Christopher Tower Poetry Competition

 Full details 

The  24th Christopher Tower Poetry Competition will run from October 2023 to February 2024, with students between 16-18 years of age challenged to write a poem on the theme  ‘Mirror.’

This year’s judges are Will Harris, Jane Yeh and Mishtooni Bose. 


About the Competition

The Tower Poetry Competition offers the UK’s most valuable prize for young poets. The competition is free to enter and it is open to students between 16-18 years of age who are educated in the UK. 

The competition is judged anonymously by two guest judges, who are different each year, and the Christopher Tower Student. Each year the theme is chosen with the intention of giving entrants free rein to interpret it as widely as they like.

The Christopher Tower Poetry Prizes recently reached new heights with a newly increased first prize and a full set of awards worth more than £14000. 

This year, the poet who writes the best single poem on the theme of ‘Mirror’ receives £5000. There will be a second prize of £3000, and a third prize of £1500. Along with these, there will be ten runners up, who will each receive £500.

Where do I start?

Looking for some inspiration? The Christopher Tower Poetry Competition has been running for over two decades, and in that time has rewarded over 120 young winners and their poems. Take a look at entries by past winners on the 'Previous Competitions' page.

Remember to also read through the competition Terms and Conditions and the Frequently Asked Questions, both below.

Terms and Conditions:

  • Entrants must be at least 16 years of age, and under 19 years of age, on 23 February 2024.
  • Entrants must be in full or part-time education at a school, college or other educational institution in the United Kingdom. Students enrolled on higher education courses are not eligible to enter the competition.
  • Entries for the Tower Poetry Prize 2023 must be on the designated theme.
  • Entries must be written in English, and be no more than 48 lines in length.
  • Entry must be made via the website, with true and accurate information given.
  • The closing date for entries is 12 noon on 23 February 2024. Entries entered after noon will not be considered by the judges.
  • Each entrant may submit only one poem.
  • Poems may not be edited after they are submitted to the Tower Poetry Competition; only the first entry will be considered.
  • Poems with joint authorship are ineligible.
  • Each poem must be the entrant’s own work: it must not incorporate poetry by others without acknowledgement and (where appropriate) citation, and it must not include substantial elements (phrases, lines, or larger blocks of composition) that have been suggested or authored by others engaged in providing specific editorial advice to the entrant.
  • Entries must not be created using AI.
  • Poems must not have been previously published, broadcast or submitted to another competition.
  • Names and addresses must not be included with the text of the poem, since entries are judged anonymously.
  • 'Track changes' must be removed before submitting the poem.
  • The judges’ decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into concerning this decision.
  • The copyright of each poem remains with the author. Authors of the winning poems will grant Christ Church permission to publish or broadcast the poems for a period of one year from 17 April 2024.
  • The competition is not open to family members or close relatives of employees of Christ Church, Oxford.


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