Foyle Young Poets

The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2022 is now open for entries until 31 July.

Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2022 artwork: a yellow sun radiates red and pink rays, and stylised images of purple and orange clouds, swift, heart with a lightning bolt, frog, flower, shoeprint and a headphone winding its way through it all

The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award is one of the biggest and most established prizes for young people aged 11 – 17 in the world. If you’re an aspiring writer, enter your poems to the competition at foyleyoungpoets.org by 31 July 2022. (Submissions are open from 12 noon GMT on Thursday 3rd March).

This year’s award will be judged by Anthony Anaxagorou and Mona Arshi.

Anthony learnt to craft his own poetry as a teen, and is now an educator and artistic director of Out-Spoken, a poetry and music night held at London’s Southbank Centre. His second collection, After the Formalities, was shortlisted for the T. S Eliot Prize and the Ledbury Munthe Poetry Prize, as well as being a Telegraph and Guardian poetry book of the year. He’s written a practical guide and memoir, How to Write It, so he’s got lots of experience reading new work and helping young writers to make themselves at home in the poetry community! On judging this year’s, he said:

‘I’ve long admired the Foyle Young Poets Award for its uncanny ability to spot tomorrow’s poets, so it’s both an honour and privilege to be involved as a judge this year.’

Mona Arshi has just released her debut novel, Somebody Loves You, so knows what it’s like to take a step in a new creative direction and explore different types of writing. Previously, she’s written two collections – her first, Small Hands, won the Forward Prize for best first collection. She’s an experienced judge, and has previously been on the panel for the National Poetry Competition, The Forward Prize and the T. S Eliot Award. She says:

‘This is such an important prize, I’ve always been moved by the energy and quality of poems that flow out of the competition and into the anthology. I am so excited about reading the poems and finding the future poets that will enrich our culture.’

Last year, we received 14,408 poems from over 6,775 poets aged 11-17 from across the UK and around the world. Writers from 109 different countries entered the competition from as far afield as South Africa, China, Ethiopia and Georgia, as well as the four corners of the UK. You can read the work of the Top 15 winning poets in our new anthology, Some Sort of Joy, which is currently winging its way to classrooms and libraries across the country and appears as its digital self below. If you’d like a class set or bundle of anthologies, drop us a line at [email protected]

Please note: although all the poems in the anthology were written by 11-17 year olds, some of them deal with complex and possibly upsetting themes. If you’re an adult planning to use the anthology in a classroom or other setting, please read it through first to see if it’s appropriate for your young people. If you’re a young person, please pay attention to the content warnings within, or pass it on to an adult first so you can make sure you find the poems you enjoy.

Do you dream of starring in next year’s anthology? Enter the 2022 award, and as well as publication you could receive mentoring opportunities from The Poetry Society including a weeklong writing retreat for the Top 15 winners; extended engagement with the poetry community through complimentary Youth Membership of The Poetry Society; quarterly copies of Poetry News; and lots of prizes such as poetry books, chocolate, and other goodies.

Teachers, librarians and youth workers can request a free pack of anthologies and posters for their students. Just email [email protected] with your address and we’ll post a class set out to you as soon as we can.

About

The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award is the biggest poetry competition for 11-17 year olds in the world. Since it began 24 years ago, the Award has kick-started the career of some of today’s most exciting new voices. Past winners include Jay Bernard, Sarah Howe, Helen Mort, Phoebe Power, Caroline Bird, Mukahang Limbu, Richard O’Brien and many more incredible poets.

If you have any queries email us at [email protected]. If you’d like to stay up-to-date with everything that The Poetry Society offers young writers, sign up to the Young Poets Network mailing list or follow our social media pages (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) for updates. You can also visit Young Poets Network for year-round poetry competitions, events and advice for young writers.