The Keats-Shelley Prizes

Inaugurated in 1998 by the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association, The Keats-Shelley Prize encourages people of all ages to respond to the work of the Romantics, by writing 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 2018, this was ‘Liberty’, to mark the bi-centenary of PB Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound.

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 Prize, click here.

Keats-Shelley Prize
2019

Open for Submissions

2019’s Keats-Shelley and Young Romantics Prizes marks the publication 200 years ago of the first two cantos of Lord Byron’s controversial poem Don Juan. This is generally considered to be Byron’s masterpiece, but it caused outrage and consternation in England. Byron’s response was ‘all the bullies on earth shall not prevent me from writing what I like and publishing what I write.’

Inspired by Byron’s comic masterpiece, our twin poetry themes this year are ‘Wandering’ or ‘Fiery Dust’.

2019’s Chair of Judges is Professor Michael Rosen Professor of Children’s Literature at Goldsmiths University, London, former Children’s Laureate, and acclaimed author of books for both children and adults.

The panel of judges includes Jo Shapcott and Will Kemp, and Professors Simon Bainbridge and Sharon Ruston.

Total Prizes worth £5000.

Find out More about the 2019 Prize and Submit an entry

Keats-Shelley Prize
2018

Winners Announced

More about the 2018 Prize

Keats-Shelley Prize
2017

Winners Announced

More about the 2017 Prize

Keats-Shelley Prize
2016

Submissions Closed

More about the 2016 Prize