The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award is the biggest award for writers aged 11-17. It welcomes poems on any theme and entry is completely FREE.
Since it began the Award has kick-started the career of some of today’s most exciting new voices. Past winners include Sarah Howe, Helen Mort and Caroline Bird.
Winners receive a fantastic range of prizes, from mentoring to a residential Arvon writing course, Poetry Society membership to books. The Poetry Society also continues to support winners’ development with performance, publication and internship opportunities.
About the Competition
The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award is an opportunity for any young poet aged 11-17 to accelerate their writing career. Since it was founded in 1998 the Award has kick-started the career of some of today’s most exciting new voices, such as Helen Mort, a successful poet whose first collection was recently published by Chatto & Windus.
With entries from over 7,600 young people this year across from the UK and worldwide, it is the largest competition of its kind and its importance is widely attested.
Each year 100 winners (85 Commendations and 15 Overall Winners) are selected by a team of high profile judges, and will receive their awards at an annual prize-giving event on National Poetry Day. Thanks to funding from the Foyle Foundation the competition remains completely free to enter and we are able to offer a wide range of prizes, opportunities and resources.
Overall Winners will have their poems published in the annual Foyle Anthology, 24,000 of which are distributed to poets, teachers, students, libraries, schools and arts organisations right across the UK.
How to Enter
You will need an email address to enter online. If you would prefer to enter by post please send your poems and a completed entry form to Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award, The Poetry Society, 22 Betterton Street, London WC2H 9BX.
- You must be aged 11-17 on the closing date of the 31st July 2017 (inclusive) in order to enter. The competition closes at midnight BST on the 31st July 2017.
- Individuals may enter more than one poem, however we strongly advise that you concentrate on drafting and redrafting your poems and send only a selection (we suggest no more than 4-6 absolute maximum) of your very best. Remember, quality is more important than quantity.
- The competition is free to enter and poems can be of any length and on any theme.
- Your work is accepted on the basis that this will be its first publication anywhere in the world. Each poem must be the original work of the author (we do run checks for plagiarism on all selected poems), and must not have been previously published (in print, including anthologies, magazines and solo collections; online on any website, including blogs, online magazines or on social media such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram; broadcast on any regional, national or online TV station or via any radio platform) or have won any other competition.
- Poems must be in English.
- Entries sent in by e-mail (as attachments or written in the body of email) cannot be accepted under any circumstances. If you would like to enter online, please enter through the online form.
- All postal entries must be post-dated on or before the 31st July 2017. Late postal entries will not be accepted under any circumstances.
- No acknowledgment of receipt can be made for postal entries unless a stamped, self-addressed envelope is included with the entry.
- All 100 winning poets (top 15 and 85 commended) will be notified in autumn 2017 and invited to an award ceremony in October 2017. All winners will be required to provide a biography, photograph and permission form.
- All 100 winners will be invited to a prestigious Awards Ceremony in London.
- The top 15 winners will have their poems printed in the winners’ print anthology, over 20,000 copies of which are distributed to school libraries and poetry enthusiasts. The anthology is also available online.
- The 85 commended poets will have their work published in an online anthology and their names in the print anthology.
- The top 15 Winners will be invited to attend a life-changing residential writing course at one of the prestigious Arvon Centres, or receive mentoring from a professional poet (age dependent).
- All 100 winners receive a year’s Youth Membership of The Poetry Society.
- All 100 winners will receive a goody bag full of books and other treats donated by our generous supporters.
- All 100 winners benefit from ongoing support and encouragement from the Poetry Society via publication, performance and an internship programme. In the past year Foyle Young Poets have been featured on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, The Times and The Guardian, and have been seen at events at Ledbury Poetry Festival, Library Club, Proms Lates at the Royal Albert Hall and Wenlock Poetry Festival.