Monday 25 March 2019 - 09:00 to Monday 21 October 2019 - 00:00

**Deadline passed** Thank you to all those who submitted poems to our competition - we've had a record-breaking number of submissions! Watch this space for the announcement of our winners on 11 November 2019!

Are you Germany's next top poet? Want to be in with the chance of winning some exciting literary prizes?

British Council Germany, together with the Haus für Poesie, is organising a poetry competition in 2019 for school pupils throughout Germany. We are excited to be offering young poets writing in German or English the chance to engage with contemporary UK poetry and to show us their creative skills! 


Inspiration for this year's poetry competition comes from Nicole May's poem 'A Rucksack and a Journey', a poem on the theme of 'change' commissioned by BBC Local Radio and National Poetry Day 2018. Manchester poet Nicole May came to Berlin in January as part of #BritLitBerlin and ran poetry workshops in schools. Have a read of the poem and worksheet in the attachment, think about the themes that it addresses, watch Nicole perform it, and get inspired to write your own poem in response!


  • Competition open to all pupils throughout Germany between the ages of 13-18
  • Poem must be written in response to the poem 'A Rucksack and a Journey' (download PDF below) by British poet Nicole May
  • Poem must be up to 30 lines long
  • Poem can be written in German OR English


  • Four poets will be singled out for prizes: 1st prize poem and runner-up written in English; 1st prize poem and runner-up in German
  • These poems will be published on the website and social media channels of the British Council and the Haus für Poesie
  • All four winners will be given the chance to take part free of charge in the monthly, mentored, poetry-writing workshop 'open poems' at the Haus für Poesie in Berlin, from January 2020 until mid-2021, and will be invited to read their work at poesiefestival berlin
  • All four winners will be given free tickets for the ZEBRA-Poesiefilmfestival (5.-8. December 2019), where they will be able to meet national and international poets.


The prize-winning German poet Karla Reimert will judge the German poems, whilst Nicole May herself will judge the English entries.


How to apply

  • Email your entry to with the subject: "Schools Poetry Competition 2019"
  • Please include in your email: your full name, age, the name of your school, and how you found out about the competition.
  • **NB: Deadline extended!** Competition deadline: midnight on Monday 21st October 2019
  • Winners announced: Monday 11 November 2019.

For any questions about the competition, please email Lucy Curzon at