The John Betjeman Young People’s Poetry Competition

The John Betjeman Young People’s Poetry Competition sponsored by Shell is open to 11-14 year olds in the British Isles and Republic of Ireland.

The competition was inaugurated in 2006 to celebrate the centenary of one of the nation’s best-loved poets. The prize of £1,000, (£500 to the winner and £500 to the English department of their school), is donated by John Murray (Publishers) Ltd.

The first prize winner, runner-up and highly commended will also each win three Eurostar standard class return tickets to either Paris or Brussels.

Entrants are invited to send one poem about any aspect of their local surroundings or any aspect thereof, whether it be a house, a street, a garden, a park, a city or a wider landscape. The spirit behind the competition is to encourage young people to understand and appreciate the importance of place.

The prize giving will take place in October 2009 at St. Pancras International Station.

Completed entry forms which are available on request need to be received by 31st August 2009.

For the full list of rules, entry form or for further information about the prize please visit or email


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