Public Service Announcement

The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award – opening up doors to exciting opportunities for new poets.
Deadline for entries 31 July 2010

"Becoming a Foyle Young Poet is about more than just winning a competition. It is like being given the keys to doors you didn't know existed - suddenly there are clear directions you can take your poetry in. Entry is free and can be done instantly online - what are you waiting for? Let your poem be heard!" Phoebe Power, Foyle Young Poet of the Year 2009

If you are 11-17 years of age, the Poetry Society’s Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award opens up exciting opportunities for your writing to be recognized and given the chance to flourish.

Since it began 13 years ago the award has identified some of the most exciting new voices in contemporary poetry. These include Caroline Bird, who after winning the award had her first collection of poetry published aged just 16, Jay Bernard whose first collections Your Sign is Cuckoo girl was published in 2008, and Richard O’Brien who set up the highly successful e-zine Pomegranate with other young writers. Many past winners can also be seen performing their work at festivals across the UK such as Latitude and the Big Chill.

It doesn’t just acknowledge this new talent  - it provides an opportunity for this talent to flourish. There are two prizes available for the fifteen overall winners. The 14-17 year olds get the chance to attend a week long residential course at The Hurst in Shropshire, one of the prestigious Arvon Centres, where they will be tutored by this year’s judges Jane Draycott and Luke Kennard. The younger age range winners (11-14 year olds) will receive a visit to their school from a professional poet, followed by distance mentoring.  The Award also incorprates a year-round programme of activity aimed at encouraging creativity and literacy in schools, providing poet-led residencies, mentoring and a range of free resources including lesson plans and poetry book sets. It also champions and celebrates committed schools and teachers across the UK.

Whatever happens, don’t let uncertainty stop you entering that poem. As one of this years judge’s Luke Kennard confesses:
"I lie awake at 3 a.m. thinking of reasons not to send my work off. Maybe I’ll write something better next month or next year. The more enlightened part of me knows that one of the best poems ever written is William Carlos Williams’s apology for eating someone else’s plums; that we can only understand the great themes, the political, the spiritual through specifics and in strange, small, and seemingly insignificant things. So all I’m saying is don’t be like me lying there terrified at 3 a.m.: send in your work!"

The deadline for the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award is 31 July 2010.  So what are you waiting for?  Sending in a poem may be your first step toward becoming one of our great poets of the future.

Enter online or download an entry form at or you can request an entry form by emailing  
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