Terry Kelly Poetry Prize 2020

Published: 4th October 2019

It’s National Poetry Day and what better moment to launch The Terry Kelly poetry Prize for 2020!

Celebrating its fifth year the Terry Kelly Poetry Prize for young people from the North East. Commemorating the life of Shields Gazette journalist and poetry lover Terry Kelly the prize encourages young people to try poetry.


We have five categories to celebrate our fifth year.

  • Primary
  • Secondary
  • Post 16.
  • Outstanding Group Poem (NEW FOR 2020)
  • Galvanize Prize for boys under 16 (NEW FOR 2020 encouraging more boys to take part and write)

How to Enter

  • Write one original poem no more that 40 lines long;
  • Give it a title;
  • Email your poem to Lauren the Terry Kelly Poetry Prize Coordinator at tkppcoordinator@gmail.com ;
  • Include your name, age and gender;
  • If you are entering a group poem it must not have more than 16 authors and you must list them all. So for instance a teacher may enter two poems written by different groups of authors from one class;
  • If you’re under 16 and entering your poem include your parent/guardian’s name and postcode. If you are still at school, college or university, include the name of your place of study and year group.
  • Indicate if you would be happy to get on stage and read your poem.

e.g. ‘Crossing the Tyne’ by Paul Smith aged 11, Patty Smith (Mam), NE33 1ES, Year 6 Tyne Junior School, yes Paul would like to be considered to read his poem.

The deadline for poems is

9am on Friday 24th April 2020.

What Does It Mean to Win?

Sophie Barnard won our primary category in 2019 with her poem ‘Don’t Put Plastic In the Sea’. Hear her talk about what it meant to win.


Brody winner of our secondary category was so inspired by his win in 2019 he has already submitted his 2020 entry.

Help with Writing

In 2019  the GIllian Dickinson Trust supported the Terry Kelly Poetry Prize. Tom Kelly wrote this inspiring resource aimed at young people who might be interested in entering the prize or generally interested in writing and poetry. Click on the thumbnail image to see each slide or find it online here: https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/you-are-a-poet-12241946