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Foyles Young Poets 2014

Foyles 2014The Poetry Society announces today the launch of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2014, the world's largest and most prestigious award for young poets aged 11-17 years old.

Last year's competition attracted entries from a staggering 7,478 young people from 75 countries worldwide, making it one of the largest literary competitions in the world. The 2013 winners (15 top winners and 85 commended poets) spanned the globe, from Nigeria to Malaysia and from right across the UK. Now in its 17th year, the competition once again invites young poets to enter their writing.  The Poetry Society is thrilled that The Foyle Young Poet of the Year Award 2014 will be judged by acclaimed poets Grace Nichols and Simon Barraclough.

Any young person writing in English can enter the competition, whether they have been writing for a long time or just started, and the competition is free to enter. Full details on entering the competition can be found at www.foyleyoungpoets.org . The top 15 winning poets will have their poems published in an anthology in March 2015, which will be sent out to more than 22,000 people worldwide, making it one of the largest circulated poetry anthologies in the world. The current anthology Rattle the Hatches is published today, and celebrates last year’s winners and invites entries to the 2014 competition .  

The top 15 poets will attend a week-long residential creative writing course at the prestigious Hurst Arvon centre in Shropshire, where they will be tutored by this year’s judges, or receive a visit to their school from a professional poet, followed by one to one and distance mentoring (age dependent). The 85 Commended Winners will receive book prizes and a year's Youth Membership of the Poetry Society, the UK's leading poetry organisation.

All 100 winners of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award benefit from ongoing support and encouragement, via publication, performance, promotion and internship opportunities throughout the UK. In 2013, Foyle winners were showcased at the BBC Proms, Cheltenham Literature Festival, Ledbury Poetry Festival and the Southbank Centre. The prizes will be awarded at a special ceremony held at the Royal Festival Hall in London on Thursday 2nd October (National Poetry Day).

The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award also incorporates a year round programme of activity aimed at encouraging creativity and literacy in schools. Every year the scheme nurtures best practice in creative writing teaching, identifying committed ‘Teacher Trailblazers’ to act as mentors and share lesson ideas. Foyle and the Poetry Society also offer additional poet-led workshops and events to a number of ‘applauded schools’, to reward their continuing commitment to, and enthusiasm for, the Award. The newly relaunched  Poetryclass site offers a wide range of free downloadable teaching resources, including special Foyle lesson plans based on previous winning poems.

Since it began in 1998, the Award has kick-started the career of some of today’s most exciting new voices, including Poetry London editor Ahren Warner and Derbyshire Poet Laureate Helen Mort. The Award represents a career -changing achievement for many. The phrase ‘Former Foyle Young Poet’ is now commonly found in professional biographies as alumni continue to make their mark on the wider literary world, their names appearing on bookshelves and at festivals the world over. The Poetry Society’s online Alumni Library celebrates the successes of these exciting new voices.

All UK teachers can request free class set copies of Rattle the Hatches winners anthologies (5 per school), along with a class set entry form and 2 posters for your school walls (whilst stocks last). Email fyp@poetrysociety.org.uk with your full name, teaching position and full UK school postal address.

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