The Robert Hutchison
Young Poets' Competition

Changing the World: Poems for a new climate

The changing climate affects everyone, but if enough of us change our behaviour, there are lots of reasons to be hopeful. Together we can make a difference. We are looking for your best poems exploring any aspect of Climate Change.
Open to young poets aged 11 -13 and 14-16
Prizes for each age group & for the winners’ schools!

The Competition

We are looking for your best poems exploring any aspect or angle of Climate Change.

●    Entry is free and open to all young people aged 11-16 living or attending school in Hampshire (including Southampton and Portsmouth).
●    There will be two age categories: 11-13 and 14-16.

●   Prizes for each age group: First Prize £100 • 2nd Prize £50 • 3rd Prize £25 • book tokens for runners-up • £100 for first-prize winner’s school
●    Judge: Robyn Bolam, Hampshire Poet 2018.
●    Closing Date: 15 August 2018.
●    Winners will be invited to read at a special prize-giving event in Winchester on National Poetry Day, Thursday 4 October 2018. 
●    Winning and commended poems will be published in a competition anthology.

You can download a competition leaflet and entry form below. Scans or photocopies of the form with your entry are acceptable.


●    The competition is free to enter.
●    Poems can be of any length up to 30 lines and must be on the theme of ‘Changing the World: poems for a new climate’
●    To enter, you must live in Hampshire or attend school/college in Hampshire.  (That includes Southampton and Portsmouth.) You must be aged 11-16 on the closing date, 15 August 2018.
●    Entries will be judged in two age groups: 11-13 and 14-16.
●    Don’t put your name or any other form of identification on your poem. The poems are judged anonymously. Your details, including the poems’ titles, should go on the entry form.
●    You can enter more than one poem.
●    Each poem must be your own original work and must not have been previously published - not even on the Internet.
●    Your poem must… have a title; be typed; be in English.
●    No changes can be made to poems once submitted.
●    Sorry, competition entries cannot be returned and no acknowledgment of receipt can be made. Please make sure you keep copies of the poems you enter.
●    We must receive entries by midnight on 15 August 2018. Late entries won’t be accepted for any reason.
●    We are unable to respond individually to submissions.
●    The judge’s decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into concerning this decision.
●    Winning poets will be notified in September 2018 and invited to a prize-giving ceremony in Winchester on Thursday 4 October 2018, venue and time to be announced. 
●    Winners will be announced in October 2018 on the Winchester Poetry Festival and WinACC websites ( and
●    The copyright of your poem belongs to you. However, by entering this competition, you agree that if your poem is one of the winning or commended ones, you grant to Winchester Poetry Festival and WinACC an irrevocable, non-exclusive licence to republish the poem in perpetuity. That republishing may include: online publication; production of posters, postcards and other print materials; publication in print or online as part of an anthology or as an educational resource; broadcasting the poem.


Robert Hutchison (1941-2017) was a man who made things happen. Among many other achievements he founded Winchester Action on Climate Change (WinACC) in 2007 and Winchester Poetry Festival in 2013. This poetry competition celebrates Robert’s life and his contribution to these two vibrant local organisations. 

A graduate of Trinity College Dublin, Robert went on to jobs in the BBC, publishing and the Arts Council, in all of which he made a significant impact. Later he was engaged in research into new forms of social and economic activity.  “Cultured and principled, Robert brought encouragement and warmth wherever he worked.” (The Guardian)


The Robert Hutchison Young Poets' Competition is a joint venture between Winchester Poetry Festival and Winchester Action on Climate Change (WinACC).

The competition is supported by Winchester City Council.