April 2021 marks ten years of Young Poets Network. As part of our celebrations, we’re launching a new writing challenge, asking you to use our ten years of history to inspire your poetry!
This challenge is now closed. Congratulations to the winners, whose poems you can read in the sidebar. Congratulations, too, to the longlisted poets whose work impressed the judges: Kaitlyn Amott, Claire Carlotti, Imogen Cooper, Natalie Hampton, Elsie Hayward, Jayant Kashyap, Kristine Ma, Karen Ng, Jesse Smith, Olivia Todd and Rucha Virmani.
The challenge: write in response to any previous Young Poets Network challenge/feature!
April 2021 marks Young Poets Network’s tenth birthday. Over the past decade, we have published a whopping 136 writing challenges, on everything from writing gold to Golden Shovels, memes to memory, kennings to univocal poems. We’ve also published 253 features – articles, reviews and interviews featuring contemporary poets like Jay Bernard, Helen Mort, Deanna Rodger, Caroline Bird and Andrew McMillan, as well as poets of the past like Sarojini Naidu and Sylvia Plath, Timothy Corsellis and William Blake.
Today we’re asking you to dive into our archives and respond to any past Young Poets Network challenge or feature that catches your fancy. Just let us know in your entry which challenge or feature you’re responding to.
Where to start?
- Browse our wares: Look through all the writing challenges on YPN here, and features here.
- Find something specific: If you already know you want to write on a particular theme, or try out a new technique, you can also search through our website with keywords.
- Our recommendations: Last year we gathered together ten of our favourite challenges from over the years. You can also check out the Find Out How To page, where we’ve gathered together some of our favourite features.
Remember, not only is each challenge filled with prompts, images, poems, and inspiration on a particular theme or technique, but we’ve also published a total of 813 poems by young people worldwide responding to these challenges. If you like, you could write something inspired by one of the winning poems to any challenge (which you can read in the sidebar on each challenge page, or here) – just make sure you write ‘after [poet name]’ in your poem. What a lovely way to engage in the Young Poets Network community!
As long as you’ve written inspired by something on Young Poets Network, there’s no wrong way to respond to this challenge. We can’t wait to read your poems!
Selected poets will be published on Young Poets Network, and sent an exclusive YPN notebook, poetry books, posters and other goodies.
How to enter
This challenge is for writers aged 25 and younger, based anywhere in the world. It’s free to enter and you can send as many poems as you like. The deadline is midnight, Sunday 2 May 2021. You can send a poem written down, or a recording as a video or as an audio file. If you are sending a written version of your poem, please type it into the body of your email. If you are sending a video or audio file, please attach it to the email (making sure it’s no bigger than 4MB or it won’t come through) or send us a link to where we can see/hear it. NB: If you are responding to the Erasure poetry challenge, it’s still open! Enter it directly here.
Send your poem(s) to [email protected] with the subject line ‘YPN 10 Challenge’. Please include the full title of the past challenge/feature you are responding to, as well as your name, date of birth/age, gender, the county (or, if you’re not from the UK, the country) you live in, and how you found out about this challenge (e.g. YPN email/Twitter/Instagram/through a teacher/through a friend etc.). This data is used for statistical purposes and to help us reach as wide an audience as possible.
If you are aged 12 or younger on Sunday 2 May 2021, you will need to ask a parent/guardian to complete this permission form; otherwise, unfortunately we cannot consider your entry due to data protection laws.
We welcome entries from schools and groups. Use this class entry form to enter students from your class or group.
If you would like us to add you to the Young Poets Network mailing list, include ‘add me to the mailing list’ in the subject line of the email. If you would like us to confirm that we’ve received your entry, include ‘confirm receipt’ in the subject line. You may refuse to provide information about yourself.
You might also want to enter this poem in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award, with a chance to win some amazing prizes and further development opportunities. We can do that for you. If you are aged 11-17 on 31 July 2021 and would like us to automatically enter your poem into the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award, please write in the subject line ‘Enter me into Foyle’ and provide us with your date of birth, school name (if applicable) and home address (so we can send you a Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award anthology next year) in the body of the email. Please note: published work is not eligible for entry into the Foyle Award, so winners and commended YPN challenge poems will not be entered into the Foyle Award. You’ll only be entered if you’re not a winner in this challenge.
By entering, you give permission for Young Poets Network and The Poetry Society to reproduce your poem in print and online in perpetuity, though copyright remains with you. Please do be sure to check through the general Terms and Conditions for YPN challenges as well.
If you require this information in an alternative format (such as Easy Read, Braille, Large Print or screenreader friendly formats), or need any assistance with your entry, please contact us at [email protected].