The Young Romantics Prizes

The Young Romantics Writing Prize was inaugurated in 2015. Running in conjunction with the Keats-Shelley Prize, it is aimed at poets and essayists aged between 16 and 18. Entrants are encouraged to respond to the work of the Romantics by writing their own original poem or essay. Essayists are asked to respond to a particular question inspired by the life or work of the Romantic writers. The poets respond to a theme which changes from one year to the next.

In 2020, this is 'Songbird', to mark bi-centenaries of PB Shelley’s To a Skylark and John Keats' Ode to a Nightingale. The essay asks how the poetry of Shelley and Keats can help us in our current climate crisis?

The first Young Romantic Judge was the former Poet Laureate Dame Carol Ann Duffy, who has been succeeded by Professor Richard Holmes OBE and Liz Lochhead, the Makar of Scotland.

Read our brochure for 2015's Young Romantics Prize here.

Read our brochure for 2016's Young Romantics Prize here.

For further information about the Keats-Shelley Prize, click here.

Young Romantics Prize

Scroll down to enter 2020’s Young Romantic Prizes. Or click here.

Please note. We have extended the deadline for submissions until 31st January 2020.

The theme of 2020’s Young Romantics Prize is Songbird.

This marks two landmark bicentenaries in Romantic poetry. The composition two hundred years ago of PB Shelley’s To a Skylark and the publication in book form of John Keats’ Ode to a Nightingale.

While these songbirds have been granted immortality through art, today’s reality is that the skylark and nightingale both face serious threat of extinction, lending grim ironies to Romanticised lines like ‘Thou wast not born for death immortal bird’ or ‘And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.’

Our hope for this year’s prize is that we can celebrate the glory of these songbirds, while participating in wider political and artistic efforts to bring attention to ever-escalating climate crisis.

See 2020’s Young Romantics poster here. Read more about 2020’s Young Romantics Prize here. For 2020’s Keats-Shelley Prize, click here.

2020’s Prize Chair is Simon Barnes, the award-winning journalist and acclaimed author of How To Be A Bad Birdwatcher, The Meaning of Birds, Epic, and most recently On the Marsh: A Year Surrounded by Wildness and Wet.

2020’s Keats-Shelley Prize Judges are the poets Professor Deryn Rees-Jones and Will Kemp, and Professors Sharon Ruston and Simon Bainbridge.

Total Prizes worth over £5000.

We are thrilled that 2020’s Keats-Shelley Prize is presented in association with the RSPB.

Find out more about the 2020 Prize and submit an entry

Young Romantics Prize

Winners Announced

More about the 2019 Prize

Young Romantics Prize

Winners Announced

More about the 2018 Prize

Young Romantics Prize

Winners Announced

More about the 2017 Prize

Young Romantics Prize

Winners Announced

More about the 2016 Prize