Competitions

The John Betjamin Poetry Competition for Young People


Deadline: 31st Jul 14

Established by the family of the former Poet Laureate, the John Betjeman Poetry Competition for Young People seeks to foster a love of poetry in young people.

Each student is invited to send in (by post or online) a poem on the sense of ‘place’. They can choose anywhere that is important to them – from their bedroom to a larger landscape, from their local park to their favourite building. The subject of their poem could be a city or a garden or a beach or a street – whatever moves them to write.

Winners of the poetry competition are invited to read their poems aloud to an audience of judges, entrants, teachers and parents as well as sponsors and press, at a prize giving held on National Poetry Day, Thursday 2nd October, on the concourse of St Pancras station, next to the bronze statue of John Betjeman by Martin Jennings.

The first prize is £1000 (£500 to the winner and £500 to the English department of their school) as well as four Eurostar tickets. £50 book tokens are awarded to commended entrants.  Junior/primary schools entering a whole class will receive a copy of The Puffin Book of Modern Children’s Verse on receipt of entries and secondary/senior schools, The Rattle Bag.

Past judges have included Sir Andrew Motion, Laura Dockrill, Grace Nichols, Hugo Williams, Ian McMillan and Brian Patten.  This year, the judges are the National Poet of Wales, Gillian Clarke, and the founder of Gifford Circus, Nell Gifford.

Submission guidelines are available here

< Back to Competition Listings

* For all open date submissions please see the last pages
  • WIS Single Visit Application Form
  • Writers in Libraries Application Form
  • Writers in Residence Application Form
pixel design