“I’ve daydreamed about this sort of thing. Winning Foyle is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. I don’t think I’ve quite wrapped my head around it yet.”
– Foyle Young Poet, 2017.
The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award is an opportunity for any young poet aged 11-17 to accelerate their writing career. Since it was founded in 1998 the Award has kick-started the career of some of today’s most exciting new voices, such as Sarah Howe, Jay Bernard and Helen Mort. With entries from over 6,000 young people last year across from the UK and worldwide, it is the largest competition of its kind and its importance is widely attested.
Each year 100 winners (85 Commendations and 15 Overall Winners) are selected by a team of high profile judges, and will receive their awards at an annual prize-giving event in early October. Thanks to funding from the Foyle Foundation the competition remains completely free to enter and we are able to offer a wide range of prizes, opportunities and resources. Winners receive a range of fantastic prizes including membership of The Poetry Society and a stack of poetry goodies. Winners also attend a week-long intensive residential Arvon course, where they develop their creative writing skills alongside fellow poets, or benefit from poetry residencies at their school or distance-mentoring depending on their age and location. You can read last year’s top 15 winning poems in our anthology, There was a word for that, alongside the fantastic 85 commended poems, which are also available online.
These winners are among the most promising young literary talent in the UK, and the ceremony is the first step in an ongoing process of developing this potential; many of our former winners have gone on to publish work with major publishing houses such as Faber & Faber, Carcanet and Chatto & Windus. We support them through a number of initiatives helping them to establish themselves in the literary and publishing world, such as internships, editorial opportunities and showcasing events.