Kids Poetry Competition 2010 - Shape Poems
The poetry contest for 2010 is a little bit different from previous years. The challenge is to write, draw or otherwise create a shape poem. It doesn't have to be a funny poem, so long as it's recognisably a shape poem, a concrete poem or some other form of visual poetry.
This 2010 competition is now closed, so you can't submit new entries, but you can still read the entries or create a shape poem, just for fun.
Creating your shape poem
If you're not sure what a shape poem is or how to create one, I've prepared an idiot's guide to shape poetry to get you started (not that I'm suggesting for one moment that you're an idiot). There are no restrictions as to the style or subject of the shape poem you create:
- Your poem can be a twisted or a true shape poem, or something of your own invention
- You can computer generate, handwrite, draw, paint or photograph your shape poem
- Your shape poem can be funny, sad, romantic or rude (so long as it's not toooooo rude)
- It can be about any subject you choose, but the shape should be recognisable
no restriction on size for your poem, but it must reproducible in 2-D on a web page
Taking part in the competition
The competition doesn't have many rules, but they are important:
- You must be aged 16 or under at the time you write the poem
Parents, older brothers, perhaps even teachers, may be tempted to submit their own poems in the hope of winning one of the fantastic prizes on offer. Don't, unless you're prepared to dress as up as a school kid and hobble around on your knees at the grand prize giving.
- You must create a shape poem, which may be on a subject of your choosing
The critical requirement is that you must create a shape poem, in which the subject of the poem and the shape formed by its constituent words or lines relate to each other in some way. A shape poem is not simply a poem that you have embellished with doodles or clipart.
- The poem you submit must be your own, original creation
You can ask for advice about creating your poem, but the idea for the poem and the poem itself must be your own work. In the previous competition we received a few joint entries, which is acceptable provided both poets are aged 16 or under at the time of submission.
- The last day for submission of competition entries is 30th November 2010
Shape poems are frustratingly tricky to get right, so don't leave creating your poem until the very last minute. On the other hand, if you take to shape poetry like a duck to orange sauce, you'll be relieved to know that you're allowed to submit up to three entries during the course of the competition. Submitting more than three shape poems would constitute cheating and masochism.
There will be one first prize of £100 awarded to the author(s) of the poem which is, in the view of the judges, the best poem of all those submitted. In addition, there will be two runner up prizes of £25. The competition will be judged by two independent judges and the results announced in December 2010.
Sending in your poems
If you'd like to enter the competition, please email
and make sure you include the following:
- The poem
The poem should be sent as an attachment in the form of a png, jpeg or gif file or a microsoft word document. If the poem is in an image format, it should have a minimum width of 600px and a minimum resolution of 72dpi. If you're unsure whether it's suitable, send it in and we'll do our best with it to make it work, or let you know what you need to do to sort it out.
- Your name, age and where you live
Please include your full name (first and last names) and your age when you wrote the poem. You should also include the town, city, county or country where you live (but not your full address). When we publish your poem, we'll only include your first name, age and details of where you live e.g. written by Timmy, aged 11 from Nottinghamshire.
- The title of the poem
Just in case I don't recognise what shape the poem is meant to be!
- Why you wrote the poem
Tell us, in a sentence or two, what inspired you to write the poem, why you chose the particular subject and whether you found shape poetry a fun, or a frustrating experience. If you used an unusual technique - toe painting or topiary - to create your shape poem, make sure you tell us about that too.
We'll get as many of the shape poems as we can up on the site to share with other readers. Who knows, it might be your first step to poetic fame and fortune.
You can view all the shape poems created by kids or just the winning poems.