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Christopher Tower Poetry Competition 2023 (up to £14,000 in prizes)

Deadline: February 24, 2023

Applications are open for the Christopher Tower Poetry Competition 2023. The competition is challenging students between 16-18 years of age to write a poem on the theme ‘The Planets.’

The Tower Poetry Competition offers the UK’s most valuable prize for young poets. The competition is free to enter and it is open to students who are educated in the UK. The competition is judged anonymously by two guest judges, who are different each year, and the Christopher Tower Student. Each year the theme is chosen with the intention of giving entrants free rein to interpret it as widely as they like.


This year the Christopher Tower Poetry Prizes are blasting off to new heights with a newly increased first prize and a full set of awards worth more than £14,000.

  • The poet who writes the best single poem on the theme of ‘The Planets’ receives £5,000.
  • There will be a second prize of £3,000, and a third prize of £1,500. Along with these, there will be ten runners up, who will each receive £500.


  • Entrants must be at least 16 years of age, and under 19 years of age, on February 24, 2023.
  • Entrants must be in full or part-time education at a school, college or other educational institution in the United Kingdom. Students enrolled on higher education courses are not eligible to enter the competition.
  • Entries for the Tower Poetry Prize 2023 must be on the designated theme.
  • Entries must be written in English, and be no more than 48 lines in length.
  • Entry must be made via the website, with true and accurate information given.
  • Each entrant may submit only one poem.
  • Poems may not be edited after they are submitted to the Tower Poetry Competition; only the first entry will be considered.
  • Poems with joint authorship are ineligible.
  • Each poem must be the entrant’s own work: it must not incorporate poetry by others without acknowledgement and (where appropriate) citation, and it must not include substantial elements (phrases, lines, or larger blocks of composition) that have been suggested or authored by others engaged in providing specific editorial advice to the entrant.
  • Poems must not have been previously published, broadcast or submitted to another competition.
  • The competition is not open to family members or close relatives of employees of Christ Church, Oxford.


The form will take approximately 5 minutes to complete and asks for:

  • Your name, date of birth, and email address;
  • The address of your school/college;
  • Contact details for your teacher; and
  • Your poem – upload one PDF, DOC, or DOCX file.

Click here to apply


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