This year we’ve chosen a seasonal theme for our 2016/17 poetry competition, with the topic of winter. Whether it’s your favourite season or the one you hate the most, we want to know what stands out for you about winter. Just make sure you don’t get cold feet when writing your poem!
You can write about any aspect of winter you want – there are loads of inspiring things about winter so be creative. We won’t tell you exactly what to write about, but here’s a few suggestions if you’re struggling to think of the right subject for your poem:
Of course, if you’ve got a better idea than any of the ones above for your poem then feel free to write about that instead, as long as it’s related to winter.
You can write in any style of form that you choose. Your poem could be funny or sad, rhyming or not, true-to-life or entirely imaginary. You could write it in a recognised structure like a sonnet or a limerick or try something a bit different such as a shape poem… There are lots of possibilities for your poem!
If your country doesn’t have the four clearly defined seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter, but instead has dry and wet seasons, for example, you can still enter. Just make your poem about a particular season and adapt the guidance above.
Similarly, if you live in the southern hemisphere and your winter happens in the middle of the year or you live in a really hot country where winter isn’t very cold, we’d still love to hear from you. Just tweak the guidance above and write a poem about the winter you experience.
We love to receive entries that have been written by pupils during their lessons. If you’re planning on getting your pupils to enter the competition, please make sure you allow enough time for the children to write and revise their poems. It works best if spread over two lessons with time for preparation and thinking in-between, or as a homework activity. We’re not sure we could expect anyone to write a prize-winning poem in a single lesson.
If you’d like to submit entries on behalf of your pupils, you are most welcome to do so. However, entries submitted individually receive a personalised reply with comments about the submitted poem, which many children find adds to the enjoyment of taking part in the competition.
There are a few rules that you have to stick to, but they’re really easy to follow:
This year’s competition will judge poems together, rather than by age group. The age of the poet will of course be taken into account when deciding winners. We think awarding prizes in this way makes sure that the very best poems across the whole array of entries are rewarded.
All poems will be reviewed by an independent judge and the winners will be announced by 15th April. For poems submitted by individuals we’ll try to give personalised feedback.
The top poem will receive the first prize of £50 prize, the second poem a £30 prize and the third poem a £20 prize.
If you'd like to enter the competition, please email your poem to Patrick at . We’ll aim to put all the poems submitted up on our website so that they can be enjoyed by all our readers.
When submitting your entry, please remember to include the following things:
While our competition does have amazing prizes, more importantly it’s an opportunity to share your love of writing with readers around the world. Some of the previous entries in our competition have been published in 'proper' books or set to music and sung by a Arcady, a Canadian youth choir.
Have fun and we look forward to reading your poems!
You'll be able to read the competition entries as they pour, or perhaps more likely trickle, in over the coming months.