Competition Open

The Forward/emagazine Creative Critics is an annual competition that invites 16-19 year-olds to write a poem in response to work shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Poetry.

Sample poems from each book shortlisted for a Forward Prize are provided. Young poets are invited to read and think about these poems before choosing one and writing a creative response to it in the form of a poem, along with a short reflective commentary.

The competition is run in partnership with the English Media Centre.


Winner: £200

Two runners-up: £50

The winning entry will be published in the February 2022 issue of emagazine

Closing date

Thursday 30 September, 5pm

2021 Judge - Kim Moore

The 2021 Forward/emagazine Creative Critics will be judged by Forward Prize alumna Kim Moore.

Kim Moore’s pamphlet If We Could Speak Like Wolves was a winner in the 2011 Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition and was subsequently shortlisted for the Michael Marks Award. Her first full-length collection The Art of Falling (Seren, 2015) won the 2016 Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. She won a Northern Writers Award in 2014, an Eric Gregory Award in 2011 and the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize in 2010.  She recently completed her doctorate on poetry and everyday sexism at Manchester Metropolitan University and her second collection of poetry All The Men I Never Married will be published by Seren in October 2021. She is the co-director of Kendal Poetry Festival.

Forward/emagazine Creative Critics Winners 2020


Joyce Chen (Westminster School) for ‘Cuttlefishing off the coast of Hong Kong’

Runners Up

Ariba Saeed (London Academy of Excellence) for her untitled poem beginning ‘What the hell, I still play hide and seek’

Katie Kirkpatrick (Hills Road Sixth Form College, Cambridge) for ‘things i am freezing to come back to later’

Highly Commended

Luke Tinworth (Little Heath School) for ‘Kid’
Iqra Naseem (Lordswood Girls’ School and Sixth Form Centre) for ‘A Second Evening’
Thariny Suresh (Royal Latin School) for ‘pass time’
Yael Katz (Haberdashers’ Aske School for Girls) for ‘Vilnius’


Erin Violett-Camp (Newton Abbot College) for ‘Child’
Nia Mercurius-Johnson (Royal Masonic School for Girls) for ‘You Are Mistaken’
Ibrahim Usmani (Repton School Dubai) for ‘Pakistani Praises’
Maria Ma (Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate) for ‘Hawker Centre’
Hala Almodares (Lycee Internationale Jeanne d’Arc) for ‘Close’