The Keats-Shelley Prizes

Inaugurated in 1998 by the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association, The Keats-Shelley Writing Prize encourages people of all ages to respond to the work of the Romantics, by composing their own original poem or essay. Essayists can explore any aspect of the life or work of the Romantic writers. Poets respond to a theme which changes from one year to the next.

In 2021, this theme is 'Writ in Water', to mark bi-centenary of John Keats' death in Rome on 23rd February 1821. Our Prize Chair is Simon Barnes, the award-winning sports journalist and nature writer. Click the link for 2021's Keats-Shelley Prize

Distinguished judges of the Prize have included two Poet Laureates (Sir Andrew Motion and Dame Carol Ann Duffy), the Makar of Scotland (Liz Lochhead), Stephen Fry, Dame Penelope Lively, Claire Tomalin, Professor Richard Holmes OBE, Tom Paulin, Miranda Seymour, Lord Gilmour, James Fenton, Jack Mapanje, A.N. Wilson, Colin Thubron CBE  and Salley Vickers.

For information about the Young Romantics Writing Prize, click here.

Keats-Shelley Prize

2021’s Keats-Shelley Poetry and Essay Prizes are open.

Two competitions open to writers of all ages.

Total Prizes worth over £5000.

NEW PRIZE DEADLINE: 12th April 2021.

  • Watch Giuseppe Albano, Keats-Shelley House Curator, launch 2021’s Prize from beside John Keats’ grave in Rome’s Cimitero Acattolico.

2021’s Prize Chair is Simon Barnes, the award-winning journalist and author of The Meaning of Birds, Epic, and most recently On the Marsh: A Year Surrounded by Wildness and Wet. The Keats-Shelley Prize Judges are the poets Professor Deryn Rees-Jones and Will Kemp, and Professors Simon Bainbridge and Sharon Ruston.

Winning entries will be published in the Keats-Shelley Review or on the Keats-Shelley website.

Find out more about the 2021 Prize and submit an entry

Keats-Shelley Prize

Winners Announced

More about the 2020 Prize

Keats-Shelley Prize

Winners Announced

More about the 2019 Prize

Keats-Shelley Prize

Winners Announced

More about the 2018 Prize