As a teacher, I found the website clear, easy to use and reassuring in its values.
Kate Clanchy

I offer my thanks for giving me the opportunity to work with and encourage young writers in celebrating the name and achievement of one of Britain’s greatest poets.
John Rice

I wish the John Betjeman Poetry Competition for Young People existed when I was 10 - it would have been like a second Christmas! You lot don't know how lucky you are!
Laura Dockrill


The John Betjeman Poetry Competition for Young People is a registered charity. We depend on private donors, foundations and sponsors to cover everything. If you like what we do, please help us by making a donation so that we can continue our important work. All donations of whatever size are much appreciated. Thank you.

Left to right: Nell Gifford, Imogen Lycett Green, Noah Bodley Scott,  Helen Woods (winner of the 2014 John Betjeman Poetry Competition for Young People), Jasmine Burgess, Nicola Shaw and John Lycett Green. Photo credit: Sam Lane

Last year’s poetry prize was given in memory of its founder, Candida Lycett Green, the daughter of John Betjeman, who sadly died on August 19th 2014.

Candida became a great writer, campaigner and conservationist, writing 16 books in all.  She was a champion of England and believed defiantly in the value of landscape and the importance of finding a place or places that mean something to you personally.

Cornwall was her favourite place, particularly Daymer Lane in Trebetherick, where she spent summer holidays as a child. Another favourite place of hers was the circular village of Uffington, in the Vale of the White Horse, in Oxfordshire.  She lived there until she was three, at Garrard’s Farm, opposite the pub, with her parents John and Penelope, and her older brother Paul. She moved back to the village in her mid-fifties and died there this summer, aged 71, late at night on a Tuesday after listening through her bedroom window to bell practice from Uffington church.

Young people love poetry, and the John Betjeman Poetry Competition for Young People is an excellent way to channel creative energy: there's a deadline, there's a subject, there are prizes...what more does a poet need?
Ian McMillan