Enter the 2021 Young Romantics Poetry Prize

The theme of 2021’s Young Romantics Poetry Prize is ‘Writ in Water’.

Our inspiration is John Keats’ gravestone in Rome, whose epitaph reads: ‘Here lies one whose name was writ in water.’ The 2021 Young Romantics Prize is part of our wider KS200 programme, commemorating the death of John Keats, aged just 25 years old, 200 years ago on 23rd February 1821.

Poets can interpret ‘Writ in Water’ freely – whether about water, writing, death, immortality, time, or any combination thereof. Poems can be comic or serious, avant garde or traditional, but the judges do advise that works drifting too far from the theme will not be considered.

Deryn Rees-Jones adds. ‘For me good poems adhere to no rules…except the one necessary to their own creation. Often a poem will stand out because of its precision and its ability to harness and also liberate a particular kind of energy. I think that’s to do with being able to feel and know something which is acute and subtle at the same time. The poem will be able to say something that only it can say.’

Rules and Formatting

Poems should be:

Entries must be original. Plagiarism will not be accepted. The poem must not have been published previously, either in print or online or in any other media, nor previously
submitted to us.

Entry is free.

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 poem

attachmentPlease upload your entry as a Word document or a PDF

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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.