The overall winner aged 18 or under will also become Wirral’s […]
Reopening 2018. Writing East Midlands presents the Solstice Prize, for young writers aged between 10 and 17 years old. You can enter up to 40 lines of poetry or a short story of up to 1000 words on any subject. The competition is completely free to enter, and there are some great prizes up for grabs. […]
Closing 24 February 2019. In partnership with New Writing South and Myriad Editions, Spotlight Books have launched an open call for: unpublished poets and fiction writers from under-represented backgrounds—those who face barriers due to mental health, disability, identity or social circumstance. Manuscripts of fiction (8-10,000 words) and poetry (40-45 pp. at 20 lines/page) Deadline: 24 […]
Closed for 2018. Wax Poetry and Art invites all poets under 25 years of age, living everywhere on Earth, to enter the Under 25 Poetry Contest. This contest is free to enter. Check out their website for information on how to enter.
Closed, reopening 2018. These annual awards are a fantastic opportunity for individuals committed to developing their writing. Awardees receive: A £2,000 cash award, allowing them to focus on their work Tailored personal development opportunities, which can include mentoring from writers and industry professionals. Training in PR, performance and presentation training The opportunity to showcase work […]
Closed for 2018, reopening 2019. Schools and individual young people in Reception–Year 13 (ages 11/12-18 inclusive) are welcome to enter this competition, which is for an original poem or short story.
The Poetry Book Society is looking for poems by students. Entry is free to PBS members. Non-members must pay a £10 entry fee. 1st Prize £100, 2nd Prize £50, 3rd Prize £25, and 3 highly commended poems will receive PBS Associate membership. All the winners will have their poems published on the PBS website and […]
Enter this annual competition for the coveted title of Fenland Poet Laureate and share your passion for poetry! The Young Fenland Poet Laureate position is open to all young poets across Fenland aged 10-17. The competition is looking for poems that represent and relate to the theme of ‘Fenland’. You can interpret the theme as broadly […]
The Ted Hughes Young Poets award is for poets aged 6-10, 11-14 and 15-18, with a prize of £100 in each age category. Free to enter. Reopening 2018.
This competition aims to inspire young writers in Scotland by asking them to produce a piece of creative writing which draws on the rich and rewarding legacy that Robert Louis Stevenson has left us in his works of fiction, poetry, travel writing and essays. This is currently open only to students living in Scotland in […]
Open. With a different theme each year, this poetry competition is open to UK and Ireland residents aged 7+ years. Winners in each category receive a goody bag, and there is plenty of chocolate for the runners up. The competition has three categories: 7-11 year olds 12-17 year olds 18 years and over The subject […]
Closed. The CityLife team and the University of East London are extremely excited to announce the launch of a brand new literary prize, the CityLife Prize for Fiction by Young Writers. It is open to all London-based writers aged 16 to 19. The theme for this year’s competition is ‘The City’. We are looking for fiction […]
Closing 6 July 2018. The Stephen Spender Prize promotes literature in translation with an annual prize for translated poems. There are categories for 18 and under and 14 and under and winners receive a cash prize and have their poems printed in a pamphlet and on the Stephen Spender Trust website.
Aged between 5 and 21 living in the UK? Enter a poem to win cash prizes of up to £300 and publication in a Festival book which will be on sale at Waterstones Stratford-upon-Avon from 22 April 2018 and online. Closed, re-opening 2019.
Spoken word artists aged 16-25 are invited to compete for the Roundhouse Slam title! Based at the Roundhouse in London. Reopens 2019.
Closed for 2018. This competition has three age categories: under 11 (primary school), 11 to 16 (secondary school) and 17 to 25. Shortlisted entries will be included in an anthology, a published collection of poems, and category winners will each receive a cash prize. Poems should be sent by e-mail to email@example.com and the deadline […]
Reopens 2019. International award open to 13-18 year olds, for short stories. 1st Prize – £1,000
Closed. Loughborough University gives the Overton Poetry Prize for a series of poems, on any subject -up to 300 lines. The winner of the competition will get their work published in chapbook form, with two runners up each receiving a £50 book token. The cost of entry to the competition is £12, and the money […]
Closed for 2018. The DSWF School’s Global Canvas Poetry Competition is for poetry-and-art projects by school groups. The theme for the 2016 competition is ‘Wild Wonders’. £20 entry fee per group.
Open. With the theme of Peace, this poetry competition is open to children and young people in two age ranges: 7-12 and 13-16. Submissions should be made via the website thenationalschoolspoetrycompetition.com. Closing 10 November 2018.
Open to middle school, high school and college students (i.e. UK secondary, college, sixth form, and undergraduate university) living in the United States and internationally, the Golden Shovel Anthology Competition invites young adults to submit original poems that adhere to the Golden Shovel form following the competition rules. No fee is required to submit. Prizes […]
Closed, re-opening later in 2019. A photo-themed creative writing competition for 14 to 25s from across South Yorkshire, with age categories 14 – 17, 18 – 21, and 22 – 25. Schools welcome to enter.
Open, closing 9am GMT 25 March 2019. Are you an avid writer aged between 14 to 18? If so, the BBC Young Writers’ Award with First Story and Cambridge University is for you. The award returns for its 14th year with Life Hacks’ very own Katie Thistleton heading up the judging panel. What’s more, the […]
Open, closing 31 May 2019. The poetry competition is open to writers of any nationality from any country. The top three poems are entered for the Forward Prize for Poetry (Best Single Poem), an award not open to the general public. £9 per poem.
Open, closing noon, 1 February 2019. Girton College, University of Cambridge, invites entries for the Jane Martin Poetry Prize. Now in its ninth year, the panel of judges will be led by two eminent poets, Hilary Davies and Adam Crothers. It is open to all UK residents between the ages of 18 and 30 and […]
Hawk’s Well Theatre’s iYeats Poetry Competition is an annual online international poetry competition open to all those 16 years of age and upwards. They award an overall prize across the board of entries and an emerging prize to a young poet aged between 16-25 years of age. Reopening 2019.
Reopening 2020. The Festival’s Young Writers Poetry Competition is on the theme of ‘summer’, with categories for 6-11 and 12-16 year olds. Free to enter. There are prizes for first, second and third place, plus winners are printed in an anthology and invited to a prize tea.
Open, closing Friday 25 January 2019. 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 now open for entries from those aged 11 to 18 who are resident in the UK. Win a signed copy of the Peace […]
Closed for 2018. The New Poets Prize is a short collection competition for writers between the ages of 17 and 24 (inclusive). This prize runs alongside the renowned International Book & Pamphlet Competition organized by The Poetry Business, which has now been established for 32 years. Entrants are invited to submit short collections of twelve […]
Closed. This free competition is open to anyone 16 or under living in, or attending school in, Essex. Prizes will be awarded in four age categories, 7 and under, 11 and under, 14 and under, 16 and under. The title ‘Essex Young Poet of the Year’ will be awarded to the overall winner. Age is […]
Closed. Poets and short story writers aged 11-17 are invited to submit work inspired by a line from Mansfield Park: “She could scarcely see an object in that room which had not an interesting remembrance connected with it…” Prizes include goody bags, book vouchers and a writing workshop.