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The Final Year Poetry Competition with Otter-Barry Books and National Poetry Day

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Find your voice through poetry. This year’s competition with National Poetry Day and
Otter Barry Books invites you to write a poem about how you can find refuge or a safe
place to express yourself in your voice through your writing. Enter your poem by midnight on 16th November for a chance to win a school visit online or in-person from the poet Matt Goodfellow and signed copies of his first verse novel, The Final Year.


About the competition


The Final Year by Matt Goodfellow is a powerful and lyrical story about finding your place in
the world and the people that matter within it. Nate is preparing for the change to
secondary school and is ready for it all knowing his best friend, PS, is at his side. But when
they are put in two different classes and PS finds a new friend, Nate’s world turns upside
down. As he struggles to make sense of this and forge new friendships, he’s dealt another
blow when his youngest brother, Dylan is rushed into hospital. His new teacher, Mr Joshua,
sees a spark inside of Nate that’s lit by his love of reading and writing and shows him how to
use this to process what’s going on.


The theme for National Poetry Day this year is Refuge. Sometimes writing can be a good
place to find refuge from the world around us, and can provide a safe space for us to
explore our ideas and experiences. This is what Nate does in his writing – he uses writing to
make sense of the experiences he has and the things he goes through in his everyday life.
Nate’s story is told in his own voice, in the dialect he speaks living in East Manchester. One
of the most brilliant and powerful things about poetry is that it can be a vehicle for you to
write in your voice, about your life. Our voices tell people who we are, and we should be
proud of who we are and the voice we speak in.


Any region, place or person should be proud of its accent and dialect and everyone should
be encouraged to share their voice and their experiences in writing. If you would like to
write a poem using your own voice, to be proud of your accent or dialect and to find refuge
in writing, this is the competition for you.


Otter Barry Books, in collaboration with National Poetry Day, invites you to pick up your pen
and find your voice through your poetry. We’d love to read about whatever inspires you to
write a poem with the theme of finding refuge in writing.


How to enter


Submit your poem by midnight on the 16th November 2023.
You can enter one poem on the theme of refuge in writing. You can use any form of
poetry and your poem can be up to 250 words.
The competition is open to anyone 8 to 11 years old.
Please read the full competition rules below before submitting your poem.
Contact tatti@dejersey.co.uk of Otter Barry Books PR if you have any questions.


Be inspired by Matt Goodfellow’s poem from The Final Year, ‘At the end of the day’.

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Entry Form
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Thanks for entering!

National Poetry Day/Otter Barry Books The Final Year Competition Terms and Conditions

Please read carefully.

  1. The Promoter is Otter Barry Books, Little Orchard, Burley Gate, Herefordshire, HR1 3QS in association with National Poetry Day, which has its registered office at Forward Arts Foundation, Somerset House Exchange, Strand, London WC2R 1LA

  2. The competition period will start at 11am On Thursday 5th October 2023 and end at midnight on Thursday 16th November 2023. After this date no further entries to the competition will be permitted

  3. To enter, parents, teachers, librarians should submit a poem to us using the submission form above, and follow the instructions. No other method of entry will be accepted.

  4. All data for non-winning entrants will be deleted by 30th November 2023

  5. Teachers, librarians and youth leaders must comply with their organisations GDPR policy when applying.

  6. The Competition is open to children from age 8-11yrs

  7. The Competition is only open to entrants in the UK.

  8. There will be one winner who will win an assembly school visit by the poet Matt Goodfellow (either online or in-person)

  9. One runner up will win a signed copy of The Final Year

  10. The school with the most entries will also win a signed copy of The Final Year

  11. You may only make a maximum of one entry per person.

  12. Entries should be on the theme of refuge in writing and no longer than 250 words.

  13. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.

  14. The Winner will be notified via email no later than Thursday 30th  November 2023

  15. Entries must be submitted in mostly the English language, you may include phrases in another language.

  16. A parent or guardian will need to give permission for you to enter. Permission can be given online when submitting an entry.

  17. The parent, guardian, teacher of the Winner and runner up and school with the most entries will be notified via email by November 30th  2023

  18. If the winner cannot be contacted or does not claim the prize within 7 days of notification, the Organiser reserves the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.

  19. National Poetry Day or Otter Barry Books shall not be responsible for any inaccurate contact details provided by Qualifying Entrants/Winners in accordance with paragraph above, which results in the Prize not being delivered.

  20. The Prize is non-transferable and non-negotiable. No cash alternative will be offered.

  21. Otter Barry Books decision will be final and binding. No correspondence will be entered into.

  22. The copyright of each poem remains with the author. However, by entering the competition, authors of the winning poems grant National Poetry Day and Otter Barry Books  irrevocable, non-exclusive licence to republish the work in perpetuity, including (but not limited to) publishing the work online, including National Poetry Day and Otter Barry Books websites and social media. We will mention the first name and school of any winning entries. We will notify the writer if a third-party requests permission to use their work in any way.

  23. These terms and conditions are governed by the laws of England.

  24. Due to the large number of entrants we are unable to respond individually to submissions.

  25. By entering the Competition, you accept these terms and conditions.

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