The Foyle Schools Poetry Competition (2024) is the result of an innovative partnership between Creggan Enterprises (Revival Shared Space Programme), Guildhall Press, Colmcille Press and Little Acorns Bookstore, funded by the Executive Office (under its Central Good Relations Programme) and is aimed at showcasing the creative literary talent of our district’s young people.
Last year's competition (2023) received over 1000 entries from across 25 schools in the city/district. This year we hope to grow the competition further.
We are inviting each school (primary and secondary) to submit their entries across designated themes. Entrants must be 18 or under, poems should be kept to a maximum of thirty-two lines. Entries can be handwritten or typed. Entries can be posted as hard copy to: Creggan Enterprises, Ráth Mór Centre, Bligh’s Lane, Derry BT48 0LZ. They can also be emailed as a Word document to the competition email address (email@example.com).
All entries should be clearly marked: Foyle Schools Poetry Competition and each individual entry must include: the pupil’s name, class, teacher and year.
Deadline for receipt of all entries is Friday 19th January 2024.
The judges for this year’s competition will be come from a range of acclaimed literary backgrounds. Prizes will be awarded to first, second and third in each Key Stage category, along with a number of special merit awards. All entrants will be showcased online and the winning poems will be published in book and poster form, with copies distributed to all the entrant schools.
The official launch of the publication and presentation of prizes will take place in the Ráth Mór Centre on World Poetry Day – Friday, 21 March 2024 at 11am. All competition winners and representatives from the relevant schools will be invited to the event.
The good relations focus of the competition this year (across all Key-Stages) centres on the concepts of reflection on the present and driving change for the future – pupils can give their own opinions on the topic and are encouraged to express their feelings on what ‘Today’ means for/to them, their family, their community or society/humanity as a whole. Poets can explore how they see the world at present through their own eyes; they can reflect on the big or small challenges/problems of the day; they can write about their average, ideal or worst day; or speak about the change or difference they will make today (i.e. ‘Today I will...’).
The good relations focus of the competition this year (across all Key-Stages) centres on the concepts of reflection on the present and driving change for the future – pupils can give their own opinions on the topic and are encouraged to express their feelings on what ‘Tomorrow’ will mean for them, their family, their community or society/humanity as a whole. Poets can speak about the change or difference they will make tomorrow (i.e. ‘Tomorrow I will...’) or focus on a micro, macro or abstract view of tomorrow, exploring a realistic, aspirational or fantastical future. Poets can pose ‘what if’ questions, or draw conclusions based on current trends; ‘Tomorrow’ can be literal or far into the future.
Participate in a Workshop: As part of the Poetry Competition – The Revival Shared Space Programme is hosting a number of Good Relations Poetry Workshops through the local secondary/grammar schools, delivered by our skilled facilitator Grainne McCool. If your school wishes to arrange a workshop - please get in touch.