Enter the Young Romantics 2021 Essay Prize

2021’s Young Romantic Essay writers are asked to address this question (preceded by two quotations):

‘Do you not see how necessary a World of Pains and troubles is to school an Intelligence and make it a soul?”
John Keats

‘The sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.’
PB Shelley, To a Skylark

How can poetry – especially the poetry of John Keats and Percy Shelley – help us cope with adversity?

Professor Sharon Ruston writes:I want to read a well-organised, lively, and well-expressed essay. It should be arguing a point and offer persuasive evidence in its case. We are also looking for someone who has a creative interest in Keats, Shelley, and their circle.’


Your response can take whatever form, mood or tone you choose: literary criticism, political commentary, personal essay, opinion piece, the script for a podcast. You can agree or disagree.

Entries must be no shorter than 750 words and no longer than 1000, including quotations.

Entries must be original works. Plagiarism will not be accepted. They must not have been published previously, either in print or online or in any other media, nor previously submitted to us. All sources must be acknowledged.

Click to visit the Keats-Shelley Resource Page for students and teachers: videos, articles, websites, readings about 2021’s theme, John Keats and Romanticism.

Your Details


Your entry

The title of your essay

attachmentPlease upload your entry as a Word document or a PDF

Upload your entry


In adherence with GDPR, your details will be held on a secure database and will not be released to any third party without your explicit and written consent. We may contact you by email once or twice a year with details of next year’s competition and any other relevant information about the Keats-Shelley Prizes. Read our Privacy Policy here.


Please read carefully and tick the box to confirm your agreement: In consideration of our providing you with the opportunity to have your entry/entries published in the Keats-Shelley Review, you hereby grant to KSMA a non-exclusive, worldwide license to publish your entry/entries in this journal. Copyright remains vested in you.