Submit your poem to win cash prizes with a special young writer category

Are you an established poet, writer, or lyricist living in Waltham Forest? Perhaps you were inspired by Amanda Gorman’s inauguration poem but haven’t written before, or maybe poetry has been a part of your life for years and you’re keen to write something new. Whoever you are, we want to get people writing Write Across Waltham Forest! 

Write Across Waltham Forest is about celebrating the power of poetry and the written word all across the Borough, as a creative expression and reflection of recent times. We are delighted to be working with several local poetry champions for this project to provide plenty of inspiration and to help us choose the best submissions in July.

About the competition

Submissions will be collected together on an interactive digital map of the borough, and also included on a London-wide map as part of "Write Across London". 

We are working with the Royal Society of Literature, the Museum of London, National Poetry Day and Spread the Word to celebrate the power of the written word to bring people together, even in times of significant isolation.

The competition is open to everyone. We encourage the creativity of those who have been worst affected or most compromised by the pandemic across London – people of colour, people from lower socio-economic backgrounds, older people, people with disabilities and those with pre-existing medical conditions. 

What we need from you

  • 1 poem which reflects on the last year, but looks ahead to inspiration, hope and togetherness. One entry per person only. 
  • You can submit as a Word document or a PDF if the layout is important
  • The themes of "Fellowship" and feelings of coming together are encouraged but not essential
  • Be as creative and expressive as you like.
  • You can write it in any language you like, but please include an English language translation and/or notes to make the poem as accessible as possible.


Vouchers* to the value of:

  • 1st Prize: £200
  • 2nd Prize: £100
  • 3rd Prize: £50

Young poets (under 18)

  • 1st Prize: £50
  • 2nd Prize: £30
  • 3rd Prize: £20

*Vouchers to spend at local shops and businesses in the borough.

Deadline: You have until 5pm Saturday 31 July 2021 to submit your poem