mouse children's zone


  • Many poets send their poems to competitions. This can be a good way to find out what other people think of your writing.
  • We add competitions to this list when organisers send us information.
  • To enter the competition, send a stamped addressed envelope to the competition's address, and they will send you an entry form, or ask for an entry form by phone or email.
  • The Poetry Library accepts no liability in connection with the information contained in the list [boring adult stuff!]

Young Romantics Prize 2018 | Closing Date: 15-Jan-18

A call to 21st century Young Romantic poets: to write on 'Liberty' Young Romantics is a prize established in 2015, for writing inspired by the Romantics, for all between 16-18. In 1818, Percy Bysshe Shelley began work on his first and most famous hymn to Liberty – ‘Prometheus Unbound’, based on the myth of the chained Titan Prometheus, who had stolen fire from the Gods of Olympus to give to mankind. “The nations thronged around, and cried aloud, As with one voice, ‘Truth, liberty, and love!’” It was the forerunner to his ‘Ode to Liberty’ written two years later. The Judges’ Panel for Poets will consist of Matthew Sweeney and Jo Shapcott; for the Essayists of Professor Simon Bainbridge and Professor Sharon Ruston. Poems must be on the theme of Liberty, not a pastiche, and be of no more than 20 lines. You can enter up to 2 poems and 2 essays.
Entry Fee: £Free

Contact: For full details and entry form see

Writing Armistice - The British Army's Poetry Competition 2018 | Closing Date: 15-Jan-18

Poems responding to the theme of Armistice. Poems should be in English and no more than 60 lines. Open Category: £500 first prize, £300 second prize, £100 third prize plus additional commendations. 18 & Under Youth Category: Book tokens to the value of £100 first prize, £50 second prize and further commendations prizes. The Museum of Military Medicine Commendation: £100 Serving Soldier Prize: £200 first prize, £50 second prize and further commendation prizes. Free Entry. Judge is Roy McFarlane, author of 'Starting With Your Last Breath'.
Entry Fee: £Free to enter

Contact: Full rules, details of how to enter and T&Cs see

Live Canon Children's Poetry Competition | Closing Date: 21-Jan-18

For young people aged 5-18 Deadline January 21st Entries are now open for our poetry competition for young writers. Entries are judged in four categories by school year: years 1-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-13. Poems can be entered by individuals, or by schools. 100 winning poems will be published in our 2018 children’s anthology and all contributors will receive a complimentary copy. The winner in each age category will receive a £50 book token. There’s also a prize for the school who send the best set of entries. Entering as an individual
Entry Fee: £0


You’ll need your parent or carer’s permission, and to send us your poem with an entry form. You can download that below. If you have any problems downloading it, just email us at poems @ and we’ll send you an entry form. Entries must be posted by January 21st to Live Canon 42 Tabard Street, London SE1 4JU, or emailed to poems @
Please keep a copy of your poem, as we can’t return it.
Entering as a school
You can send your pupils poems to us in the post, or via email (if they aren’t typed, you can photograph them or scan them in). Please keep copies as we can't return the poems. 
Please use the school’s entry form, downloadable below. 
If you have any problems downloading it, just drop us an email poems @

Guernsey International Poetry Competition 2018 | Closing Date: 15-Feb-18

Your poem read by thousands, on buses and posters all over the beautiful island of Guernsey. Please view online samples. Prizes: £1,000, £500, £250, poems 14 lines maximum. Categories: Open Poetry, Channel Islands' Poetry, Young People's Poetry. Judged by Daljit Nagra.
Entry Fee: £4 per poem, 3 poems @ £10, young people FREE.


Write to, or Poems on the Move, Guernsey Literary Festival, PO Box 174, St Peter Port, Guernsey GY1 3LG, Channel Islands, UK.

The Poetry Business 2017/18 New Poets Prize | Closing Date: 01-Mar-18

A pamphlet competition for writers between the ages of 17 and 24 Prizes: Publication by smith|doorstop books following editorial, mentoring and workshops with Peter & Ann Sansom, a place on an Arvon residential course, publication in the North magazine, a launch reading hosted by the Poetry Business and more. The New Poets Prize is a short collection competition for writers between the ages of 17 and 24 (inclusive). This prize will run alongside the renowned International Book & Pamphlet Competition organized by The Poetry Business, which has now been established for 31 years. Entrants are invited to submit short collections of 12 pages of poems. Four outstanding collections will be selected to receive mentoring, readings, publication in the North magazine. One of the four collections will be published as a pamphlet by smith|doorstop. All four winners will also receive a subscription to the North magazine, and will have a launch reading organised by the Poetry Business and a selection of their poems published in the North magazine. Judged by Kayo Chingonyi
Entry Fee: £8

Contact: Entries can be submitted by post (with a cheque and completed entry form) or online. For full terms and conditions see website

Never Such Innocence - First World War Poetry Competition | Closing Date: 16-Mar-18

Young people aged 9-16 are encouraged to submit poems in all languages or artwork in any medium which has been inspired by the events of the First World War. Entries are divided into three age categories, years 5-6, years 7-9 and years 10-11. All poems must have a title and must not exceed 40 lines in length. All submissions must include an entry form which can be found on the Never Such Innocence website. Each child receives a personalised Certificate of Commendation for entering, there are prizes up for grabs for pupils and their schools (up to £400) and winners will be invited to a special awards ceremony on Thursday 24 May 2018.
Entry Fee: £0

Contact: See Never Such Innocence website for full details. To email entry send to . Postal entries should be sent to: Never Such Innocence, 11 Slingsby Place, London, WC2E 9AB. If you have any enquiries please email 

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