Empowered |
Poetry Competition

11-18 Years

Empowered Video

Give young writers a voice with Empowered...

Inspire your students to be confident poets and write about something they feel passionately about.

Young Writers invite your students to write a poem for Empowered and take back some control over their lives. Empowered helps your students find and use their voices to express themselves through poetry.

Being able to voice a concern, an opinion or a point of view is so important, especially when your students’ interaction with peers has been restricted or even removed over the last academic year, reducing their opportunities to discuss what matters to them.

There are a ton of free resources for you to download, including a handy student info guide to explain how to take part, an engaging video, 2 lesson activities as well as example poems and poetry prompt ideas to help support your young writer to write an empowering poem in any style.

If you haven't tried the Online Writing Portal yet (where your students type their work during a lesson or as homework) check it out today at www.youngwriters.co.uk/teachers/

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To make sure your entries are valid, please follow the rules listed below:

  • Only one entry per student, there is no limit to the number of entries per school. Teachers please submit your entries altogether where possible!

  • Ask your students to write/type their poem, ensuring their name, age and school name are included.

  • Students' poems must be their own work.

  • Poems can be submitted on the entry form or an A4 sheet of paper or typed (on a computer or using the Online Writing Portal)

  • Poems can be written in any poetic style & use any poetic techniques but must be inspired by the competition theme.

If you are unsure on any rules or have any queries, please don't hesitate to Contact Us.

For Schools

1st Prize

The Young Writers' Award of Excellence and £100 National Book Token for your class


The Positive Teacher Company prize bundle that includes a subject leader journal, 3 x planners and 2 x academic diaries for you!

2 x Runners-Up

Each wins a framed certificate and a selection of books


Every participating school receives a free copy of the book their students feature in!

(Winners will be chosen from entries received in the 2021/2022 academic year.)

For Students

Our 5 favourite published poets will each win £100 and a trophy!


Every entrant receives a bookmark and we award a certificate of merit for all young writers chosen for publication.

(Winners will be chosen from entries received in the Summer Term 2022.)


Send your entries by uploading them:

Enter Now

Enter through our student writing portal:

Writing Portal

Alternatively, you can email your entries to [email protected].

By Post

Send your entries, along with your school entry form, to:

Young Writers SS
Remus House

Writing Tips

Get FREE writing tips sent straight to your inbox!


Tip #1

Ask your students to close their eyes. Tell them to imagine a bright, warm light shining on their faces.

It fills them up with power and warmth, ability and hope. Feel it soaking into their skin, down to their bones until they are filled with this warmth, this power.


Ask them to think about how it makes them feel, what thoughts are they having? Do they feel stronger, braver, happier? Is there something they feel they could tackle now that they couldn’t before? Does it empower them?

After a few minutes of visualisation, get them to write down their thoughts and feelings, and they can use these to inspire their poem.

Tip #2

Get your students to go online and search for ‘empowering quotes’. Ask them to pick one that interests them.

• Do they agree with it? If not why not?
• What does it mean to them? Do they relate to the words or not?
• How do/can they apply it to their own actions?

Invite your students to write a narrative poem that demonstrates the meaning of the quote and shares their views and feelings.

Tip #3

Ask your students to warm up for writing with a “free write”. This is where they can write anything that comes to mind, it doesn’t matter what it’s about, or even if it makes sense or not. The idea is just to write continuously, and see what comes out.

Set a timer for five minutes. Ask them to think for a moment about the word ‘Empowered’ and what it means to them. Then, go!

After the free write, get them to look over what they’ve written, are there any ideas or phrases that stand out that they could use for a poem? It doesn’t matter if not – their brains will still be warmed up for writing a poem!

You can then use the optional poetry lesson plan to continue the activity.

Tip #4

It’s time for Couple Battles!

Group your students into pairs. Give each group an issue or talking point – one side of the group should argue for it, the other against.

E.g. Social media, using nuclear power, school uniforms, animal testing

The ‘for’ group should write a list of pros, the ‘against’ group should write a list of cons. Next, they need to turn each point into a rhyming couplet, trying to use persuasive language to get their point across.

Once they’ve finished, get the group to read out their couplets alternately. Then get the rest of the class to vote for who they agree with at the end.

Your students can know write their poems inspired by the activity, choosing which point of view to write from!

Tip #5

Get your class pumped up, believing in themselves and ready to write the best poetry of their lives!

Play some inspirational music as they enter, and get them to write down what they think is their best feature or trait.

Alternatively, pair them up and get them to write one positive thing about the other person. Read them all out to boost positivity and confidence in themselves and each other.

How did it feel to hear nice things about themselves? How did it feel giving other people some positivity? Ask them to think about how they felt during this process, and harness those thoughts to turn them into empowering poems!

Tip #6

Come up with a list of starter words associated with empowerment including antonyms too, some examples could be: empower, strength, allow, powerful, weakness, positivity, deny, voice, speech.

Ask students to pick a word and write it down. Now they can use a thesaurus to look up that word and pick a synonym then write that one down. Now look up your synonym and so on. 

You can ask them to look up as many or as few words as you like. Once they have a list of words ask them what lines of poetry they could make with them.

They don’t have to use all of them if their chain has led them astray, and similarly, they can use more – this is just to get them started!

Tip #7

Is there another space in the school you can take your students to boost their inspiration? Writing in different surroundings can act as a catalyst for new ideas.

Take them outside if you can – does being outside give them different feelings to being inside? How does it affect their feelings of empowerment?

If you can’t take it outside the classroom, can you move the furniture to create a different space? E.g. a central space to gather in, or desks in a circle?

Just a small change can generate interest and a sense of something exciting happening. 

Tip #8

Failure is one of life’s many ups and downs, something everyone, yes everyone, has experienced.

Failing is part of life, one that we all have to deal with, and one that rarely gets easier. The one great thing about failing is that it makes it even easier to succeed when we try again. Moving forward positively after failure allows us to develop ourselves, our skills, and our lives.

  • Accept and feel your emotions – cry, get angry, feel disappointed; process these feelings and know they’re okay to experience, it helps to move on and cope by truly experiencing ourselves.
  • Adopt healthy coping skills such as calling a friend, deep breathing, going for a walk, taking a relaxing bath etc. Find which coping skills work best for you.
  • Accept an appropriate level of responsibility; too much may cause you to unnecessarily blame yourself. On the other hand, blaming your failure on other people or unfortunate circumstances will prevent you from learning and developing from it.
  • Make a plan to move on; identify your mistakes and what you can learn from them, then it’s time to make a plan to move forward. You are capable of trying again, but this time you have more knowledge and experience.

Tip #9

'Keep It Simple Silly' is the theory that you don’t have to overcomplicate what you are doing to make it good!

If your students are new to poetry or think they’re rubbish at it, try the KISS theory. They don’t need fancy words, really long sentences or a tricky poetic form to write a poem or convey their message to the reader.

Sometimes less is more. Simple doesn’t mean easier or less of a poem! A clear message, poignant or thought-provoking or even funny, can be delivered with just as much impact.

Encourage your students to write the kind of poem that they’d like to read… if they don’t like reading poetry, ask them why and then... encourage them to write the kind of poem they’d like to read!

Tip #10

Everyone has an opinion, and everyone is entitled to one. It's what your students do with theirs that's important and can change the world! Check out this blog that is an ideal activity to introduce poetry writing to your students: https://www.youngwriters.co.uk/blog/nurturing-opinion

Get In Touch

Young Writers SS
Remus House

[email protected]

(01733) 890066

Closing Date: Friday 27th May 2022