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The Timothy Corsellis Prize 2016

We are delighted to announce the launch of the third annual Timothy Corsellis Prize! For the past two years, the Prize has elicited an incredible variety of responses to poetry of the Second World War, and we are looking forward to receiving even more of your extraordinary work this year. Timothy Corsellis was a young poet and […]

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Ways to be wilder: A new challenge with People Need Nature and Jen Hadfield

We’ve enlisted the help of our friends at the charity People Need Nature, and T.S. Eliot Prize-winning poet Jen Hadfield, to help us create a new challenge all about the nature on your doorstep.  Whether it’s Wordsworth’s daffodils or Seamus Heaney’s frogspawn, you’ve probably come across the natural world in poetry at at least a couple of times – […]

Illustration by Alex Foster

Agincourt 600 Poetry Competition: Challenge #4

In our fourth and final Agincourt 600 challenge, 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.

An illustration from the 1793 edition of History of the Red Breast Family by Sarah Trimmer, displayed in Animal Tales at the British Library

Animal Tales – a new writing challenge with British Library

From Aesop’s Fables to Ted Hughes’s Crow, the stories we tell about animals are often stories about us. A new exhibition at The British Library goes on the trail of animals on the page, asking why they have come to play such an important role in literature for adults and children alike. From the earliest […]

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Shine bright on National Poetry Day

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.

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The August Challenges #4 – Writing in Contrast

Sophia Tait, a former Foyle winner, sets the fourth and final August challenge – a month of vivid and varied reading and writing tasks from Foyle Young Poets to get you inspired! This challenge encourages younger members of the Young Poets Network to write poems from two different viewpoints.

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The August Challenges #3 – WWII and Mundanity

Theo Ayres, a former Foyle winner, sets the third 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, by looking at the work of WWII poets Timothy Corsellis and Henry Reed.

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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.

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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.

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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.

'Ready to Go' - Battle of Britain Memorial by Feggy Art

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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

Master: The Padshahnama
Item: The Padshahnama : opening shamsa (sunburst)

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

'A cold and sunny morning in Tunbridge Wells' [Keith Douglas' birthplace], by Bob Farrell

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.

Sunset from Plane by Humberto Moreno

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!

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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.

Boots worn by Henry Irving in Richard III, 1877 ©Victoria and Albert Museum, London

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.

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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

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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.

Joelle Taylor’s Poetry Challenge

Joelle Taylor reads her poem ‘No Man’s Land’ and invites you to write a poem inhabiting another character.
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Ross Sutherland’s Poetry Challenge

Can you write a poem that sticks to just one vowel? Take up Ross Sutherland’s challenge, inspired by the Oulipo movement of the 1960s.

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