My Mind, My Thoughts

The East Riding Festival of Words 2019 poetry competition is now open for entries. This year's theme is 'My Mind, My Thoughts'. Entries will be judged by a panel of published Yorkshire poets, led by James Nash. Poems are submitted anonymously, so each entry is judged on its own merits. Winners will be invited to read their poems at the special event, Poet Fest, in Bridlington in January 2020.

Young Poets Prize

If you can say the words, you can write the words. Express yourself through poetry - whatever shape or form - and you could win £50! The competition is open to all school aged children, with one prize for primary and one for secondary.



£3 per entry

Larkin prize: £500

Second prize: £200

Third Prize: £100

School age children

Free to enter

Primary school prize: £50

Secondary school prize: £75

There will be also be highly commended prizes of £25 to two entries in the adult category, and one each in the primary and secondary age children category. The judging panel includes James Nash, Wendy Pratt and Matthew Hedley Stoppard

How to enter

There are two ways to enter, online or offline. Your poem should be no more than 45 lines, on one side of A4 paper. There are three categories, adults, primary school aged children (4 years to 10 years) and secondary school aged children (11 years to 16 years) All entries must be submitted and paid for by Saturday, 30 November 2019 at 11.59pm. Winners will be notified by phone by Monday, 6 January 2020.

Enter Online

Adults (17 years and over) can enter online in three steps:

  • Pay your £3 entry fee using our payment system and choose to 'leave tickets at the box office' (there will be no physical ticket).
  • Check your email for your confirmation and reference number.
  • Email with your name, contact number, address, the title of your poem you are submitting and the reference number for your entry fee payment. Attach your poem as a word document or in the body of the email.

A confirmation email will be sent to let you know your entry has been received.

School aged children can enter for free by emailing their poem to with name, contact number, address, poem title and age category.

Enter offline

Download the leaflet below and print or pick one up from your local library. Fill in your contact details and submit your poem and pay entry fee (if applicable) to East Riding Libraries staff using cash.

What's Your Story? Winners

The 2018 Festival of Words poetry competition winners were announced on the 26 January 2019, and winning entries are available to read online. Entries were judged by a panel of published Yorkshire poets, led by James Nash.


  1. Each poem must be no longer than 45 lines and follow the theme of 'My story'.
  2. Each poem must be typed or clearly written on one side of A4 paper.
  3. Poems must be original work of the competitor, in English, and must not have been published, broadcast or have won a competition prize.
  4. No alterations can be made to a poem once it has been submitted.
  5. The entrant may submit an unlimited number of poems, each to be accompanied by the entry fee (if applicable).
  6. The poem(s) and payment should be submitted with the entry form.
  7. The name of the entrant must not appear on the poem itself.
  8. Entries cannot be returned, so please keep a copy.
  9. The decision of the judge is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  10. Results will be published on the Festival of Words website
  11. Prize winners will be notified by Monday, 6 January 2020. Copyright remains with the author, but the organisers reserve the right to publish the winning poems online or in print for one year after the closing date of the competition (Saturday, 30 November 2019).
  12. The organisers reserve the right to alter details of the competition if necessary.
  13. All entries must be received by Saturday, 30 November 2019.