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


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 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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The Competition is now closed

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