Children’s Poetry Competition

Our children’s poetry competition is open for entries and this year, inspired by the 50th anniversary of the moon landings we are asking for poems on the theme of Discovery. This can be any kind of discovery, not just scientific – it could be a personal discovery of a new place, experiencing something for the first time or learning something new about the world.

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


  • Reception, Year 1, Year 2
  • Year 3 and 4
  • Year 5 and 6

Years 7 – 13 have a separate Poetry and Short Story Competition.


  • Winners will be invited to read their poems at a special event at this year’s Festival
  • Winners will get book tokens and both winners and runners up will each get a certificate.


  1. One entry per young poet. Please make sure it’s all their own work
  2. Poems should be on the theme of discovery
  3. Poems should be no longer than 28 lines (excluding the title)
  4. Entries are open to Yorkshire and Lancashire residents only

Judges will be looking for originality, use of language and distinctive ideas that are clearly the child’s own work.

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


Fill in the entry form (download below), including the poem in the box provided (or attach a copy securely to the form). Please photocopy the form as required.
Children are welcome to decorate their entries (we enjoy pictures as well as words!).

Send completed entry forms to:

Children’s Poetry Competition

Ilkley Literature Festival

9 The Grove

Ilkley, LS29 9LW

Download the Children’s Competition Entry Form

Download the Children’s Competition Rules

You can also submit entries online by clicking here

Closing Date: Monday 23 September 2019