Winners of the 2019 Children's Poetry Competition

The 2020 Writing Competitions are Open

Ilkley Literature Festival are pleased to announce that our annual writing competitions are now open for entries. 

The Walter Swan Poetry Prize 

Run in partnership with The Walter Swan Trust, the competition is for writers of poetry aged 18 and over. Now in its fifth year, the prize was established in memory of the late writer Walter Swan.  

The prize will be judged by the 2020 ILF Poet-in-Residence, who will be announced shortly.  

The top three prize winners will be invited to read their poems at an event at the 2020 Ilkley Literature Festival. First, second and third prize will receive £200, £100 and £75 respectively. The winner will also win a one-to-one feedback session with a research fellow at the University of Leeds Poetry Centre. 

Poems should be no longer than 30 lines and should respond to the prompt ‘A Kindness’. 

The closing date for entries is Friday 31 July 2020, 11.59pm. Entry fees are £6. To enter and for full terms and conditions, click here. 

The Walter Swan 18-25 Poetry Prize 

For no additional fee, entrants of The Walter Swan Poetry Prize aged 18 to 25 will automatically be considered for the Young Adult’s Poetry Prize in addition to the main prize. 

The prize will be judged by Rachel Bower, Leverhulme Research Fellow at the University of Leeds, and author of the poetry collection Moon Milk (2018).  

The top three prize winners will also be invited to read their poems at an event at the 2020 Festival. First, second and third prize will receive £100, £75 and £50 respectively. The winner will also receive a one-to-one feedback session with Rachel Bower. 

Entry fees are reduced to £3 for those aged 18 to 25. To enter and for full terms and conditions, click here.  

Niccola Swan, chair of the Walter Swan Trust, said, ‘We are really delighted to be sponsoring the Ilkley Literature Festival Poetry Prize again. The theme of ‘A Kindness’ links particularly well to Walter and his own interests and writing. He used to run a Facebook page called Kindness – the Golden Chain, and his own poems were often on this theme. One of his best-known poems is called ‘May You’ and it features these lines: 

‘May your world be one of kindnesses both given and received 

With no expectation, ever, of reward 

May the world be the better for your having shared in it 

May your memory live on for loving and being loved’ 

We wish much luck to all the poets who will be writing on this very important theme and look forward to reading the winning poems.’ 

 

Young People’s and Children’s Poetry Competitions 

These are free-to-enter competitions for schools and individual children. 

Young People’s Poetry Competition Age Categories 

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

To enter and for full terms and conditions, click here. 

Children’s Poetry Competition Age Categories 

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

To enter and for full terms and conditions, click here. 

The winners will be invited to read their poems at an event at the 2020 Ilkley Literature Festival. The winners will also receive book tokens and both winners and runners up will receive a certificate. 

Poems should be no longer than 28 lines and should respond to the theme ‘A Kindness.’ 

The closing date for entries is Monday 21 September 2020.  

The 2020 Ilkley Literature Festival is scheduled to take place Friday 2 to Sunday 18 October. At present, the organisers remain hopeful the event will be able to take place as planned. However, if this is not possible due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, alternative arrangements will be made for the announcement of the poetry competitions winners and prize-givings

The ILF Short Story Competition is on hold for the time being while we review how the competition operates. We are sorry for any disappointment this hiatus may cause.

 

Any Questions?

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