Don’t miss closing date 18 April! Sharpen your quills for the 2017/18 Raymond Wilson Poetry Prize

UoR students are invited to explore their creativity by entering the Raymond Wilson Poetry Competition. Held in memory of the late Emeritus Professor of Education at Reading, the prize awards £200 for the winning poem.

Competition organiser, Stephanie Sharp of the Institute of Education, said:

“The competition will be judged by children in a local school and their vote carries equal weighting with that of a published children’s poet and with mine as an academic. This brings the perspectives of teacher, writer and young reader to bear on the judging.”

The children on the panel responded happily to last year’s winning poem by Judy Riddel, with its lively play on rhyming fun to support number learning, saying:

“It flows and has rhythm”                    

“We liked the inspirational message – be positive and counting and relying on others”

“It was happy and exciting”

“It helps younger children to learn their numbers by remembering the rhyme”

Raymond Wilson was an exceptional educationalist, as well as an inspired educational editor who introduced new editions of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poetry and Jane Austen’s novels. Wilson was also well-known as an intuitive, sensitive critic and a prolific anthologist.

This year, the closing date for entries will be 19 April 2018, with the winner being announced on 14 May 2018.

Conditions of entry are as follows:


  • Poems should be written for children.
  • You may submit up to 3 poems with a maximum length of 40 lines for each poem.
  • Poems must be the original work of the entrant.
  • Poems should be word processed.
  • Poems are regarded as copies and cannot be returned.
  • Your name should not be included with your poem(s). The poem(s) should be submitted in an envelope accompanied by a separate sealed envelope giving your name, connection with the University, contact address and either the title or first line of your poem(s).


Entries to the Raymond Wilson Poetry Prize, may be sent to the competition administrator: Chris Tibbenham, Institute of Education, University of Reading, London Road Campus, RG1 5EX.

Queries about any aspect of the competition can be addressed to Stephanie Sharp:


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