Judges: Helen Mort and Christopher Reid
Deadline: Midnight 31st July 2012.
With over 7,000 young people entering their poems last year, The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award for young poets aged 11-17 is one of the largest and most prestigious award of its kind, and recognised as a career-changing achievement both nationally and internationally. Entries pour in from right across the world each year and previous winners have come from as far asNew Zealand,Malaysia and theU.S.A. With such fierce global competition to be selected by the judges as one of the top 100 (15 Overall Winners and 85 Commended) is truly to be marked out as a rising literary star.
Since it began 15 years ago the Award has kick-started the career of some of today’s most exciting new voices, including this year’s judge Helen Mort whose next collection is to be published by Chatto & Windus (whose alumni include A.S. Byatt, Toni Morrison and poet Ruth Padel). The phrase ‘Former Foyle Young Poet’ is now commonly found in professional biographies as alumni continue to make their mark on the wider literary world, appearing on bookshelves and at festivals the world over.
The 15 Overall winning poems will be published in an anthology going out to more than 20,000 people worldwide in March 2013. Additionally, the 15 Overall Winners will spend a week working on their poetry at one of the prestigious Arvon writing centres with this year’s judges, or receive a poet residency in their school followed by distance mentoring (age dependent). All 100 winners (15 Overall Winners and 85 Commended) will receive a year’s free Youth Membership to the Poetry Society and a selection of poetry books and goodies, and will be invited to a prestigious prize giving ceremony in October 2012.
Any young person aged 11-17 writing in English can enter the competition, whether they have been writing for a long time or just started.
Helen Mort, who has come full circle as former winner to current judge, summarises it perfectly: “Winning the Foyle Young Poets of the Year changed the way I saw myself and my future. In short, it made me realise I could devote my life to the thing I loved, if I had enough determination” So go for it! Enter online at www.foyleyoungpoets.org
Published July, 2012