Forward/emagazine Student Critics Competition 2018

a chance to win £100 plus free books and tickets

A poem is a meeting-place for its readers and its writer – and the poems shortlisted for this year’s Forward Prizes are particularly good places for sparking off creative thoughts and conversations.

Join in these creative conversations through the Forward emagazine annual Student Critics Competition, which invites students aged 14 – 19, and teachers, to download a selection of shortlisted poems (ten of them, on a PDF) and to write their own responses, as poems and/or short essays.

We invite responses in two ways: either a short essay or a poem plus a critical commentary.

2018 Forward Prizes for Poetry books


Download the poems and enter


Last year we found that those who responded with poems plus commentary were particularly insightful, because they got under the bonnet of the source poem and, by trying something similar, figured out what works, what can be changed, tweaked, adapted, discarded. With our partners, the English and Media Centre, we welcome straightforward essays without poems too: whatever works for you.

Young winners in each category, chosen by poet Sinéad Morrissey, each get £100 and a ticket to the Forward Prizes ceremony on 18 September. Teachers win a covetable set of the ten shortlisted collections.

If you are neither a student nor a teacher but would like to make use of the poems in your reading group – and win a set of books – get in touch with us here.

Download a flyer to share with your school