from the National Poetry Society

National Poetry Competition Writing and Discussion Guides

Whether you’re starting on a new piece of writing or looking to punch up a draft, The Poetry Society’s National Poetry Competition writing resources can help inspire you to create an exciting new piece of work. The guides include discussion points and writing prompts, exploring more closely the poems written by previous winners and commended poets in the competition’s history.

Running alongside the 2020 National Poetry Competition, The Poetry Society has commissioned a series of writing guides devised by five previous National Poetry Competition winners.

You can currently select from a guide by Pascale Petit, focusing on nature writing [see our own event featuring Pascale], a guide by Eric Berlin looking at poems where the speakers’ perspectives turn on their heel, a guide by Ella Frears on poems that explore the unknowable and unexpressable, and a guide by Matthew Caley on poems that use lightness to great effect, and a special National Poetry Day writing guide by Jane Yeh on the theme of vision.

Commissioned alongside last year’s competition was a guide by Mary Jean Chanlooking at winning poems by Stephen Sexton and Jo Shapcott, and a guide by Caleb Parkin looking at poems by Fran Lock and Katie Griffiths.

To accompany previous competitions, The Poetry Society has collaborated with The Poetry School to create a series of discussion guides, which examine a selection of the winning poems from that year’s competition for solo consideration in use in writing or reading groups: select from a 2012 discussion guide, a 2013 discussion guide, a 2014 discussion guide and a 2015 discussion guide

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