Namedropping: A Challenge with People Need Nature and Jen Hadfield

Following the brilliant poems we received for our Ways to be wilder challenge in 2016, we’ve partnered up once again with the charity People Need Nature and T. S. Eliot Prize-winning poet Jen Hadfield. This time we’re asking you to consider the names we use every day and the histories lurking behind them. The poet Don Paterson says, ‘Every […]

Mountain in New Zealand

Riddle Me This Poetry Challenge

Thursday 21 September 2017 marks the 80th anniversary of the publication of J. R. R. Tolkien’s classic The Hobbit. To celebrate, we’re challenging you to write and send in your own fiendish riddles. Riddles are poems which describe something (or someone) without naming it. The intrigue of a riddle is trying to guess the object, […]

The August Challenges: #4 – Pave the Way with Concrete Poetry

The August challenges are designed by Foyle Young Poets to send you into a fever of creativity over the summer. In this year’s last August challenge, Foyle intern Zainab Ismail asks our younger poets to play with shape and pour us a concrete poem… I remember the tall minarets of Morocco many summers ago. Prayers […]

The August Challenges: #3 – Free Will

The August challenges are designed by Foyle Young Poets to send you into a fever of creativity over the summer. Foyler Marina McCready encourages you to write a poem for the Timothy Corsellis Prize by asking how much (or how little) free will exists in conflict and war… In war poetry, one recurring theme is free will, or […]

The August Challenges: #2 – The Poetics of Place and Belonging

The August challenges are designed by Foyle Young Poets to send you into a fever of creativity over the summer. In our second challenge, Daniel Blokh inspires you to immerse your reader in a particular place – from weeping willows to snowswept mountains… As a first-generation American, I have always loved hearing my parents’ stories […]

The August Challenges: #1 – Edgelands

The August challenges are designed by Foyle Young Poets to send you into a fever of creativity over the summer. First off, four-time-Foyler Magnus Dixon takes us to the rich, mysterious edges of our familiar places… In this August challenge, I would like you to take me on a journey to your edgelands, the forgotten […]

model planes

The Timothy Corsellis Prize 2017

We are delighted to announce the launch of the fourth annual Timothy Corsellis Prize! Timothy Corsellis was a young poet and pilot killed in 1941. The Prize was set up in his name, with the support of his family, to encourage more people to read the powerful but lesser-known poets of the Second World War. […]

Melting Ice Poetry Challenge

Young Poets Network has teamed up with the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, to present you with a challenge to write about the changing face of the Polar Regions. We asked our friends at the National Maritime Museum to tell us a little bit more about this idea, and how you can explore it in your […]

Turn Up the Volume Poetry Challenge  

Young Poets Network has once again teamed up with Oxfam to bring you a challenge from poet Harry Man all about global inequality and climate change. This challenge is about thinking about what’s happening across the world to create new, daring and powerfully moving poetry to help support action on climate change. Whether it’s writing […]

I am the Universe: writing climate change

The winning poems of this challenge, plus a commissioned poem by the challenge-writer, judge, and poet Helen Mort, can be read in our beautiful new anthology, below. Though I am the Universe is now closed for entries, you can still read the challenge below and write your own climate-inspired poems.     To kick off Young Poets […]

In praise of short poems

For language-lovers, it might seem odd to focus on getting rid of words – but in this challenge celebrating the short poem, that’s exactly what we want you to do… Of course, we love poems that flower and flow across many stanzas, pages, even filling whole books. But there’s something about the brilliantly executed short […]

Agincourt 600 Poetry Competition: Challenge #3

Agincourt 600 Poetry Competition: Challenge #3  This year is the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt that was fought between the English and the French. It was part of the Hundred Years’ War – which actually lasted for over 100 years! The battle took place on 25th October 1415 in Northern France. Won by […]

Agincourt 600 Poetry Competition: Challenge #4

Poet Richard O’Brien explores the classic representation of the Battle of Agincourt in Shakespeare’s Henry V, and challenges you to write a poem rediscovering some of the more marginalised voices from this epic battle.  Illustration by Alex Foster Power and Perspective Perhaps the most famous version of the story of Agincourt is Shakespeare’s play Henry […]

Agincourt 600 Poetry Competition: Challenge #2

  The Battle of Agincourt On St. Crispin’s Day (October 25th), 1415, an English army led by king Henry V defeated a much larger French force in battle near the French village of Agincourt.  You can read all about the battle here: http://www.youngpoetsnetwork.org.uk/2015/10/28/agincourt-600-young-poets-competition/.  Between seven and ten thousand French soldiers were killed, with England’s losses […]

The Eve of St. Agnes – Festive Feasts Challenge

  December is finally with us! Here at Poetry Towers, we’re really starting to feel the bite of winter. Hurrying to work, our coat collars turned up against the cold, we’ve been gulping down warming mugs of hot chocolate, shaking the moths out of our woolliest mittens, and even sporting the odd tartan blanket over […]

Agincourt 600 Poetry Competition: Challenge #1

This year is the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt that was fought between the English and the French. It was part of the Hundred Years’ War – which actually lasted for over 100 years! The battle took place on 25th October 1415 in Northern France. Won by the English who were led by […]

SLAMbassadors UK wants your spoken word

The Poetry Society’s fabulous spoken word competition SLAMbassadors wants your poems and raps on the theme of ‘Identity’. SLAMbassadors UK, the national youth slam for 12-18 year olds, has now been running for 14 years, involving as many young people as possible in reading, writing, and performing poetry. Slam is the competitive art of performance […]

Shine bright on National Poetry Day

    Photo credit: Lightbulb Variation 1 by Renaissance Vector The theme for National Poetry Day 2015 is ‘light’ so, to celebrate, we’d like to brighten up our Twitter feed on 8th October with your couplets. From Wordsworth’s ‘celestial light‘ in 1804 to Simon Barraclough’s ‘Sunspots‘ in 2015, poets have always been influenced by light […]

The August Challenges #2 – Poetry and Place

Laura Furner, a former Foyle winner, sets the second of our four August challenges – a month of vivid and varied reading and writing tasks from Foyle Young Poets to get you inspired! This challenge encourages you to write a poem for the Timothy Corsellis Prize, by looking at the work of WWII poet John Jarmain. […]

The August Challenges #1 – Creating a Poem from a Character

Jessica Walker, a former Foyle Winner, introduces the first of our four August challenges – a month of inspiring writing tasks from Foyle Young Poets to get you reading and creating! This challenge asks you to write a poem featuring a vivid, jump-off-the-page character. It begins with a character, usually, and once he stands up on […]

Christina Broom and the Suffragettes – new writing competition

The Museum of London tells us about pioneering female photographer Christina Broom, who captured many aspects of life in the first decades of the twentieth century, including the campaign for women’s right to vote. Then they challenge you to write your own poem capturing a moment of struggle, drama and change, as Broom did. Christina […]

Timothy Corsellis Prize 2015

After an extremely successful first year, the Timothy Corsellis Prize for poems responding to Second World War poetry returns, with a new Young Critics Prize running alongside the Poetry Prize. This competition is now closed. Catch up on the winning poems here! Last year, we were delighted to receive hundreds of entries for the inaugural […]

Film by Tim Ellis

Become a literary translator – new competition!

Become a literary translator for our new competition with The British Council: translator Don Cellini provides all the tools you need to create a new version of a poem by celebrated Mexican poet Pedro Serrano. Prizes include publication, poetry workshops and a stash of goodies.

Terror and Wonder: the Gothic challenge

It’s a real thrill to announce the latest writing challenge on Young Poets Network, in collaboration with the British Library – we want your poems on a Gothic theme! From Frankenstein’s monster to Dracula to Dr Jekyll’s transformation into the brutal Mr Hyde, take inspiration from this mysterious and macabre tradition.

The RSPB challenge: writing about birds

Young Poets Network is delighted to be collaborating with The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, to get you writing about the astonishing avian world. Wing your poems our way and winners will be published online and sent prizes – if only we could do it by pigeon post…

View of a Pig: the Title challenge!

Back when Young Poets Network first started, poet Matthew Sweeney wrote a brilliant feature about titles, and how they make all the difference to a poem. For the next challenge, we are asking you to read his advice below, and then have a go at renaming a famous poem.

Writing Gold

Travel in the realms of gold with our new challenge in collaboration with The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace. Feast your eyes on some of the stunning pieces from the Gold exhibition and then find your own way to write about this most precious of metals. Winners will be published on Young Poets Network and receive some goodies from the gallery shop.

We want your lines and phrases of poetry on the theme of Remember

It’s National Poetry Day on Thursday 2 October and we’d love you to help us celebrate! The theme this year is Remember, and we are asking for your lines and phrases of poetry on this subject to post on Facebook and Twitter throughout the day and publish on Young Poets Network.

Timothy and transition

Foyle summer intern Hannah Locke sets our final August challenge – a month of vivid and varied reading and writing tasks from Foyle Young Poets to get you inspired! This challenge encourages you to write a poem for the Timothy Corsellis Prize, the new annual poetry award on Young Poets Network, by looking at the theme of transition or change.

Making poetry from maths & science

Jade Cuttle, a former Foyle winner and one of the 2014 Foyle summer interns, sets the third of our four August challenges – a month of vivid and varied reading and writing tasks from Foyle Young Poets to get you inspired! This challenge is specifically for poets aged 13 and under, and shows you some exciting new ways to write.

Keith Douglas and detachment

Dominic Hale, a former Foyle winner, sets the second of our four August challenges – a month of vivid and varied reading and writing tasks from Foyle Young Poets to get you inspired! This challenge encourages you to write a poem for the Timothy Corsellis Prize, the new annual poetry award on Young Poets Network, by looking at the work of WWII poet Keith Douglas.

Writing poetry on location

Phoebe Thomson introduces the first of our August challenges – a month of vivid and varied reading and writing tasks from Foyle Young Poets to get you inspired! This challenge asks you to write a poem on location.

The First Annual Timothy Corsellis Prize

Young Poets Network is very excited to announce the first annual Timothy Corsellis Prize, for poems responding to the Second World War. Discover some fascinating young soldier-poets and write a poem in response to their life or work. The lucky winners, chosen by judges from the Poetry Society, the Imperial War Museum and the War Poets Association, will receive cash prizes, poetry books, poetry posters and publication!

Sigmund Freud, war and disillusionment

The team at the Freud Museum introduce the celebrated psychologist Sigmund Freud, and his writing about war and humankind – and challenge you to write a poem in response.

In Shakespeare’s Shoes

The team behind the new Shakespeare display at the Victoria and Albert Museum inspire you to inhabit one of Shakespeare’s characters in our new writing challenge.

Edith Sitwell, eccentricity and sounds

As part of the celebrations for the Edith Sitwell Festival 2014, Charles Mundye discusses the poet’s life and work, and sets two intriguing and inspiring writing challenges!

The Free Word challenge – is there a crisis of trust?

Young Poets Network has teamed up with Free Word, who work at the meeting point of literature, literacy and free expression, to offer you the chance to write a new poem inspired by the theme of ‘trust’. Winners will receive prizes, publication and a reading opportunity – read on for further details, as Free Word tells us more about the idea of trust and the poetry challenge:

English National Ballet – the challenge!

English National Ballet has teamed up with the Poetry Society and Young Poets Network to offer you the chance to write a special poem based on their swashbuckling new ballet Le Corsaire; a tale of love, intrigue and betrayal inspired by Lord Byron’s poem The Corsair.

English National Ballet – the teaser challenge!

We are very excited to announce that English National Ballet is staging a brand new production of Le Corsaire, a ballet inspired by Lord Byron’s poem The Corsair (1814) – and want Young Poets Networkers to get involved!

Your top tips! Part II – editing and redrafting…

We asked for your top tips on all steps of the creative process, from inspiration and getting the words down, to that pesky umpteenth redraft. And you all bowled us over with your poetry know-how! You could think of this as your one-stop writing workshop, together with Part II!

Your top tips! Part I – getting in the right mindset…

We asked for your top tips on all steps of the creative process, from inspiration and getting the words down, to that pesky umpteenth redraft. And you all bowled us over with your poetry know-how! You could think of this as your one-stop writing workshop, together with Part II!

Get feedback on your poem from Clare Pollard!

Brilliant poet Clare Pollard offered fifty lucky poets the opportunity to send in a poem and receive feedback. Unfortunately we couldn’t pass on all the great entries we received, so for those who weren’t randomly selected, the Young Poets Network team has compiled a list of tips and advice based on all the poems that came in.

Knock, knock, who’s there? Poems go visiting…

What would happen if La Belle Dame Sans Merci met the Jabberwock? Or if the Owl and the Pussycat met Macavity the Mystery Cat? For this workshop, which gets you thinking hard about point of view, we want you to imagine a meeting between two colourful characters from poetry!

Land of the ocean-noise: create your own kennings!

Bed of fish, smooth path of ships, island-ring, realm of lobsters, slopes of the sea-king, whale-house, land of the ocean-noise, blood of the earth, frothing beer of the coastline… Debbie Potts explores the world of kennings – tiny, metaphorical riddles used by Viking and Anglo-Saxon poets – and challenges all you twenty-first century poets to create your own!

Imagism’s 100th Birthday Challenge

One hundred years ago, in September 1912 in the British Museum tea shop, London, Ezra Pound described his poet-friends H.D. (Hilda Doolittle) and Richard Aldington as imagistes…

Red Rascal Strawberry

Red Rascal Strawberry is e-anthology, written by members of YPN, taking you on a tour of homes and landscapes, from bright and luxurious gardens through to exciting and sinister buildings.

The Giant Olympic Relay Poem is Here!

We asked you to send us Olympic couplets which we could join together into a giant Olympic Relay Poem. We had an amazing response, read the poem and find your couplet!

Olympic Poem Relay: Write Your Two Line Lap

We’re creating a giant relay poem to help prepare for the Olympics, and we’re asking you to contribute two lines! Plus our favourite three submissions will win Young Poet Network notebooks.

Imagined Lives Poetry Challenge

Young Poets Network is collaborating with the National Portrait Gallery for a new challenge, inviting you to write a history for one of the unknown faces in the Gallery’s Collection in their current display Imagined Lives: Portraits of unknown people.

Jack Underwood Asks “Why Should Anyone Care?”

Think of your poems as a person going up to strangers and talking to them, what must the poem do to make people listen? Award winning poet Jack Underwood’s workshop will help write a new poem to engage your reader. Click “read on” to take part.

Wish You Were Here…

Write your own holiday-inspired ‘poem on a postcard’, and view Clare Pollard’s feedback on her favourite poems from last years Poetry Exchange.

Write a Like Starlings Poem with poet and editor Caleb Klaces

Like Starlings is a project where poets collaborate to write poems in response to one another. This week Caleb Klaces, founder of Like Starlings, is offering you the chance to write your own Like Starlings style poem. Selected poems will be featured on the Young Poets Network website and five poets will receive Te Neves Notebooks.

Clare Pollard Offers feedback on poems in form

For this week’s troubleshooting session, I’d like you to send me poems that uses form – whether you’re struggling with a sonnet or having hassle with your haiku, I’d like to help! Not Sure what form to pick – why not write a ballad.