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.
Closed, re-opening 2019. With a different theme each year, this poetry competition is open to UK and Ireland residents aged 7+ years. Winners in each category receive £30 book tokens and a goody bag, and there is plenty of chocolate for the runners up
Open, closing Friday 21 December 2018. 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 […]
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 Date: 28th February 2019. Open to all young people aged 14 to 18, who live in the UK, entrants are asked to create stories of up to 1000 words on any topic with the judges eager to see stories that show real imagination and creativity; high quality writing that can capture and hold the reader. […]
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.
Opening 10 December 2018. The charity Coram Voice has recently launched ‘Voices’, a writing competition for care-experienced young people. This year’s theme is ‘New Beginnings’ and you can submit your entry in any style, including a poem, short story or a rap – the more creative the better! There are up to £100 in vouchers and […]
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 […]
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.
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
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 […]
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.
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 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.
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. 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. 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 […]
Closing 5pm, 1 August 2018. You 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).
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.
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 […]
Re-opening 2019. This award of £200 is for a young writer aged 14-18 who is writing poetry, prose or creative non-fiction. This award is part of the Northern Writers’ Awards – note that you can only enter in one category unless otherwise specified.
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.
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 […]
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.
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. 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. 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. 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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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.
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. 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 for a […]
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 […]
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 […]
Reopens 2019. International award open to 13-18 year olds, for short stories. 1st Prize – £1,000
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.
‘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.
Open, closing 7 February 2019. The Northern Writers’ Awards comprise a number of different individual awards. Check out their website for full details. There are two awards for young people as part of this year’s Northern Writers’ Awards. The Young Northern Writer Award is part of New Writing North’s mission to recognise and support writing of exceptional promise. […]
Closed. 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 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 […]
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, re-opening 2019. The Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust is calling for creative responses to the human rights or humanitarian situation in Burma, Nigeria, South Sudan or Sudan. This can include poetry as well as other media. Two age categories: 12-17, 18-25. Visit their website for more information.
Closed, re-opening 2019. Girton College, Cambridge invites entries for the Jane Martin Poetry Prize. Open to all UK residents between the ages of 18 and 30 and there is no fee for entry. The first prize for the winning poet is £700 and £300 for the second prize. There will also be an opportunity to give […]
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. 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.
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
Open, closing 20 December 2018. 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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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. 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.
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.
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.
Spoken word artists aged 16-25 are invited to compete for the Roundhouse Slam title! Based at the Roundhouse in London. Reopens 2019.
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.
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.
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. Closing 31 October 2018.
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 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 […]
Closes 28th September 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 […]
Poetry competition run by GCSE Poetry Live. Reopens 2017.
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 […]
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 […]
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. Closed now, reopening 2018.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.