Image by Hayley Madden
Judges: Hannah Lowe and David Morley
Deadline: Midnight 31st July 2013
With over 7,000 young people entering their poems last year, The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award for young poets aged 11-17 is one of the largest and most prestigious award of its kind, and recognised as a career-changing achievement both nationally and internationally. Entries pour in from right across the world each year and previous winners have come from as far as New Zealand, Malaysia and the USA. With such fierce global competition, to be selected by the judges as one of the top 100 (15 Overall Winners and 85 Commended) is truly to be marked out as a rising literary star.
Since it began 16 years ago the Award has kick-started the career of some of today’s most exciting new voices and the phrase ‘Former Foyle Young Poet’ is now commonly found in professional biographies, as alumni continue to make their mark on the wider literary world, appearing on bookshelves and at festivals the world over.
Any young person aged 11-17 writing in English can enter the competition, whether you have been writing for a long time or just started. The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award is about what you want to write. So you can enter poems written in class, or poems you’ve written at home, from exercises or from your own imaginings. Individuals may enter more than one poem; however, we strongly advise that you concentrate on drafting and redrafting your poems and send only a small selection of your favourite poems to best impress the judges. Remember, quality is more important than quantity!
Click here to read the competition guidelines and the 2012 winning poems, and to enter your own poem/s.
The 15 Overall Winning poems will be published in an anthology going out to more than 20,000 people worldwide in March 2014. Additionally, the 15 Overall Winners will spend a week working on their poetry at one of the prestigious Arvon writing centres with this year’s judges, or receive a poet residency in their school followed by distance mentoring (age dependent).
All 100 winners (15 Overall Winners and 85 Commended) will receive a year’s free Youth Membership to the Poetry Society and a selection of poetry books and goodies, and will be invited to a prestigious prize giving ceremony in October 2013.
Helen Mort, who has come full circle as former winner to 2012 judge, summarises it perfectly:
Winning the Foyle Young Poets of the Year changed the way I saw myself and my future. In short, it made me realise I could devote my life to the thing I loved, if I had enough determination.
The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2013 is now closed for entries, but will reopen in March 2014. Sign up to YPN and keep updated!