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You are here: Home > Young Writers' Hub > Blog > ‘Essential institution’ Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award opens for entries
‘Essential institution’ Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award opens for entries
The world’s largest literary competition once again leads the call for the most exciting writers aged 11-17

“Foyle Young Poets has become an essential institution, a way of discovering and developing the next generation of poets. Former Foyle winners are now among the most admired British poets, so it’s a real privilege to be invited to judge this year’s competition, and an exciting prospect too.

Michael Symmons Roberts, Foyle Young Poet of the Year Judge 2015

The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award broke all the records last year; with entries from 7,603 young poets from78 countries it has cemented its position as the world’s largest literary competition. Entries flooded in from every postcode in the UK and from countries as far afield as Nepal, Beninand Papua New Guinea. Amongst last year’s winners are poets from France, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, India, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Canada and the USA.

Now with acclaimed poets Liz Berry and Michael Symmons Roberts at the helm as judges, this year’s competition is once again on the hunt for the world’s most exciting new poets aged 11-17 – flanked by celebrity patrons including Martha Kearny and Phill Jupitus.

Founded by the Poetry Society in 1998, the Award is now firmly established as the key competition for young poets.  With such fierce competition, to be selected by the judges as one of the top 100 (15 top winners and 85 commended poets) is a truly world-class achievement. Over the past 18 years the Award has kick-started the career of many of today’s most exciting new voices, including Next Generation Poet Helen Mort and Poetry London editor Ahren Warner. The phrase ‘Former Foyle Young Poet’ is now found in countless professional biographies as alumni make their mark on the wider literary world, their names appearing on bookshelves and at festivals the world over – from the BBC Proms to the Glastonbury Festival.

This year’s world-class winners will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony in London on National Poetry Day, 8th October 2015. The top 15 winning poems are published in the yearly winners anthology – 24,000 of which are sent to schools, arts organisations, opinion formers and poets each year to mark the launch. The top 15 winners are also invited to attend a week’s residential creative writing course at a prestigious Arvon centre or receive a poet residency in their school (age dependent). All 100 winners receive one year’s Youth Membership of the Poetry Society, a range of book prizes, and benefit from ongoing support and encouragement from the Poetry Society via publication, performance and internship opportunities. In the past year Foyle winners have read at high profile events at the Southbank Centre, BBC’s The One Show, Radio 4, BBC World News, Ledbury Poetry Festival and the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall

The Award also incorporates a year-round programme of activity to support creativity and literacy in schools. We offer a number of ‘Applauded’ schools free poet-led workshops to reward their continuing enthusiasm for the Award, and nurture best practice in creative writing teaching by identifying committed ‘Teacher Trailblazers’ to act as mentors and share best practice and lesson ideas online.

The Poetry Society makes young people feel as if anything is possible. It was superb to witness the success of one of our former commended poets as she embarked upon the start of her literary journey. Foyle really does bring out the best in our students; long may it continue!”

Teacher Trailblazer Ramnika Sharma, of Oaklands Catholic School, Hampshire


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