Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2015 - Open for entries! 

“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" 

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

With acclaimed poets Liz Berry and Michael Symmons Roberts at the helm as judges, Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award is once again on the search for the world’s most exciting new poets aged 11-17. Deadline for entries is midnight GMT on the 31st July 2015. 

The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award is now firmly established as the key competition for young writers. Last year the Award recieved entries from 7,603 young poets from a total 78 countries, cementing its position as the world’s largest literary competition. Amongst last year’s winners are poets from France, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, India, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Canada and the USA - and from right across the UK. Find out more about the award and watch our short film celebrating its impact below - and read the launch press release.

NB: all Past Entrants to the Award still eligible to enter and all UK Heads of English will be sent a winners anthology and information on the Award from between the 10th and 20th March 2015 so keep an eye out on your post boxes! 

How to enter

All poems must be in english and be the original work of the author and not have been previously published or won another competition. Thanks to the support of the Foyle Foundation entry and all associated prizes and opportunities remains entirely free. Please make sure to consult  the full rules before entry 

Individuals: can enter online or download a postal entry form

Teachers: download a class set entry form  and for resources to support and promote the award simply email us at with your name, position and school address and we will send you a fantastic free Class Set of 20 winners anthologies from last year's compeitition,gorgeous A2 posters plus a special Lesson Plan based on one of last year's winning poems. So don't delay - bring the Award to life in your school today (please note we will send this out whilst stocks last).

The Prizes 

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 numerous high profile events including 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 Judges

Liz Berry was born in the Black Country and now lives in Birmingham. She received an Eric Gregory Award in 2009, an Arvon-Jerwood Mentorship in 2011 and won the Poetry London competition in 2012. Her pamphlet The Patron Saint of Schoolgirls was published by Tall Lighthouse in 2010. Liz's poetry has been broadcast on BBC Radio and recorded for the Poetry Archive. Her debut collection, Black Country (Chatto & Windus, 2014), was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection 2014.

"I'm looking forward to reading poems full of surprise and energy; bold feelings and careful thoughts; poems which sing out from the page with their own distinct voices.”

Michael Symmons Roberts was born in 1963 in Preston, Lancashire, UK. His poetry has won the Forward Prize, the Costa Poetry Prize and the Whitbread Poetry Award, and been shortlisted for the Griffin International Poetry Prize and the T.S. Eliot Prize. He has received major awards from the Arts Council and the Society of Authors. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and of the English Association. His continuing collaboration with composer James MacMillan has led to two BBC Proms choral commissions, song cycles, music theatre works and operas for the Royal Opera House, Scottish Opera, Boston Lyric Opera and Welsh National Opera. His broadcast work includes ‘A Fearful Symmetry’ - for Radio 4 - which won the Sandford St Martin Prize, and ‘Last Words’ commissioned by Radio 4 to mark the first anniversary of 9/11. He has published two novels, and is Professor of Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University.

More about the Award

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 17 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. Read the launch press release

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.

These winners are among the most promising young literary talent in the UK, and the ceremony is the first step in an ongoing process of developing this potential; many of our former winners have gone on to publish work with major publishing houses such as Faber & Faber and Carcanet, and we support them through a number of initiatives helping them to establish themselves in the literary and publishing world, such as internships, editorial opportunities and showcasing events.