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!]

Buxton Poetry Competition | Closing Date: 20-Apr-15

Theme: 'Time'. Judge: Helen Mort. Prizes: £300, £200, £100 for Open Poetry (over 19s). Young People (12-18) and Children (under 11s): receive book tokens. Winning poems exhibited in Buxton in July and printed in the Buxton Festival programme book. 15 finalists informed after June 1. Length: 40 lines. Patron: Lady Jasmine Cavendish.
Entry Fee: £5; FREE for under 19s

Contact: Entries must be sent with an entry form via post to: Claire Barlow, Buxton Festival, 3 The Square, Buxton SK17 6AZ. Tel: 01298 70395. Email: Website:

Poetry Competition: Poems for Queen Bess | Closing Date: 27-Apr-15

Poems are invited on the theme of 'Tudor'. There are three categories: under 13, 14-17, and 18+. The winners in each category will receive book tokens (£30 for under 13, £40 for 14-17, and £50 for 18+). Winners will be announced on Friday 8th May. Shortlisted poems will be printed for display on the walls of University Church, as they were in the time of Elizabeth I, and poets will be invited to read as part of the celebrations on 23rd May.
Entry Fee: £0

Contact: To enter, email by Monday 27th April. Poems must be original and unpublished. Please email your poem (max. 40 lines) as an attachment (the poet's name must not appear on the poem itself) and include a separate document with your name, title of poem, age (if under 18), address and email. For further information see:

Divine Poetry Competition 2015 | Closing Date: 01-May-15

This year we are focusing on the future of cocoa and asking poets to imagine why a child would want to go into cocoa farming. The competition is titled 'When I grow up I want to be a cocoa farmer' as ever we want the poems to focus on the positives of Fairtrade, and we hope that with this title poets will look at the positive impact that Fairtrade had had on cocoa farming making it a viable job that young people would want to do when they are older. The competition is open to all ages and there will be winners in each age category 7-11, 12-17 and 17+ this year the competition will judged by poet and children's author John Dougherty.
Entry Fee: £0

Contact: More information about the theme and how to enter can be found here:

The 2015 Stephen Spender Prize | Closing Date: 22-May-15

Translate a poem from any language, ancient or modern, into English. Three categories: Open, 18-and-under, 14-and-under. Cash prizes, publication in a booklet. Open to UK and Irish citizens and residents only
Entry Fee: £0 for 18-and-under and 14-and-under


Thomas Gray Anniversary - Poetry Competition | Closing Date: 19-Jun-15

Theme: In response to Gray's Elegy. In the run-up to the tercentenary of Gray's birth in 2016, The Stoke Poges Society is organising the second of three annual poetry competitions. There is an Open Class, and a School Class open to anyone in full-time school education on the date of submission. Cash prizes totalling £750 will be divided among the winning entrants. Judges: Carol Rumens.
Entry Fee: £5 for the first and £3 for subsequent poems. There is no charge for entries in the School Class.

Contact: Entries can be made online via our website and full details are available there along with last year's winning entries:

Ledbury Poetry Festival Poetry Competition 2015 | Closing Date: 09-Jul-15

Categories: Adult/ 17 and Under/ 11 and under. Judge: Deryn Rees-Jones. Theme: Any. Prizes: Adults: First Prize: £1000 cash and a course at Ty Newydd, The National Writers' Centre for Wales., Second Prize: £500, Third Prize: £250. Young People: 12-17: First Prize: £100, Second Prize: £50, Third Prize : £25. Children: (11 and under): First Prize: £25 book token, Second Prize: £15 book token, Third Prize: £10 book token. All winners get a chance to read at the Ledbury Poetry Festival in 2015.
Entry Fee: £5 for first poem and then £3.50 for adults. First poem free to enter for children and young people than £1.50 for each additional poem.

Contact: For entry and more information see website:

Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2015 | Closing Date: 31-Jul-15

Judges: Liz Berry and Michael Symmons Roberts. For new poets aged 11-17. Prizes: This year's world-class winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on National Poetry Day, 8th October 2015. The top 15 winning poems are published in the winners anthology - 24,000 of which are sent to schools, arts organisations, opinion formers and poets each year to mark the launch. The top 15 winners are also invited to attend a week's residential creative writing course at an Arvon centre or receive a poet residency in their school (age dependent). All 100 winners receive one year's Youth Membership of the Poetry Society, a range of book prizes, and benefit from ongoing support and encouragement from the Poetry Society via publication, performance and internship opportunities. In the past year Foyle winners have read at numerous high profile events including the Southbank Centre, BBC's The One Show, Radio 4, BBC World News, Ledbury Poetry Festival and the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.
Entry Fee: £0

Contact: To enter and for rules and regulations please see website: 

Barnet Open Poetry Competition 2015 | Closing Date: 16-Nov-15

OPEN COMPETITION: 35 lines on any subject. Judge: Mario Petrucci. First prize: £500, second prize: £250, 3 x third prizes: £100. JUNIOR COMPETITION: Two juniors categories: 7-11 and 12-16. Judge: Katherine Gallagher. Prizes (7-11): first, £25; second, £15; 3 x third, £10. Prizes (12-16): first £75; second, £50; 3 x third £25.
Entry Fee: £5 per poem for adults; £1 per poem for juniors. Free Entry to Barnet Schools.

Contact: Entry form on line at Alternatively, send a SAE to Barnet Borough Arts Council, 122 Oakleigh Road North, London, N20 9EZ

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