The competition

Founded in 2006, on the centenary of former poet laureate Sir John Betjeman’s birth, the Betjeman Poetry Prize is a charity in the education sector working with partners across the British Isles to promote literacy, foster creativity and provide a platform for new voices from the next generation. 


The writing competition invites entries from 10 -13 year olds across the British Isles, who must write on the theme of ‘place’. Connection to place is central to John Betjeman’s work and our theme aims to encourage young people to look closely at their environment and to question where they come from and who they are.

Click here for details on how to enter.

Poet visits

The Betjeman Poetry Prize sends poets to visit schools. Our feedback has shown that having a real live poet in the classroom, library or poetry lunchtime club inspires pupils to stretch their imaginations and explore their creativity.

Poets who have visited schools for us

Ian McMillan

John Lyons

Harry Man

AF Harrold

Bridget Minamore

Matt Bryden

Fiona Hamilton

Laura Dockrill

Brian Patten

Brian Moses

John Rice

Callum Mitchell

George Mpanga (George the Poet)

Kate Clanchy

Ian McMillan

Rupert Loydell

Adisa the Poet

Frances Leviston


  • The winner receives £500. The English department of his or her school receives £5000.

  • The two runners up receive £200 each

  • The top three poets each receive four Eurostar tickets to Paris, Brussels or Lille

  • Highly commended entrants receive £50

  • All six finalists are invited on a Betjeman Poetry Camp

  • The top 50 poems are printed in our annual anthology

  • Every teacher who enters their class joins a prize draw to win a poet visit

The Betjeman Poetry Prize is currently sponsored by

Copyright © 2019 Betjeman Poetry Prize   |  All Rights Reserved

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