Young People’s Laureate for London
Poetry Award


Spread the Word is pleased to open a brand new Award that will discover and profile talented young poets in the capital.

Judged by the Young People’s Laureate for London, Caleb Femi, the Awards will celebrate talented young poets aged 13 – 25 living in London. We’re asking poets to create written or performed poems on the theme of ‘Tomorrow’.

Caleb Femi introduces the award and talks about why he chose the theme of ‘tomorrow’ in this short video:

The Lowdown 

Here’s the important stuff:

  • Times: The competition is open from Monday 20 March – Tuesday 2 May, 5pm.
  • Theme: We ask that your poem is about the theme tomorrow. You can interpret this as creatively as you wish.
  • Format: You can submit a written poem or a performed poem. Performed entries must be a link to an online video. You can password protect the video if you would prefer and let us know the password on the entry form.
  • Length: Written poems can be up to 40 lines. Performed pieces on video can be up to 3 minutes.
  • Please don’t include your name on the written piece of poetry, nor in a performed piece.
  • How to enter: You can enter online or by post.
  • There are two categories; 13 – 17 year olds and 18 – 25 year olds.
  • If you are 13 – 17 years old, you will need permission from an adult such as a parent, carer or teacher, to approve your entry and agree to the terms and conditions.
  • The competition is free to enter.
  • Each entrant can enter one poem.
  • All poems should be written or performed in English.
  • The Young People’s Laureate Poetry Award is open to young poets living in Greater London. If you are not sure if you live in Greater London you can check here:
  • Please read the Young People’s Laureate for London Poetry Awards Terms and Conditions in full before entering.


  • There will be one winner from 13 – 17 year olds category who will win £75 Waterstones vouchers. Spread the Word will publish the winning poem on its website.
  • The winner of the 18 – 25 year olds category will receive £75 cash. The winner and up to five highly recommended poets from this category will be invited to attend Caleb Femi’s Poetry Lab at the Roundhouse in Camden on 10 June 2017. The Poetry Lab will be an opportunity to work with talented poets including Caleb to hone your craft and contribute towards a collaborative poem for London. Spread the Word will publish the winning and up to five highly recommended poems on its website.

Top Tips

Award Judge and Young People’s Laureate for London shares his top tips for your entries on:

Caleb’s Top Tips for Page Poetry Entries

Caleb’s Top Tips for Performance Poetry Entries

Enter now 

Enter Online
Online entry for 13 – 17 year olds

Online entry for 18 – 25 year olds

Enter by Post
Download a postal entry form for 13 – 17 year olds

Download a postal entry form for 18 – 25 year olds

About the Award Judge, Caleb Femi

Caleb Femi is the Young People’s Laureate for London. He is also an English teacher, filmmaker and photographer. As a poet, Caleb’s commissions include the Tate Modern, The Royal Society for Literature and the Guardian. Caleb has graced major stages such as the Roundhouse mainstage, Barbican, British Library, Royal Festival Hall. He has also opened up for Lianne La Havas and has performed at many festivals including Latitude, Ed Fringe, Boomtown, Lovebox and Greenbelt to name a few. Caleb has also won the Roundhouse Poetry Slam and Genesis Poetry Slam and is currently working on a debut pamphlet. Caleb leads poetry workshops in schools around the UK. As a filmmaker, Caleb has released two documentaries ‘What Did Love Taste Like In The 70s?’ and ‘Heartbreak & Grime’, to good international reception, which has led him to give talks and panel discussions on the topic of Grime music, Roadman culture and masculinity.

Don’t live in London? 

The Young People’s Laureate for London Poetry Award is only open to London-based young poets. This is because Caleb Femi’s Laureate role is about supporting young people’s poetry in London to thrive.

Maybe you’re a young poet and don’t live in London. Take a look at:

Do you have a question that isn’t answered here?

Email us on or call us 020 8692 0231 ext 249. We’re around Monday – Fridays 10am – 5pm.


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