George the Poet and the winners - Literature 2015

George the Poet and the winners

2015 Poetry Competition

The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival Poetry Competition in collaboration with the brilliant poet and recording artist, George the Poet.

In total, over 430 students participated in the competition – from Barnwood Park Arts College, Gloucester; Cirencester Kingshill School, Cirencester; Oxford Spires Academy, Oxford; and Severn Vale School, Gloucester.

It was a privilege and pleasure to read all the poems. What was so striking was the level of sophistication. It reinforced our belief in the thoughtfulness and creativity of young people.

Competition Judges

Follow the links view:

Partnership with Supported by

Here’s a reminder of what we asked the entrants to do…

Use one of George the Poet’s poems as inspiration for your own.
Here are 3 suggestions:

Everyone has got great ideas, write what comes to your mind, you never know what you’ll find.

George the Poet

  1. The word limit is 500 words
  2. The competition closes at 5pm on Friday 18 September. Entries received after this time will not be considered so please do not wait until the last minute
  3. Videos of students performing their poems are welcomed as part of their entry alongside the text version
  4. There are 3 categories: Key Stage 3 (age 12-14), Key Stage 4 (age 14-16) and Key Stage 5 (16-18)
  5. A maximum of 10 entries can be submitted for each category from each school (so the first round of judging is completed by school staff)
  6. By submitting the students’ work, teachers are confirming that they have the relevant permission for the work to be published on the Cheltenham Festivals website
  7. Teachers must complete one School Entry Form, and then one Student Entry Form for every poem (so if 20 poems are submitted, 1 school entry form and 20 student entry forms would be completed)
  8. The competition will be judged by a panel including Alicia Stubbersfield, poet, Angela France, poet and lecturer in creative writing at the University of Gloucestershire and Ali Mawle, Director of Education, Cheltenham Festivals
  9. A winner and two runners-up will be selected in each category
  10. All winners and runners-up (and their teachers) will: have their pieces published; win copies of George’s Anthology Search Party; and win free tickets to see George The Poet’s performance at The Cheltenham Literature Festival
  11. The winners, and teachers from the winning schools, will come back stage to meet George The Poet following his performance
  12. All participating schools will be listed on the Cheltenham Festivals website
  13. The winners will be announced on Friday 2 October, the first day of the Festival
  14. Send your entries on a disc or memory stick to: Poetry competition, Cheltenham Festivals, 109 Bath Road, Cheltenham GL53 7LS or email your entries to with the subject ‘Poetry competition’
  15. Entries will not be returned so please do not send originals in the post