Ashdown Forest has long been the source of inspiration for many a writer and artist and, most famously, the setting of the Pooh stories by A. A. Milne.

This year (2024) commemorates 100 years since the publication of Milne’s book of poetry When We Were Very Young, which first introduced Christopher Robin and his teddy bear to the world. As a result, Ashdown Forest is proud to present a new poetry competition in partnership with Sian Thomas, Ashdown Forest’s poet in residence, and The Ashdown Forest Foundation.

Criteria

Poems must be inspired by Ashdown Forest – either about the Forest, or somehow linked to it, perhaps being inspired while walking on the Forest as Pooh often did. Your poem must be no more than 40 lines in length. Please read the full conditions of entry above. Entry to this competition is free of charge.

The submission doesn’t need to be an original piece, so feel free to dust off your old notepads and submit a hidden gem.

There are two categories:

  • Adults (over 18s)
  • Teens (13-18 yrs)

Please only submit one poem.

Fully Conditions of Entry available here.

Tell me more

PRIZE:

The prize will be publication on the Ashdown Forest website. This means we do need your approval to publish and publicise your work, the details for which are available under Conditions of Entry (available under ‘Criteria’ above).

We will publish our reason for selecting the chosen poem, but unfortunately, we will not be able to provide feedback on individual poems.

DATES:

  • 31st August 2024 (11.59pm GMT) – closing date for all submissions.
  • 30th September 2024 – winners announced for each category.

 

Poetry Competition

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How can I enter?

Your Name(Required)
Address
Please select your age category(Required)

Please attach your submission as a document (Word or PDF) OR paste as text below.

Max. file size: 256 MB.

Terms and Conditions.

Conditions of Entry(Required)

 

About Siân Thomas

For most of her life Siân Thomas (www.sianthomas.co.uk) has lived within walking distance of Ashdown Forest and in 2014 she became its first poet in residence.

Her writing has appeared widely in magazines and anthologies and her pamphlet Ovid’s Echo and collection Ashdown are both published by Paekakariki Press. She teaches creative writing online and in Sussex and Kent, presents The Poetry Bath podcast (https://www.buzzsprout.com/2257615)  and is a founder-member of the arts collectives The Muse Agency and Four Quarters.

Siân now also judges entries to the Ashdown Forest Poetry Competition.