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Wed 14 Sep 2011
Carol Ann Duffy’s new Laureate project for schools was launched this week at Alexandra Park School in the presence of HRH the Duchess of Cornwall
The Poet Laureate has just launched Anthologise, a competition for secondary school pupils, which invites them to create their own poetry anthologies. "They can do it any way they want, and they can be any sort of group they want - so it can be a class, or it can be a poetry group in a school, or it can simply be one pupil," she explained in the Guardian.
"The anthology can be organised in any way they want - it can be themed, or it can be issue-led ... anything they choose. They'll be given a budget, and they'll also have to think about how to cost it - so, for example, they'll have to think about whether they'll have to pay fees for reproducing poems, and, if so, they'll have to think about how much these fees are."

“What I hope this competition will do is put some control into the hands of the students themselves. They will be able to create their own anthologies, and it will help to enhance the way poetry is taught in school."

Anthologise is a competition for school students aged 11-18 to create their own anthologies of poetry. The winning anthology, chosen by a prestigious panel of judges including Carol Ann Duffy; National Poet for Wales, Gillian Clarke; Scots Makar, Liz Lochhead; poet John Agard; poet Grace Nichols; and Cambridge Professor of Children’s Poetry, Morag Styles, will be published by Picador, an imprint of Pan Macmillan, in 2013, and will be available in bookshops around the country for other young people to enjoy.

Carol Ann Duffy said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for young people to see their world through poetry, to select the poems which excite or move them most, and to learn the skills of anthologising, editing and costing.”

Anthologise will encourage more secondary school students to read and enjoy poetry.  The competition will give them the chance to explore poetry they haven’t read before, encountering different poets from different periods, and reading works in different styles and with different themes. This is an exciting opportunity for young people to help create an anthology, to be professionally published, which will inspire other young people to enjoy poetry too.

The competition is a Laureate Education project spearheaded by Carol Ann Duffy and administered by the Poetry Book Society. It is supported by Picador, an imprint of Pan Macmillan, and Waterstone’s. Partners are: Bath Festivals, Manchester Children’s Book Festival, Manchester Metropolitan University, Homerton College, University of Cambridge, the Saison Poetry Library, the Scottish Poetry Library and Literature Wales.

More information about the competition can be found at: and queries should be addressed to

For teachers, here are links to the curriculum and resources.

Competition Terms and Conditions

Submissions procedure
  • There is a fee of £20 for each entry.
  • There is no limit on the number of entries a school can submit.
  • Each entry can be from a group of students or an individual student.
  • (The competition is open to students aged 11-18)
  • A nominated teacher must be elected for each entry.
  • Only postal entries will be accepted.
  • Two copies of each entry are required.  
  • All entries must be accompanied by a completed entry form. (Entry forms are available to download from the website at )
  • The deadline for entries is 1 March 2012.
  • The winning anthology will be chosen by a panel of six judges. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • No entries will be returned so please make a copy for your own records.
  • Please email any queries to
Please send two copies of each submission to:

Poetry Book Society
Dutch House
307-308 High Holborn
London  WC1V 7LL

Each entry should consist of:
  1. All poems to be included in the anthology.
  2. A contents page which lists the title and author of each poem and its source, including title of book, author/editor, publisher and date of publication.
  3. Foreword for anthology (max 500 words).
  4. A completed entry form.
  5. A £20 cheque made payable to The Poetry Book Society.
  6. Approximate costing of permissions for poems in the anthology (within £2,000)
  7. budget - see permissions page for advice on this.
Carol Ann Duffy
Contact Information:
Poetry Book Society
Contact Name:
Chris Holifield
Contact Email: