2021 Young People’s Poetry Competition

Our annual Young People’s Poetry Competition is now open for entries!

Schools and individual children from Yorkshire and Lancashire are welcome to enter.

This year, we’re looking for poems that respond to the theme of…

nature and the natural world

Poems could be inspired by something in your garden; a bird or a tree you can see from your window; a wild animals, a plant or a flower; a forest, a hill or a river; the feeling of the wind on your face.

Not sure where to start? Watch the video above to hear judge Andy Craven-Griffiths‘ five tips to stand out!

Want to enter? Keep reading for more information.

Click to submit your entry button

Age Categories

  • Years 7, 8 and 9
  • Years 10 and 11
  • Years 12 and 13

Please note that we run a separate Children’s Poetry Competition for Reception to Year 6. You can find more details here.


  • Winners in each category will be invited to read their poems at a special prize giving event this summer.
  • Winners will receive book tokens and winners and runners up will receive a book and a certificate.


  1. One entry per young poet. Please make sure it is original work.
  2. Poems should be on the subject of nature or the natural world.
  3. Poems should be no longer than 28 lines (excluding the title).
  4. Entries are open to Yorkshire and Lancashire residents only.

The competition will be judged by poet and writer Andy Craven-Griffiths. He will be looking for originality, use of language and distinct ideas.

ILF will accept any subject matter as long as there is an explicit link to nature.

ILF are unable to offer feedback on individual poems or enter into any correspondence regarding judging and selection.

How to Enter

Notes to parents/carers and teachers: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we are only able to accept entries online this year.
We apologies for any difficulties this may cause.

Click to submit your entry button
  1. Write your poem on one side of A4 paper. You can do this by hand or you can type your poem on a computer.
  2. On your entry, write your full name (first and last names) and your school year (e.g. Year 10).
  3. If you are using a computer, save the document with your poem. If you have hand-written your entry, take a good, clear photo of your poem so it can be read easily (you may want to use the camera on a phone or tablet).
  4. Fill in the online entry form with your name and contact details.
  5. Upload your poem to the entry form and click submit!

Closing date for receipt of entries: Friday 28 May 2021.

Any questions?

If you have any further questions, please contact info@ilkleylitfest.org.uk and we will be happy to help.

Sign-up to our newsletter

Sign up to our mailing list below.

* indicates required