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Our poetry competition for school pupils is back!

Do you enjoy writing poems in English and collaborating with your classmates? Would you like to see your poetry translated and published to a wide online audience, win tickets to the poesiefestival berlin (17 - 23 June 2022), and secure a place on a writing course at Berlin's prestigious Haus für Poesie? Would your class like to win an exclusive poetry-writing workshop?

In the context of the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021, the focus of this year's competition is climate change. The British Council is actively engaged in giving a platform to the climate emergency and exploring the relevance of the topic. The competition is part of a global initiative at the British Council: The Climate Connection brings together people from all over the world to exchange ideas and take action. 

We are delighted that the multi-award-winning UK poet Raymond Antrobus alongside German poet Karla Montasser (Haus für Poesie) will be judging our poetry competition this year. Antrobus' poem Silence / Presence provides the starting point for the pupils' poems. This year, pupils can enter their responses to Antrobus' poem as a class or as an individual (or both!). Pupils must write their poems in English. The poems should be a maximum of 30 lines long. Pupils must be aged between 13-18 years old at the time of writing.

Competition Information

Eligibility and rules

  • You must be a pupil at a school in Germany
  • You must be aged between 13-18 years old at the time of writing your poem
  • Your poem must be written in English
  • Your poem must be a response to Raymond Antrobus' poem 'Silence / Presence' (PDF worksheet to download below)
  • Your poem should be no longer than 30 lines long



Four poems will be chosen as winners: 1st and 2nd prizes for collaborative class poems and 1st and 2nd prizes for individual entries. 

  • All winners will have their poems translated by a professional translator into German

  • All winners will have their poems in English and in German published on the website and social media channels of the British Council in Germany and Haus für Poesie.
  • The winner of the 1st prize in the collaborative class poems category will win an online poetry-writing workshop with Raymond Antrobus
  • The winners of the 1st and 2nd prizes in the individual entries category will win tickets for the Haus für Poesie's poesiefestival 2022, taking place between 17-23 June 2022
  • The winners of the 1st and 2nd prizes in the individual entries category will secure places on the Haus für Poesie's writing workshop programme Open Poems / Young Poems 

How to apply

  • To apply: Email your entry to literature@britishcouncil.de with the subject: "Poetry Competition Climate Change"
  • Competition deadline: 5pm Friday 1st April 2022
  • Winners announced: Friday 13th May 2022


If you have any questions about eligibility, please email lucinda.curzon@britishcouncil.de