The Christopher Tower Poetry Competition, the UK’s most valuable prize for young poets, is once again open for entries, and this year students between 16-18 years of age are challenged to write a poem on the theme of ‘Voyages’.
Launched in 2000, the Tower Prizes are already established as among the most prestigious literary awards for this age group. The first prize is £3,000, with £1,000 and £500 going to the second and third prize-winners. In addition to individual prizes, the students’ schools and colleges also receive cash prizes.
The entries will be judged this year by poets Christopher Reid, Don Paterson and Peter McDonald. At the launch of the latest competition, Dr Peter McDonald, Christopher Tower Student and Tutor in Poetry in English at Christ Church, commented: ‘Poetry’s future depends, in part, on the kind of encouragement we can offer our young poets. The winners of the Tower prizes all show how good young writers can rise to the challenges which this kind of competition sets’. The 2012 competition will build on the success of earlier competitions. Previous prizewinners such as Caroline Bird, Helen Mort (who read at the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival), Richard O’Brien, Charlotte Runcie, Anna Lewis and Annie Katchinska are now gaining further acclaim in other competitions or within the publishing/ writing world.