Chance for Dearne poets to have work recognised

Poet Ted Hughes
Poet Ted Hughes

Follow in the footsteps of Mexborough poet Ted Hughes, by having your poem celebrated throughout the area.

The Don and Dearne Poetry Competition is open to children from as young as three, to young adults post-16.

Entries are particularly welcome from anyone living in the Don and Dearne Valleys where former Poet Laureate Ted Hughes lived and went to school.

Ted published his first poems aged 15 in his school magazine. The theme of Animals has been chosen for this year’s poetry competition, i tribute to Ted Hughes who wrote many famous animal poems, including The Jaguar, Pike, and Hawk Roosting.

Each entrant can send from one to three poems, each being no more than 40 lines in length. Names and contact details must be displayed clearly on each entry.

Poems should be sent by email to

The competition will be judged by John Beal, Steve Ely and Ian Parks — all poets, teachers, literary activists and members of the Ted Hughes Poetry Festival organising group.

Winners will be notified by Monday, June 22, and will be invited to a prize-giving at the festival on the afternoon of Saturday, July 4, where they will receive their prizes and read their poems.

Two sub-sections include one for Years 3-8, and another for Years 9-13.

First Prize is book tokens to the value of £25, Second Prize is book tokens to the value of £15, Third Prize is book tokens to the value of £10. Each prizewinner will also receive a certificate and a copy of Ted Hughes’ Collected Poems for Children

In the older section First Prize is £40, Second Prize is £25 and Third Prize is £15 with each prizewinner receiving a certificate and copy of A Ted Hughes Bestiary