2022’s Young Romantics Poetry and Essay Prize is now closed for submissions. We are no longer able to accept any more entries.
The Longlists of the Young Romantics Prizes will be announced on 3rd August. The Shortlists will be announced later the same month.
A huge thank you to everyone who worked so hard on their poems and essays, which are now being sent to our amazing panel of judges.
The winners will be announced by Fiona Sampson in September.
In the meantime, please visit our Google Earth Elegy World Map which we will continue to update and expand over the summer.
Email questions regarding the 2022 Prize to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Poetry Prize (closed to submissions)
The theme of 2022’s Young Romantics Poetry Prize is ‘ELEGY’.
This commemorates two bicentenaries: the death of Percy Bysshe Shelley on 8th June 1822 and the composition of Adonais, Shelley’s elegy for John Keats, a year earlier in 1821.
Poets can interpret ‘Elegy’ freely. Poems can be serious or comic, avant garde or traditional, but the judges advise that works drifting too far from the theme will not be considered.
Poetry Judge 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. The poem will be able to say something that only it can say.’
RULES AND FORMATTING
Poems should be:no more than 30 lines in length.must fit onto a single A4 page.
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.
Essay Prize (closed to submissions)
2022’s Young Romantic Essayists can choose between two questions.
1. ‘He lives, he wakes—‘tis Death is dead, not he; / Mourn not for Adonais’.
PB Shelley, Adonais (1821)
How does the poetry of Keats, Shelley and the Romantics live on in 2022?
2. ‘The ideas of Shelley seem to me always to be ideas of adolescence — as there is every reason why they should be…’ TS Eliot, ‘Shelley and Keats’ (1933)
‘Write then, now that you are young, nonsense by the ream. Be silly, be sentimental, imitate Shelley[…]give the rein to every impulse’. Virginia Woolf, ‘A Letter to a Young Poet’ (1932)
Is the poetry of Shelley, Keats and the Romantics best enjoyed by young readers?
Essayists are free to write about Keats and/or Shelley and/or other Romantic authors.
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.
Your response can take whatever form, mood or tone you choose: literary criticism, political commentary, personal essay, opinion piece, memoir, even the script for a podcast. You can agree or disagree, or even agree and disagree.
Essay Judge 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.’